It’s that time of year again! Core Sport’s Prevent The Pudge 2014 is rounding the corner (October 12th – December 20th) and this year I will be sharing my journey, trainer tips, recipes, workouts and some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way. For me this isn’t a chance to “prevent,” but “destroy the pudge.” What’s your current fitness goal?
Who is this person?
I’m Kristi. I’m 33, a recent first-time mom, a jack-of-all-trades (master of nothing) and the new person at Core Sport answering phones and scheduling your appointments.
My Story – The Nutshell Version
After the birth of my son, I left the hospital unable to stand upright (thanks to a C-Section,) 70 pounds heavier then my pre-pregnancy weight, and the most out of shape I’ve ever been in my entire life. After I took time to heal I began to evaluate my options for weight loss and it seemed that the more out of shape I got, the more fear of the gym kept me from getting back into the gym. Does this sound at all familiar? Fear’s a strong-armed beast like that.
Let’s back up a year…
A few days before my 32nd birthday I walked into Core Sport to purchase my $99 trial month. While my clothes still fit, I was out of shape and I could feel it. Walking up their stairs left me breathless. I noticed that I was waking up in the morning stiff with back pain, I wasn’t sleeping well, my flexibility was gone, and my hips had started to occasionally pop. Also, you know those sneaky bad habits that creep up on all of us when we stop making health a priority? Well, my guilty pleasures were now taking over and the occasional indulgences had become the framework of my daily routines.
When I walked into Core Sport I was greeted by Jessica Lidell, and immediately developed a giant people crush! Jess was maybe the most fit person I’d ever seen in real life! She was also kind, friendly, approachable and made me feel like she truly cared about my goals (and if I showed up for my new client consultation.) Jess made me excited to be at Core Sport; I knew I had walked through the right door. I scheduled my first appointment for the following week and I went home feeling very proud of myself. Then, life happened.
At 7am the following morning the phone rang and just like that I was out of work. Two days later, my husband and I learned we were expecting our first child. Wham! Bam!
Spoiler alert: I didn’t use one minute of that $99 trial. My pregnancy was complicated from day one and Jessica kindly paused my account due to medical restrictions. Just like that, Core Sport and I broke up before we even got to know each other.
Flash forward 41 weeks and 3 days
The day I entered the hospital to have my son I weighed in a whopping 70 pounds heavier than the day I met Jessica. SEVENTY POUNDS! During my pregnancy eating made me feel good! If I got even a little hungry then I would get sick, and eating was the only thing that kept my constant nauseousness at bay. Also, I know that for some part, I dealt with my complicated pregnancy, the subsequent worry, and nerve racking nights by comfort eating. Before, I was a careful and mindful eater. Now, there wasn’t a nacho in town that I said no to, and don’t even get me started on the peanut butter and fudge brownies (If they’re gluten free can I eat three? No? What about if they’re organic?) On December 19th, 2013 at 6:45am my son was born via emergency C-Section. He was a healthy 7 lbs, 13 oz and I thanked God because he was perfect. I, on the other hand, was a mess!
It took until my 12 week check-up to be given the all clear to begin light exercises, which I really did try to do at home in between feedings, naps, diaper changes and the occasional shower. I was out of shape, uncomfortable in my own skin and exhausted, all while navigating this mommy thing. Oh, and still unemployed. Fitness was the last thing on my new “to-do” list.
My Love/Hate Relationship with Stretch Cotton
For the next 5 months I begrudgingly wore my maternity leggings and the same three large tee-shirts, the only clothing I owned that fit me. The longer I lived in stretch cotton, the more my old closet began to look like a dream; a fantasy I’d never realize again. I did attack my weight loss in the kitchen and was able to loose 55 pounds by April, but that last 15 would.not.budge. It was that last 15 pounds that stood between me and my jeans. It was that last 15 pounds I was going to have to sweat off. Changes needed to be made, but knowing what I needed to do and actually doing it – that’s the HARDEST part hands down! It seemed like everywhere I went someone was validating for me that the sweat, the work, could wait until later – or even that it wasn’t necessary at all. I was told that because I was petite to begin with that I should just be happy with my new shape and move on.
Well-meaning stranger: “How old is your son?”
Me: “6 months”
Stranger: “Ahhh, he’s so cute. Did you have any problems losing weight? You look great!”
Me: “Thank you! I still have 15 pounds to go until my pants fit, but I’m making headway”
Stranger: “Oh, Stop! You HAD a baby! You get a pass. You’re a mommy now.”
Insert many variations of that last sentence, and I’ve heard it. Stories of how after having a baby someone never lost that last 20 pounds, or how after the second baby they gained an additional 10. How work, kids and responsibility shifts focus. I was assured that working out was now a “nice-to-have” and no longer a “have-to-have.” I’ve heard the old adage, “Your body will never be the same, but that’s okay – you had a baby.” I’ve been reminded that I wasn’t 20 anymore (and may I say, Thank God for that.)
To be clear, I know that my body changed; I’m okay with change. I know as I progress through life that my body will continue to change; I am also okay and understanding of that. This wasn’t about looking a certain way. For me the idea that this weight was some sort of runaway train or that it was outside of my control, or that it “happened to me,” THAT I was not okay with. The excuse I heard the most though, is the one that struck the biggest nerve with me. “I’d love to workout, but I’d rather spend time with my children. I don’t have the time to go to a gym.” This is the one that made me pause and question my own motives, wondering “was getting back into shape selfish?” I wanted fitness and health to be something that Mark and I taught our son; something he witnessed first-hand within our home. I wanted J to grow up feeling connected to, and proud of his body; but how do I teach him something that I myself don’t make a priority? I began to think that I either needed to make my peace with stretch cotton OR that I should hope to inherit a windfall of money for the purchase of a brand new wardrobe – knowing myself, neither seemed plausible. My goal was not to become a fitness model, to have rock hard abs, or to prove how well I could bounce back. I just wanted to feel healthy, to have my confidence back, to set a positive example for our son and to avoid giving away two closets full of perfectly good clothing. I have some really cute clothes! I began to realize that in the world’s kind attempt to offer me new-mom support, I found nothing but more excuses and more reasons for why not.
