A while ago, I wrote about my feelings about my boobs – pre-baby, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and post-baby. While I’ve come to accept that my breasts may never be what I’d like them to be, I know that the rest of my body is something that I can have a little more control over.
I’ve always been a relatively slim person. I’m 5’6” and, at my heaviest, was around 135lbs. Going into this pregnancy, I was a little under 130 lbs.
As a teenager and in my early twenties, I never really thought about what I ate and I certainly never considered exercising. I was lucky to have some good genes.
Around the time that I turned 25, I finally started to notice that I couldn’t eat lying down and expect not to gain any weight. I was also a couple of years into working and I realized that spending my days at a desk and my evenings on the couch could be a recipe for disaster. I finally got up the courage to join a gym and started doing some exercise classes. Turns out, I actually enjoyed it!
A couple of years later, I started taking spinning classes with a friend from work and I loved it. I’ve never been good at pushing myself hard enough when I exercise on my own. I’m a fairly competitive person and I prefer having an instructor at the front of the room motivating us (or yelling at us) to keep going. I definitely work way harder when I know I’m being watched.
Then I got pregnant. After trying to conceive for over a year, I was nervous to do anything to jeopardize the pregnancy. So I stopped going to classes for the first couple of weeks, planning to go back when I got more comfortable with the idea that I was pregnant. Then morning (all day) sickness hit and forget it. I could barely stand up at the end of the day, let alone jump on a bike for an hour.
By the end of my pregnancy with Littleman, I had gained 30lbs. I know that isn’t terrible – in fact it was right on target for my starting weight – but I felt huge. Luckily I lost a lot of the weight quite quickly. And, although breastfeeding made me starving (and caused me to crave sweets like you wouldn’t believe!) it also helped me to shed some of those pregnancy pounds.
But even though I was lucky enough to lose a lot of the weight fairly easily, I still felt like something was missing. I knew that I needed to find a way to start working out again. Then, I somehow stumbled across the perfect solution during some iPhone web surfing while middle-of-the-night breasfeeding. Mommy and Baby Fitness!
I loved the idea that there was a class I could do with Littleman, rather than dropping him off in a gym daycare or having to arrange for a babysitter. I also really wanted to meet some other new moms, but wasn’t super keen on the whole “mom’s group” idea of sitting around chatting about whose baby was sleeping through the night or who was eating solids. This seemed like the perfect combination of both.
I signed up and started taking the classes when Littleman was three months old. It turned out to be even better than I had hoped. I met some great friends and got to do some pretty tough exercising too! The majority of the class was meant for the mommies, while the babies hung out on blankets on the floor. Then, at the end, we grabbed the babies for songs and games. As Littleman got older, he loved it. He had a great time with his new little buddies, who were exactly his age. And I loved getting to know some other moms while getting fit at the same time.
By the end of my maternity leave, I was doing the classes three times a week and was fitter than I’d ever been in my life. I felt great about my body (boobs notwithstanding) and knew that I was heading back to work in great shape.
Then the “back to work” happened. I knew that working out in the evenings, like I did pre-pregnancy, wasn’t going to work with our schedule. So, naively, I brought my gym bag to the office with plans to work out during lunch. Mwahahahaha. Good one. That bag sat in my cubicle for 18 months, until I finally decided I could use that extra pair of yoga pants for chilling out at home.
We all know what happened next. Pregnancy, miscarriage, D&C, pregnancy again. That brings us to right now, where I can once again say that I haven’t worked out at all during this pregnancy. This time, though, I know exactly what I plan do once the baby gets here. And as I get closer to my due date, I find myself getting excited for this part of my maternity leave. Only this time I’ll have to come up with a better plan for exercising when I go back to work. But we’ll think about that one later…