For 40 weeks when I was pregnant, I took vitamins every day. I drank tons of water. I took naps and went to bed early. I walked and tried to stay mobile and active. I went to regular doctor’s appointments and treated myself to pedicures and massage. I listened to my body and addressed my aches and pains. I listened to my mind, and was proactive about my mental health. I was mostly thoughtful about what I ate. I dressed in clothes that fit my body in that moment and made me feel as good as could be expected. I celebrated my body and all that it was doing!
And now? All of that seems like a monumental undertaking when it’s “just” for me.
I briefly, not very seriously, considered what if I had another baby. Maybe I wasn’t done, you know? (I am, but it’s taken time to come to terms with that.)
If I was considering another 40 week investment in a pregnancy, surely I could do 40 weeks for me.
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Pretty soon I’m gonna be not-pregnant for the longest I’ve been not-pregnant in 12 years. Truth: the thought of stepping out of this phase of life for good has shaken me a bit. But I had an idea the other day that I think I love and can stick with. What if I spent 40 weeks growing and investing in me, in this body and mind? What can I give birth to after 9 months of intentional time and investment in self care? Anytime I feel guilty about time and money I’m spending on me, I’m going to remind myself of the time and expense of growing a 4 babies. Surely I can catch up on all my personal doctors appointments with fewer visits than a healthy pregnancy. 🤔 ETA: WOW! This really struck a chord! Let’s do this, y’all! We need a hashtag though. Drop any suggestions in the comments or DM me. 😘
I posted about this on Instagram a couple days ago, and had I known it was going to strike the chord it did, I would have chosen a better lit/less grainy pic. Ha! But I took that picture at the end of a late evening run. The sun had set, and I was still thinking about what had been swirling in my brain for 2 miles. I’m 4 weeks into moving my body every day and eating mindfully, and I’m LOVING how I’m feeling.
Without guilt, I take 45-60 minutes every evening for myself to walk or run, and I make the grocery list and meal plan with my calorie budget in mind (meaning I add some foods just for me, not that I’m forcing my kids to adhere to what I’m eating).
What could happen if I keep this up for 36 more weeks?
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Something in me last week just snapped… clicked? I started running and I haven’t stopped. 8 nights of intense interval runs, up and down these steep hills of our park. I think I just need to feel in control of something. I need to see visible, upward progress somewhere. I know it’s only been 8 days, but this time I don’t think about when I can stop. Instead, I think about how much further I can go. P.S. thanks for the shoes @merrell
My “due date”- 40 weeks out from when I first started- would be 2/14/20. On Valentines Day next year, could I say I recently had a physical, had my skin checked, dental and vision visits up to date, knocked out my yearly pap, and that my mental health was leveled out or at least being managed? Could I be proud of my body and feel strong?
What more could I accomplish if I gave myself permission to devote as much to me as I did to each pregnancy?
I don’t know exactly what the next 36 weeks will look like. I know I don’t want this experiment to be something that makes me feel overextended, but I do want to hold myself accountable.
And I want you to join me! I’ve had people who aren’t parents ask if they could do this- OF COURSE. I’ve had parents who aren’t done having babies ask if they could do this- OF COURSE. Just join the convo online and share along with the #40WeeksForMe tag, which doesn’t seem to be used by anyone for anything else right now, and was a popular suggestion when I asked for ideas on IG.
Also… I started a FB group. Please know, I was really hesitant because… ugh, FB groups. But! My Picture Play FB group (only open to people who’ve bought my ebook) has been such a wonderful space. So I’m hoping the #40WeeksForMe group can be just as awesome. Don’t let me down! And don’t be a dick there, and especially do not join if you’re going to try to sell things to people there, including anything promising weight loss. K?
This is NOT about a weight loss journey.
If your 40 weeks leads to a smaller pants size, and that’s what makes you happy, I celebrate with you! I hope mine does. But this movement is about so much more than pounds.
I think to get us all going, the only “rule” is going to be to put a date on the calendar 40 weeks out from when you decide to start. This needs to have a solid beginning and end so we can all be intentional about moving through the weeks with goals in mind. The great thing about 40 weeks is that’s quite a bit of time (enough to grow a whole other person!) so there’s no need to feel like you have to cram everything in.
After you set your date, ease into it. I’ll blog more soon about some ideas to get you going, but to start, may I suggest water? Hydrate yourself! Carry water everywhere with you. Let’s begin with that.