Ready to Ex-er-cise!

Two or three weeks before having Maya, I was still getting strong Braxton-Hicks contractions when I exercised. That, coupled with increased pressure on my lower back and bladder, meant workouts were becoming more and more difficult. I made the decision to stop formally working out and was totally OK with it at the time. I knew I was having a C-section and did not want to set myself into early labor if I could avoid it.

The only problem I have with a C-section is the lengthy recovery time–much of which is due to the internal healing one experiences following major abdominal surgery.

Though I physically have felt great since probably 3 days after my C-section, I was certainly in no condition to exercise –hell, I could barely get in and out of a car or bed for two weeks without difficulty!  And even the following few weeks, I felt better and stronger, but had zero energy and couldn’t even fathom finding time to exercise — let alone the physical capacity to do so.

Now, I’m 5+ weeks post-partum and have my 6-week check-up this Friday, where I will hopefully be given the green light to exercise again … and I couldn’t be happier.

In addition to the fact that I’m craving some physical activity (I miss the endorphin rush and how I feel after a workout), I’ve not lost any (new) weight (even following WW) and in fact at my weigh-in today, GAINED a pound. My food choices are likely partially to blame, and maybe I shouldn’t be eating all the nursing Points since I’m supplementing some formula … but still … frustrating!

I’m trying to be realistic about it: I know I won’t have the same amount of time to devote to physical fitness the way I did before Maya, but I do hope to get into some semblance of a routine. Even 30 minutes a day would be awesome — but one thing is clear: there will be no return to my days of exercise addiction.

1) I know the vicious cycle it creates and

2) I have so much more to live for these days than the gym!

Naturally, I want to spend whatever free time I have with Maya — so even when I’m on leave I’ll Shred at home when I can and if I go to the gym, I’ll put her in the gym’s day-care during a typical nap period so I’m not missing a moment with her. Then once I go back to work … no clue yet … we’ll have to see how that works. My guess? It’ll be a lot of trial and error!

All of this to say, I’ve been very wishy-washy in my own head about whether or not I should create a time-line to lose my pregnancy weight … but I know myself. I’m a very goal-oriented person and think I need to set some goals so I’m not floundering and might actually see some positive results.

I know what I need to do, and just have not been doing it — at all. Yes, I’m tracking … but being home and so busy with Maya (the days literally fly by) I tend to eat what I can find when I can find it (i.e., regular meals have gone to the wayside–this, coming from a breakfast devotee!). In addition, I am not making the best choices when I go out, and making things worse, I’m impulsively buying Valentine’s Day candy (particularly York hearts and Sweethearts) that I know I don’t need but don’t have the resistance muscle flexed enough to stop myself from doing it.

These not-so-great food choices could also be impeding my milk supply … all the more reason to step up and eat better; I know I can do better (and don’t fear going down any ugly paths).

I realize that a new mom has a million things on her mind, and I’m certainly not immune to that. I also know I don’t look terrible for having just had a baby. But body image aside, I’m ready to feel better about myself and for me, the physical and mental are inextricably tied. Which means once I start working out regularly again, I’ll feel better about myself. That’s just how I operate.

Lately, a hot shower has been my “escape”  at night. I love my life right now, but I have to admit–it’s nice to have a little peace and quiet for 20 minutes while my hubby has a little bonding time with her. It’s literally the only time of day I have completely to myself — where I can’t hear Maya’s cries, where my breasts aren’t being foraged for a meal, where there’s no (adorable!) classical-music singing caterpillar blaring in the background …

The gym used to be that decompressing, stress-relieving, alone-time for me. So while I don’t intend to end my therapeutic evening shower routine, I do hope to add workouts back to my daily repertoire. Fingers crossed for the green light from my OB on Friday!

How about you? Which comes first? Feeling good about yourself and then you’re inspired to work out, or working out and in turn you feel better about yourself (physical appearance aside)?

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3 thoughts on “Ready to Ex-er-cise!

  1. Hey there Liss! Love the updates!! Just wanted to suggest using your lunch break to exercise. Now that I am back at work full time, the only thing I want to do with my spare time is spend it with Henry! So I go to the gym across the street from my office 2 or 3 times a week, do 20 minutes cardio, 20 minutes weights, and take a *very* quick shower before eating lunch at my desk. Then on the weekends I can do my long cardio. Later in the year, DH and I have talked about taking turns getting up early and going running before Henry wakes up…will have to let you know how that works out!

    And btw, it may be really tough to lose weight as long as you are nursing, that has been my experience at least. So rather than taking the risk of milk drying up, I am *trying* to come to peace with the weight staying on longer than I had wanted.

    1. Hey Yas!! 🙂 I MISS YOU! If I am nursing still when I go back to work, I’ll need to pump at lunch unfortunately … 😦 But I am going to have to carve out time somehow. Let me know how it works and I love your Henry pics!!

      YES … why is it that some people lose it so easily while nursing and others I’ve heard hold on to 10 lbs. I think I might be one of them …yet at the same time, I haven’t given WW a real “go” — I don’t think I can eat all the nursing Points and might need to just eat some of them (they have 2 options — supplementing or totally nursing. She’s getting 2-3 of 8-9 feedings a day that are formula so who knows.)

      I like your attitude though–coming to peace with it. I did have a small chuckle–we went to Luis’s office today and several people commented how good I looked which was ironic since I just weighed in for my wellness test at a number that was close to my pre-WW weight!! OY VEY. But I do need to give it time.

  2. It will be much easier to figure out once Maya gets into a consistent sleeping routine, which she will before you know it. 🙂 Liam goes to bed just after 7 and wakes up at 5:30ish, so I have two choices – exercise after he goes to bed, or before he wakes up. I am just *not* a night exerciser, never have been, so I have been waking up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 to get my workout in. Unfortunately, the gym’s not open at that hour, so I use the treadmill in our basement or shred. Also, doing that every morning would destroy me, so I do it about 3 times a week. The weekends are much easier because my husband can watch him while I exercise or I can do it during his 90-minute nap.

    You will figure it all out! Good luck!

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