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.
This weekend I had the pleasure of enjoying a wonderful lunch with a super-sweet blog reader, Alison. It felt like I was catching up with an old friend and I had a blast — thanks, Alison, we totally need to do it again soon, on your side of the state 😉
Every time I meet a friend in real life who I got to know in cyberspace or the blogosphere, I’m struck by the (beautiful!) irony of the situation.
Yesterday at my non-stress test (a complete oxymoron, BTW … ) they saw more contractions — erratic contractions I don’t feel but we see on the monitors.
What I do feel is a tightening (called Braxton-Hicks contractions) in my uterus when I exercise, walk, get up the wrong way, etc … and while those are very normal for the third trimester, the nurse warned me to essentially stop doing the things that make me tighten up.
Two of my favorite bloggers, Clare and Holly, have both recently addressed exercise addiction on their blogs recently, which got my wheels spinning about my own past obsession with exercise.
Remember that taunt on the playground, “I know you are, but what am I?” or the retort, “Yea, it takes one to know one!”??
Well, I’m a former exercise addict, and I know them when I see them. And I’m not sure which is more disturbing: the fact that I was one, or the fact that I so easily can spot them. Either way, I’m glad that destructive relationship is over.
I’m the first to admit, it was not an easy break-up to make … perhaps the hardest in my life! I mean, chewing and spitting I knew was inherently bad, wrong, disgusting, gross, you name it. Quitting it was a no-brainer. But an addiction to exercise—something so good for you … just was not an easy concept to grasp. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that even things that are good for you can be abused.
Though it might not be obvious to anyone but myself, over the past year, I’ve become a lot more forgiving towards myself with respect to food, really embracing the whole “live life and ENJOY it” notion.
This didn’t start when I got pregnant, and probably explains why I never lost the 10-15 lbs I packed on over the past three years pre-pregnancy.
(But truly, that’s neither here nor there, especially as the scale tips closer and closer to my pre-WW weight, a number I hoped never to see again but inevitably will, and then some).
I have to say, it’s very freeing to live this way. I eat what I want, but in moderation. I don’t deprive myself of what I really want; I account for it and move on. I believe in my heart of hearts this is what it means to have a balanced relationship with food, something I’ve strove for on this journey.
And though being pregnant gives me a little extra wiggle room to enjoy life even more, I’ve truly been in this mindset for the past year or so. Maybe it’s just more obvious to the outside world now that I’m pregnant, and instead of sneaking around with a former “guilty” treat or eating it alone, my love affair is more in the public eye. And I’m not ashamed to be seen eating a chocolate bar, or tortilla chips. Life’s more fun with a little sweet, a little salty, a little gusto for food … something that evaded me during the worst years of my disordered eating history.
Which is why it’s been deeply frustrating to me to hear people say (to me or any of my other recently-pregnant friends), “Well, but you can have that, you’re pregnant.” Or, “You can eat that now” (basically acknowledging “but I can’t”.) Or “Well now that you’re pregnant, XYZ is OK.” Continue reading “It’s Not About the Preggo Card …”→
I’ll let you read it here in full, butthis post by Bethenny Frankel(my favorite Housewife) really spoke to me, and was spot-on to how I’ve been feeling lately.
As she notes, “Like eating, exercise can’t be your best friend or your enemy. You weren’t “good” because you worked out, and you weren’t “bad” if you didn’t. Somehow, find a healthy relationship with exercise so you are happy to have it in your life.”
Though I’ve never had trouble getting the motivation to work out (hell, I was a chronic over-exerciser for a long time), being pregnant has changed my own expectations of what my body can do/wants to do.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that sometimes a nice, long walk with my hubby and pup some days is a good enough workout–and good for the mind, body and soul. Other days when I have more energy, I do more.
But Bethenny’s point is that any exercise should be done without the “good”/”bad” judgment but rather with an eye on the “happiness factor” — as in, does X make me happy? For example, I will never run on the treadmill. I’d rather do nothing, I hate it that much. But get me outside on a cool, crisp day (like today), and I’ll pound out 2-4 miles and feel great about it because I genuinely enjoy doing it. No music, no running buddy … just me, my thoughts and the fresh air.
I think along the way, I’m finding that healthy balance I strove for all those years. Thanks, Bethenny, for the reminder! 🙂
I have absolutely NO desire to exercise right now.
Who am I?!
I feel exhausted, tired, sleep-deprived, drained.
I’m not sure if it’s the grueling puppy-schedule-situation or what but I also feel no guilt associated with not (formally) exercising since last Thursday.
And for me to take three (potentially four, if I don’t make it tonight) days off without any guilt is seriously unheard of!
Due to a myriad of fun plans (yea!) I couldn’t hit the gym — physically couldn’t get there during operating hours — and then the one time I could go (and even planned to go — Sunday) I opted to stay home with my husband and Rocco before heading to a friend’s baby shower. Yea, you heard me. I CHOSE to stay home. CHOSE to not exercise.