Ugghhh. I know I said I was baaaack, but like, that’s only kind of true. I also know I’ve said many things on here about it not being ok to allow society/the patriarchy/media/overzealous fitness world people/judgmental toddlers dictate how you should feel about your body/appearance/weight but gosh darn it, sometimes they do and then you feel guilty. I’ve been trying to keep it together for those on the outside looking in, trying to keep up this image of someone trying “do it all” but that isn’t happening right now. And I’m undeniably super ok with this.
Maternity leave for me still hasn’t ended, at least not in my heart. My son is 4 months old and I thought I was going to kick some major postpartum ass this time around and maximize my weight loss by breastfeeding, working out and eating all the healthful things as soon as I got back to work but turns out, with my life revolving around not one but TWO children, one of which depends on me for all of his nourishment, the additional energy required to work out AND work is just not there for me right now. And with my heart not in it, I think it’s best for me to take some of the pressure off and just quietly take a step back and let myself breathe. I’ve always been the type of person strives to feel confident about who I am and not allow outside pressures to bring me down but these last few weeks, I have ended each day feeling really stinkin’ guilty. I feel like I’ve been letting myself, my family and all of you down. I feel like a lazy sack of I-don’t-know-what who just wants to sit around and eat cookies all day
like that one day last week when I actually ate cookies all day.But then I realized that’s just bullshit. I get up at 6 am every morning and I just don’t stop moving until the last child lays his or her pretty head down for the night which is usually between 8:30 and 9 pm. That leaves me with about an hour alone with my husband who has also gone through the same kind of day and lately, I’ve actually just gone to bed shortly after the kids have gone to sleep.
I swear I’m not trying to justify my feelings because honestly I don’t have to. But I do feel like I need to get this off my chest because I hate that I feel guilty. If you need some perspective, consider this: when I go to work and I’m not advising students or in meetings, that is the only time of the day I get to myself. And even though working out had become one of my favorite “me time” activities, right now, in this moment, it’s not how I want to spend that time. If I’m being totally honest, I would kill for a day off that only involved me laying on a couch reading fiction with unlimited coffee and
pastries [healthy] snacks at my side. So in the small moments during each day that I can spend reading, writing or just hanging out with other adults discussing things that don’t involve temper tantrums and teething, I’m pretty happy with that.
Life is full of so many arbitrary rules that I think far too many of us subscribe to and ultimately end up feeling guilty over when we start to break them. One of those rules is the general idea that once you’re done with pregnancy and you’re all healed up from the birth, you’re all out of excuses for being overweight/inactive/a poor eater. Adding a new member to your family is like a fourth trimester with a whole new set of rules. So on some nights, that might mean getting by on a dinner made of packaged ingredients or picked up at a drive thru (although, shout out to mancakes for cooking his ass off at least 5 mornings and nights a week.). That means I might want to spend my lunch hour staring into space instead of hitting the gym because dammit, that’s what I feel like doing today and I don’t get many moments when I get to do what I want. It means that we need to talk more about the concept of the physical 4th trimester too in which a woman is still experiencing pregnancy and birth after-the-fact by adjusting to her new body and her new life with a new baby.
As I’ve said before, I have a lifetime to work on my fitness goals and I know from experience that it will be much easier once baby grows and starts to become less dependent on me. Besides, I don’t actually think I’m all that ready to get rid of my smooshy belly which is the only thing I have left that indicates a baby was just there growing and kicking me with all of his might. Oh and I LOVED being pregnant so I might keep this belly-relic around just a tad longer. I’m also not in any rush to run a race or clobber a new obstacle course since training for something like that takes a lot of time, most of which would be away from my family or would take up the one hour a day I truly get to myself.
So for now, I’m going to employ the What You Can When You Can Rule when it comes to my fitness. If I’m in the mood, I’ll do it. If not, I’ll make up for in other ways like taking the stairs whenever possible or getting off the bus a stop or two early. But if I don’t get to it today, tomorrow is another chance to get it in. Either way, I’m really stinkin’ happy. I have the two most adorable children in the history of ever:
and I can’t help but feel like a new chapter is on the horizon for our little family so I’m just gonna roll with it and enjoy every moment. There have been far too many tragic things happening in our world lately so I really can’t be wasting my time feeling like I didn’t do enough with my days. So I guess you could say that lately, I’m unfluffing nasty thoughts and unpleasant feelings out of my life. And I feel as though this blog is just that for me right now: perhaps not just about me losing weight but also about me shaking off the excess baggage that comes with trying to live up to a few too many self-imposed expectations. You might see an uptick of these types of posts moving forward as I feel that I’ve grown beyond just my physical transformation over these last [almost] two years. I hope you’ll stay with me.