In my old life I was a personal trainer…old life. While I was pregnant with Brayden, I had visions of getting back into running and working out as soon as possible, like a week after he was born. Hah! So far, my cumulative exercise, and I remind you that he is five months old and one week (but who’s counting?), has been 45 minutes. Well, maybe 35 minutes. Does the 10 minute walk back from Starbucks while sipping my mango smoothie count?
I am fortunate – or cursed, depending on how you look at it – to have fairly good genes. I fit into all my old clothes a few weeks after he was born, and that was that. Why cursed? Because the way I see it, I had no motivation to get my butt in gear, as it already fit back into my jeans. Why bother!? I actually began feeling guilty when people said they couldn’t tell I’d had a baby and asked what was my secret? Uhhh, I haven’t done anything [insert evil stares from new moms who were not as fortunate]. Note to readers: this is not a bragging post; it’s really about how incredibly lazy I have become.
I read Facebook updates by other new moms – “Just got back from baby jogging group”, “On my way to Baby and Me yoga”,” Six a.m. boot camp starts tomorrow to get back in shape”. My status update would read, “Six a.m. try and keep my baby sleeping until seven a.m. by attaching him permanently to my boob for the entire hour starts tomorrow”. By the way, this works. However, do not try this at home. I am now cursed with a baby who MUST suck my boob from four a.m. until wake up time. It literally and figuratively sucks. Note to self for the next baby: don’t do this! No matter how sweet an extra hour of sleep seems after being up all night, don’t do this!!
I have had more important things to do than workout, such as taking a lot of photographs which is now my new favorite activity. That being said, it’s not as if I sit on my butt all day long. I seriously walk everywhere with baby in tow…downhill to the Lonsdale Quay (22 blocks), across the harbour on the Seabus, meet Brayden’s daddy Ryan for lunch or run other errands, and then back home again, except this time the 22 blocks are uphill. This is all while carrying a 20 pound giant baby in the Ergo. Counts for something, right? We have a car but rarely use it. I have breastfeeding in the Ergo, while walking, and chatting on the phone down to a science. I suppose I have been doing something…
Before he was born, I had visions that I would put my sleepy baby (who actually slept) down in his stroller bassinet and we would casually stroll down to the gym in our apartment building where he would keep sleeping soundly and I would workout. Easy, right? Wrong! The biggest glitch in my plan is he only sleeps in the stroller if it’s moving. Unless I am planning on doing bicep curls with one arm while using the other to jiggle my stroller around it will not be happening.
Oh, but what about the early mornings or evenings you say, before or after Ryan’s workday. After being up all night with a baby, and getting up more times then I care to count, then hearing the alarm go off at six a.m. after sleeping for only 20 minutes since the last wake up, nope, it is not happening.
Ryan often doesn’t return home from work until eight or nine p.m. The idea of enjoying an hour of baby-free time with him, which usually means watching some television and chatting about our days while eating a chocolate bar, instead of working out is too appealing. I am not joking about the chocolate bar. This was a daily occurrence for a while; an entire bar of Lindt Dark Sea Salt Chocolate. Then I read another blogging mother who cut out chocolate and her baby slept better, as there is apparently some chemical in the chocolate. This did not work for me. We are going back on the chocolate diet tomorrow. I cannot wait.
I could go on and on but I am sure you are getting the idea. I do vow to get back at it, eventually. I mean, I used to be a personal trainer! I used to run marathons! I will say that being a mother is much harder than any marathon I have ever run. Give me a marathon any day of the week – every day of the week, for that matter – over five months of sleep deprivation with a baby who refuses to sleep. We are working on that. And honestly, I am not stressing about it. I am enjoying my time with my new family. I know getting back into shape will come. I am not the type of person who will just eat fast food and do nothing but sit on the sofa.
The other day though, I said enough was enough. I am always going to be tired. Ryan is always going to be working late. Lindt will not stop making their sea salt chocolate. Let’s get going! So I plopped Brayden in the stroller and away we went for a stroller run. I feel like he finally has good head and neck strength now, making this possible on smooth streets; trails will have to wait. It actually felt really great. Until the next day when I was unbelievably sore, and even more sore the following day. Regardless it felt so good to get out and actually exercise.
I vowed to go again this morning. I got everything ready the night before. The morning arrived and my alarm went off. I promptly got up, went and got my baby.
By Justine Boulin
Check out Justine’s Blog at http://theblife.myfotojournal.com/