Losing My Hair, Gaining New Confidence
So I am almost five months postpartum, and I feel like soon it will be hard to blame my horrible eating habits on nursing, or my extra fifteen pounds on “baby weight”. With this realization, I have started going to the gym more regularly, along with my running. (Read more about my first postpartum race HERE.) I have been feeling pretty good about all of that, but the other day when I was at the gym, I was face to face with this giant mirror. You know the one’s at the gym, that take up the whole wall. There is no escaping the gym mirror.
I was doing some shoulder presses, honestly feeling pretttty good about myself. Sweat was starting to drip into my eyes, so I pulled my hair straight back. (I rarely do this, because I have a pretty round face.) As I did, I noticed two HUGE bald spots on either side of my face. Instant mood drop. I was strong, confident and rockin’ it, and then something that should be so trivial just turned my mood upside down.
Why was I letting postpartum hair loss ruin my attitude?
As a woman, there is so much pressure placed on me to be beautiful. As a mother, there is pressure to be the perfect mom, and fit it all in. And as I’m entering into the world of blogging, I’m finding even more pressures placed on myself – have this many followers! Have subway tile in your kitchen! Don’t let your daughter be photographed in the same outfit twice! (Not gonna happen – she is only ever wanting to wear this purple tutu.. and I am not fighting that battle.)
I tell myself daily that I’m not going to let that pressure get to me. I struggled for too long, and too hard with self esteem issues from the age of around 12. In that moment though, standing in front of that huge gym mirror, I realized that those issues haven’t left, just because I was married, haven’t restricted my eating or made myself throw up. The issues that I had struggled with, and would have considered myself “healed” from, were not gone. The change in mood after seeing my thinning hair, and how obsessed I became over it, revealed something inside of me.
In processing this ordeal, I came to realize that it’s not enough to tell myself daily that I am good enough, I’m doing okay, etc. It is a minute-by-minute battle, and I have been relying on myself too heavily.
The only one that has the power to truly heal and restore is Jesus Christ.
“For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”
Whenever I tell myself that I’m ugly, not good enough, not thin enough, too bald, I am denying the fact that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) God knew what he was doing when he made me, balding head and all. He knew that I would struggle, have three kids, and develop new struggles from the postpartum side effects.
While it is so easy to try to fix all of the issues by taking vitamins, going to the gym, rubbing magic oils on my head, these will only fix the issue I’m obsessing over, until the new one comes along. What will truly restore me and give me a confidence that can’t be overwhelmed by a new issue, is trusting in the Lord, minute by minute.
So, while I will still go to the gym, take my vitamins, and try all the different oils, I won’t do these with the hopes of giving myself a new, confident, beautiful self. I will do them because I want to take care of myself. I’m going to try something new to fix my confidence – leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus.
Have you struggled with finding confidence in motherhood? Leave a comment below, and share, share, share!