My journey into fitness started later in life and post loads of infertility treatments and hormones. Honestly I had forgotten what my body even looked like previously, which some would say is a good thing, but I’ve found isn’t always great. Because of this, setting goals for myself has been difficult. I was bloated and tired for a long time. Sick of pumping myself full of Follistim and Menopur, then estrogen and progesterone; hormones that shifted my shape and made me feel exhausted and disgusting.
The road to motherhood was worth it, but it had been who I was for so long that I had a hard time remembering what I had originally even looked like. I’m now full blown mom, and for the first few years I fully embraced the mom bod. One, because I’d forgotten what my regular body had even looked like and two, balancing working full time, breastfeeding (and therefore all my spare work hours pumping) and a child who didn’t sleep through the night until 14 months made very little room for even thinking about the gym. Then one day I was told we were going to be going to Hawaii as a family. Time to get bikini body ready and finally lose this baby weight! I went all in- got on a meal plan and started a fitness program. I lost the weight, but it also gave me so much more. I felt energized. I felt proud and no longer wanted to hide behind stretchy pants and baggy tunics. I had lost 15 pounds and felt bangin! Hitting that goal was the best high. I was so proud of myself, not only for getting my body to a place I didn’t think was possible after having a kid, but also for allowing myself to do something that was just for me.
The past year has been a fluctuation of full gym rat mode and needing to take time off; sometimes weeks at a time because of work needs or never-ending sickness in our house thanks to the cesspool of daycare. I’d always get back on the horse, and I’d always bust my ass, but I never got back to the weight that I was in Hawaii. Why? Because I’ve learned how to have life balance. I like to enjoy a beer here and there. I don’t want to have to weigh my food. I feel strongly that noodles are God’s gift to man. However, I’ve realized I still do need a goal to work towards. Something to motivate me through the pain and sweat at the gym. To push me past the excuses I’m so good at making.
So today, as I was packing for my our first vacation sans kiddo, I was digging through our spare closet pulling out my ski gear and noticed my dress from our wedding rehearsal. “Aha!” I thought to myself. “This is going to be my new goal”. I’ve literally never been that small in 10 years, and honestly that size was TINY for me because I lost so much weight for our wedding. But hey, this girl loves a good goal, so that’s what would motivate me to hit the gym as hard as I could when we got back next week. I thought to myself, “I just probably attempt to try it on”. I honestly didn’t even think it would make it over my hips. So much change has happened over the years to this body. Zip it up? Forget about it. To be quite frank I was terrified of the idea of even trying it. So, I took a deep breath and slid it off the hanger and stepped in. “Holy shit!” I thought to myself. “This is actually fitting over my ass!” As I shimmied myself in, I realized there was a 5% chance that this could actually maybe zip. I went and asked my husband to zip it up. He didn’t remember where the dress was from (which is a story for another day). But I heard the magical sound of the zipper going all the way up. I slowly walked to the mirror, afraid to look. “I’m going to look like a stuffed satin sausage” I thought. “This thing was tight when I was 26.”
It fit. Not only did it fit, it fit beautifully. I was in complete shock. 15 pounds heavier, 10 years older, 1 baby later. It fit. What was the only change? The gym. That weight is beautiful, solid muscle. How have I had this body for months and felt bad about myself? How did I think it would take me months of hard work to fit into that dress? Because I forgot what I had even looked like. I didn’t believe it could happen. And I was too obsessed with the numbers on the scale, because those were the only things that showed progress when I first started on this fitness adventure. For those that are just getting started, I’d recommend taking your measurements and notice how you feel. Focus on that- not your weight. That scale is only going to show your gravitational pull. Why in the hell is THAT what we are so obsessed about? Let’s obsess about things that matter. How we feel. How we are sleeping. Our energy level. When those are all good I bet you’ll be able to pull on (and even button) those goal pants you’ve held on to.