Monday, April 9, 2012

Baby Fat

Before pregnancy, I had been the same weight for years with little variance. I rarely worked out because I rode my bike everywhere and my profession, it seemed, was to run around a brewery, lifting beer all day. So when I gained forty-five pounds during my forty-one weeks of blissful (notable sarcasm) pregnancy, I was shocked. Every time I weighed in at my OB visits, I just gasped at the tiny digital numbers and let out a hushed, “Oh, God.” That is until I couldn’t see the numbers anymore due to my monumental baby protrusion. I just stopped looking down altogether.

Gaining weight, I found, especially while pregnant, was tremendously easy. Not that I ate whatever I wanted, but I was more interested in food than I had ever been before. Food was a new world of flavors and textures where I was delighted to imbibe. And imbibe I did.

For some mystical reason, after Liam was born and I lost 9lbs, 4oz of baby, I thought the collateral weight would just magically melt off. I assumed my body would resiliently spring back to its original size and shape. I was wrong. In fact, after I lost about 20 pounds, it stopped. My weight-loss plateaued and my body looked nothing like it did before. Yes, I had the general Melinda shape, but with all this auxiliary squidgy mommy flesh. Not good. Not good at all.

Because I am not much of a believer in diets, exercise was my only viable option. I needed a gym that had a pool, childcare, and reasonable monthly dues. Luckily I found just such a place in the Raintree Athletic Club. From the moment I stepped into the well-manicured lobby that smelled like treadmills, free weights, and skinniness, I knew that this was the place to lose my muffin top. Later that day after I signed up and paid for my entire year in advance, I celebrated with a beer. Made sense.

Upon arriving at the gym for the first time, I stepped onto an elliptical machine and almost had a panic attack. How the heck do you set this thing up? After a few unnerved and fumbling minutes, I had programmed my workout. 20 minutes later, after almost falling off, I tried out the circuit of weight machines, which all looked like torture devices. I am forever grateful to the designers of said machines for including illustrations of how to maneuver the various arms, pulls, and levers, without which I might have found myself forever entangled. I ventured into the pool for the end of my workout, which was like dipping into my past. During our warm-ups my high school swim coach, with a sadistic grin pasted across his face, would simply utter, “Swim a mile.” Now I consider it a good workout if I can flounder through a thousand meters.

I’ve been going for three weeks now and I already feel so much better. The increase in energy and confidence is well worth the sore muscles and how awkward I feel in workout clothes. I’ve set a goal to lose 30 pounds by Liam’s first birthday. I’m not sure if I can do it, but holy crap, I’m going to try.