One of the best things I’ve done since becoming a stay at home mom is join a gym with child care. I’ve never had quite such great incentive to go work out. No time for yourself? Kid driving you crazy and you need to recharge? Maybe all you really want is a hot shower? Go to the gym for a stress-relieving hour and a half break!
I’ve never really been a gym person. I prefer to workout at home, in private. But now that privacy is a something I’ve given up in favor of motherhood, I have to go out and seek ways to find me-time. Some days that “me-time” comes in the form of slowly peddling a recumbent bike while checking my e-mail.
And while I may often take advantage of the child care just to get a much needed break, just being at the gym so much has inspired me to start working out for real. Some days I surprise myself and actually get sweaty. Within my first few months of going I lost a stubborn 7 lbs. of baby weight that I’d been fighting with for a while and now I’m working on the last five. I think some parts of me are permanently changed in shape just due to housing a child for ten months in there, but I’m excited to now be fitting back into some of my favorite clothes.
And now that it has become a habit and a welcome break, I actually miss it when I don’t go. I even went on a Sunday last week! Normally I don’t even hit my FitBit step goal on a Sunday so this is quite a change for me. I even signed up for some fitness challenge apps, but am saving that for a future blog after I get some results!
Discovering the gym was a real sanity-saver. And the big bonus is I look better, feel better and am happier for the little break every time I go. I highly recommend giving it a try even if you aren’t into working out. You may surprise yourself. I know I did!
I’ve been working really hard on getting my body back to “normal” since having my son. Normal for me has always been pretty fit. I started at around 130 lbs. and went up to 180 in my last cake-obsessed month of pregnancy. At least, 180 is when I stopped looking at the scale. After I had my son, my normally size 4 self was hovering around a 12/14. Nothing fit. I wore my maternity shorts for the entire summer and raided my husband’s wardrobe for t-shirts because mine were all too tight.
It’s taken me two years but I recently got back to somewhere near my pre-baby weight. I managed to get the scale to budge after joining a gym with the glorious incentive of free child care. I also recently shot photos for Folio Weekly for their Best of Jax edition.
So imagine my horror when I see one of the raw pics, where I am leaning forward and my belly is squishing out the bottom of my corset. Because yes I still have some squish. It made me think of Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance where everyone was focused on her exposed belly pooch. So see, it doesn’t matter who you are, if you are wearing something tight on the bottom and bend a certain way, stuff squishes or pooches!
I was relieved to see the art director fixed it before publishing. He said he wasn’t sure if he should because some people are sensitive about Photoshop, but I was like, oh hell no, Photoshop me all you want! It’s not like we were shooting family photos and going for realism. I was dressed as a circus sideshow Strong Woman. I don’t feel like my character would be squishy.
Original photo on the left, published photo on the right with artfully placed text box.
A little squishy
As for me, I’m headed back to the gym to keep working on this squishy thing. But if it’s always there? Oh well. Every bit of squish was worth it. My belly did an amazing job of expanding to accommodate my growing son. It’s pretty amazing what the body can do! And pretty amazing the way it bounces back as well, with a little effort of course.
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My wardrobe has taken a dramatic turn since my child became mobile. It’s the heart-stopping, turn your head and he’s gone kind of mobile. Once we entered this activity- enhanced phase and I found myself running down the street, chasing through store aisles, crawling around playgrounds, navigating the grocery store with a child/monkey climbing me…these are not activities for cute dresses and strappy shoes. Nope. I needed to invest in some Activewear.
I started with a cheap sports bra on Amazon that ended up being the most comfortable thing in the world. I ended up buying a 5 pack in different colors! Bye-bye Victoria’s Secret $50 bra! Hello $6 Amazon special. Everything pokes, scratches or just bugs me so I looooove these things. I’m serious. My last order of VS undies I have to wear inside out because the damn seams are so sharp. I warned my husband what was up so he wouldn’t think I was losing it.
Then I invested in some really comfy sneakers and started collecting running capris. Not as long as yoga pants (I’m in Florida!) but not as short as shorts. And then added cute tank tops to pair over the sports bras. This is now my daily wardrobe. While I do actually go to the gym a few times a week, I dress like this regardless of my gym attendance. It’s just so functional! And I think it looks a lot better than the big T-shirts and jean shorts combo I was rocking post-maternity wear.
So I get the yoga pants mom thing now. I may actually look into those when it gets chilly! I am guilty of doing everything in my activewear, because I am up and moving most of the day. I didn’t even go to the gym today or workout and still hit 19,000 steps on my Fitbit just running around trying to balance housework and “toddler things.” So cheers to all you mom’s out there in your fancy activewear. We all know you earned it.