Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Last year in August, Noah turned one. I tried to put on my wedding ring and it wouldn't fit. You can't use baby weight as an excuse when the baby is walking. I was about 20 pounds over my honeymoon weight, and I was not going to get my wedding ring resized. I absolutely refused. But, I didn't want or have time to exercise either. I know, I know, everyone always says, "you need to put yourself on the top of the list", blah, blah, blah. I had three kids at home under the age of 6. My needs were not on any list.

So I cut back where I could. I love dessert and eat something sweet every day. Instead of 2 cookies though, I have one. Instead of two scoops of ice cream, I have one. You get the idea. Then, I made a small change at dinner. When I go to put that last scoop of pasta or mashed potatoes on my plate, I put the spoon down. And when I think I filled a bowl with enough fruit or vegetables, I'll add a few more. That's it. Easy enough right? I've lost over 15 pounds in the past year and I'm happy to say my wedding ring slips on my finger like the day we got married.

My 20 year high school reunion is next month (not that I'm going) and I'm a size 8. I'm cool with all that. But, lately I've just been feeling blah. Noah is a difficult child and had he been our first, he would've been an only child. I love him of course, but the kid is sucking the life right out of me. I hear, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy..." honestly about 200 times a day. There he goes right now. Ok, he wanted orange Tic Tacs. He'll be content for about 60 seconds. The truth is I don't want to be a Mom every second of every day. Sometimes, I just want to be Gina.

Is that bad to say? I don't think so. One day, my children will move on and yes, I will always be their Mother, but I'm so much more. If I don't tap into that other side of me every once in awhile, I'm going to look around in 20 years and not recognize who I am.

Back to finding my groove...I've never been a huge exerciser. I always enjoyed the more social aspects of exercising, hiking a mountain with my best friend Pam or playing racquetball with my friend Katie. I never exercised because I wanted to. I exercised because I had to, as in had to look good to find a husband. I had bought a treadmill after I met David. We were training for a half marathon. I got pregnant just in time to get out of running it, but I got up to running 8 miles at one point.

There's Noah again, "mommy, mommy"...more tic tacs...

I don't have any time to exercise anymore and haven't in years. It's probably been 4 years since (dang, Noah's back and I'm out of tic tacs) since I've got my heart rate up and seriously broke a sweat. David and I were watching Dexter (the best show ever) the other night and he was running on a treadmill. And I wanted to jump up and start running too. But it was 10:00 at night and our treadmill is a coat rack.

I thought it was a fleeting moment and a few days later, I wouldn't think about it anymore. But, I was wrong. I want to exercise. I want my muscles to be sore and I want to sweat. I want to challenge my body and work my muscles. In order to find time to exercise, I took something off the daily list. Cleaning the bathrooms. They will still be dirty tomorrow and possibly the day after that, and I don't care. I want to put myself on the list right after load the kids up in the carpool and before start the dishwasher.

Today I did.

I found my sports bra buried at the bottom of the lowest dresser drawer. I dusted off my running shoes and the treadmill and moved the toys out of the way. I made a playlist on my Ipod with some of my old running music. I got Noah all situated with Barney and I was off...

I didn't kill myself. I ran when I wanted to run and I walked when I needed to walk. 32 minutes later, sweat was running down my spine, I was out of breath and I felt great. Noah did good too. He'd look at me and smile and I'd smile back. I think he knew that I need this. I need to do something for myself everyday.

And somewhere between the Counting Crows Mr. Jones and U2's The Sweetest Thing, Gina started to get her groove back. It felt fantastic.


Linda said...

This makes me so happy to read! Hooray for you! Hooray for Gina!! Noah, go have another orange tic tac! ;)

Seriously, I know where you're writing from, even though, yes I "only" have one at home (though I've always felt like I've had a group of children, because our house is usually filled and I'm adopted Mom to all of those kids). But, ALL Moms can relate to what you shared and I commend you and all of the Moms who realize early on that these days right now, as though it seems they will never end, WILL end, all too soon, and we have to keep hold of ourselves and of who we are throughout. I know that my Grandma never did this - she had 11 kids and her whole life revolved around taking care of the house, but that was then, this is now, and I think Grandma might have been happier if she had pursued some of her own interests at times.

We are, after all, all individuals. Our job as parents is simply to raise and let go and letting go doesn't happen overnight (it starts from the very beginning, yes even when they're little).

As to the exercise and weight - that's fantastic! I was never a large person at all, this is the biggest I've been my whole life (I weighed less going home from the hospital with Sarah, I was skinny). But, to my credit - sitting on my butt in a desk job, which started right around the time that my late thirties hit, didn't help matters any. I still feel that I look good, though like you, I want to be better. :) I feel the same way about exercise too and even still, there's no way I'd ever go to a gym or anything like that. I like the freebie stuff - walking and biking (tempted to run sometimes but I usually stop that right away).

Anyways, I'm proud of you.
Love, Linda

brownymama said...

Woohoo hot mama! Told you you were looking skinny and you blew it off! Now, I attribute my weight to my elbow problem. It keeps lifting things into my mouth. Gotta get that fixed.

I do know what you're saying though. I started to work part time at Ryan's office and felt like I'd never get any free time to take that photography class. And... I won't. I have to make the time and give up on something else. I decided something would have to give and I signed myself up for a class at the college. Somewhere I haven't been in a good 16 years! But, I felt like you. I don't just want to be a mom. I want to be continuously changing and growing. Just not width wise.... (:

Pam said...

Good for you, friend! While exercise will benefit you physically, it will be great for the fam, too. I'm a big believer that exercise is not only good for your physical health but your mental health, too. If mama is happy with her body and her mind, than everyone is happy. Keep it up! Love you!!!

Anonymous said...

How innocent my little man looks in the pics. He looks like he is such a good companion as you get that old treadmill back on track. Who ever would have thought of a treadmill as a coat rack? ( I know that is a slight exaggeration)
Not sure how it happened but now I see there is a spell check in your blog comments! Very nice!
It sounds like you are becoming one hot mama out there in PV . Keep up the good work. :)☼