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.