Before I became a mother, I was an avid exerciser. I worked out in the company gym with my work best friend nearly every day of the week. On weekends, I would take a 3-5 mile walk with a girlfriend. I weighed a good 40 pounds less than I do now and was fit. Not like Jillian Michaels fit. But I was healthy. And active. And my ass didn’t have it own zip code.
When I was pregnant with my son, I lost all my energy. The third person I shared our good news with was my VP. I was so tired that I was falling asleep at my desk every afternoon. So I asked to be able to work from home after lunch. He was so wonderful about it and agreed. Good-bye working-out every afternoon. Hello 2 hour nap!
It didn’t help either that my pregnancy cravings were nacho cheese, thin mints, and pancakes. I was ballooning and quickly. I gained 20 pounds in the first half of the pregnancy. When my son was born, I had packed on nearly 60 pounds. I always thought that I’d be one of those moms that quickly bounces back into her pre-pregnancy sizes. Reality is my pre-pregnancy clothes are still hanging in my closet nearly six years later.
The truth of the matter is that I haven’t made the time to exercise. As a working mom I felt like my only choices were to get up at the crack of dawn to head to the gym or to stay after work to get my sweat on. I felt guilt enough about being without my son for eight or more hours a day. I didn’t want to miss any more. Since I often spent more hours working at home once my son went to sleep, getting up early wasn’t an option. I tried working out at lunch but found that the timing wasn’t a good fit. So for nearly six years, I’ve barely worked out. I’ve started up things that only lasted for a few weeks. Something has always gotten in my way. Scheduling issues. Late nights. Illness. My attitude.
About two weeks ago, on a walk with my family, I tried to race my 5 1/2 year old around the block. It was a devastating loss. For me. The kid crushed me. Not only can he run faster than me, he can run a much longer distance. Losing the race was pathetic but also a huge eye opener for me. I am out of shape. I am overweight. And the only person who can change that is me.
Last week, I took baby steps by walking a mile a day around our neighborhood. This week, I took it up a notch to a goal of 2.5 miles every day. When it is nice outside, I walk the trails around our neighborhood. When it rains, I drive on over to our YMCA to use the treadmill or elliptical. It’s only been two weeks but I already feel better. And feeling better has lead to eating better. And sleeping better. And even being a better mom.
There are times when the irrational mommy-guilt tries to rear its ugly head, but this time I’m not listening. And soon, I’ll be able to run fast enough that it will have to eat my dust.
Photo credit: nicciwashere on Flickr