Wednesday, April 25, 2007


For the first time in more than two years I started exercising. Sure, I've been walking almost every opportunity I get and there's an awful lot of movement that comes with parenting - lots of extra laundry (mine as well as hers since her food, slobber, etc. winds up on me, too), picking up toys, running after her, etc. so I didn't have a problem getting to my pre-pregnancy weight, especially with nursing. With the end of nursing, however, I noticed my clothes getting a little less comfortable so I thought, hey, now might be a good time to start formally exercising again.

It's been great and I've been three times now. It is strange, though, finding out what I can and can't do very easily. It's like I am rediscovering my body even though I am more than 18 months post-partum. I guess I thought by now everything (muscles, etc.) would be back to normal. It dawned on me last night as I was doing crunches that after my son's birth, my return to exercise was immediate (well within a couple of weeks), that the "adoption kool-aid" mentality was all about looking and feeling like I'd never had a baby, to get back to "normal" as soon as possible. As I lay there on the mat last night, it was like I had a brief time travel warp/flashback to the girl I was at 20. The clarity was much different from when I purposely try to remember the person I was, and it was like I had a brief connection with her, a person in many ways very different from who I am now and it made me wonder.

I'm glad that I am finally taking some time to exercise and gain some of the perspective that exercise (and the resulting endorphins) can give a person. I am enjoying figuring out how my body feels about exercising, learning what muscle groups really need a little more attention, seeing how I physically feel with the exercise, but it certainly brought home a key difference in parenting that most moms know - so much focus is on the baby that you really don't have the time or energy to pay much attention to yourself, and I think that with the chance I have to finally parent, I've not let myself pay much attention to myself because I don't want to miss a moment with my daughter that I don't otherwise have to miss. There are plenty of other moms who go back to exercising much sooner than I have, and I have to not feel guilty about waiting this long to do it because apparently that's a trap I've fallen into - feeling like I should have done something sooner.

As my therapist recently said (I went back after a two year hiatus to deal with the fallout from the Christmas Letter) in regards to something else I brought up, I shouldn't beat myself up about not doing something sooner (in this case it was reading a book that really helped me see certain things in a more healthy way) because I wasn't ready sooner. So that's what I want to start focusing on - embracing myself for who I am rather than who I think others want me to be. When I start telling myself that I should have done this sooner or that sooner, I have to remind myself that I wasn't ready, but I am ready now, that my life is my own unique story.


Blogger Mommela said...

Ooh, I like that: "my life if my own unique story." And what an interesting and wonderful story it is!

10:26 AM  

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