hazynuts

19 August 2006

i lost most of my baby weight very easily. i even did it while eating pastries and chips. nursing really did burn loads of calories. it also left me starving and a hormonal and physical mess. for more than a year i think my body and mind went through some crazy transformation where i found myself gobbling food in five minutes or less throughout the day when i felt as though i had a few moments to devote to meeting my own needs. i lost the baby weight, eventually stopped nursing and gained my weight.

in high school i had reasonable eating habits, for a high schooler. i liked vegetables ok and i ate when i was hungry. i was small. during my senior year i was turned away from donating blood because i was underweight.

during my early twenties i finally liked my body. that had more to do with what was inside of my head than anything else.

i was slender and healthy throughout my twenties. for a few years i did not own a car and rode my bike everywhere. as a college student on a tight budget, it was easy to not buy expensive and unhealthy foods.

when i entered my thirties i had the budget for a more extravagant diet, but i also joined a gym and attended regularly. i was thirty-one when i became pregnant with hazel. i weight 135 lbs, worked out at least 4 times a week and ate carefully and well most of the time. i'm short, at 5'2".

i gained 5 lbs very quickly, because of the all-day sickness, exhaustion and the way my stomach would only tolerate white, starchy foods. all told, i gained 40 lbs during pregnancy, and that was fine. i lost 30 lbs easily and quickly after having hazel. i spent several months wrestling with the final 10 lbs. those lbs. won and overtook me with several of their friends. for many months now i have weighed close to 160 lbs. this is an unhealthy weight for me. i have a history of heart disease on nearly every branch of my family tree. i have a desire to be active and physically strong. i have tried several gentle diets and ways to work exercise into my life. it has often felt like a losing battle.

finally, i am dipping into the non-existent budget and joining a gym. i did a free trial run and loved it. there is childcare at the gym as well as a load of other amenities i adore. i go nearly every day and do something: cardio, weights, a class, a swim. usually i combine activities. i feel free and wonderful there. it is not a chore for me to be there and i finally get some time to just take care of myself. i've mostly conquered the guilt of choosing to take care of me over taking care of my daughter for an hour a day. at this stage of my health and body's needs, i wouldn't be doing her any favors by having a heart attack or a stroke.

the two things that have held me back from a gym membership until this point: finances, guilt/concern about the caretaking of hazel. i wish i had been able to overcome those barriers much, much sooner. i would have been healthier for it.

so... i will try to give periodic updates on how it's all working out. my work starts full force in a couple of weeks and will turn my schedule on its ear. i know i will then savor my gym visits even more, but also feel more guilt, because i will be away from hazel so much already. she's going to need me to be sane, though. healthy and sane, and maybe cute in my jeans, right?

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