I dragged my tired, tortured body up the steps to my third-floor apartment, but I didn’t open the door. I just laid my head on it, hoping to support my limp frame that had just gone through a rigorous workout. I’ve never been a small woman, not by far. I’m 5’7 and have been an athlete all of my life, but nothing prepared me for having two kids and the mommy-weight that was to follow. When you're pregnant, your body morphs into this fantastic, cushiony, elastic, baby cultivating factory, and not so fantastic mommy-weight follows, which accounts for the achy backs and swollen feet. I conceded long ago that I would never have my pre-baby body back. With my eldest child, I gained the requisite 30 pounds and quickly lost it again, easy peasy. But with my second pregnancy, my body changed, I was officially a mama. Complete with mama-hips, mama-thighs, and a mama-belly that screamed: “I HAVE HAD TWO BABIES, AVERT YOUR EYES!” Getting your “mama body” is amazing, it’s like a badge of honor that you get to wear every day. I earned every “tiger stripe” damn it! I love the new curves of my “mama body”, but I would also love to fit into a body-clinging dress for date nights without feeling like a stuffed sausage (you know, keeping it fresh).
After my son was born this past December, I made a promise to myself. I said: “Self, let’s go for the best body that you have ever had in your life.” Why not!? I’ll be 35 on my next birthday, and that’s what I want! I do what I want. Alas, that’s a friggin’ tall order to fill! *Cue the Rocky theme song* So, with that being said I set out on my journey: waking at 5 am four times a week, careful to quietly tiptoe out of the house so that I don’t wake “Ants,” and rock a power workout for an hour give or take. I don’t like getting up at 5 am. As a matter of fact, I have an internal struggle with myself every gym morning, but it’s the only time that I can just be by myself. No hubby to ask me questions, no Mila to attach herself to my leg, and no “Ants” to silently make his demands with his cry face. As a mom, if you don’t make the time for yourself, no one will. Moms are usually the grand architects of the family’s day, but the day should always start with you taking care of yourself. I eat as healthy as I can...do I have the occasional drumstick ice cream? Yes. Because, you know...life. I cut my vino intake. Not out! No, no…never anything as crazy as that. I just save my glasses of wine for date nights with the hubs, ladies nights with my friends, or special occasions. Most important of all, I keep a positive attitude about my body. I carried and gave birth to two beautiful human beings (in case you didn’t get it the first two times I said it) for goodness sake! In this process, I am indeed witnessing my body morph into a lean, mean mama machine. So, mornings like this morning when it seems like I can’t lift my head off of the door from exhaustion are not so bad. I eventually drag my sore tired soul into the house, shower, make a cup of Green Tea and live to fight another day. Now, where did I hide that emergency cookie?