Parenting

Baby weight: The last 10 pounds

More than two years later, Anchel is still trying to lose the baby weight.

Anchel gives Syona a lift.

Syona is now two and a half years old, and I’ve been trying to lose the baby weight (off and on) for the last two years. I was five pounds away from my pre-baby weight just before Syona turned a year old. I was eating healthy and working out regularly, until I was sidelined with a knee injury that prevented me from exercising for about six months (even walking and swimming hurt). In those six months my weight crept back up and I stopped paying attention to what I was eating. A combination of extra weight on my 5’3” frame and the fact I spent most of my day carrying Syona around and doing a lot of her at-home physiotherapy routine also did a number on my back. My wrists are always sensitive because of a chronic condition and I developed tendonitis in my ankle. In short, my body was not cooperating with my efforts.

Every time I tried working out again, I would get hurt and lose my motivation. But I was determined to get back into shape for two main reasons:

1. I wanted to wear real pants again
They didn’t have to be my pre-baby size, but I did want pants with a real waistband.

2. Because of Syona’s physical challenges
I need my body to be stronger than ever for her. I need more from my body than I ever have before.

I was going to visit a friend I see pretty regularly when I noticed a sign for a personal training gym called Parallel Fitness. I pulled into the parking lot and walked in.

One of the owners, Jenny, was there and we got along really well. I told her about my injuries — from head to toe — and she told me that I had somehow stumbled upon the right place. Jenny is trained in a technique called Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) — a gentle, non-stressful way to get the right muscles firing, which is especially important for someone who is injury-prone.

With regular workouts and dedication I lost about 10 pounds. More importantly, my back pain went away, my knee got stronger and I didn’t re-injure myself. I started to enjoy exercise, relished the concentration and focus I had when I was working out, celebrated my achievements and stopped struggling with food and enjoyed it instead.

One day I had a particularly personal conversation with Jenny about how my motivation for working out was changing. I told her that I expect Syona to work so hard to get her body to do things that the rest of us take for granted, and that when I don’t take care of myself I am wasting my body’s abilities. I am continuing to take my body for granted. I am wasting the luxury of having a body that can do exactly what I want it to do, which is an utter shame when I have a daughter who struggles to get her body to cooperate with what her mind wants it to do. And in true Anchel fashion, I wrote about it for their blog.

The truth is that life has gotten in the way over the past few months. I’ve lost a bit of that focus and motivation. So when I read about the Today’s Parent’s Healthy Family Challenge it was that jumpstart I needed to get back into gear and refocus on my long-term goals.

I have 10 more pounds to lose. But more importantly, I need to gain a lot more strength. We’re welcoming a new family member soon: a 30-pound wheelchair stroller (Ha! Gotcha. Not what you thought, right?). Which means I need to be stronger to schlep that beast around. And, yes, I still hope to wear real pants again. So over the next few months I’ll be finding a way to focus on my personal wellness.

What are your health and fitness goals? Why are they important to you and your family?