“Second verse, same as the first!”

Friends, I can’t even believe that it’s been over three years since I wrote about starting a new exercise venture.  I had started attending a Pilates class at our city gym, and I quit three months later because we bought a house and moved to another town.  At that point I was still full of good intentions, so I took advantage of the wonderful sidewalks in our neighborhood by taking brisk walks with Abby.  I promised myself that if I would keep it up for six weeks, I’d buy myself a jogging stroller at a garage sale.  So I walked for six weeks, bought the stroller, and immediately quit walking.  (It got cold.)

Then I got pregnant with Sam, and didn’t think twice about an exercise regimen until about a month ago, when I weaned Jem.  I noticed that the pounds I had shed so effortlessly by breastfeeding a baby with the appetite of a college linebacker were slowly starting to creep back on.  I realized I either had to cut back on my Dr Pepper/ice cream intake or start making an effort to burn some extra calories.

It was an agonizing choice.  But true love empowers you to do all sorts of crazy things, so I’m back at the gym.

It helps that I have some friends who go faithfully, who have encouraged me to join them.  From my vast and varied experiences with exercise routines, I do know that peer pressure AND peer support is a powerful motivator for me. (It’s no coincidence that the times I stuck with a program the longest were during the years that I lived in the same town as KarenD.)

Then I read The Lazy Nerd’s Guide to Weight Loss at Conversion Diary and Real-Life Health and Weight Loss by Sara at Our Best Bites and I was convinced that now was as good a time as any.  (Contrary to what these blog titles might lead you to believe, these posts are not ONLY about losing weight but about fitness and strength generally, which is what I’m going for.)

So I bundled the kids up on a cold day and went to my friends’ gym.  I told the muscles at the counter that I wanted a tour of the facility, but here is the truth: I know what the inside of a gym looks like.  What I really needed to know is what the gym rats are wearing these days so that I could fit in on my first day there.

I knew I’d have to go shopping for at least one pair of workout pants; the one pair still in my closet has been ruined since I repurposed them as painting pants.  It’s just as well, because they are loose-fitting and cotton, and these days everyone is all about the Spandex at the gym.  In my soft, baggy pants,  I might as well be showing up to class wearing one of those billowing Victorian culotte numbers.

So I bought a pair of stretchy capris at Ross, which I wore with a t-shirt on my first day (didn’t want to look like the new girl trying too hard).  (And to those of you who don’t think so hard about what you look like at the gym–or anywhere– well, it must be nice.)

I was so thankful to be able to meet my friend for the first class this morning (Pilates again, which seems fitting and poetic, as if the last three years of pregnancy and sedentary living never even happened), because there is nothing I hate worse than being somewhere new and not knowing what to do.  So like a little puppy I followed my friend through the door, retrieved some equipment, and settled in to our little corner of the mirrored room.

(The class itself is the least interesting point of the story.  It was fine, I did not die, and I’ll be going back.)

I’m hoping that this will be the magical formula that will stick, and eventually exercising will be such a normal part of my life that it won’t occur to me to blog about it any more than I’d write about taking a shower or doing laundry.

But for now I’m energized by a new beginning, and it’s like a tree falling in a forest: if I do something fun and don’t blog about it, how can I even know for sure that it happened?

And if you think I was too self-obsessed when I picked out my outfit this morning BEFORE class, you do not even want to be anywhere near me tomorrow, when I’m feeling the effects of using my wimpy muscles for the first time!


7 responses to ““Second verse, same as the first!”

  1. Haha! Nice…just remember that no matter how cute you look TIGHTS (my synonym for spandex) are NOT pants. 😉

  2. I so need to get on this now, too. Trying to teach the oldest to ride his bike fast enough and stable enough so that I can jog with the littles in the stroller. But, as for today, I was thinking of you because Frozen came out and we went to WM first thing and bought it. 🙂

    • Bike rides and strollering can be such good exercise! You just can’t be wimpy about the weather, which is my problem.

      Enjoy Frozen! We’re going to get our copy in a couple of weeks when we leave the kids with grandparents for several days in a row. It’s like a gift to everyone that way. 🙂

  3. I haven’t even finished reading the post yet, but I have to comment – how did you find those Victorian workout suits?! Hilarious!

    • Is that not the best blog ever? It was one of the top hits when I Googled “Victorian exercise clothing.” Seriously…there is a place for everyone on the internet.

  4. Last summer we learned about Empress SiSi of Austria: At a height of 172cm she only weighed 50kg and constricted her already slender hips to 65cm. Her pride and joy was her heel-length hair, which needed care for hours on end every day. She once called herself the “slave of my hair”. To keep this beauty, Sisi kept rigorous diets and took exercise excessively – she practiced horse-riding, gymnastics and hiking. Her beauty provided her with fame, but in later years physical weakness and hunger oedema followed. Horse-riding was not only a way for Sisi to exercise, train her body and to sustain her figure, it also was a means of self-projection. Ambitiously, Sisi exercised many hours a day, not only to be the most beautiful monarch in the world, but also to be the best horse-rider and to surpass the only aristocratic rival on horseback, Empress Eugénie of France.

    Midway down the page you can see her exercise/gymnastics room in the palace 🙂

    Very inspiring!

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