The other day, my husband and I looked down at our post-pregnancy bellies and agreed it was time to get in shape. I thought breastfeeding and pumping for twins would have the pounds basically falling off my body. But here it is – six and a half months later – and even though I have pretty much dropped the pregnancy weight, the pounds that are left have positioned themselves in the most inconvenient places.
So eating healthier and getting some exercise – that was the plan. But since we both teared up a little at the thought of cutting out snacks and sweets (and big, gooey pizzas) and my husband’s famous lasagna, we opted to start with some exercise instead. Wanting to do something together, we decided to take walks to start us off easy. I thought a nice, leisurely walk down the street and back would be lovely. Right? Ha!
I was so unprepared.
First of all, my husband is almost a foot taller than me, so keeping up with his gait was challenging enough; but on top of that, the sun kept shining in the eyes of the twins. So I was practically running ahead, trying to keep pace and at the same time torqued to the side, holding the flap on the stroller down to shade them. An awkward position to say the least!
The return portion of the walk, by the way, is uphill (but at least the sun was behind us now). I’m sweating, my quads are burning, and my husband (who knows what possessed him) says, “Hey let’s pass the mom with the stroller up ahead.” So now I’m wheezing in addition to sweating and aching.
But you know, later, while I was rewarding myself with some ice cream (just kidding), I felt great. The point is, you have to start somewhere and not get discouraged when your body doesn’t feel like, well, your body. During pregnancy, sometimes it can feel like you’re wearing an ill-fitting suit and it can take patience and some effort before you’re comfortable again. Of course, finding peace with what is — that’s another blog for another time.
Once you get moving, a great hormonal-cocktail gets stirred up and you reap the benefits of the adrenaline and endorphin boosts in addition to the calorie-burning that continues even when the exercise is done. You start to take pride in your sore muscles! And remember, the effects of exercise are cumulative. The more consistently you are doing it, the better your body knows how to use it effectively and efficiently.
Get started at any Isis center with a prenatal or Mom & Baby yoga class. You’ll get what I mean in no time!Becky Morgan Certified Massage Therapist, Wellness Program Lead and mom of 3