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  • Writer's pictureHyung

Don't go "jumping back to pre-pregnancy." Here's my why.

'Going back to pre-pregnancy' is a concept I've been trying to grow out of in every aspect of life. I'll never stop believing that there is beauty, fun, and rest on the post-baby side of life. I'll always believe that these things not only exist, but (if we must compare) can be found in greater depths than before. But to believe that the same kind of beauty, the same brand of fun and same rhythm of rest still exists, would be self-deception. I have, after all, changed so, so much. The key is to create a new and fuller life based on the new reality.

I've never quite struggled with my weight the way I have in the past two years. For most of my post-adolescent schooling life, I hovered around the borderline weight for being underweight. Starting work brought the average up, but it remained within a healthy range, and kept me satisfied with the external appearance too.

As I rolled into the last few days of pregnancy back in 2019, I found myself at an all-time high of 82kg. What's funny is that I proceeded to lose all twenty kilos in a month (it was a difficult time), only to put twelve kilos back on six months later. Two weeks, and still, two months after birth I had the sense enough to lay off myself for my weight. But when two became twelve... and then twenty, I hated that I was still walking around a body I didn't recognize. I could neither own up to, nor own, it. I started having real questions about whether I loved this body, and whether I could ever change. Very often, all I wanted was to get my pre-pregnancy body back.

I most definitely embarked on my fitness journey to lose weight. I still care about how I look, and I'm not always satisfied. I don't ever want to pretend I am not self-conscious about the pouches of fat I never used to have, or that it's all about 'health' and I'm above the desire to want to fit into society's definition of beauty.

At the same time, I do know what it feels like to taste the slow but sure work of (re)building confidence, and to be proud of the strength it takes to care about the voices that matter (your own, your loved ones). The physical fitness is an added bonus. Such a journey is not half as addictive as getting all the "wow"s and "ooo"s from getting your 'body back in two weeks'. It does, however, feed the hunger for acceptance in a way that can't easily be taken away. It has the tenacity and fulfilment that a quick fix can't satiate and allows you to transcend the initial concern (being slim) into building a better self (being contented).

I hope to share more about this journey in time to come, but for now, I'm (finally) proud of where I am (not where I was, or where I will be). All my love to the people who love me the way I am, and grateful for the people who literally make me stronger week in week out.

First posted on Instagram in June 2021

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