It’s almost been a year and a half since I had my first child and I have yet to achieve and maintain my pre-pregnancy weight. I hit that pre-pregnancy weight once and then, life got in the way and I gained a few pounds back.
I didn’t really think about it while I was pregnant because I loved being pregnant. For one, I no longer had to suck in my stomach for pictures. Instead, I highlighted the big belly. My boobs were bigger and I just felt amazing, beautiful and powerful. Yes, I was at my biggest, but there is something special, something different about carrying life inside of you.
I also didn’t focus too much on the scale. The only time I really thought about it was right before a doctor’s appointment.
Then, after Natalie was born, everything was different.
My postpartum body was different.
My feelings towards that same body that carried life were now different.
First, I could no longer hold my pee for very long. Once I had to go, I HAD TO GO. And try doing jumping jacks…. yea, not happening.
I could no longer suck in my stomach either... You know, when you stand in front of the mirror sucking it in to see how skinny you can get?
And that dag on lower belly pouch!
What once brought awe and admiration now brought disgust and shame.
I started to believe that in order to have a joyful and happy life, I needed to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight… my pre-pregnancy body.
But that was all a lie.
We Need Grace
In truth, I don’t need to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight to find joy. Instead, I need to give myself grace.
God designed every aspect of our body. He designed the hair on our head, the color of our eyes, even the size of our boobs! Trust me – as a child, I prayed for bigger boobs and that obviously was not in Gods plan.
Just as He designed our individual gifts, He knew what our specific trials would be. Instead of allowing the suffering to be in vain, He used it for His glory and His purpose. There is hope in those trials. There is hope in our suffering. There is hope when we look at our bodies and see how imperfect they are.
He knows our struggles, even the struggles we have yet to encounter. He knows how we will react and despite everything, He promises to be there with us.
He is not the one who put the stipulation to only gain 15 lbs in pregnancy. He is not the one who said anything greater than a size 12 is too big. He is not the one who said my body is not enough.
God has just asked us to glorify him through the caring of our body.
Have you ever thought about some of the reasons why we hate ourselves?
Is it the evidence of humanity? The evidence that we are not God? That’s exactly why we hate our bodies because we see how imperfect they are. And it kills us.
But He gives us grace. He loves us no matter what. He’s called us to love him, and in doing so, to love his creation - which includes us.
So when you look down and see that lower belly that won’t go away. Know that God still loves you. He’s still there in the midst of your self-loath. He wants you to run to him so he can comfort you. He knows that it’s hard here on earth and he has a present for us when we join him.
When we step on the scale and see that atrocious number. Know that it’s just a number. It does not define who we are.
God defines us.
He knew you would struggle to lose weight. He knew that you were going to hate that scale. But he hasn’t left. He calls us to him every time. We alone are not enough, but He is. He is in the midst of this trial. He is using this time to mold you like a lump of clay that has yet to be formed. Every opportunity is another opportunity for him to create the beautiful masterpiece he has envisioned.
Even Paul struggled with some of his physical imperfections.
He was given a thorn in his flesh, a tool Satan used to torment him. God could have healed that ailment, but instead, he offered grace. God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.
Momma, don’t lose heart. Don’t focus on how imperfect or ungodly you are. Don’t allow Satan to use your postpartum body as a tool to pull you away from your heavenly father. Instead, run to Him.
Yes, God could have prevented you from gaining 50+ lbs. Yes, He could have ensured your skin was elastic enough to not be permanently scarred. Yes, he could have created your baby to have a smaller head to prevent 2nd or 3rd degree tears. But He didn’t. Instead, He is calling you to return back to Him during this season, to comfort you and show you that you are made perfect through Him.
God is here to love us despite our humanity.