Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Operation: Get in the Frame

She's alive! 18 months after welcoming our Little Cat Z to the world, the fog has lifted. A lot has changed, most notably my decision not to go back to full-time work after my maternity leave ended in June. I'm a bona fide work at home mom, squeezing in all the freelance writing and PR consulting I can during naps and after bedtime. M's after school programs are a breeze now that I'm able to make it to something that starts at 4:00. Z and I fill our days with trips to a neighbourhood play centre and running all the errands that filled our weekends when I worked outside the home. It's always busy, it's sometimes exhausting, and all this extra time with my kids makes every single sacrifice so worthwhile. 

Perhaps the biggest change has been my feelings about self-care. Turns out that I finally got the message: I can't be a good mother or a good wife if I don't put my own mask on first. Which brings me to the latest operation: STOP HIDING FROM THE CAMERA! If you've been around here for a while, you may remember Operation: Try Again and Operation: Momentum from way, way back in my pre-pregnancy days. I had every intention of getting back on the wagon shortly after Z was born. However, he is not a Unicorn Baby like his sister, who was sleeping through the night at six weeks old. Little Z took until he was nearly a year old to get with the program. There I was, damn near insane from an entire year of fragmented sleep, and feeling pretty icky all the time. Something had to change. 

Monster Dash 2014
Enter The 21 Day Fix* It really is as simple as it seems. Follow the meal plan, do one video every day (there's a modifier for those just starting out), and ta-da! I also further modified the exercises on my own to avoid activities that bug my bad knee or those that could worsen my diastasis recti. Now, I know what the cynics among you are thinking... Well, duh! If it involves eating less and moving more, ANYTHING will work. To that I say, well smart ass, why aren't you doing "anything" if it works so well? Oh, that's right! Because getting started is a lot easier with the structured approach of an actual plan. In the initial 21 days, I lost nine pounds and several inches, including 3.5" off my waist. 

That was in June. I have continued following the meal plan (more or less) and have gradually been increasing the intensity of the exercise. I joined the gym again and have been consistently going several times a week. I ran a 5K this fall, proving something to myself and setting an example for my daughter who ran the family race with me. I'm now down 27 pounds, my waist circumference and waist-hip ratio are *thisclose* to getting out of the danger zone, and I can get through the day without collapsing in exhaustion in the evening. I can back off on the efforts now, right?

HELL NO! 

Next up, Insanity Max 30* I'm no longer doing this because I want to get pregnant. I'm not doing this for my husband. I'm not even really doing it for my kids. IT'S ALL ABOUT ME! I'm tired of avoiding the camera or not sharing family photos because I'm worried about the extra chins or the size of my belly. So, I can do something about my self-esteem and my body image, which would require a time machine, or I can do something about how woman in the frame looks to me any everyone else. Since I haven't been able to find any time machines, I'll have to keep going on the weight loss. Dammit. 

You, dear readers (all 6 of you who may still be around), get to come along on this journey too. To keep myself accountable I'm launching another mission. Operation: Get in the Frame commences on December 29th. You can expect semi-regular progress updates, and eventually I may feel like sharing some Before & After pictures. Stay tuned!


* Disclosure: I am not a BeachBody coach, I don't have plans to become one, and I am not being compensated for sharing my feedback. However, my friend Sandra is a BeachBody coach, and the links to the programs I have used with success are associated with her profile. If you place an order, she will earn the standard coach's commission. If you don't want to order anything, that's OK. You should like her Facebook page anyway, because she's lovely and she shares all kinds of motivational tips and anecdotes.