Is It Time To Change Your Perspective?  

Before I got pregnant, I was deadlifting 240 lb. I was muscular, strong, and took pride in my abilities in the weight room. I had glutes that I was proud of, glutes that were strong enough for heavy squats, deadlifts, and kettlebell swings.

Before I got pregnant, I could once do 8 unassisted chin ups. I did chin ups and pull ups nearly every day, just for fun.

Before I got pregnant, I could run the full stadium at Harvard without breaks, and would do so at 6:30 am.

Before I got pregnant, I could overhead press 85 lb.

Now? I haven’t set foot in the weight room since I was about 8 months pregnant. I haven’t touched a barbell in months. I’ve been on exactly one run, and I can no longer do even one unassisted chin up.

You might think I’m upset about this.

And I could be, if it weren’t for one simple thing: perspective.

Sure, I may be lifting right now with a 15 lb, a 16 kg (35 lb), and a 24 kg (53 lb) kettlebell, but here’s where perspective comes in:

That 15 lb kettlebell felt heavy to me after my C-section and 6 week post op recovery time. I remember picking it up and being shocked and saddened at how heavy it felt.

Now? It’s light again, and I now use it for warm up movements, like I used to. Progress.

That 35 lb KB? That one felt like a monster after my postpartum recovery. I remember the first time I tried to do goblet squats with it, I felt like my core would never support me again. Now? They’re easy. It’s a moderate weight, and I’m using it for many movements, both single leg and double leg. I’ve moved on from using it for my KB swings, because I finally need something heavier. Progress.

That 53 lb KB? Forget about that one after recovery– that felt like a dream and a lifetime away. Now? I’m using it for single leg RDLs, goblet squats, and KB swings. Progress.

My push-ups have gotten stronger, my endurance better.

My chin ups? Yes, those are coming back too, slowly but surely.

None of these weights would have made me proud before. They would have been warm ups, helping me to prep and groove patterns for heavier weights.

Now though? I am so proud of where I’m at and how far I’ve come so far. Considering I still haven’t stepped foot in a gym, and my workouts mostly consist of a few 20-30 min bursts throughout the week, I think I’ve done quite well. I may not be maxing out my big lifts anytime soon, but I’m seeing consistent progress, and that’s really all that matters.

It doesn’t matter how much you could lift before X event, or how fast or long you could run, or how many muscle ups you could do. Life happens, we have ups and downs, and that’s just something we need to accept. If we’re always thinking back to our best and comparing ourselves now, that’s not fair. Your mind and your body change as you move throughout life. My body is not the same body that dead lifted 240 lb– it’s been through a whole lot since then, so how can I keep comparing my self now to myself then? In order to be fair to myself, I have to shift my perspective. I have to focus on where I’m at now, instead of where I was.

As life changes, some obstacles get bigger, some get smaller, and some new ones crop up all together. With all of these things that change us, our bodies, our minds, it’s unfair to expect things to always go back to some ideal moment that you once had. I am far, far from that deadlift max right now. But to expect that from this body, my now body? Well that would be unfair.

So if you’re feeling like you’re failing because you can’t do something you once could, or because you don’t look like you once did, think again. Think of what your body and mind have been through since that time, and focus on the progress you’re making now. Shift your perspective to the present, and you’ll probably find that you’re doing a lot better than you thought!

Progress isn’t always perfect, and it’s not always linear. It’s not always even obvious. But take a moment to shift your perspective, and you might be pleasantly surprised at the amount of progress that you’ve made in this “now” version of you.

4 thoughts on “Is It Time To Change Your Perspective?  

  1. I love this! I’ve recently had to “start over” and I can see little bits of progress already. Such a good thing to focus on the present…just in life 😉

  2. this is such a great post because I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. I haven’t been able to do many heavy lifting workouts lately (or rather, i CHOOSE to do shorter HIIT workouts instead since my days have been very busy) so I know I won’t be able to lift as much as I could when I was training consistently. But, the neat thing about it, too, is that when we take a break from something, it gives us something to work towards again which can be nice. I think it helps us celebrate & appreciate the small victories again- things that can get overlooked once you’ve gone a certain distance. Keep doing what you’re doing, because it’s working!

  3. Thank you so much for this reminder of perspective. I’ve struggled for so very long with finding the new, then the next, then the newest perspectives- they kept changing due to forces outside my control. Mine is illness, (which isn’t as cool as your beautiful baby girl) and makes it harder for me as I feel those swings in perspectives are very empty. There are no pregnancies and never will be. There will never be the amazing feat of giving birth or having that baby around as a reminder of the near superhuman strength that it takes to create, carry and have a baby. There are scars, dotting across the landscape of my stomach, bruises from the constant needles and IVs. But regardless of the differences, I needed to hear this today. To step back, reassess, and see the strength in my body as well. A body that hasn’t given up the good fight yet. So thank you, Steph. All our situations may be different, but in the end, perspective highlights the strength in us all.

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