My excuses are up.
At first, my excuse was legitimate -- I'd just had a baby. I needed to wait six weeks to start a rigorous exercise plan, doctor's orders. That was fine by me. This was my second child and no one needed to tell me twice to relax.
As soon as six weeks were up though, I told myself, I'd conquer the world. Train for White Rock! Take on the Cowtown Marathon!
Well, six weeks came and went and the only exercise I got was slinking back into my prenatal yoga class, telling myself that going through a few gentle Sun Salutations and breathing through Warrior Pose was good enough. And, hey, I deserved another round of savasana -- after all, I JUST HAD A BABY.
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Then my excuse became "it's really hard to get to the gym right now. Child care doesn't start until 3 months, and even if I could take the baby, by the time I finished feeding her, loading my brood into the car and driving there, it would be time to feed her again!"
I contemplated jogging around the neighborhood, but I worried about her little head being jostled too much in a stroller. Another six weeks went by and I made it to the gym exactly once. As soon as I found out I had a rare, unexpected hour to myself, I threw on a pair of yoga pants (the only kind that fit right now) and hit the gym.
I went with a friend and although we did climb the stairs that lead to the weightlifting area, that was the extent of our workout. We mostly exercised our lips. And let's face it, chatting and doing a few halfhearted bicep curls is not a winning weight-loss strategy.
In fact, that strategy is the reason I found myself three months postpartum and still needing to lose 20 pounds in order to have a prayer of fitting into pants without an elastic waistband.
I tried not to be too hard on myself. I did lose 30 pounds in three months -- which is great -- unless you gained 50 pounds during your pregnancy. Which I definitely did.
Now my sweet baby Cat is 5 months old, and I'm still trying to lose the last 10 pounds. She is old enough for the child-care program at the gym, but now I hear myself thinking up new excuses why I can't take her. "What if she cries? What if she needs to nurse while I'm exercising? What if she can't sleep in the Pack N Play? What if the child-care worker drops her on her head?"
Of course, I'm not doing so well in the kitchen these days, either. I keep telling myself I'm breast-feeding and I need the extra calories, but all you need to do is look at me to see that this is not the case.
This sad realization did not stop me from making a dozen pumpkin whoopee pies. The innocent-looking baking mix came in the mail from the mother-in-law, with the best of intentions, tucked in with other holiday treats.
It came in a cute little box that claimed to be "all natural," but let me tell you, there was nothing natural about the amount of butter I put into those things.
They were delicious, by the way. All 12 of them. So here I am, five months out and still needing to lose the last 10 pounds of baby weight. If I don't watch it, that "baby weight" is going to turn into "fat middle-aged woman weight," and I do not want that to happen.
The truth is, I can take my kids to the gym now, and they'll be fine without me for 45 minutes. The nap schedule doesn't have to be perfect. My daughter can definitely sleep in a Pack N Play, and most likely, the child-care provider will not drop her on her head.
The thing is, I don't want my daughter to grow up hearing me ask my husband over and over if this pair of jeans makes my butt look fat. I want her to see a confident woman who treats her body with respect, who exercises regularly and eats nourishing, wholesome foods. Not gimmicky processed treats that come in a box claiming to be all natural.
I want her growing up around a woman who looks great in her jeans and doesn't have to ask about it because she knows she's healthy and strong.
So now it's up to me. No more excuses. And absolutely no more pumpkin whoopee pies, either.