My name is Kym. I’m 23 years old and have known Megan for 3 years now. She has actually been with me from the very beginning of my fitness journey in 2013-2014 to now, transitioning into FitMom mode! I was thrilled when she asked me to share and feature my story with you all because I went through A LOT physically, mentally, and emotionally and if my experiences can help any of you that would mean the world, so here it goes (:
Before getting pregnant my body was my most prized possession. I was really unhappy in other aspects of my life but my body was the one thing I had complete and total control over so when I found out I was pregnant not only was I afraid of not being able to handle having a child of my own but I was even more afraid of what would happen to my body. I started struggling with my stretch marks before they even existed. Even just the thought of them shot my anxiety levels through the roof. It was a PROBLEM. I mean yes, it’s not uncommon for a woman to freak out about something like stretch marks but I took it to whole new level. I spent probably 50% of the time that I was awake (which was already not a lot) googling, reading, and researching: ways to avoid stretch marks, products to avoid stretch marks, diets to avoid stretch marks, and even ways to remove stretch marks. I was so strict with my diet that by the time I was 7 months pregnant I had only gained 15lbs and I knew that because I would check every single day. I spent so much money buying different products, oils, lotions, and guess what…I STILL GOT STRETCH MARKS. I totally should have expected it because even before getting pregnant I had stretch marks. The women in my family get them and that’s that. But it was something I was so crazy over it completely consumed me. But all the freaking out and restrictive diets totally backfired and I ended up gaining around 55 to 60lbs. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t see myself carrying a beautiful life in my body. I saw myself gaining weight by the minute, stretch marks appearing overnight, and I kept telling myself my body was ruined. I never honestly noticed how bad my negative self-talk was. Like I shared with you guys before, before getting pregnant I was in such a bad place that all I had was my body and my looks. That was Kym. And I was so afraid that when I lost my “perfect” body, I would lose my identity. The first year after giving birth to my son was filled with so many ups and downs in general but especially with my health/weight. I went against doctor’s orders and instead of waiting the full 6 weeks to get back into the gym I waited all of 4 days and ended up in the emergency room. I bought a teatox and prayed it would miraculously bring me back to being a size 2-4 again. And I think I bought like 6 different waist trainers. I reconnected with Megan and decided I wanted to step back on stage and I went strong for a solid month before I realized I still wasn’t happy. I sort of just stopped checking in, ate whatever I wanted, and found every single excuse to stay out of the gym. I was miserable.
After reading that first part of my story I bet you’re thinking, “This girl just can’t catch a break!” That’s exactly how it felt, because on top of all of the issues I was having with my body I was diagnosed with Post-partum depression and had just gone through the biggest heartbreak of my life. I had officially hit rock bottom and it wasn’t until then that I realized I didn’t know who I was. Basically I would go through cycles of binge eating/drinking and not leaving my house for weeks, then it would be me turning into a cardio-bunny who starved herself all the time and lived off of fat-burners. But…one day I decided ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. My son was a year old and I was STILL obsessing over everything in my life that was wrong. He didn’t deserve that. He deserves the best possible version of myself that I can be and you know, so do I. I knew deciding to get it together was the easy part but I didn’t feel that I was in a place where I could do it alone so I sought out help and started going to therapy. I was nervous, super anxious, but more than anything so ready to start making some REAL changes in my life. So now, I want to share a few of the things I’ve learned so far on my journey:
1. Be aware of the things that trigger your negative self-talk
2. BE PATIENT and don’t give up!
3. Don’t miss out on the big things in life stressing over the little things.
4. Asking for help is OKAY
5. You don’t always have to be strong. Being vulnerable is brave.
6. You are never alone.
Will I ever step on stage again? We’ll see. But when and if I ever decide to it will be for all the right reasons and the woman stepping on that stage will not be the same scared, self-conscious little girl that was up there the first time around. I’m so thankful for everyone who has helped me along my journey thus far and honestly, sharing my story and my struggles has played such a huge role in my growth and development. Having a forum where I can openly share my story and feel so much love and support has been amazing.
Transitioning from college student/competition prep life to full time mom/fitmom life was definitely something that I struggled with in the beginning which was to be expected but everyday I’m growing and learning. Learning that watching my son grow and learn is so much more important than getting my abs back, learning that asking for help when it’s needed is actually really brave, and learning that you’re not alone. I’ve also come to learn that being a “fitmom” isn’t just about having an amazing body after giving birth. I think it means something different for everyone just like everyone’s journey is different. So to me, being a fitmom is about being able to balance being a mom, being in the gym, and everything else life has on my plate and not only just doing it but doing them all well. Where I am right now in life I am less focused on my appearance and more focused on the quality of the things I choose to do. Of course I have my days that are a little bit harder than others but I like to think that overall I’m on a really great path to self-love and being the best mom that I can be. Before, I would stare at myself in the mirror and cry because of the changes my body has gone through in the past year but now I’m so much more comfortable in my own skin. Yes, there is always room for improvement but now I workout and eat healthy because I know it’s good for me not because I hate my body. My new “mommy tummy” and stretch marks aren’t so much something I want to flaunt but they are also no longer something I shame myself for. They are an illustration to my story and without them I wouldn’t have my son. With that being said, I think going into the new year I have all the right tools and the right mindset to be successful and I can’t wait for what is to come and to continue to not only share my experiences but you hear about others as well. So, thank you Megan for giving me the opportunity to share my story and for creating this sacred place where we can all feel at home and push each other to reach our goals.
Cheers to self-love and being a fitmom!