The gym used to be my hiding place. It was a refuge from my all consuming job. It was the one part of my life that my boss respected. He didn't care that I had a husband or a family, but if I told him I was going to the gym, he would not call me. I used to spend two hours in the gym at a time. One hour with weights, one hour on the elliptical. Some days I only had time for one hour and I would just hit the elliptical. I would crank up the music in my headphones and run until I felt the stress melt out of my pores. That runner's high you hear about? Totally real.
I made fitness my hobby. My superior, holier than thou, knowitall hobby. Along with the gym devotion, I ate super clean. Six meals a day, nothing processed, complex carbs, good fats, lean proteins. I was a woman obsessed. I was in really good shape, probably the best shape of my adult life. I had definition everywhere. Even my abs (which will never be a six pack) were flat and hard. My boobs were the smallest they ever could be without surgery. To quote Frank, upon looking at a vacation picture of us that summer, I was "diesel".
The gym part wasn't hard, but the eating clean was brutal. I'm a fatgirl. I love deep fried, covered in ranch dressing goodness. And pizza. I prefer my chicken in finger form. Dr. Drew could probably do some work with me on sugar addiction. My favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is a two hour brunch with mimosas. My favorite thing to do after work is red wine and cheese and olives. Most of my socializing with friends involves food and wine. All of which, after having a baby, ha-HA, but you get my point.
The day I found out I was pregnant was the last day I went to the gym. In the beginning it was the absolute fatigue. It hit me the hardest. Trying to still work 80+ hours a week and being so tired, I just didn't have it in me to go to the gym. Pregnancy became my get-out-of-diet free card. The world became my very own all-I-could-eat-buffet. All the things I never touched; pizza, ice cream, deep fried everything, macaroni and cheese, pudding(!). I ate it all and then took a nap. It was awesome. My sister warned me to take it easy because it's not that easy to bounce back after baby. I filed that information right next to all the advice I ignored about breastfeeding.
My marathon eating slowed a little as Bo grew because I just didn't have the room for him and the pound of pasta. The diabetes diagnosis made me put down the Phillies Graham Slam (best ice cream flavor ever) and return to my breakfasts of oatmeal and egg whites. But still, I did not exercise. Being confined to the couch for 8 weeks made me totally inactive - which was the point I know, but something about being medically prohibited from moving in my brain equaled EAT. Also, I ate out of boredom.
In all I gained only about 25lbs and lost some of it in delivering Bo and the subsequent nursing marathons. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but not my pre-pregnancy body. The number on the scale is irrelevant to me. I'm short, top-heavy, and thick-waisted, all characteristics that have gotten more pronounced since being pregnant. All of my old definition is gone. I'm squishy and soft-bellied. My stomach muscles are totally slack and if I don't pay close attention to my posture (and suck in), I still look a little pregnant. All of my endurance is gone. All of my strength is gone.
I hate it. I hate how I feel about myself. I hate how out of shape I am. Yet I can't get it together to work out. We have at treadmill in our basement. I can't get it together to walk downstairs. Every day it's the same routine: nighttime Hopes set the alarm for 5am because I know that if I don't exercise before the day starts, it's not going to happen at all. Nighttime Hope pep talks herself about how great the rest of the day will feel if I work out first thing. She has big plans, that nighttime Hope. Unfortunately, morning time Hope has no interest in starting her day at all, let alone starting it with exercise. It's the oldest cliche there is. Once you stop exercising, starting again is the hardest part. I have no excuses you haven't heard already: the baby needs something or there's something interesting on tv or I'm tired or it's too hot or it's too cold or blah blah blah, fat. I am really tired. You know what would really help me get some energy back? Exercise. I'm in my own catch-22 over here.
I'm trying to get my mind right about getting back into shape, but it's not happening. 80-90% of weight management is diet. You can run to the end of the Earth and do a million crunches but if you're following that up with a pound of fettucini and pint of Chunky Monkey, it won't matter. I've got the eating part down pretty well. I haven't gone back to eating clean because it's frankly a pain in the ass, but my weight has been stable for months now. I just need to get myself moving.
Frank has lost 60 pounds since last year. He gets up every morning at 5 to do P90X before work. He runs every day. He's running 5k races every weekend. I'm so proud of him. I don't know what to do to get myself going. I really don't. We've signed up for a 5k together at the end of October and if I finish in under 30 minutes I get to buy myself a fabulous new pair of boots and even that isn't getting me out of bed in the morning.
I guess I'm trying to shame myself into exercising. If I tell all of you - you know, all 4 of you - maybe I'll have some kind of accountability or something. I don't know. I have to do something.