*Don’t stop telling new moms they look great! They need to hear that. But if she says she’s still trying to lose the baby weight say something encouraging like “good for you! Losing weight is hard and I wish you the best.” Better yet, offer to babysit while she goes to the gym.*
Enter, body dysmorphia
By June, everyone who wasn’t me began to look like a Greek God. I had waist envy. Almost everything that came out of my mouth had to do with my weight, or what I wanted to do about it starting tomorrow… starting Monday… I mean starting next month… I really mean starting once I catch up on sleep. Ever make the promise to start [FILL IN THE BLANK HERE]? Yeah, me too.
For the first time in my life I genuinely hated getting ready in the morning. Nothing in my closet fit properly and nothing I wore made me feel good about myself. I spent most of my days hiding in sweatpants and baggy tee-shirts. I cut bangs people! I CUT BANGS. I did this to distract from my body and shift focus away from my midsection. I felt judged (which was really just me judging me) and I was plagued by fear and anxiety. The further away from the gym I got, the scarier and the more intimidating my mind began to make it. I was the only one standing in my way and was doing a top notch job of it.
By August, I realized I was procrastinating. Nothing was going to change, if NOTHING actually changed, and all of the excuses delaying my ‘return’ needed to be identified – and DEALT WITH! (More later on the excuses and obstacles).
We were still living on one income, so I had a budget. That budget was small.
I HATE gyms! I’m terrible at holding myself accountable; getting myself started alone was, well, lonely and unappealing.
My schedule now revolved around my son and his schedule; all the while wrestling with the notion that maybe I was being selfish or indulgent.
4. Nothing Fit
This one I admit is a little shallow, but there it was everyday in my head. I didn’t have any workout clothing that fit. What I had was meant for my body less 20 pounds and most of my yoga pants suffered major seam damage as I climbed that 70-pound hill. See excuse #1; new clothing wasn’t an option. I was diving into a sea of Lululemon in a pair of junky old torn up maternity leggings. Basically, I didn’t feel cute and I needed to shift both my focus and my self-talk.
Since becoming a parent I’ve never watched time melt away faster, nor have I been more aware of how I prioritized it.
This was a biggie. There was a time in the not-so-distant past that I was so in shape that I could do almost anything a trainer asked of me. While these workouts were still hard, it’s a lot more fun to workout when you feel strong and capable. I felt weak, jiggly and insecure. Again, I needed some positive self-talk and a kick in the pants! I needed to get over myself!
7. It was going to hurt
Maybe you are one of those people who like pain, but I don’t. I knew that it was going to hurt, not the sore muscles the day after, that I kind of like. I was afraid of the mental pain and embarrassment that comes mid-workout when you can barely breathe and feel like the walls are collapsing in on you. The pain you feel when you are out of breath and want to quit, and your mind starts to tell you all the reasons you should just run for the door. You begin to rationalize and bargain with yourself “Stretch cotton isn’t thaaaat bad, I could live in sweatpants – people do that” or “I’ll just start next week, next week will be better,” and all you’ve done so far was the warm up! That mental pain I knew I would have to break through, and it seemed exhausting.
These were my excuses. I’m sure you have your own (everyone does) and I challenge you to acknowledge them, write them down, own up to them, and then make a plan for overcoming them.
So now what?
A week ago I tore the seam on my skirt getting into my car. I can laugh now, but at the time I had on two pairs of spanx and could barely breathe; riiiiiiiip! I absolutely shredded that skirt. I was not my best self in that moment and I was finally over it! This was my rock bottom. It was my moment where I knew, for me, no more excuses! No more fear (fake it till you make it, right?!?) No more standing in my own way! For the next 10 weeks I’m putting it all out there: the good, the bad and the sweaty. Why? Because somehow this experience feels like an equalizer. If I can come back from 41 weeks of lying around like veal, 10 months of avoiding the inevidable, a 70 pound weight gain, abdominal surgery, financial strains, sleep depravation, negative self-talk and an all around feeling of being a fish-out-of-water, well, if I can bounce back from that, then you can bounce back from whatever it is that is keeping you from reaching your goals. I haven’t a single doubt about that.
If you want to share your story about how life happened or how you got derailed, we’d love to hear it. If you want to just quietly watch from the blogging sidelines that’s ok too – and if you’re trucking along achieving your fitness goals, then I applaud you and I challenge you to use these 10 weeks to take it up a notch and reach for what’s next. Regardless of where you are in your health and wellness, begin the conversation with yourself, what’s your next goal? I’m curious to see what happens when we spend 10 weeks focused on achievement rather than all the reasons why not.
I hope to meet you at Core Sport. I’ll be the one with two left feet, in maternity leggings, struggling with proper form (thank God for these amazing trainers!) but I’ll probably be smiling, because I’m finally just doing it!
Want to know more about Core Sport Pilates or Prevent the Pudge, please visit our website at www.coresportstudio.com, call us at 734-459-4911 or better yet, stop in and say hello! We are located in
Downtown Plymouth above The Sardine Room.
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