July 15, 2011

Planting Seeds

I believe that this is my time. I believe that this is the RIGHT time. To take advantage of the opportunity that I have been given to put my life back together; To create the life that I want to live for the rest of my life; To develop the new “normal”.

small green sprouts in ceramic pot. time of watering Stock Photo - 6772308This time, my maternity leave is as much about me as it is about Maddie. I am putting me first for once. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do spend all day waiting hand and foot on my kids and often feel like a doormat, but there is one certainty on a weekday and that is that I get to go to the gym. That’s right, it’s a privilege. It has become a staple of our morning routine. Cate depends on it for interaction time. I depend on it for adult time. Maddie, well, it helps her to be comfortable with lots of different people and less attached to Mommy (and I’m ok with that!).

It took me a while to get to this point. My track record with exercise isn’t great. I get bored quickly and am an excellent negotiator - I can talk myself out of anything in ten seconds flat. The turning point started about a year ago when I started following my friend Katie’s blog about getting back into shape. I was newly pregnant at the time and in the throes of morning sickness (a huge understatement btw) – a perfect excuse to stay sedentary. Once the morning sickness became more like a constant state of nausea, I lived by the philosophy that I should remain inactive due to my previous high risk pregnancy. By the time it became clear that Maddie wasn’t coming out early, I was far too pregnant (and large) to start anything. Heck, at that point, thinking about picking up Cate’s toys off the ground left me out of breath.

After Maddie’s birth I was up and moving right away (it certainly helped to be home within 4 hours of the birth). I was determined that this postpartum period would be different. I would not be helpless and I could do everything that I needed to do. Sure enough, I recovered quickly and by the third week, we bought an elliptical machine off kijiji. At the time, I spoke openly about not being a “gym person”. The idea made me uncomfortable and susceptible to judgement by skinny people. I don’t have a huge problem with how I look, so why would I put myself in a position to let others judge?

Needless to say, the elliptical routine lasted about a week until it started getting warmer and our bedroom felt like an effing sauna. Good enough excuse for me. I would find my exercise elsewhere – like walking to pick up Cate from daycare. Perfect! It was about an hour walk at a good clip pushing the double stroller. This lasted for a few weeks, although I was a fair weather walker and with a wet spring, the walks became fewer and farther between…

Notice a pattern here? Does it sound familiar?

You may be asking yourself – Well if she found an excuse for all these other things, what is going to keep her going to the gym?

Well, you have a good point. I can’t make any promises that the circumstances won’t change, BUT, I can tell you that I feel very sure that I will keep this up for the rest of my Maternity leave. The challenge will come when I go back to work, but I hope that by that point it will be a way of life, not to mention that I am lucky to have a Goodlife only 5 minutes away from my office for a perfect lunch time workout.

The gym now feels comfortable, friendly and energizing all at once. I don’t feel like the skinny people are judging me, but rather cheering me on and wondering how the hell the chubby girl can do that crazy yoga pose better than they can. I love the sense of community and belonging and feeling like I am doing something good for ME. It gives me the patience to deal with Cate’s lack of potty training and Maddie’s teething meltdowns.

My goal today is to plant a seed in all of you reading this who consider themselves not to be “gym people”. Consider it. Find a friend who will go with you. Just go. Get moving. I can guarantee that you won’t regret it. I wish I knew how good I feel now.

I know that this needs to be a decision that you make yourself, but I’m hoping that I can give you a push in the right direction. I’ll be your gym friend.

Is this your time?


Kataroo said...

So very very proud of you :) That gave me the goosebumps!

Tara said...

You are such an inspiration! I am honoured to know you and cheer you on! I can't wait to read your blogs, and see how you are doing with your new lifestyle.
You are right, it takes a strong person to committ to changing one's lifestyle, and that strength gets stronger when you have someone who can help incourage you to push yourself harder and further. ;)

Laura said...

Thanks ladies :) You have both greatly contributed to the path that I'm on now. Thanks is not enough.