Back when I was pregnant, and my tummy pulled my love handles forward to make them disappear, I thought my sister was crazy when she told me that fitting back into my pre-preggo pants wouldn’t happen immediately following giving birth.
I then had the baby – easy part.
I then tried to stuff myself back into my jeans – hard part.
Not only could I not fit into my old pants, I could barely walk after giving birth. The thought of exercise seemed like a far-away dream. It took me a good eight weeks before I considered stuffing myself into my running tights.
In the meantime, I had a glass of red wine nearly every night. Knowing I’d be rewarded with a glass after the baby went down for the next few hours, it honestly got me through those first few weeks. If you stomped on a pile of grapes in my kitchen and slopped the mush into a wine glass, I would have gladly accepted it – floor dirt and all.
But once I got the doctor’s thumbs up to workout again, I took off for my first run later that day.
I had no strength in my legs. It sounded as though I was having an asthma attack. All I could feel was my butt making vertical motions. And it was the best run of my life.
After being ‘Alex’s mom’ for the past eight weeks, I felt like ‘Cathy’ again. Becoming a mom for the first time is so overwhelming, and as my Smart Sister says, “it’s really tough”. You’re learning to breastfeed, getting no sleep all while allowing your body to recover. And the constant fears of killing your baby are frequent.
Introducing exercise back into my life brought back a sense of normalcy. For me, exercise is my outlet that gets rid of my crazies while allowing me the mental space to tune out everything else happening in my life.
Since that first run, I’ve gone on runs with my Smart Sister and another running buddy. I took Hot Mama Classes at the local gym. This week, I returned to my beloved boot camp.
It hasn’t been easy on my lungs or legs, but it’s done wonders for my lunacy.
Even better, I’ve since managed to stuff my love handles into my jeans. Now that’s worth celebrating. Wine, anyone?
If you’ve had children, what has helped make you feel normal again?
If you haven’t had children, how do you get back on track after taking time off from exercise?
Do you love wine?