Well, Russ is four months old and – sooner than I’d ever expected, to be honest – I am officially back to my pre-pregnancy weight. When I got pregnant, I very quickly realized that I did not give a CRAP if I gained 20 pounds or 50, so long as my baby was healthy and well. I had always expected that a lot of vanity would fly out the window when and if I became pregnant, and that part didn’t really surprise me. But what I didn’t expect is the complete and total body joy that I developed during the process of growing my little guy. Yes, you read that correctly – body joy. I was just so amazed and so appreciative to this shell that carries my soul through life, for the things that she did, for carrying my son and birthing him…there isn’t going to be any more of that hateful self-talk that I was guilty of back in my teens and early 20s. Nope…done with that. This body of mine is amazing – cellulite and all.
So after Russ was born, I merely made it my goal to get back to some semblance of my former self. I knew that there would be some things that would probably never go back to the way they were before. I knew that the stretch marks would fade, but never fully disappear. All of that was and is just fine with me! But I honestly thought it would take me closer to a year to really drop the baby weight, yet here I am at four months post-partum. So now that I’m back at point A, where do we go from here? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my #1 goal through all of this is health and wellness. I do not ever want my kids (sons OR daughters) to develop the neuroses that I did about weight and the body image problems I had to deal with earlier on in my 20s. The best way to keep that from happening is to lead by example. As they grow up, my kids will see me hoisting everything from weights to grocery bags to grandchildren. As they grow, they’ll ride shotgun in the jogging stroller as we blaze our way through Cleveland Park, the nature preserve near the lakehouse, and just the streets around our house. They’ll see me eat a normal and healthy diet, and they’ll most defintely learn their way around the kitchen from their dear ol’ mom. I’m so excited to give them that start – to help them become their own people and to help them establish a habit of just living well. That’s really all that matters to me. Whether I do that at a size 4, a size 8 (what I am now), or a size 14 is really immaterial to me. I’ve known tiny size 0 women who were nothing but flab and couldn’t run a mile if their lives depended on it, and I’ve known voluptous size 14 girls who rocked spin classes and 5ks, and who had amazing, muscular curves for miles. Size has very little bearing on fitness.
But suffice it to say, I am very happy where I am. So now what?
For starters, I’m excited to get back into hiking. When the weather starts to get milder around March, Jonathan and I are looking forward to getting started again with that, as it’s something we both enjoyed quite a bit before I got pregnant. I actually hiked Table Rock with my friend Jen just a few weeks before I found out I was pregnant (it’s a 7-something mile trail that basically climbs stairs and steep inclines for the first 3.5 miles). We’ll start off with some steep but shorter trails like the Jones Gap State Park Rainbow Falls trail, and then progress from there. I’ve got a huge backlog of pumped milk in the freezer for Russ, so he’ll get to have playtime with “G-Ma and G-Pa” at their house while we’re off hiking. And eventually, we’ll take Russ hiking with us, but that’s a ways off. We’re considering investing in a back carrier, but we’ll see.
The other things I want to pick up are most weights workouts and bootcamp classes. I’ve been watching the bootcamp classes at the gym for a year or so now, but have never tried one. I’m intrigued and looking forward to the new challenge. And I’m going to start meeting up with a few of the other moms at the gym to do legs on Sunday afternoons, and I am adding at least one other weights workout each week to go along with that. It should be exciting! So that’s what’s going on with that. But like I say, the goal here is not a size or a scale reading. It was never about that. I just want to feel strong and be strong – and I’d say I’m already there, but why stop now? Until the next baby comes along, anyway…hehe…