I keep thinking that I should go out for a run or something. The thought is a nice one, strap on those running shoes and nimbly skip out into the street, run a mile or 5, and come back home feeling energized and refreshed.
Not going to happen!
I mean, logistically it’s impossible! I can’t just leave Luna at home while I go out (and if I could, a jog wouldn’t be top priority – something more along the lines of a pedicure/manicure/haircut/long nap in a cloud would be a more obvious choice). And then physically it would be too – my joints are really painful. I never had a knee ache during my pregnancy, not even in those last days of oh my god I put on 54 pounds and weigh 184 pounds how on earth did that happen craziness. And now my body aches all the time, my knees hurt every time I get up and I know it’s due to the extra weight my body has been carrying. I lost 29 of those 54 pounds pretty much right away – but the remaining 25 are still there. Yes, I know, that still makes me very far from fat. But it’s still a lot more than I have ever weighed in my life.
I shouldn’t have tried my pre-pregnancy jeans on 2 weeks after I gave birth. It did actually make me cry – for about 2 minutes until my rational brain kicked my baby brain out of the way- I mean OF COURSE they weren’t going to fit (ever again). I was a super slim person wearing super skinny jeans! I had hips before, but now they are obviously larger, and well the belly is not flat (or anywhere near what you would call flat). So, after those 2 minutes, I told myself it was time to celebrate the body that carried my daughter for 41 weeks and be happy for all of the good things my body does for me. Like not being prone to stretch marks for example. Or for always having an excellent blood pressure and iron levels, even if I have maintained a vegetarian diet for the past 18 years. Like having an amazing immune system. Or for nourishing my daughter completely, so that she is growing and thriving. All the really important things.
I had to remind myself of all of that again when I had the great idea of going to the mall to try on some jeans. I picked a few different pairs up, 2 or 3 sizes above my pre-pregnancy size. NEVER EVER do that 5 weeks post partum. You will cry. C just looked at me like I had lost my rational brain and that baby brain had officially taken over. Why on earth did I need to buy jeans if it was nearly summer?! What was I going to gain by buying a pair of jeans that was going to make me cry? Nothing. BUT what DO I like to wear? Dresses. And skirts. Especially maxi dresses and long flowy skirts. Flattering and pretty and many styles that allow easy access to nurse in, with places like Target and Old Navy selling them for decent prices. Oh… And these are dresses I can wear if/when I get pregnant again. Bingo! That solved the clothing problem. No more crying over skinny or not so skinny jeans. And dresses look nice with sandals, which is wonderful as my feet are as slim as they were before I got pregnant. And I kind of like looking at them now I can see them again.
And, you know, I am not really that bothered about the weight. It will come off when it feels ready to, it took 9 months to creep up on me, so it can take the same time to leave. I’m too tired to not eat that slice of red velvet cheesecake deliciousness that C brought home for me the other night. And I’m constantly hungry anyway – if cardio is out of the question right now, dieting is even more so. Maybe one day when Luna is fully on solids and weaned from breast milk (not happening for many months). In the meantime I am just going to eat when I am hungry, and try to get a variety of everything (and yes that includes cake and chips – YUM). Positive thinking! Also, the only people whose opinion on my body I really care about (boyfriend and child) seem to like it just the way it is.
And then I read things about how other women lost the weight “just like that – 60 pounds fell right off me in the space of an hour!” or “I ate a vegetable and ran a mile and I bounced back in no time!” This is where I have to force my rational brain to stay on top of things again. I’m 36 – I don’t have that amazing metabolism I had at 25 anymore. That’s life. But I can fix the few things that ARE bothering me right at home, the real things that are not just physical: my abdominal muscles that were stretched to their limits, my joints that are finally crying out in pain after carrying a lot more weight than they were used to and my body’s entire alignment that feels completely out of whack. So it’s going to be sit-ups and yoga and Pilates from now on – all things that I can do in the comfort of my own home while Luna sits happily in her swing listening to Stevie Nicks or Marilyn Manson (her two favourite artists). I will start tomorrow – I promise! Although I do need a yoga mat as a towel isn’t going to cut it on these hard wood floors… (Yes, that was an excuse – but a good one as it means I will have to go on a nice walk up and down hills with the stroller to the mall to find one).
And in all honesty I am doing this so that my body doesn’t have a hard time if/when we are expecting a second child. Not because I absolutely need to fit back in those skinny jeans again. I want my joints to feel strong again and my body to feel realigned so that it can carry another healthy and happy baby for the full 40 weeks. And this time I will be following my own instincts, with the knowledge of how things work in the hospital here, and will be going all natural in a birthing center. That’s why I need to be as healthy as possible. I wouldn’t be 100% comfortable with an at-home birth (although I do love the idea of having the midwife who does your pre-natal checks be the same one who delivers your baby) – but the idea of a birthing center ticks all boxes for me. More on that if/when it happens though. In the meantime I am going to work on being as healthy as I can – for myself and for my family. Not for some idea of what I should look like 3 months after birth. Honestly I don’t have the time – my daughter wakes up every 3 hours at night for a snack, I’m not good at napping during the day (neither is she), I cook and clean and do laundry when I am able to put her down and do some writing and reading when she goes to bed. I’m definitely beginning to get an upper body work-out with all the carrying of a wriggly 13 pound child about though!
So yes, my body has definitely changed, and it’s bigger, but in a way it’s better… For many, many reasons. Oh and if you ever want to bring me anything, please consider a delicious green smoothie – it’s currently the best and easiest way for me to get all my veggies in. And smoothies are yummy.
I’m sure I can sell all those bloody skinny jeans on eBay, no? If you like BDG very skinny jeans in small sizes contact me. I may have a few to give away. Closet space is sparse in NYC apartments and I had a bit of a clothes shopping habit that I kind of gave up a little over a year ago. (Understatement of the year… I have clothes and shoes filling up 2 closets here – so many things that I am not going to wear again but hang on to for some obscure reason). So yes, I’m serious. You will have to come and pick them up though, with a green smoothie in hand. And maybe you can also occupy the baby while I have a shower or make some coffee or vacuum the bedroom.