Having 5 kids in 9 years is not easy on a body. My body has carried, nourished, and grown 5 full-term babies. It has stretched and been worn thin. It has given birth vaginally 5 times, been torn, been cut, and also…it has recovered. I’ve recovered from chronic back pain. I’ve recovered full pelvic floor strength. I’ve not struggled with incontinence or any leaking. And though I do have some pelvic organ prolapse, I have zero symptoms.
What hasn’t been easy? Losing weight postpartum. Now, I can look back and see that with my first, weight loss was fairly easy. Not as fast as some women, but I was one of those who dropped the weight, even went under my typical weight without trying due to breastfeeding. And I thought that’s the way it would be for me with each baby.
I gained 35-40# every single pregnancy and I honestly hated most of it. I hated dr. ‘s appts and getting weighed, I hated the look of extra weight in my arms, legs, butt, and face. I believed a lot of lies about my body and satan stole a lot of goodness from my pregnancies…hence…why I am passionate about speaking life over pregnant women now, bc what the Enemy used to harm me, God will use to bring life and healing – beauty from my ashes.
I found it harder and harder to lose the baby weight with every single child. I’m sure it’s a part of aging, but weight loss is not easy for me. Postpartum weight loss looked like a lot of chains with my first 4 babies. I always breastfed and was very mindful of my supply, so I knew I couldn’t do anything drastic in terms of cutting calories, but it seemed to take an agonizing time for me to get rid of those pounds.
Right after I had my 5th, I decided to do Revelation Wellness Instructor Training. I was introduced to this ministry (whose mission is to teach people how to Love God, Get Healthy, Be Whole, and Love Others) during my 5th pregnancy, and God’s timing is so good. He knew that I needed it – I was desperate for freedom with my body, freedom with food, freedom with fitness, and freedom with weight loss. I went through instructor training during Gracelyn’s 3rd and 4th month of life, right in the middle of my weight loss journey, and my entire outlook on weight loss changed.
Rather than seeing my body as a project, rather than putting my body on a weight loss timeline or regimen, rather than degrading my body, trying to control exercise and food, and becoming discouraged…I spoke life over my body.
I started to look for God’s original design in it vs. trying to form it to what I thought it “should” me. I began listening to the Spirit for what I should do to move my body in love and kindness vs. using movement to burn off calories or lose weight.
I began to eat more intuitively but also with obedience and discipline that didn’t come from me, but from the Spirit inside of me. I TRUSTED the Father with my body. I surrendered it to Him. I permitted Him to lead my weight loss journey rather than clutching on tightly to it. I told Him that it could take as long as He needed it to, that I believed He had good for me and was FOR my good! I believed that my weight loss journey could actually bring Him glory as I let Him lead it and do in me what He needed to do. I trusted that He as the Creator of my body had a GOOD design not only for my body to carry a baby, but also to find a healthy weight postpartum. I declared this Truth daily. I lived it, I breathed it, I walked in it. I captured lies and replaced them with Truth. And I stopped thinking that I needed to strive and push ahead, that weight loss could still look like kindness, while still doing hard things.
The weight still slowly came off. Not faster, but not necessarily slower than the last couple of pregnancies. The biggest difference: I did it FREE. I did it while staying Free. I did it without anxiety or frustration or impatience. I did it without degrading myself or thinking negative thoughts or allowing it to consume my brain.
Friends: you can lose weight and stay free.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be in a better place of health when you know that it affects how you live. I had to give up my goals of wanting to achieve a lower weight for my idea of perfection, but instead trust God that if He is a God whose desire is for us to live well, He’d take me to that place where I can do so in abundance! Weight loss was no longer the main goal – it was the side effect. The GOAL was surrender. The result was a closer relationship with the Lord, and a side effect was better health.
Still daily I fight for freedom. This is not always easy. I go through seasons where I still can fall for Satan’s lies, especially as I get older and I see my metabolism changing. I know I need to do some hard things – lift weights to keep up my muscle mass, make walking a priority each day, and fuel my body well without overdoing it. BUT…it’s in doing HARD things that I GET TO experience MORE of the Father. I GET TO keep laying down my goals, my ambitions, my control and surrendering it to Him, continuing to trust that He as the Maker of my body, can be trusted, and so I GET TO walk in obedience with Him.
If you find yourself on a weight loss journey or postpartum desiring weight loss, friend – Freedom during this IS possible! But it has to be about something greater than you. It has to be about something greater than a jean size. We cannot experience freedom while tightly clenching to our control. His way IS infinitely better. Do you believe it?