Monday, September 24, 2007

All the spandex in the world can't help me.

Imagine my glee when I stood on the scale at my 6 week postpartum checkup and saw the little metal slider getting nudged farther and farther to the left, until it finally hovered over a number that was within ten pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. Imagine my smug little face as the nurse recorded the number on my chart with an impressed expression. Imagine my elation when the nurse practitioner- previously referred to as The Pregnancy Diet Nazi- called me "Skinny Minnie!" Imagine me skipping out of the office that day feeling like the Prom Queen.

Imagine my horror when, two weeks later, my go-to baggy pants required an elaborate "shimmy-hop-shimmy-twist" to get over my ass. I should probably also mention that said pants are maternity. Need I mention I almost passed out? (Although, in hindsight, it was probably because the pants were cutting off my circulation.)

The time to work out was nigh.

Believe it or not, I had actually really been anticipating a return to the gym. I'm the last person that anyone would ever call "fit" or "healthy", but about six months before I met my husband, I had been bribed by my roommate to go the gym with her, and I fell in love with it. Immediately I began to see results, and I felt better about myself than I had since before I had kids. It was like a drug.

Along came Chris. The euphoria of falling in love quickly became more addicting than the euphoria of making it through an entire Latin Dance Fusion Aerobics class without wheezing. I traded in dates with the treadmill for dates with Chris... and although he provided me with plenty of cardiovascular activity, he's also a chef. No one but me noticed when a few new pounds stowed away here and there. Like a baby or a cat, I tend to gain weight when I'm happy, so I was ok with it. It was when I went shopping for clothes and had to buy an entire size up that I really gave it a second thought. Hmm... my belly is getting bigger... which is funny because I have felt kinda sick the last week and haven't been able to hold much down... hmm, maybe I'm just PMS'ing. Yeah, that's it. I should be starting any day now... actually, come to think of it, aren't I a bit late? [Smacks palm against forehead...]

I was under no grand illusion that I would shoot out baby numero three and look like a supermodel, but I was pleased with the progress I had made at the six week mark, and confidant that once I was given the OK by the doctor to start working out, the rest of the pounds would fly off. What I didn't take into consideration was that the birth control I begged my doctor for would cause extra weight to flock to me like paparazzi to Beckhams.

Realizing that I needed to go to the gym cancelled out the fact that I wanted to go to the gym. It's like your boss telling you to do something that you were already planning on doing- sure, the task gets done, but not doing it of your own free will takes all the fun out of it.

With a slightly deflated attitude, I suited up for my first day of working out. By the time I had spent a few minutes walking on the treadmill, my heart started beating faster and I could literally feel the endorphins being pumped through my veins. Confident and determined, I reached out to the treadmill's control panel and eagerly starting tapping away at the plus sign. The loop of rubber started cycling faster and faster, and soon I was going from power walk into jog.


As soon as I accelerated my gait into something that was of a slightly higher impact, I was absolutely horrified to realize that my ass was jiggling like two jello molds in my gym pants. I was almost afraid that the velocity of my behind bouncing rhythmically up and down would eventually gain enough momentum to catapult me right off the treadmill and careen me into the elliptical machines. Never before has a trip to the gym instilled so much antipathy; not once have I ever said to myself, "I need a sports bra for my ass."

I don't really like focusing on weight as a number, so instead of targeting a specific weight, my goals are:
1.) To get back into wearing actual clothes and not my maternity wardrobe... which is equal parts working out and shopping for clothes that fit me.
2.) To be able to endure a cardio session without
a.) Bouncing off the machine
b.) Wheezing like an asthmatic geriatric
c.) Walking away from the treadmill thinking, "I need a cheeseburger and a cigarette."
3.) To scare the gratuitous belly fat into submission. No, tummy, it is NOT ok to hang like that. Retreat! Return from whence you came!

Does anyone have any gym horror stories, or I am the only one whose ass makes an ass out of them?

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