Right now we’ve got giant snow mountains everywhere (outside, that is, my house hasn’t gotten so bad that we have mountains of snow inside, yet). It seems to be physically impossible for Henry to walk on the ground. He needs to climb the snow mountains and navigate his way to school from as great a height as possible. And, frequently, to throw himself down and slide to the sidewalk. While this can be very annoying when we’re late to school, or when it’s one degree out and we’re heading anywhere, I completely admire his desire for climbing and sliding, and, really, exercising. Though of course it’s not exercising to him; he’s just having fun. But when I watch him approach a snow mountain with the confident, loping, graceful stride of an Olympic high jumper, I envy the way he is exerting himself so joyfully.
I have gone through periods in my life when I was exercising regularly, going to the gym before work most every day. Those days are long ago, before kids. But I do think that, even then, I wasn’t that into it. I went because I was supposed to, but not because I wanted to. And, in fact, I don’t think I liked any bit of it at all, except for the part about not getting fat.
But something in me is different this time. It’s all about the mental shift we were talking about before. For the first time I’m not doing this for anyone else but me. I have made a lot of excuses in the past (“the children” is a good catch-all), but now I don’t want to make excuses. Yes, it’s three degrees outside, yes, Eli freaks out if I leave him anywhere, but there is always a solution if you really want to do it.
And so I have gotten four exercise DVDs (see links at the bottom of this post — they were really pretty cheap), and I have to say that it’s perfectly easy to do an exercise DVD at home in my little living room with children scattered about and playing along (mostly at the jumping jacks part, but also using little cans of beans for weights, which is very cute until I realized with horror that there was the possibility this might actually make Eli stronger and good lord what then? he will be Paul Bunyan by the time he’s 12 I swear it). It’s actually fun. And while I’m not yet all sleek and sculpted (the paper tells me it will take six months), it feels darn good to have sore muscles.
I’m not sure how you can get the mental shift until you’re ready for it. I think a huge part of it for me is knowing that I am done being pregnant and so let’s just get a regular body back and be able to fit in clothes, already. The food issue is still a sticky one for me. The baked goods, really. Somehow it just happens that this week I have made two cakes and a batch of cookies. Plus of course the siren song of dark chocolate. Though I have to say I can feel a weensy shift in that regard too; roundabout the second fistful of chocolate chips, I start to feel gross and regretful and like I don’t want it (which is a change).