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Yeah…Immaeatthat

Feb 18

Why being in a constantly evolving body is the healthiest option for me.

First, I know some of you don’t have an Instagram account because it’s not helpful for you, but I wanted to let you know that I shared yesterday that we are expecting our second child! I’ll be sharing a bit more about that soon, but for now…reader Jenna asked the following question: Hi Kylie! I was wondering if you have done a post on how to not get into diet mentality after having a baby? Or if it is ok to try and lose the weight?

Postpartum definitely is a time for a woman to surround herself with non diet resources and reminders of how to value herself and not minimize herself to a particular body size. It’s a time filled with urgings to lose weight and “get your body back” messages, however in this post I’m mainly going to address the latter part of this question.

At IAEDP, Dr. Ann Kearney-Cooke shared an analogy to illustrate the effect preoccupation with body size may have on your life, which I thought illustrated nicely why having the goal of weight loss won’t ever be appropriate for me and may not be appropriate for you.

It went like this: 

If the bit of water in the boat represents the weight on you…how much does this analogy resonate with you? Does being in pursuit of weight loss delay you living and being fully present for your loved ones and yourself? Each person, based on numerous factors/experiences, becomes preoccupied with their body size at a different level as a way to cope with the difficulty that is life. If you read this blog, I imagine you’re someone or used to be someone or know someone who is/was more towards the “very preoccupied” end of the body preoccupation spectrum.

^above photo from Haley’s Stories.

For me, I remember at some point there was a shift from it’s not okay to have fat on my body –> to –> it’s not okay that I’m not okay having fat on my body. And that began a journey of building skills to handle the latter rather than pursuing a smaller body (a pursuit I now lump into the fruitless striving category). 

There are plenty of times I notice a body part on me that doesn’t look like it used to. For instance, when I’m sitting on a wooden bench and it feels different because my butt isn’t as muscular as it used to be. Or I notice a change has happened in the texture of my skin with my legs going from smooth to cellulite-y or my boobs going from whatever-they-were-before-kids to stretched out. Both are something to adjust to, but both are also a reminder that I’m no longer wasting my time in pursuit of a cultural perception of success when it comes to my body size. Since that pursuit would be at the expense of my health and ability to care for my family and myself well, every year I’m more and more okay with that. It can be uncomfortable to live with fat on your body, but discomfort is side effect of being human. An inevitable byproduct of interacting with the world. The eating disorder/disordered eating brain tells you that something that is life annoying (i.e. having fat on your body) is life threatening, which it isn’t. I can still be an excellent, and I’d argue, better/more connected (since I know how distracted I was when trying to become smaller) rester in Christ, wife, small business owner, mother, sister, and friend. 

A weight-centric focus to my health (aka intentionally trying to lose weight), won’t ever make sense for me, because I don’t believe that healthy behaviors guarantee a certain level of thinness and the cost of being in pursuit of a certain body size is too great. Since I know what a pursuit of thinness or weight loss takes away from me it won’t ever be a value for me that is worth pursuing. However, a behavior-centric approach to health (aka tuning into hunger/fullness/cravings + intuitive movement + checking in regularly to be sure my actions are aligning with my values in life – and self reflecting to see when I’m getting this wrong)…sign me up!

Pursuit of weight loss isn’t worth it, because that requires me to lose the ability to have my life steered somewhere meaningful. Being in a body that I expect to be constantly evolving, and knowing I won’t be trying to change it, is an important part of caring for myself well.

^image created for my by Morgan

Do you feel like being in a body you allow to evolve and change is the healthiest body/weight for you? Do you agree/disagree with aspects of this post? Did something deeply resonate with you? 

35 comments on “Why being in a constantly evolving body is the healthiest option for me.”

  1. “through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we have access to the wisdom of when to rest vs when to strive”

    SO GOOD. thanks for that – I needed it today. :)

  2. Congratulations on expecting baby two!!! Look forward to hearing more about your growing family’s adventures.
    Really liked the bucket/rudder illustration. It feels like I wasted so much time and energy in the past focusing on weight, calories, etc, that I wasn’t able to focus well on anything else. As you share, it’s not an easy process but *so freeing* to focus time, energy, and thoughts on other (fulfilling!) aspects of life.

  3. Totally sharing that analogy about the boat. In the society we live in, I still need frequent reminders that it is way more worth my time to work on embracing what I see rather than working on changing it. 

  4. Thanks for sharing this Kylie. It really resonates with me- i am in recovery from anorexia and am in the biggest body I have been in for over a decade. It is uncomfortable and at times awful but I am learning to sit with it and embrace it. I know my body needs it to live a meaningful life! Congratulations on baby number 2 💛

    • How hard it is for someone with an eating disorder to have fat on their body! Those with EDs tend to sense their body more intensely than those without EDs. Good for you for hanging in there! It will get better.

  5. “It can be uncomfortable to live with fat on your body, but discomfort is side effect of being human.” I love that. So much truth. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. I have missed out on so much in life trying to “get the water out of the boat”. This post is so encouraging and I am so ready to “accept the water and steer to my bigger purpose.”  Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Wow, congratulations on expecting another baby! So excited for you!
    I loved the analogy of the water in the boat – it really sums up the way I feel about my body changing after allowing it to reach its happy weight. Thanks for sharing :-)

  8. What a breath of fresh air your blog is. You’re helping me think about things in new ways, and I have to say it feels great. I’ve been sending links to my sister and a friend. Thanks for the work you are doing to help women resist lies about their bodies and eating, and become free to live more joyfully! God bless you in your life and work! And a big congrats on baby number two!

