The Body Changes

My dog, my sister, my mom, and me, 2007.
My dog, my sister, my mom, and me, 2007.

I was in the best shape of my life when I met my husband 7 years ago.  (So was he.)

Sean's birthday at the Durham Bulls baseball park.
Sean’s birthday at the Durham Bulls baseball park.

I was working like 60 hours a week, left at 6, stopped by the gym on the way home, also stopped by this Vietnamese place that sold me already-prepped-and-cooked tofu, put that on a salad, had one glass of wine while watching tv, and went to bed.  And started it all over again at 5:30am the next morning.

We had a long distance relationship for the first year and a half we were together: he was in NC while I was in Arlington, VA. It was a solitary life privilege.  My time was completely mine, and I am still proud of myself for using it like I did.

I definitely used pregnancy as an excuse to eat as much ice cream as I possibly could.  One of the nurses at the Birth Center (Women’s Birth and Wellness – they were awesome!) told me that if I kept it up, I’d have a big-headed-baby.  I was irked by this at the time, but she was right: Bell came into this world solid and tough at 9 lbs, 3 oz.

Pregnant belly = ice cream table
Pregnant belly = ice cream table

And it was cool when breastfeeding burned a million-billion calories per day, but then I kept up this “splurging” on bread and caramel habit well after the kid had moved on to PB&Js and apple slices. More than that though, I stopped my habit of making exercise a regular part of my day.

I am BRILLIANT at justifications.  And at credible, logical excuses. And at procrastination.

But my girl will be two next month and our routine is a pretty rockin’ dance these days – we know the steps by heart.  It’s time to admit that I don’t feel as good as I could.  As I should.

There are some hard things going on right now: stressful work; messy, un-renovated house; nasty, rude neighbors; figuring out what to eat for dinner (okay, now I’m being melodramatic, but when it’s 5pm and we’re trying to figure out what to eat, it feels pretty hard) and it is my full-body inclination to go straight for the wine glass and put my feet up – celebrate the relaxation of the end of the day.  I deserve to stop for a minute, right?

But tonight, I worked out.  I do this sporadically, but the struggle is consistency.  So I am putting it in print and in public: I feel better about myself after I work out.  I feel motivated.  About EVERYTHING.  I am happy.  I am excited.  I am optimistic. I am confident. I am in love.  I am thrilled.  I am beautiful. I am productive. I am proud.

I mean, wine does no wrong in my eyes, but it does not give me a high like that. (Why can’t I remember that the next day when it’s time to work out again?)

And you know the last time I wrote?  It was the last time I worked out (it’s been a while).  I can give a little credit to all the snow days – they equal more free time and less time outdoors. But really, after a workout, I take a shower, and my wheels turn and my fingers itch – I am ready to do all those things that make me a better me.

So, from here on, this physical story is changing.  And I hope it’s the domino that pushes some others as well.

12 thoughts on “The Body Changes”

  1. man, does the body change. wait until you’ve created TWO humans. shit be all over the place 😉 this is so beautiful because you’re giving yourself some grace, and it’s something we all struggle to do. loving reading these, Rae. miss you!

    1. Holly, I miss you!
      And part of my motivation to kick this into gear now is my trepidation at going through the second pregnancy (not yet, but soon, hopefully!) If I don’t start now, will I ever?
      Thank you for your sweet and articulate words!

  2. Ha! I’m at this very moment procrastinating MY first workout since before Jane was born…about 22 months ago! Agh, better go start that Pilates video!

    1. No way Jane is almost 2! I forget that she and Maya are about the same age! Well, I’m right there with you – even after this self-motivating post I have missed a few workouts and made up some very good rationals. (And I think chasing two KIDS (Jack must be such a big kid now!) is a pretty good workout in itself!)

  3. Oh I bet your body + soul has missed it! The only advice I have is to be gentle with yourself emotionally, no matter how things go the next few days, weeks and year, and to push yourself physically! The combination of the two has been a great balance for me

    1. That is good advice – to be gentle with oneself, to forgive “bad” days and look forward and find balance. Thank you for reading!

  4. Oh, yes, we change and change all the time. But many changes are for the better — such as knowledge and understanding. It’s great finding time and the will to work out. Had to smile at the joy exercise provided for you.
    Silvia @

  5. Rae, I live to read your blog and to see pictures of Bell. You are doing a tremendous job in all areas. Seems like yesterday that Courtnie was 3 and we were in Law School. I say “we” because I was a single parent and everywhere I went so did my little shadow. Exercise? There was no way during that time period I could find the time nor the energy. You should be proud of yourself. Yes, the body changes and gravity does its’ best to not help. Everything will fall into place or not and regardless, you are a beautiful person. You will get plenty of exercise this summer with Bell and the ole body will shape up. Wish we were closer as I think of you everyday. Love to you, Granny Gina

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