Thursday, October 18, 2012

FINALLY... No more maternity clothes!!!

How long where you in maternity clothes AFTER you had your baby? 2 months, 4 months, 9 months...

Okay, this is one of those subjects that I think women just never talk about, even though it's more common than I thought. It’s a sad, pathetic subject that only makes us more self conscious about our post-baby bodies. So why talk about it, why hide the fact that we still sport our stretchy maternity pants 6 months after your baby is born? Because it’s TOTALLY NORMAL, that’s why! {Anyone want to tell me different, come tell me to my face}

I’ve been really self conscious about my body ever since I gave birth to my son. Every part of my body has changed and shifted, and lord knows it will probably never be the same. It is not exactly a bad thing, just really different. My body has changed so much in the past 10 years, but it was gradual. This was instant, and along with everything else that was going on, a shock for some reason.

"39 weeks pregnant"
Yeah, you hear women talk about how “you’re body will never be the same after you have the baby” and “good luck getting back into your pre-baby jeans”… But when you are pregnant, you don’t want to hear that crap. You don’t want to read a post like this. You don’t want to think about anything but good thoughts, and you want people to keep their negative feelings and insecurities to themselves so you can bask in your pregnancy glow.

I sincerely thought that keeping myself in good shape during pregnancy would enable me to succeed in all my goals: natural vaginal birth and easing back into my pre-pregnancy body (and hopefully better). I had myself convinced that I would be able to pick back up walking at least a mile every other day and swimming laps in the pool within a couple weeks of birthing my child. But this, my friends, just didn’t work out the way I planned.

The funniest part is those “negative” and “insecure” women were so right! My body is forever changed. My son is 7 months old and I’m finally (officially) out of maternity jeans and back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. However, I had to lose an extra 10 pounds to fit into them without looking like a stuffed piece of sausage or an overflowing muffin top. Technically, I could have started wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans a couple months ago, but I would have ended up on one of those Bad Walmart Photo websites. Ugh!

Finally, I’m here… and I’m the better for it. It’s taken hard work to get this far and I don’t plan on slowing my progression any time soon. I am eating better now than I have in years, my son is happy and healthy and I’m finally at the psychological stage of accepting my post-baby body! I’m truly in bliss right now. I know that I will never have the body I had 10 years ago, but I’m slowly paving the way to a much healthier place than I have ever been.

What have I been doing, you say? While I have not been overloading my already hectic schedule with tons of cardio, I have been doing some strength training. Thanks to the open-mindedness of my dear friend and co-worker Dar-Dar, I “workout” at least twice a day 4 days a week AT WORK (sometimes we do our routine up to 4 times a day, depending on work). It only takes about 5-7 minutes. We put a song on in my office and do the following:
-          20 Desk Push-Ups, feet together (harder than they sound)
-          20 Squats & 10 Low Pulse
-          20 Calf Raises & 10 High Pulse
-          60 Small Arm Circles
-          30 Second Stretch (including pot stirrers and thigh stretch)

I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s better than nothing, and I feel the difference. If I have a couple minutes, I do a couple passes of walking lunges across my office, or 20 jumping jacks to get the blood flowing… I fit it in where I can and it makes me feel better mentally and physically, especially when my job is mostly sitting at a desk all day. The last thing I want to do with the couple hours I have in the afternoons with my son is a workout session. However, I do walk him outside to show him all the trees and garden and grass and things. Also, I’m trying VERY hard to motivate myself to walk him in his stroller in the afternoons more often since the weather is getting cooler, and he is inside all day long. But sometimes we just sit and watch the sky on the back porch. Friday through Sunday is much easier to be constantly active with him, so we stay outside most of the time if we can on the weekends.

I wonder sometimes if my son will ever know how much I have learned because of him. I have never seen the world in such a light. I am amazed every single day because my 7 month old son is teaching ME… about innocence, about appreciation, about humanity and about how wonderful this life really is. It was amazing when I buttoned up my jeans last week and actually felt comfortable. I looked up and my son just started giggling at me. I showed him my zipped up jeans and leaned in to kiss him on the forehead in celebration, and he grabbed my face with his little hands… He was happy that I was happy!