Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On exercise

I took my first post partum jog today. I took the girls out in my massive BOB dualie, and Ellie also came with us. We must be a sight to see (I wish I could take a photo)- I barely fit on the sidewalk with my Hummer of a stroller and a dog! It was a short outing, only a mile over to my dad's house for a visit, but even that short amount of time got the endorphins going. And pushing 30+ lbs of baby adds to the exertion!

I have a much different outlook on exercise and weight loss now than I ever have before. It's a little bit embarrassing to admit this, but it took thirty one years for me to really figure out that the whole reason for exercise is to keep my body healthy and in working condition, so that it keeps working well for me for a really long time.

So for the first time in my life, I am exercising for a real purpose unrelated to vanity-- so that I can live a long time. Not so I can be a size 2, or fit into cute clothes, or have nice definition in strapless dresses. Sure, those are nice side benefits. But mostly I want to be able to grow old in a healthy way, so that I can see my kids grow up and have babies of their own.  So that my heart keeps ticking, my lungs keep breathing, my legs keep getting me to where I want to go.

I think a lot of this thinking is related to my mom's illness and passing. There was absolutely nothing that my mom could have done to prevent getting a brain tumor. But if there is anything that I can do to prevent illness in my body, to prevent having my kids have to say goodbye to me too early, then damn right I am going to do it.  It's not about vanity anymore.  I'm not at a point yet where I can say, "Man, I love the stretchmarks on my stomach" but I can say that I feel amazed that my body has brought life into this world on 2 occasions, and I'm feeling ok that the skin on my stomach may not ever look the same again. I am grateful for this vessel that holds my soul-- finally, after 31 years!

Maybe this is what growing up is all about.

(Can't figure out why it's sideways. Here I am, 6 weeks post partum.)


  1. And the mental health benefits. Yay for exercise!

  2. Yes, that is a huge part too..my mommy brain doesn't allow for the best posts right now, but the mental benefits are definitely important too.

  3. Your mommy brain is doing great. You write so eloquently. I love getting to read what is actually going on with you!

  4. Nice post Jen! Totally agree with you about being able to grow older healthier!

    Hangovers aren't as bad anymore either (hahaha nice side effect for me!)