Monday, November 1, 2010

The hyenas would have gotten us

Chocolate with peanut butter, and TLC's Say Yes To The Dress.

In that order, please.

We all have our vices, and those are mine. Chocolate with peanut butter because it is the most spectacular flavor EVER. And Say Yes To The Dress because all FIVE seasons are Watch It Now on Netflix, and 20 minutes of mind numbing reality TV is exactly the length of my attention span for anything that doesn't involve a giggling 3-month old.

Of course, those weren't always my vices. There were many other things that I used to enjoy: non-perfunctory-cooking, photography, reading books, reading blogs, shopping at places other than Babys R Us and Target, knitting, yoga, wearing sweaters without spitup on them, time with friends, and exercise. I figure one day these things will happen again. For the moment, with my return to work and the humongous time suck of daycare drop offs and pick ups, my priorities have been rearranged: during the week, I find myself with time for exactly 1 Watch It Now on Netflix, a quick look at, 25% of a post on Jack Attack, and nothing else.

The loss of exercise feels particularly poignant to me. One of my favorite parts of maternity leave was how damn strong I got. Jack and I walked everywhere, all day, every day. We had Itsy Bitsy yoga on Mondays. Mom and Baby Fitness on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A Mommy Bootcamp here or there. Walks through New Haven, down to the Farmer's Market, around the park, out to get a cup of coffee. It was awesome. And I held him -- all the time. My biceps and I were very well acquainted. Now, at best, I walk to and from work. And at worst, I drive Jack to the JCC, plop myself in a couch with my laptop for 8 hours, and get up only to (A) nurse, and (B) purchase mayonaisey egg salad from the cafe.

This Sunday morning, an opportunity presented itself. I took Jack into the nursery early so that Greg could sleep a little bit (Greg, AKA, The Awesomest Husband Ever, second only to the Awesomest Baby Ever, did the same favor for me on Saturday). I snagged my laptop, popped on a Say Yes To The Dress, and got 10 minutes into it before Jack decided that stationary activities were no longer acceptable. I was bored, and really, the only thing to do was pace back and forth between the kitchen, alternating baby bouncing with handfuls of Reeses Pieces M&Ms. For like 40 minutes. I nearly emptied our Halloween stash.

Once the growing dread of massive peanut butter consumption set in, and the boredom of a Sunday morning with Baby Needs a Nap (nevermind Momma) fully consumed me... I decided that the time had come for Jack and I to go jogging with the stroller. I cautiously sneaked into the bedroom and snatched whatever I could get my hands on quickly. Here's what I found: hiking boots, heavy jeans, a nursing top that was NOT designed for high impact sports, and my ski jacket.


No worries. Because what might have been described by a polite observer as "Interval Training" was in actuality me attempting to jog, then slowly down for a walk, then Jack getting fussy, and me speeding up to keep him happy, times 5, for 1.5 miles, all the while choking to catch my breath. My inability to jog for more than a few blocks was pretty depressing.

At least I can say I tried. In all fairness, I realized that it's been over a year since I last went for a run. My ovaries, which had been battered and bruised from months of ongoing fertility treatment, were in no mood to be jostled in the early days of pregnancy. Once I got big with Jack, forget about it. And all of my postpartum activities focused on strength training, no cardiac involved. To say that I feel sluggish is an understatement. To make matters worse, I just had my cholesterol checked, and it's risen from 270 to 310.

After Sunday morning's failed jog, I have visions of my poor heart struggling to pump blood through cholesterol-clogged arteries with Reese's Pieces M&Ms dotting my sugar- and fat-laden pancreas. If Jack and I ever needed to run from a pack of raging hyenas, we'd be in trouble. And that's not cool... I've got to protect this kid!

More to the point of my rambling story, I should just own up to the fact that it's been MY choice to let exercise fall to the backburner. If I have 20 minutes for Netflix or to write a silly story about how sedentary I am, that's 20 minutes that could be used to keep healthy.

So, readers of this blog, you need to hold me accountable. I'm going to take Jack's daily advice and Get On Moving. Our weekends are a glorious island of relatively free time. I have a simple goal to start: one run with Jack, every weekend, no matter what. I am stating it here. I will turn off TLC, I will say no to the Reese's Pieces, and I will do something good for myself and my body.

(And if I can do that, maybe I'll reward myself with one of these)

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