PriyankaKapur shares her story with IFORHER of how she fought weight gain & depression through running and, how she is helping thousands of other moms to do the same. Here’s her inspiring story of how she lost herself after becoming a mother and then found a way to fall in love with herself again through running.
They tell you Motherhood is the most beautiful journey that a woman embarks on. But what they don’t tell you how motherhood not only brings additional responsibility but also brings so many unspoken health issues.
Here’s my story of how motherhood brought the biggest joy in my life along with so many complications that no one spoke about.
I was an overweight mom who not only struggled with weight and postnatal depression but also multiple health and physical changes in her body after pregnancy. Since childhood, I was always a very fit and lean person, always into sports. I never knew what overweight would feel like. Even after 5 years of my marriage, I never gained extra weight. In fact, it was never a TASK for me to maintain a healthy BMI.
On embracing motherhood after 5 years into marriage, I was all excited to start the new chapter of my life. Least did I expect that with motherhood, will come along Post Natal Depression and so many physical changes?
Everyone prepares you how to handle a child; No one prepares you how to handle yourself as a new mother!
It is unfortunate that people do prepare you for taking care of the child, things to expect and do, but they forget to educate expecting mothers about the other side of the coin. No one ever tells them how they could suffer from Post Natal Depression and how to cope up with huge physical changes that come along.
I was a new mom, and suddenly my life changed from a working woman to a complete stay-at-home woman who had been cut off from the outer world. It is certainly not easy to cope with so many changes, and those sleepless nights and other chores just add on to it.
“Oh, you have put on so much weight! You should do something about it.”
When I delivered my daughter I weighed 93 kg, Yes, just a few kilos to that 100 mark!! Adding to your anxiety are all those hurtful remarks you get from people on how you look, weight, etc.
People forget to understand that a new mom needs time for healing, recovery, and be back in action. Just like any other human, even I was also hurt by the remarks which kept popping whenever I met anyone.
“Oh my god, you have become so fat!!!”
“What did you do to yourself, you have put on so much weight!!”
“I can bet you cannot change how you look now, pregnancy weight doesn’t go!!”
“This is how mom’s life is, you won’t be able to lose weight now”
Before motherhood, I loved traveling and meeting new people. But with the weight gain, I stopped interacting with people. I started maintaining distance from my friends, lost confidence, didn’t like clicking my own pictures, Suffering from low self-esteem. I didn’t have a zeal for anything anymore.
I never wanted to exercise or go for a walk, I started accepting the way I was. I didn’t care for what I ate, always had a sad feeling inside me, and didn’t know why. I felt as if I have totally cut off from the world and I didn’t want to do anything to break the barrier. Apparently in depression, I used to pretend to be happier.
I went with the flow and didn’t care what people had to say about me or my body post-delivery. Instead, I started hogging on food more to pretend I didn’t care. The bottom line is I stopped loving myself.
Suddenly, reality struck me hard when my doctor asked me to get a few tests done.
I had high cholesterol levels and my doctor gave me the warning to start looking after myself. It was a lot to take! And, without wasting any time, I was determined to get better.; to get better for my little baby; to get better for myself.
I started giving 30 minutes to exercising, and I joined Aerobics classes (which I could hardly attend). Later once my daughter started going to school, I devoted one hour to myself and yes the results started showing!
To add some variation, I indulged myself in brisk walking and running and started loving it thoroughly, and needless to mention from there my journey of trying to stay fit started and there was no looking back.
But, I knew I wasn’t alone & I had to help other struggling souls.
During my struggle, I realized that I surely wasn’t alone and there were so many struggling moms like me. With a desire to create a change, I started a group called Moms of Vadodara. Initially, it had only 20-30 members and today the group is flourishing daily with over 4000 mom members.
The first run which moms of Vadodara did was in August 2019 had 6 moms. But within 4 months, we had 150 Moms who ran together in the Vadodara International Marathon with a few of them winning the podium. Today the group is renowned for the mom who runs in Vadodara. I also got certified as a Functional Strength Trainer from FSSA. And, every weekend, I arrange free workout and running sessions for moms.
From being an overweight mom to being a trainer supporting struggling moms to rebuild themselves through running, I have come a long way. But, I have just started. I want to reach out to thousands of other moms to help them realize “Her Health” matters!
Dear Moms, we have to look after ourselves. We have to love ourselves before we start looking after anyone else.
Motherhood is a beautiful journey but we don’t have to forget ourselves during this journey. Rather, we need to embrace ourselves and indulge in self-care. Because, if we don’t take care of ourselves, then who will? If we don’t look after ourselves, who will look after our babies and families?
So, don’t forget to pour yourself with love and health, before filling others!