Starting around March I decided that it was finally time to let myself come first, sometimes. I announced this to my husband, that it was time to put Emma first, and he responded with “it’s time to Make Emmy Great Again!”, or MEGA. Trump jokes aside, he was game.
This meant a few things. I started caring more about what I was eating, and how much physical activity I got every day. With breastfeeding I just didn’t care that I ate like crap because my body was just exhausted and producing food for Miles around the clock. Driving to drop off and pick him up from daycare meant I was no longer walking that minimum 1.5 miles I used to walk daily. It’s not much but over 8 months I didn’t like who I was anymore. I didn’t spend any time on hobbies (not that I do much now anyway), and I didn’t take care of myself like I used to. I also felt like pumping at work was distracting me from getting anything meaningful done on a given day.
It’s now June, and I haven’t made a huge amount of progress, but I have made some. I gradually weaned Miles from breastfeeding over the course of 2 months, and with each dropped feeding I felt more and more free. It meant a few less interruptions in my workday, and not having to worry about bringing a pump with me everywhere if I was gone from home for more than a few hours. It meant I didn’t have to worry about drinking wine right before his dinner. It meant I could feel as though my boobs were again a part of my body rather than belonging to my baby. I began to feel like my old self.
I attempted to run on a regular cadence. Basically whenever I worked from home I’d try to run for half an hour in the neighborhood. On the weekends I tried doing a mama/baby workout class. The problem with these attempts is that I really couldn’t sustain doing this regularly. I didn’t make a commitment to myself to try to do something everyday. So I’d run maybe once a week. I’d skip the mama/baby workout class if it looked gloomy outside. And I never got anywhere. I’d be sore for a few days and then a few days after that I’d remember to exercise again. Plus I hadn’t changed how I was eating. I had maintained the same weight (12 pounds over my pre-baby weight) since about 6 weeks post-partum. Not good.
My husband and I went to Sequoia National Park last weekend for his birthday, our first time alone together since Miles was born! We hiked 12 miles over 3 days at 7000 ft elevation. It was exhausting. Our pace was easy and the trails weren’t overly steep, but I was ashamed at how out of shape I’d gotten. It felt like I was hiking while pregnant, short of breath and hungry all the time. To top it all off, my hiking pants, that used to fit me quite well and have been tight since I gave birth, decided to let go of its last button. Pop! It was almost as if that button popping off was a wake-up call. So I decided I’d have to take more drastic measures.
For a week now, I’ve been counting my calories and limiting my carbohydrates. When I go into the city for work, I block off an hour to use the brand new free gym in the basement of our building. When I work from home, I go to the Planet Fitness down the street from my house. Gym memberships, even if I’m paying little-to-nothing, really motivate me to workout more.
Already after 1 week I feel better about my body. It’s tough because I really REALLY love snacking on bread-y sweet stuff and laying around doing nothing useful. It’s hard when almost every food item in my house is a carb (thanks hubs). In another week we’re traveling to Ohio for a family reunion and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up my eating/exercise goals while I’m there but I’ll try. If I fail, I’ll pick it back up again when we get home. No biggie. Right?
Miles is now 11 months old and he’s as cute as can be. He recently mastered the art of crawling. He has 6 teeth now (4 on the top, 2 on the bottom) and he leaves his tooth marks everywhere. He can stand for minutes at a time if I’m holding his hands. He’s “talking” more but it’s hard to tell if there’s any meaning behind the babble. Sometimes he says mama a lot when he’s around me, sometimes he says dada or daddy around Bob. But he says a lot of stuff. Lately he’s been really fussy if he sees me leave the room. He really understands when his mom is leaving him alone and it’s hard to do anything without carrying him with me around the house to do chores, almost like he’s a little newborn again. He’s feeding himself more and more “real” non-pureed foods and seems to enjoy pretty much all fruits, egg yolks, avocado, even sardines. He’s growing a lot - just this week he completely ran out of pjs that fit him, so I had to get some in 12M size. Our little baby is going to be 1 soon! Sniffle