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The Mom Exercise Evolution.

I took this selfie this morning….. So Fitness magazine better be calling soon to interview me on how I lost 70 lbs while working a full time job and having kids 8 months and 21 months.

Haha ew. “21 months.” I guess I should just start saying he is 2.

HAHA! Just kidding! This is actually me this morning…

Once upon a time I was in good shape. That first picture is of me. It was just taken before anyone lived inside my body. Typical daily activities would include walking my dog, running on the beach, and of course going to glorious yoga.

Finding a type of workout routine you love as a busy adult can be tough.  When I was a kid I played soccer, basketball, and softball. So much organized athletics. SO FUN! But when you are older you have to make a much larger effort to make your life active. I think to myself, I should run. Look at all these people running down my newsfeed. Everyone is doing 5K’s. People who hated gym class so much that they would rather get a bad grade and wear jeans then put on workout clothes are now running 5K’s. I’m not making fun. I’m happy for you. BUT I just don’t know if running is for me. My knees hate the pavement. I’m good with running as an additional work out I add into my life. A good beach view. Some loud music in your ears. But I don’t know if that can be my every day adult exercise hobby. I mean isn’t that the name of the game? Find some way to move your body but that you also find enjoyable so that you live longer.

Oh how I miss the yoga studio. I still get to go. But obviously not very often at this current point in time. So many friendly faces all jacked up on endorphins. At one point I even did the 30 day Bikram challenge. I didn’t do 30 days in a row. But I did do 30 classes in 30 days. I just had to do two doubles some weeks because of my work schedule. It was more than amazing. I wish I could bottle how amazing I was feeling. Right after I got done with that, I got to rock a body like this.

When you are young and single everything about exercise tends to be about the appearance of the body and not as much the feeling of the body. Not speaking for everyone. I have just hung out with enough teenage girls in my life to know a lot of exercise had to do with vanity. Silly past Brittany. Good thing you’ve learned and changed. I want to exercise for energy not abs now. Even more for stress relief and of course to set a good example for my homies. But if my abs wanted to come out of hibernation I guess I wouldn’t mind that either.

Working out is my stress relief. It’s where I put all my crazy.

Although I have had a life long love affair with athletics it doesn’t mean I am the best at being consistent. It’s why I’ve always thrived in a team setting where I have made a commitment so I don’t even have to debate doing it or not.

My weight fluctuates on a daily basis.

This has been a life long struggle of mine.

Once in high school one of my “best friends” was mad at me. When I arrived in the cafeteria and sat down at the end of the table, this particular person decided to announce loudly while pretending I was invisible
“Well now that Britt is gone. Who will be the DUFF of our group??”
“What is a DUFF?”
” You know, designated ugly fat friend.”

I did my best pretending I couldn’t hear them and once people stopped looking around I went to have a nice cry in the bathroom. Movie style. Oh my. Teenage girls are the worst. Every one is always asking me. Aren’t you sad you didn’t have a girl? Hmm….. I’m going to go with “pass” as my answer to that question.

 

I would NEVER go back. You couldn’t pay me.

Oh and don’t feel bad for me. That’s not the point.

I obviously wasn’t an adolescent angel if that was the type of person I associated with. I’ve had moments I have not been kind and wish I could take back. But no reason to think too much of that because adolescent is a time for mistakes so you learn. If you never made mistakes and always followed the rules, you might end up being a boring person.

Most of what intrigues me about people usually stems from their battle scars.

We have to start the revolution. Women empowering Women. Girls empowering girls. Gosh I love a good feminist rant! Obviously the spice girls said it best, “Blah blah blah Girl Power.” And I will listen to any one who is awesome enough to marry David Beckham.

If I was 14 and had a locker right now, there would be a picture of him hanging in it.

By my mid 20s I learned to appreciate exercise for so many more reason other than body image and that really changed everything for me. HOW ABOUT BODY FUNCTION.

I finally connected those magic dots of how much exercise effected my mood and energy in a positive way. CAUTION: Only exercise on days you want to feel happy.

Now I did not unlock some mystery. I am not discovering new worlds. It doesn’t matter that the information has always been there. You have to figure it out for yourself. That’s the only way you will make it a priority.

No one is like ummm I’m going to enter this 5k cause my health teacher in 8th grade showed me a chart about the cardiovascular benefits.

I owe a lot of finding a much better appreciate for my body to Bikram yoga cape cod. I’m a firm believer that people need to date a lot of exercise. Try out different things and see what you enjoy and what fits in your schedule and lifestyle. I had two metal rods and four bolts put in my back at 14 years old from scoliosis. Lost 30% of my flexibility. I already was not flexible.

So I went along this road called life under the assumption, “I wouldn’t be good at yoga.”

Now if you are a yogi, you know that this is a silly thought. Saying you are not flexible enough for yoga is like saying you are too dirty to take a bath. See? Crazy.

One day, could have been a Tuesday. After weeks of thinking about going. Reading the website. Talking about going. I finally just went. It was hot. It was hard. Sitting on my knees Japenese style hurt. I wore the wrong clothes.

BUT I went back.
and again.
and again.

The faces were friendly and encouraging at the studio. I started to see how good my body could possibly feel. It improved my eating habits, mood, skin, endurance, SLEEP! Long story short, I found a type of fitness that made me happy. Check and mate.

