It finally happened. I stepped on the scale one morning and realized that I was officially 10 pounds heavier than before I had kids. Ten pounds might not sound like much, but on my petite frame it totally shows, particularly in the belly area (my food baby, as I call it). The number had been steadily creeping up through the years, but I’d always dismissed it, telling myself that I could get it back under control any time I wanted.
Now it became clear that the number wouldn’t start decreasing spontaneously on its own. I’d actually have to do something about it – but what? I hate running. I’d tried it a few times and always fell off the wagon after a month or so. Did I want to join a gym? If there’s something I hate more than running, it’s paying to exercise. And I didn’t want to commit myself to an annual contract.
Then my friend Nicole suggested that I try a barre class with her, and I agreed. The intro class was free, so what did I have to lose? We went together, and I liked it enough to sign up for two more classes after that. That was a revelation – many facilities will let you sign up for just a class or two (or a month or two) at a time. The one I was at even offered childcare, which I no longer need, but would probably be very helpful to moms who don’t want to hire a babysitter just to attend a class.
I was on a roll. I suggested to Nicole that we try a free Pilates class, so we did that, too. And guess what? I loved it. Barre was good exercise, but not terribly exciting. With Pilates, you lie down on this movable bench called a reformer and do fun and interesting exercises while flat on your back! The lying down part totally appealed to me; I’m super lazy. And I still got quite a workout – I hadn’t sweated like that in years. I ended up signing up for three months of Pilates classes and now make it a point to go once a week. I’m on my second month.
I’m thinking of doing a trial spin class next.
The fitness classes have had a snowball effect. Having more energy and being more active, I decided to supplement the classes with running, which I’ve never liked. But I told myself I’d run just one mile, twice a week, and this low-pressure schedule has been easy to keep up. I go right before I have to bring the kids to school, and the fact that we can’t be late motivates me to make it home at a good pace. I’ve also started eating more healthily, which was difficult for me to do. I love food, and I hate restricting what I eat. But when you’re putting in all this effort with the exercise, a desire to eat better just goes along with that.
So how much weight have I lost in these two months? Actually, not much at all – just two pounds. This food baby isn’t going away without a fight. But at least I didn’t have to binge diet to get here, and my Pilates instructor says that I’m replacing flab with muscle mass, so the weight loss won’t be terribly dramatic right away.
But you know what? I don’t even really care about my weight at this point. I have more energy. I’m trying something new and different. I feel like I’m doing something good for myself. It all just feels right, in a way that exercise has never felt right before. Having started working full-time hours this year, I didn’t think I’d have time for all this, but I’m making the time, and somehow the world hasn’t stopped spinning. Sometimes you just have to do something for yourself!