Tag Archives: Fitness

BRBM: Be Right Back…Maybe

This post is not about child abandonment. Though I’m not afraid to admit of occasional vacation-for-one fantasies.  This post is about abandoning misguiding notions of returning to the way we were.

So often, I hear mothers talk about “getting back”.  They speak matter-of-factly about getting back to work or back to athletics, as if there were no reason to think otherwise. They agonize about getting back to their old bodies and back into pre-pregnancy jeans, as if it were the consummate yummy mummy achievement.  I am guilty of both. Just read any of my 2009-2010 entries!

Yes, there are mothers who quickly get back into demanding careers, triathlon training and hip-hugging skinny jeans – seemingly without missing a step. Perhaps to the credit of their type-A personalities, full-time nannies and striking genetics. Then there’s the rest of us.

We struggle to find the time, energy and resources to look, feel and do the things we did before the birth of our children. With time, I have learned to focus less on getting back to the way things were.  The real challenge is in adapting to the way things are.

When I first starting running in 2008, it was with the Running Room. The long runs quickly became a part of my routine. I was there religiously each Sunday to meet the group for a 6-18K slow run. I could not have run the half-marathon without the preparation these runs provided.

After my daughter was born, I couldn’t fathom being up, out and ready to run at 8:30am.  With the logistics and sleep deprivation involved, it just didn’t work. Giving up my runs was dispiriting. I saw all my running progress melting away and lingering pregnancy pounds that wouldn’t!

Thankfully things have changed. It took almost 16 months to happen. I have finally adapted to my new reality and running is becoming routine again.

I started running regularly just three months ago. Instead of running with The Running Room, I have one scheduled session each week with my super awesome run coach, Charles Bedley.  Tw0-time marathon champ. Look him up!  That’s a far cry from the 3x/week schedule I used to maintain (in addition to my three strength training days no less). From a training perspective, this one session of intervals, hills and run-specific strength work is more effective than most of the group runs I had done before. Bonus.

I have also managed to get out on my own for a few Sunday morning runs. They are short and close to home to help coincide with hubby and baby’s schedules. Now here’s the Hallmark moment that inspired this post.

Instead of staying home today, hubby and baby ventured out along with me. We strolled down to my starting point together. I headed off on my 4K route and they hung out at the park conveniently located at the end of my loop. I had a great run and as I rounded the corner in those final metres, I could see them playing joyfully together in the distance. If that isn’t motivation to sprint to the finish, I don’t know what is!

My tot was content to stay on the baby swings as I completed my workout. Box jumps and push up supersets, in case you are wondering. After a quick stretch, we headed home. I couldn’t help but smile out loud as we walked. It was the perfect way to fit a run into my new family life. It was a wonderful Sunday morning!

This may or may not become a regular thing. I have no expectations. For now, I am genuinely happy to have stopped grieving my old routine. I can’t go back. I can’t do things that way I used to. I don’t know why I, or we, assumed we could. Maybe you’ll bounce back into your old job, your old wardrobe, your  old routine. Maybe you won’t.

Mamas, I hereby grant you permission to toss your hip huggers, your comittment to run a marathon this year, and all those other notions about “getting back”. If you allow things to be different, perhaps you’ll find harmony between an old passion and your new love.

What do you miss most from your pre-pregnancy life? How has it found its way into your new life with baby?

 

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Girls, Girls, Girls: The ups and downs of my beloved bosoms *TMI alert*

I’m a boob woman. I love my girls. Always have. As a preteen, I asked God for an ample bosom and my prayer was answered. Yes, seriously.  As a new mum,  I have a new prayer. I wish for my girls to be full, round, perky and protected. Are you there God? It’s me Debbie.

Competition Day

Competition Day

My breasts have seen a lot of ups and downs, in more ways than one. When I was training for competition, I kept an eye on certain numbers – my protein intake, my weight and my body composition. I never took note of my chest measurement. So although I’m sure it happened gradually, the shrinkage totally took me by surprise. Suddenly I wasn’t filling out my 34DD bras in the same way. Dang, where my girls at?!

Two and a half months later, my girls were back and they had news. Stretching my shirts, tender to touch – yep, I was prego. It was all good with one exception. By month three I had some serious bounce to the ounce. My Sunday long runs were not cool! I was bustin’ out. ha ha! It was time for a new sport bra. That meant time to drop some cash at Secrets From Your Sister.

7 months pregnant

Are you still with me ladies? I realize I may not be getting much sympathy from my A-cup sisters but keep reading. Trust me. There’s nothing envious about running 10K with two boulders bouncing on your chest. And there’s definitely nothing envious about the $100 surgical bandage Anita Body Wear calls a bra. Thank goodness the function is top-notch. It held up through my fifth month when I finally hung up my runners. ‘Held up’, get it? I’m on a roll!

Now that I’m working out again, I’m squeezing  into that same eyesore of an undergarment. I can’t believe I’m spilling out of an F cup. An F cup for goodness sake! I’d hate to know what size my porn boobs were during the early postnatal days of engorgement.

I hear that breast size can fluctuate a fair bit during and after pregnancy. I refuse to spend another bill on an ugly interim sport bra. My next bra purchase will be much nicer – as nice as a sport bra can be any way. In the meantime, I’m navigating the situation with a few simple solutions:

  • Pump milk before pumping iron
  • Walk, don’t run
  • “I must, I must, I must decrease my bust” chest workouts
  • Patiently await weaning

Chest presses, pec flys and push ups are all part of my routine. I’d hate to see the girls go, but I’d also hate to find out how low they can go. I look forward to the midpoint between breastfeeding and my next competition. I think that’s when my girls will be at their best – filled out and standing tall. With any luck that point will come during tank top season!

A lot of fitness models have surgically enlarged breasts. What do you think – necessary or not necessary?

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