Monday, February 27, 2006

getting off the couch

First warrior, second warrior, triangle pose. Downward facing dog to plank (plank???) to upward dog, then downward facing dog again to child pose. Breathe oh-so carefully, feeling my right shoulder spasm in protest.

Yes, I was at the gym. After years of being the official family couch potato, a mere two months before a positive pregnancy test, I had joined a gym. Yes, I was seduced by the women-only atmosphere, the whirlpool (mmm), the in-house masseuse. But I stayed for the sweat.

Going to the gym while pregnant was the ultimate in ego massage: for doing a rather easy workout (30 minutes on an elliptical, 10-20 on a bike) I would humbly accept admiring comments from the staff and other members. Going post-baby, however, was infinitely lower on the good vibrations scale - now I was merely one more woman with a nice, healthy tire slung around my somewhat saggy middle.

So why do I go? Admittedly, I don't go to get thin. Getting thin would mean giving up the pleasures of food, of Barbra Streisand's "perfect bite," and that I stubbornly refuse to do, even as my menu options recede, thanks to my offspring. (sigh) But the feeling of the strong, capable body is one I learned to love while pregnant, and that I am loathe to set aside. Thus, of course, the post-workout soy Aztec hot cocoa at Cafe Zing. (zing, indeed! Fabulous stuff. Who knew chilis and chocolate were so good together?)

And so I go off to the gym, two, three times a week. And I wish, surprising myself, for a fourth gym-time. I like the focus and determination of my workout, the solitary splendor (sort of) of the shower afterwards. And no, the numbers on the scale haven't changed much this month, but I find myself rather comfortable with that. After all, with this second pregancy I had a very clear lesson in where my influence ends and my body's begins. With my first child, I put my feet up and ate cheesecake. The gain? 52 pounds. With my second son, I bought a pair of sneakers and hit the gym three times a week, eschewing cheesecake. The result of virtue? 52 pounds. Ya can't beat mama nature, even with a good treadmill. But you can work with and learn to love the results - so long as your only point of comparison is yourself.

5 comments:

magid said...

I need to follow your example and get to the gym more...

Hope the shoulder's feeling fine today.

(Plank's always been a killer for me.)

Auntie A said...

Hats off to you m.o.m., for being such a dedicated gym-goer! (I have joined a women's only gym in the past - a few times, actually...sigh.)

Joy said...

Mmmm, yes, chilis and chocolate is a wonderful thing. Hector is coming to visit and help with baby late in June. I've already instructed him to be prepared to make Molé for me. How to make it kosher, I have no clue, sadly. Every so often I forget that chocolate came from the Aztecs, and they had it right for a long, long time.

jgfellow said...

You have to be the only person in the world who would quote "The Mirror Has to Faces." Most attendees walked out before they got to that line.

magid said...

Wholly off-topic....

Here's the asparagus-beef recipe I keep meaning to send you the link to.

And as a spicy bonus, Aztec marshmallows, too.