The Road to Recovery: Ab Ripper

Throwback: Me before one of the many 5ks I ran in the olden days

Just for fun, while cleaning out my dresser, I made the awful mistake of putting on my bathing suit yesterday. It was a terrifying sight, intensified by my angry red stretchmarks that give my stomach the appearance that a cat recently clawed its way down the ‘spare tire’ that sits around my waist. I’ve gone for a couple jogs since I’ve had Brady, but I decided that the time was ripe for some real muscle toning.

I was determined to eat right, exercise, and get back on track with my self-esteem. Lean meats and veggies were consumed, laundry was carried down the hall and back. Free weights were at hand. Upon consulting Google, I came across a few suggestions that post-C section mothers should try to rebuild their core.

So I set out for my first task… Crunches. I was scared at first, like stepping into a pool you know will be freezing cold, so I slowly went up for my first crunch and… didn’t die. So I continued crunching at a faster pace. It felt so great to be doing something for my body. With each inhale and exhale I felt myself growing stronger and more powerful. I can do this, I thought. Images of me in my bathing suit on our belated honeymoon my husband and I had talked about surfaced. Thoughts about running a half-marathon crossed my mind. I ended up doing 100 crunches, feeling the burn, when Brady called out that he was hungry. I hoisted myself up from the ground, feeling great. I went to his crib and tried to pick him up… and OUCH.

OUCH.

OUCH.

It felt like my abs had been (once again) sliced in a plaid pattern. I could barely pick up my screaming child. Apparently the mediocre 100 crunches of upper ab was overdoing it. Who was I kidding? I’m still recovering, as frustrating as it is, but my body’s state might not match my mental state right now. How often I had taken that for granted before I was pregnant! I retreated to my domain: the couch, with my people: the cast of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns, and fed/held Brady for the rest of the day, getting up only for some Ibuprofen and rewarding myself with bowls of Moose Tracks. Maybe I took a step backwards here, but when I can sit and cuddle all day with a baby who has no choice but to cuddle me back- what’s the rush?

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