Giving myself a break

This weekend I was due to play in a netball tournament, I signed up just after Joni was born – thinking that by 11 weeks I would be ready, raring to go in fact! Netball was a huge part of my life before I was pregnant, so I’ve really missed it. Until Thursday evening last week I thought I was ready. Then I started thinking about it – there were three things that were worrying me: 1) I have put on weight, a lot of weight, and honestly I am embarrassed to be seen by people who haven’t seen me for a while and are used to seeing me pre-pregnancy.  2) I know I won’t be as good as I was before Joni was born. I am fiercely competitive and I know I will be frustrated at my rusty skills and slow pace. 3) I still have some pain from Joni’s birth and I was worried about making it worse or impeding my recovery.

Now, I am well aware that the first two things are vain, arrogant and not really in the spirit of team play. But they were really worrying me none the less. After talking to my Mum about it on Thursday night I put the phone down and starting crying, well actually I was sobbing. I think I have been waiting for my body to return to ‘normal’. There are certain things that will never be the same again – my stomach is still bloated around the caesarean scar and that scar will be with me forever. I will never wear a bikini again without scaring small children with all the big-bump stretch marks (which I know will fade blah blah blah but they will never go!) Having SPD in my pregnancy means my pelvis will never be the same again; SPD can return at any time and I have to be really careful. My body has been through a lot and I’m still breastfeeding – so feeling normal is not going to happen any time soon. Although I am trying to lose weight it is happening slowly – this time last year I was 3 stone lighter!! (Damn that pregnancy related over eating!)

Then I realised: I don’t have to play. I don’t have anything to prove. Netball will always be there and I can play when I’m ready. Phew.

I also realised that my body will never return to ‘normal’ again. There will be a new normal which I will come to in a few months once I’ve lost weight and fully recovered. I honestly wouldn’t change any of it if it meant that I never had Joni. I know how fortunate I am to have a gorgeous, healthy little girl.

Next time I have a baby I will eat a lot less, that’s for sure!

So, I’m continuing to walk a lot (trying to walk between 5 and 10 miles a week), take things slowly and – where I can – turn down the offers of cake and chocolate!! But most importantly I am giving myself a break from my own criticism, I’m still struggling with looking in the mirror but I need to remind myself of what I’ve done in the last year and that I can do things to make myself feel better moving forward. Also, and more difficultly, I need to stop focusing so much on looks and appearance for my self confidence – a lot easier said than done.

(this is me having played Centre at the beginning of last year for my old club Grasshoppers)

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