I love me some pregnancy and newborns.
But the three year game of pregnancy redlight-greenlight has trashed my fitness and body image. Since the miscarriage of 2013, I have had two more children. I avoided super-high intensity training while pregnant, opting to keep it simple: walking, a few body weight movements and trying to eat sensibly. But truthfully, my fitness is at zero, maybe even below zero. I don’t really ever remember a time I’ve been at zero…I have never gone this long without devoting myself to physical activity and regular gym-time.
Here I am now. Five kids. Homeschooling. Hubby working hours that nearly break us both. House to manage, dinner to make. Gym-time is pretty much at the bottom of my list of daily priorities. Why? Because even though the real me
(Pause. The “REAL ME” is now a completely notional figure because I will never be the “real me” again…age is getting its way with me, kids are steadily increasing in needs, speed of life is red-lining. Sounds like its time to renovate who the “REAL ME” is.)
As I was saying. The real-me would rather be having gym-time two hours a day, five days a week. Actual-me is needed by kids and friends and husband (<–not in that order!). My people. They need me. These relationships will suffer if I put gym-time above them.
Missing out on the hallowed time in the gym/box/garage, causes a nagging grudge to form and grow. It’s my favorite way to cash in my me-time. I keep slipping into false thinking that hours of gym-time is the only way to “get my body back.”
My internal dialogue keeps screaming YOU WILL NEVER REGAIN YOUR FITNESS!! (Why does our internal dialogue lie so much? I was born with a voice in my head that absolutely hates me.)
Anyway, I have to answer it back with two things.
1. Getting lean takes nothing more than an intuitive diet.
2. Having zero gym-time doesn’t mean I can’t exercise.
Every iteration of exercise (even as short as 4 minutes!) is a deposit in my strength account. Diet is what controls body comp. Gym-time is not part of this formula. What a mindsaver. Diet and exercise have two different objectives and let’s not get them mixed up.
Diet is for leaning me out.
Exercise is for the 10 foundations of fitness.
I will eat for energy.
I will lift to be strong enough to help people move stuff.
I will eat to enjoy the experience of food.
I will run so that I can play anything with my kids and grandchildren.
I will eat responsibly so that I look my best in formal dresses. (Dang it anyway that I have to wear these dresses so often!!)
I will WOD with my man, because it’s our favorite way to spend our free time together.
I will eat if my stomach growls.
I will exercise because the endorphins are such a welcome respite.
I will not eat if I am not hungry.
I will do push-ups and pull-ups because it is the fastest way to tone my arms.
I will eat to keep my mood in check. (NO HANGER!)
I will do sit-ups because my abs would like to permanently hang out at the 5-months pregnant position.
I will eat without hang ups about timing, amounts, or macros
I will jump rope to rehab my pelvic floor. (Sorry dudes, this is what happens when your uterus is basically a clown car.)
So even though gym-time is at an all-time low, my stress about it is also pretty much gone. I train when I can, and I am getting incrementally physically stronger. Eating mindfully will bring about the body comp changes I need to see.
I am mentally weary from chasing empty obsessions…and assigning impossible expectations on things that are circumstance-dependent, like getting enough gym-time. Food is fuel. Exercise is physical strength. Period.
Faith and healthy relationships empower. Faith and relationships award us with heart satiety.
Am I the only one who has been stuck in the wrong mindset in this area? It only took me until I was 36 and 11 years into motherhood to be at peace about it.
Thanks for reading,