Your Transition Body
It’s quite difficult to be in my postpartum body right now. I don’t have more than a few pants that fit me. My c section scar is still numb and sensitive to the touch. I cannot do simple movements that used to come easy for me. And I have to stand sideways in the shower so the water doesn’t hit my very sore nipples.
In other words I’m getting a lot of practice being in my transition body.
We are all in a transition body, whether we realize it or not – some of us in more subtle transitions while other more obvious.
What is a transition body? It’s a lot like it sounds. It’s a body that changes, or more accurately is changing.
While it might be an “easier” concept to grasp, it’s not always a lens we apply to our own bodies. It’s critical that we do so however, otherwise our concept of our bodies becomes fixed.
When we are in a fixed mindset with our bodies, versus a fluid and flexible one, we expect to live day after day, breath after breath, believing our bodies should stay un-worn, un-lived, and un-aged. We hold unrealistic expectations of ourselves, hoping to capture the same look or be at the same weight decade after decade, two months after having a baby, or while going through a divorce.
But the truth remains, everybodyis a transition body.
Some body transitions are more drastic, with changes occurring over a period of months or a few years. We might notice shifts in our body’s weight, appearance, or strength come on more rapidly, say in the case of some medical diagnosis, chemotherapy, puberty, a hormone change like menopause or pregnancy, or a major life event. This type of transition body will be specific to each of us, depending on the condition we are facing.
All of us are susceptible to gradual body transitions, the ones that arrive slowly over the decades as our skin eventually gives way to gravity, wrinkles trickle in, and our muscle mass and fat distribution shift. Body changes are inevitable with the passage of time.
Body transitions are also quite common when we are actively healing our relationship to food. We might gain weight or lose weight, or both, in the process. When our nutrition is maturing and, more deeply, our psychological and emotional nourishment, such internal alternations can bring body alterations.
Today I encourage you to think about your transition body. What transitions has your body gone through already and what changes do you foresee your body going through in the future?
Consider medical diagnosis and genetics that are specific to you. Acknowledge adjustments in your social circle and relationships. Changes in exercise routines, seasons, and living environments will bring shifts.
Experiencing life events like moving homes, getting a new job, or particularly traumatic events or spiritual breakthroughs will give way to body fluctuations. With life transitions often come body transitions.
We’ve all experienced body transitions, each one is unique to us. I’ve had over eight different sizes in my closet over the past twenty years. Almost every fall I feel a “plumping” occur as my body puts on “insulation” for the winter. I went up two pants sizes when we moved homes in 2017.
My most obvious transition body is the body I am in now, giving birth two months ago. The transition is still unfolding as I navigate hormonal shifts, breastfeeding, putting on more than the “recommended amount of weight,” and healing from an unexpected c-section.
I’m buying new clothes for my new body. I’m talking to my body with compassion and looking at in the mirror with soft eyes. I’m letting my body transition the way it is meant to and cheering her on to the best of my ability.
Our job is to honor our transition body.
After all, no one is immune to living in an always changing body, but how often do we really allow it, name it, and be with it?
Our work is to trust our transition body to the very best of our ability. It’s to be aware of our body transitions – those that we have been through, the ones to come, the few we will have control over, the many we will need to surrender to, and the ones we are in now.
Sending love to you and your transition body, whatever phase or stage it might be in today.