  9. This is great. Postpartum with baby no. 3, dealing with pp hormones and the havoc they can cause with my chronic illness and struggling with some of the body changes I see… But, I’ve also been through 4 rounds of mastitis and the flu and am proud of myself for pushing through so many issues to feed my baby. I want to feel healthy and strong so I do a lot to take care of my AI issues with a therapeutic diet (under care of a Dr) but I do it to be healthy for my family not to control my weight (which just fluctuates independent of my food intake due to inflammation etc…). In a moment of frustration with my postpartum closet this morning and the fact that I’m flaring and not feeling well I stopped and started saying out loud the things that I was thankful for about my body (like, thank you boobs for feeding my baby and recovering from mastitis, thank you belly for stretching so my baby could grow… etc). And then I cried and remembered that I’m ok, even if I wish some things were different, I’m loved and if I’m going to get old and saggy I might as well have used my body for a good cause (and my babies are so worth it).

  10. I’ve been reading for years, but for some reason this post specifically made me realize why your messages are so powerful: you share what works for YOU, what YOU are striving for and why, and what lessons YOU have learned. You don’t tell readers what THEY should do or what should work for THEM. Instead, your thoughtful, humble insight into and reflections on your experiences and hard work essentially serve as a shining light on a healthy path that you are inviting us to walk down. That ability is such a rare talent – I’m so grateful that you’ve embraced it and share it with us!

    (And congrats on #2!)

  11. I am 2 months postpartum and needed this truth! Thank you so much for sharing and tying in your faith to recovery. Congrats on sweet baby #2!

  12. I really appreciate your thoughts here. Postpartum is so fraught with distress *anyway* aside from the changes our bodies go through, it is harsh and cruel that on top of everything we are made to stress out about “get your body back” foolishness. I am not one who gained a “reasonable” amount of weight in pregnancy and then I was definitely not one of those who breastfeeding made skinny. My body was like, ok lady, no fat, no breast milk. My body wanted to have major fat stores to make milk. Anyway, I kinda wish I could read stuff like this back when I was a postpartum mess of body insecurities but I’m glad you’re writing from this angle and I hope it encourages childbearing women and women in general.

  13. What a powerful message. I love this. It was something I was thinking about the other day and how to put into word the balance of taking care of your body without wasting time on it being hyper-focused with weight loss. That boat analogy is so on target. Thank you for the article and congratulations!

    • One of my favorite things about intuitive eating is that it has helped me think about my body so much less…while still being concerned with my health. Plus research shows IE-ers have less disordered eating and better body image. I think it helps us strike the balance bt caring for self and body, but not being hyper obsessive. Thanks for commenting, Marsha!

  14. I really loved this post! I love the peace and perspective that it offers. I follow you on IG and really enjoy your content. You had mentioned that some people were commenting on having your babies close together. I just wanted to say that we chose to have our babies close together and it worked really well for us. We ended up have 4 kids (all boys!). I had my last baby four months after my oldest turned 5. A few things we love about having them close together… we were already in baby/diaper/cut up all the food/buckle everyone in to everything mode, so we were just doing that all a little more. As they got old enough to play with each other, they have built in friends and playmates. They’re ages 8-13 now and this continues to be the case.  It is loud and busy and overwhelming at times, but we wouldn’t change it. I just wanted to offer that up to you. Congrats!

  15. Do you have any resources for identifying one’s values? I know I have values, but I struggle to articulate them in a way that helps me live them. Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

  16. Wow. And Amen.  When our identities cease to be defined by seeking weight loss or looking a certain way or being accepted because our body size is the ‘culturally’ praised body type, we can truly embrace the gift of marveling at all God has created us for like being a: sister, blogger, writer, hopefully encourager, and I just marvel at how God is using you in so many ways Kylie to encourage women around the world to embrace and treasure the body size God gave us.  There is incredible freedom in that.  

    ALSO, WAHOO!!!!! I am SO SO SO excited about baby number 2 in your household.  <3   

  17. Your writing and messages resonate with me so deeply; I only wish I’d have found your blog sooner! Thank you.

  18. Kylie, I love your illustration. It is hard for me to be ok in the middle ground between “fruitless striving” and “slothful complacency,” but allowing my relationship with God and my trust in His plans for me to be my “guardrails” is such a beautiful way of conceptualizing that goal.

    Congratulations on your coming addition! And thank you for the understanding, compassion, and encouragement you share with your readers in every post.

  19. Pingback: Day divided between times I was eating and times I was keeping myself from eating. – Yeah…Immaeatthat

  20. A truly beautiful article. How much time I’ve spent wanting to be accepted, to be valued, to be desired for a new and beautiful body.. I am so happy for realizing just in time that I am all this even without great weight loss and I am healthy, which is lucky since I treated myself so bad. Thank you very much! <3

    • “I am healthy, which is lucky since I treated myself so bad.” <-- so glad you're getting to enough and take care of your healthy body now...and realizing pursing health doesn't guarantee a particular level of thinness/fatness.

  21. Pingback: Body Image in my second pregnancy. – Yeah…Immaeatthat

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