I’ve always longed to be more than average, but my relationship to working out (and let’s be honest, many aspects of self-discipline, such as flossing or sending holiday greeting cards) is the typical story of motivational boom and bust.
I also want to be clear. I did not enjoy being pregnant. I am not afraid to say this to you because it is likely that you have already been there. It sucks. Beyond the physical discomfort, the thought of ‘losing myself’ in my new role terrified me. We all hear stories about how having children changes your body, leaving dough-like tummies and sapping you of energy for an undetermined amount of years. So, early in pregnancy I just piled the fear of losing control of my physical body on with all the others.
Scared, though I was, I tried to be proactive. This is how it went:
12 weeks pregnant: Yay, I’m pregnant! This pre-natal yoga DVD is so easy… Maybe I should see if they have a more ‘advanced’ version.
20 weeks: I don’t know when I am supposed to exercise when all I have time to do after work is take a nap.
30 weeks: At the pool I am the hippo, slowly lumbering up the stairs and onto dry land. I didn’t realize how much weight the water took off until It was put back on!
35 weeks: Is this the same yoga DVD I did 5 months ago? If I could breathe, I would complain about how putting my feet up isn’t helping the swelling, or the heartburn.
Childbirth: Enough said.
1 month post postpartum: “Simple” YouTube exercise video? I’m glad I tried this in my living room and just hope no one could see in the window.
2 months: Hey, I just had a baby; I earned these stripes! I am losing weight pretty quickly, maybe I should be eating more!
3 months: If I don’t see it, it isn’t there. “Honey, let’s get rid of the scale… and all the mirrors!” What was I thinking?
4 months: I should get a gym membership. (Does not buy gym membership).
5 months: I know, I’ll sneak a workout into our nap routine and do a plank every time she goes down. (Routine lasts approximately two naps).
6 months: Ooh! A baby-and-me exercise DVD for $.25 at a yard sale. I’m in! (pops in the DVD a total of one time).
7 months: How did this baby get so big? I think I pulled a muscle picking her up from a nap, or was it from swinging her into the middle of the back seat? Safer for whom?
8 months: You know what, I love my baby-body. I just need to buy a new wardrobe to fit the new me! (Sticker shock stopped that thought in its tracks).
8.5 months: Nothing is working. Maybe it really is time to get a gym membership. Babysitting is a must so we can go during the day.
9 months: This baby’s been out as long as she’s been in. How come I am still so squishy?!
10 months: So I am not quite making my goal of 5 visits per week. The babysitters know us by name, that must mean we’re here enough!
11 months: You know what, I think I really am getting stronger every day.
Dear reader, I don’t know what will happen when my baby is 1 year old, because it hasn’t happened yet. What you just read is the true exercise diary of a new, stay-at-home-mom of one. All of it is true, especially the last entry.
Even though I’m now a mom working out, some things have not changed: Zumba can always take my mind off of things and lifting weights makes me feel powerful, but there is one new thing– I really love those babysitters.
What has gotten you back on track when it seems like everything is standing between you and good healthy habits?