BACK TO THE BIG LIFE PICTURE:

Exercise is awesome. But it’s only a part of your life. Your real life goes on every day and one day you wake up and you find yourself pregnant.

FOR ME PERSONALLY. I found out we were having a baby on our honeymoon.

We went on our honeymoon exactly 4 weeks after our wedding.

I’ll let you do the math.

I made Josh go to the farmacia TWICE to retrieve more tests. Good thing a smiley face and frown face mean the same thing in both english and in spanish.  Preggo my eggo. Muy Bien.

So this starts your mom exercise evolution. Basically, how you fit exercise into your new life as Mom. It’s not really hard to do, but you have to adjust what you used to do.

You don’t always call the shots these days. People who are teething make the calls.

STAGE #1 YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY
You still got to yoga 3x per week. You walk every day. You take naps. You get as much rest as possible. You schedule a prenatal massage cause DAMNIT you deserve it!
Sadly, you have no idea how good you have it. You are far too caught up in the pregnancy tornado and your growing stomach to realize how good you have it.

STAGE # 2 MATERNITY LEAVE
Nothing but stroller time baby. I walk. This dude sleeps. We get out of the house. Every one wins. Your mother in law comes over twice a week after work to watch the baby until your husband gets home and you get to go to yoga. So good.

STAGE #3 In the words of the poet Britney Spears, “Oops I did it again”
You go back to work and get pregnant again at the same time. There is now less working out and more laying face down on your living room floor. You have good intentions but a lot of things become beyond your control. Like how you can’t hold down any food and you are walking around you job secretly puking everywhere.

You carry a plastic bag and a tooth brush with you at all times. One person at your place of employment heard you get sick and asked if you were okay and you actually said to them, “Bad Chinese last night.”

Work, being pregnant, and having an infant are enough. The exercise stops. You don’t even know when it happened. You know you’d feel better to keep moving, but watching Nemo in a pillow fort just makes more sense at this point in time.

STAGE #4  HOLY CRAP
You created people. Plural.

Your body is tired and deflated.

I finally asked the nurse at my 6 week postpartum visit how much I had weighed at my last appointment before Jack was born. (I used to close my eyes when I got on the scale at each appointment in the 3rd trimester with Jack.) I assume that is the most mature way to deal with the situation.

She told me 230 lbs. Bang. Let that sink in.

There really is nothing sexier in this world then weighing more than your husband.

In all fairness, 10 of those lbs were Jack and the placenta was probably 5 lbs as well. Or maybe it just seemed that way because it was horrifying and science fiction like. So lets call it 215 lbs.

Were you just like, “Oh my god. I can’t believe she just told everyone she weighed that much.” Haha. Well I did that because it doesn’t matter. Why does that number mean anything to any one?

People have eyes. They can see if you’re fat or skinny. hahaha.

That idea kills me. You don’t want your boyfriend to know you weigh 165 lbs but he sees you naked. Why do people let that number hold so much power over them?

The important part is that you take care of yourself.
Anyways, You don’t recognize your body. You are winded when you walk up stairs. This body needs some serious love. So I decided a few things for myself right from the start:

I would be nice to myself & I would have realistic expectations of what I could handle in the current moment. Basically, I knew this would be a long process. I needed to find patience and not get discouraged.

I did some at home work outs. It was easy when the baby was little enough to just chill in his play chair. He cheered me on. I would do them when my toddler was napping.

It felt good to complete the 8 week program!
But then something bad happened.
Winter in New England happened.
February happened.
Sick kids happened.
Pulled back muscles happened.
Postpartum demons happened.
Snow happened.
Then more snow.
Oh and then more snow.

That was basically a poem about how crappy winter 2015 was on Cape Cod.

Slam poetry, obviously.

At one point husband was out plowing for 3 days straight and sleeping in his truck. The boys and I were over at my in-laws for four days with now power on and off. My in-laws are great and couldn’t be more welcoming but it doesn’t make it any less hard staying at someone else’s house. When you are all trapped inside and you have no electricity.

If I was 21 I would think it was fun because we would have had a blizzard party.

When you’re 28 have two babies, a stinky dog, a husband out plowing in a snow storm, and no idea when you will be able to go back to your house, you genuinely start to believe your head might explode.

Long story short, you gained all the weight back. You have no jeans that currently fit your body in your closet. There is a large amount of pregnancy jeans and then tiny small jeans from pre babes. You should probably go with your gut instinct and just burn them all.

So now it’s time for a SWEEPING DECLARATION!

It’s time to get back in shape. For me. For my husband. For my kids. For my smelly dog. For my friends. For the Best Buy customer service girl I was mean to the other day.

I got a Jawbone for my birthday. Already love it. Kind of feel the government is tracking me. But love it regardless. All the information about your day organized for you and the bluetooth hooks up to your phone in an app. Steps per day. Resting calories. Active calories. Very awesome.

Basically at the end of the day it can tell you… Ummm.. You didn’t do crap today. So tomorrow you better get that body moving. Then you can be like ah, good point. Then plan your next day accordingly.

It does point out how little sleep I am currently getting, but I didn’t need a fancy work out bracelet to tell me that.
I also signed up for a 5K. Eek. Again, I don’t think road races will really be my thing. But I need something to train for, so mine as well give it a shot.

Here goes!
Stay tuned.

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