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Fitness, Feelings, and Pregnancy

“What I learned, was that the most important thing at this point is to be generous to yourself and let your body do what it needs to do, because whether you’re ready or not, your baby is coming and your body will continue preparing for that moment.”

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“What I learned, was that the most important thing at this point is to be generous to yourself and let your body do what it needs to do, because whether you’re ready or not, your baby is coming and your body will continue preparing for that moment.”

We all have our own journeys. I want to talk about mine with fitness and how our minds can become our biggest enemy if not nurtured correctly, briefly touching upon my journey with pregnancy.

Being a fitness enthusiast and being pregnant has been challenging, to say the least. The most difficult thing for me has been accepting the changes that come with pregnancy and the changes my body has and will continue to go through during the course of the 9 months.

It had taken me a while to reach a point where I was just ‘okay’ with myself and allow my body to undergo the changes that it needs to, in order to grow a perfect little human, Alhamdulillah.

Before I dive straight into it, I think I should talk a little bit about myself. If I had to describe myself in one word, I would say ‘competitive’. I cannot recall a time when I haven’t been in competition with myself. Constantly trying to reach milestones, achieve my goals, beat the voices of doubt in my mind, and mainly, prove to myself that I am capable.

At the age of 17, I developed an unhealthy mindset towards my body. I was obsessively working out trying to ‘perfect’ myself. Physically, I was in the best shape I had ever been in, yet I would look at myself in the mirror with disgust because all I would see is ‘fat’.

The way my mind worked at that point was:

Fat = weakness = failure.

No matter how many people complimented my body, I just couldn’t stop because I had convinced myself that what I see in the mirror is what I am. I strived for perfection despite not knowing what perfection was. Seeing results from working out became an addiction and not only did I not know how to, I didn’t want to ease off from the rigorous training that I was so used to doing.

I think the reason why I didn’t want to give it up, was because it gave me a sense of purpose. The more results I would see, the more addicted I would become, I wanted to see how far my body could go, so I would continue pushing myself.

Was I satisfied with myself? No. Contentment is what I was missing. No doubt I was harsh on myself and my body and it was taking a tremendous toll on me mentally because I was really unhappy. I wanted to change.

So I made a five-step plan for having a healthier mindset which I was adamant to achieve:

Step One: Acknowledge that I have a problem which for me was the most difficult step.

Step Two: Sit with my feelings and allow myself to go through them and figure out why I’m so harsh on myself.

Step Three: Look at myself in the mirror and like what I see. I taught myself how to accept and be a little bit more kinder to myself.

Step Four: Slowly ease off from the vigorous training and set myself a healthier working out schedule.

Step Five: Instead of focussing on what I can achieve next, learn how to give myself positive affirmations and celebrate smaller victories.

It took me a few years to learn how to have a healthy relationship with my body. I felt like I was slowly learning how to climb out of this hole that I had dug for myself and have a healthier and happier relationship with my body.

Fast forward to the present, I’m pregnant Alhamdulillah. I continued my fitness journey, I was still very active and was working out regularly.

When I was 3 months pregnant, I eased off of my usual high-intensity training and altered my workouts to ensure they were pregnancy safe. It’s strange, but it felt like a part of me was giving up on myself.

I’m not sure if other women will be able to relate to this, but I struggled with accepting myself as my body prepared for my baby. During this blossoming stage, ‘you’ become a separate entity to your ‘body’. So whilst my body undergoes the necessary changes, I felt a slight sense of loss of myself. I felt like I was drifting further and further back into myself. Almost as though I’ve taken a step back whilst my body takes charge.

What I learned, was that the most important thing at this point is to be generous to yourself and let your body do what it needs to do, because whether you’re ready or not, your baby is coming and your body will continue preparing for that moment.

It took me a while to get myself to a point where I am in a much healthier and happier headspace. I started to focus more on my mental and physical health for the sake of my baby and I have grown to love the changes my body is going through. All I can say is my baby is the reason why I managed to get myself out of such a negative situation.


This article was originally published on the author’s website Safura’s Corner, found here.

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