Saturday, 13 August 2011

Getting Fit: Post Pregnancy

Well bloggers, here goes post number two that no one is reading.  I knew this would be more for myself than anyone else anyhow.  For some reason though I am feeling compelled to spew wisdom (loosely used and full of sarcasm) about someone's fitness ideals post pregnancy. 

Before I was pregnant I would work out 5-6 times a week.  My addiction was a hard core spin class.  The high I would get after pushing my body that hard for an hour was unbelievable.  After I got pregnant, I had to go down to 3-4 times per week.  If I wanted to go more than that I would have had to visit with a sports medicine doctor regularly and the idea of fitting in more medical appointments into my busy schedule was a no-go for me.  So I worked out a little less, did a pre-natal yoga class and just took my dog on longer walks to make up the difference.  The results for me were fantastic.  I gained less than 25 lbs and my whole labour and delivery story was 3 hours.  My little girl came out weighing a perfect 7lbs 4 ounces.  Big enough for her to be healthy and strong and not too big to cause me any damage.

So here I was in lala land thinking once Gracie was 12 weeks old I would stick her in my gym daycare and I would get back on the bike.    Bloody hell my daughter, like her mommy, was a snacker.  She would nurse often but in small doses.  I would have to wait 20 minutes or so before I offered her the second breast.  She just wouldn't want it right away.  And of course, even though I had a freezer full of milk, she wouldn't take a bottle.  I hated the softness of body but I was too tired to care most times.  Then slowly, when she hit about 5 months I made it to my first class, but I was still barely fitting in one class a week.  I was still walking everywhere and I was wearing all my own clothes by the time little girl was 2 weeks old, I just didn't feel right.  I kept sobbing about it to my husband, and honestly folks it wasn't a vanity thing.  I just wanted to feel strong again.  My body was something that I always depended on and it never let me down, and now I just felt like this awful shell of a human being.  And then it happened.  I said screw it.  This first year still isn't about me.  It's about my Belle.  She's building up stores of iron, and learning how to eat  and I need to be as gentle and kind to myself as my friends and family were being with me.  So what if I am not as fast as I used to be.  It'll come back.  I'll make the time when my Belle can eat square meals and not need me as much.  She's almost a year old and it is easier to take her to the gym now, so I do.

I also was fortunate enough to have a kind friend who's a pharmacist that pulled me aside during one of my I hate how my body feels moment to kindly remind me that my Belle was taking all my iron.  Even though I eat really well I knew she was right.  I had low iron before I got pregnant and have had issues with my iron for over 15 years.  Taking an iron supplement was more than helpful.

What isn't cool is a few fitness instructors and so called friends who say stuff like "so-and-so had a baby too and is here all the time".  Well what they fail to realize is "so-and-so" has family close by to watch their baby, I have no one.   Secondly, my gym daycare is great but I have to pay separately for that.   When you go on maternity leave every penny is accounted for and on top of my monthly membership fee I am paying $4 for parking and $10 for daycare each time I work out.  Seriously, add that up and I would be paying an additional $170/mos just to go 3 times a week. Even if I bought my Belle the $40 monthly pass, with parking I would still be paying and additional $88/month to work out 3 times per week.   If you are fortunate enough to be in a situation where that is something your family budget can accommodate I am really happy for you, but it's  not something we can all do.  So you know what people who tell me others manage to work out more than me, back off.  My social and fitness life has a budget and I have to make due.

I was in my favourite spin class yesterday morning, and the instructor is a beautiful woman who is 37 weeks pregnant herself.  There I was sweating, pushing and barely breathing and I was staring at myself in the mirror, thinking your body is gorgeous enjoy this moment.  Who cares if you won't be here again until 3 days from now.  You will be here again, don't worry about exactly when.

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