So, for the past several weeks (months?) I’ve been making an effort to get to the gym more. My post-baby body has made it clear that it’s happy where it is, and it’s not going down without a fight. Fine, I’m up for the challenge. Never in my life have I had to work so hard at losing weight, but if a fight it wants, a fight it will get.
Anyway, after my recent running debacle I thought it best to stick to indoor activities for the time being, so I’ve been making it to my gym fairly regularly. I have been a member at this particular gym since I was 19. It’s fascinating to me that even though there have been long stretches of time that I haven’t been back, I still see a lot of the same people that I did 15+ years ago.
If I recognize them, I wonder if they recognize me, too? I am definitely, ahem… curvier since then, and catching those glimpses of myself in the full length mirrors is at times both shocking and distressing. Are these people wondering what the heck happened to me? But wait– a quick look around assures me I’m not alone. Apparently 15 years of crunches haven’t done that guy much good- he’s still sporting the spare tire. And yeah- miss stair climber hasn’t changed a bit, still looks great… But, whoa– what happened to all of that guy’s hair? And I see that woman still won’t let the ’80 leotard and sweatbands rest in peace…
As much as I’ve changed from my svelte, karate-kicking days, I have to accept that 15+ years and 3 kids aren’t going to leave me unchanged without some serious effort. So I’ve stepped up my time & speed on the treadmill. It’s funny how some things never change. Like, if a woman is on the treadmill next to a young-ish guy, he will never allow her to run at a faster pace than him. Even if this means he will be hacking and cramping later, guy pride dominates. Speaking of treadmills, another unspoken “rule” of which I’ve been recently reminded (the hard way)– never, EVER, under any circumstances, breathe in through your mouth if someone is on the treadmill next to you, or even in your vicinity. Especially if they look like the type of person who *may* have had burritos for lunch. (side note, and this probably goes without saying: Never, ever have burritos for lunch the days you plan on going to the gym.)
Another good rule to live by: Don’t wear pants in a color that shows your sweat marks if you plan on doing any kind of hip adductor machine (the one that has you spread eagle for the world to see). Unless you’re into displaying how much your crotch sweats, of course…. which then, by all means, go for it. However, if you’re not into seeing other people’s crotch sweat (or other fun stuff, if they’re wearing, say, short shorts) then it might be a good idea to look anywhere but in that direction when they’re using this machine or otherwise “thigh mastering”.
So, after a brief plateau, and realizing that those little snacks throughout the day really do add up, I’ve been exercising regularly and keeping a food journal and have started to drop poundage again. I hated the idea at first of having to log everything I ate, but it really is helpful in so many ways. Not only am I so much more aware of what and when I eat, tools like the calorie counter on igoogle make it so easy to see how things are adding up throughout the day. Plus, it gives me the nutritional info for stuff that doesn’t have a label, like fresh fruits & veggies. And by counting my calories, I’ve also realized that I can still have a lot of things that don’t seem like diet food, like pizza and london broil. Do I sound like a commercial, or what?
Stretch marks aside, I hope to be fit and MILF-worthy by summer. In the past month, I’ve shaved a minute off my mile, and I’m even considering doing some local 5Ks. Take that, baby flab. Now if I could only do something about the dark circles under my eyes….