I knew when I got pregnant that I was going to have some weight to lose after the baby was born. I also knew that stretch marks were pretty much inevitable. They tell you those things. What no one mentioned was the fact that my actual level of physical fitness was going to take me back to square one.
At my peak of strength and endurance I was doing three 5:30AM boot camp classes a week and running 5k’s at a decent speed without training whenever I felt like it. That period of my life lasted for several months until I got a cold while wedding planning and then started to trade mornings at the gym for much needed sleep.
Even my normal level of physical fitness was satisfactory to me. I walked over four miles a day commuting and, according to my pedometer, logged at least an extra mile daily on top of that. If I felt like going for a run (which wasn’t often haha) I could pickup and run a couple miles.
Even as a pregnant woman I was walking at least five miles five days a week up until I pulled my groin eight months in while foolishly running to catch a train that I wasn’t even planning on catching in the first place. For days after that I could barely walk, and several weeks later I was able to work up to one mile of walking each day (I’m sure it was some combination of the pull and being very very pregnant).
I assumed that after walking through pregnancy and delivering Luke naturally, I’d be able to jump right back into walking. After my first week home with Luke consisted of scurrying around the house and too many trips up and down the stairs I got monster cramps, and at the urging of Mike, my mom and my mother-in-law, I reluctantly took it easy for the next five weeks.
I assumed after my six-week postpartum check up that I would get right back to walking and running and that I’d start dropping sizes in no time. That was in mid-January. Mother Nature had other plans and dumped a bitterly cold and snowy winter into Chicagoland’s lap and kept it up through the beginning of March.
Before resuming a commute, I headed into the city once to interview with my new job and once to clean out my desk at my old job. Both trips left me exhausted. To help make commuting easier, I started walking at an indoor track occasionally with my mom for 30 minutes at a time. By the end of each walk I was really feeling the workout. I resumed commuting and thankfully my body adapted to the 2.5 miles of total walking the two days a week that I’m downtown.
On a recent solo trip to the indoor track (this past Thursday) I power walked one mile, then walked/ran one mile (alternating laps) and walked a third mile. That was all I could take for the day. And walking approximately four total miles around town yesterday (Friday) with Luke and my mom has left me sore and resting in bed this morning (with Luke napping on me of course).
It’s humbling really; Working my way back to my old daily physical fitness level, starting at square one. I may not be able to control how my body sheds the excess pregnancy weight and what actual shape the will leave my figure in and I have no real control over when and how the stretch marks will fade. But I do have control over my physical fitness. Regardless what pant size I end up in, I’d like to be able to walk five miles in a day (without feeling tired or sore) like I used to and I’d like to be able to run two to three miles whenever I feel like it – whether I’ve run in the past month or not. But for now I’ll settle for getting Luke and I out of bed and started with the rest of our day, one sore step at a time.