Postpartum is my current excuse for being out of shape, directly following a ten month hiatus (during pregnancy getting out of bed with an extra twenty pounds was workout enough). It’s still considered postpartum five months later right? Or does the excuse start to fade after your six week check up (where you are given permission to work out)? Either way I’m full of shit. I’ve dappled with being fit and sedentary. Usually the latter occupies a more significant phase of my life. Living healthy inevitably begs the question: when I am going to start committing to a workout routine? It’s counter-intuitive to serve my healthy diet with a side of sloth.
There is nothing worse than those first few workouts when you’re out of shape. In high school I was a varsity runner, as someone who was once incredibly fit, I have something to compare with my current state of inactivity. Fantasizing about the glory days when I was an actual athlete prompts me to think: wow, I can’t even run a ten minute mile when I used to run one in five. It’s an incredibly discouraging and self-deprecating process.
Today my husband and I had the opportunity to spend some alone time while my parents babysat our son. Typically our dates consist of dinner and drinks but we are trying to reinvent our dating habits by choosing activities that are better for our health and create new opportunities to bond. We decided to use our time to go for an nine mile bike ride through the park. This was the first time I’ve done this trail in a long time since we cannot take our son and I’ve rarely left him since he’s been born (I know I need to loosen the reins a bit). Unfortunately the act of giving birth doesn’t automatically afford me professional athlete status although I’d argue it’s the most grueling workout, it’s inconceivable to accomplish anything comparable at a gym.
About ten minutes into the bike ride I started having feelings of inadequacy. How have I let myself get this out of shape? I’m never going to make it through the park (unless at the pace of a geriatric, embarrassing me in front of my husband). I decided to push through it, do my best, stay in the moment, and enjoy the fresh air with my husband. I did much better than anticipated. Afterward I felt perplexed as to why I didn’t have to get off my bike and drag it up a hill. The only thing I can think of is my change in diet. The sole workout I’ve logged since my son’s birth has been strolling him to Whole Foods and back. This was proof for me that our healthy eating habits are positively impacting my physical well-being.
A few insights I’ll take from our bike ride today: 1) Don’t underestimate yourself. 2) Every journey has a beginning, whether it’s working out or eating healthy. At first you won’t succeed perfectly but making the effort will have you feeling better in the end. 3) There are always excuses for why you don’t have the time or energy to workout or make a home cooked meal (as new parents it’s easy to blow off) but you have to make time for your health today or you risk your longevity. 4) Engaging in healthy behaviors as a couple makes dating even more fun.
Similar to healthy eating, working out (and sticking to it) will require great effort. Both are equally important to healthy living so I plan on incorporating working out and sharing my experiences. I am sure I’ll be sore tomorrow! Happy workout!