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Workin' on my Fitness: The Balance of Mommyhood + Me Time

Written by: Jenny

Life before kids. Do you ever vaguely remember the days and nights of doing whatever you wanted whenever you wanted? It seems like another lifetime. But, yes, once upon a time, I watched more than Peppa Pig, treated myself to regular manicures and dined at restaurants other than Chick-Fil-A. I also went to the gym. Every day. After work. For years.

So, I wanted to be one of those pregnant chicks who ate salads, wore cute maternity jeans and hopped on the elliptical every night. Instead, the smell of salad gave me the gags (my supersonic sense of smell kicked into HIGH gear. I could smell lettuce a mile away and it wasn't pretty.), I could only stand the fabric of leggings on my ever-growing thighs and the only thing I hopped on was my couch. For nine months. Twice.

People don't believe me when I tell them that I gained over 50 lbs. with each of my pregnancies. But, it's true and I have the medical records to prove it. Thanks to good genes, a decent metabolism, breast feeding and a strict eating plan -- I managed to take off the baby weight both times. But, there is a big difference in 'looking fit' and FEELING fit. 

For me, working out HAS to be a part of my schedule. On my calendar. An appointment. It doesn't happen any other way. Especially when I tell myself at 11 p.m. that I'm gonna set my alarm and wake up at 5 a.m. to get a few miles in on the treadmill. HA! Snooze x 10. Not gonna happen. I've never been an early-morning-worker-outer anyway.

Or, the other lie I tell myself -- I'll get my cardio in after I get the kids to bed! Double HA! That is SO not happening after I've read books and snuggled with them in their beds for the 45 minute bedtime ritual leading up to them actually staying in their beds and going to sleep! I'm exhausted at that point and the only thing I'm throwin' down is a load of laundry.

Well, a few weeks ago, I woke up with a really sore lower back. Over the course of a few days, it started radiating into my glutes and down the back of my legs. After a few visits to my chiropractor, I started to feel some relief. But, he said something that stuck with me. He told me I needed to strengthen my core and that would help my back issues. A simple enough statement. But, it was a reality check that my core and I weren't even speaking anymore.

I wanted to get serious about working out again. I knew I needed accountability or it was never gonna happen on the regular. I hired a personal trainer.

I'm four sessions in. I'm pretty sure she's trying to kill me. I'm definitely getting reacquainted with muscles I haven't heard from in a while. Some, I'm not sure I ever had a relationship with. I have felt nauseated, sore, achy and tired. But, today... I felt something I haven't felt in a long time. I felt strong.

I gotta paint the full picture. These training sessions take place in the workout room in my basement. While planking, I have an 87 lb. Boxer sniffing and snorting in my ear. While doing squats, I have a six-year-old begging for me to look at the way she's decorated her dollhouse (which is taking place in the same room). My four-year-old is running around with energy that I WISH I could drink to get through my hour of self-inflicted torture! My cell phone is dinging. The oven is preheating and my mind is racing with all of the other 300 things I have to accomplish before my head hits the pillow.

But, I'm doing it. I'm allowing myself to have an hour devoted to my health and wellness because I deserve it. It's taken me nearly seven years to realize it. To DO something about it -- without feeling the dreaded mom-guilt. My trainer put it in perspective. She told me that I am showing my kids a positive example that fitness IS an important part of life. That's a message that they'll learn now and hopefully integrate into their own lives as they grow older.

She makes a good point.





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