Anyone who has ever flown knows the rule, and yet ever mom forgets it (and probably most dads do too).
"Secure your own oxygen mask before helping others." That even goes for children, infants, and those who are otherwise impaired. You must secure your own first, or you are no good to anyone else.
So, I joined a gym. I guess I should mention that I'm very overweight (obese is the term that I'm trying not to use there, but it's the medical term for how overweight I am...) and part of being a good mom means being a healthy mom. This isn't to say that I put much stock in the BMI, but it is a reality that after two kids in two years, I've let my muscle tone lapse. I'm actually a few pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant with my first baby, but I'm not feeling as healthy as I did then. I am exhausted, first of all, and then I have noticed that I get tired from activities easier than I would like.
Also, to be honest, the idea of being able to do anything, even work out, unencumbered by children, sounded a little too good to be true. So I joined a gym with child care. My son is only 7 weeks old, which is horrific to the same mommy who didn't leave her daughter with a sitter (or anyone for that matter) until she was over a year old. I just had to face reality though, and the reality is that I needed some time just for me. I wanted to take a yoga class here and there, get strong, get leaner...
Of course, since a gym is there to make money, they signed me up for an intensive 6 weeks with a personal trainer working out twice a week with her and then having a homework day of workout and taking all manner of measurements and weighing me. Ugh. I was just trying to RELAX!
That said, after only one week I am already sleeping better, feeling good about myself and remembering what it was like to be strong.
When I was in high school, sophomore PE was co-ed and we would do warm-ups each day. Part of those warm-ups included doing push-ups. I remember while many of my fellow females were doing "girl push-ups," I took pride in my strength and did the standard version. One day, the teacher was getting exasperated with the lack of effort put forth by many of the boys, and she said, "Guys, just look how Erin is doing her push-ups! THAT'S what I want to see!" I also enjoyed running in high school, which was another daily task with a weekly mile and a half. I loved mile and a half days. In college, I tried to keep running, but without the daily practice, the longer runs left me sore and with shin splints. I did finally work up to a nice running routine, but then started dating someone and I just couldn't find the time. There was never time to say, "this is for me."
Well, now I have an extremely amazing and supportive husband, whose oxygen mask has enabled him to reach over and help me, and he's supporting me in this effort to help myself. I have 5 more weeks, and then the training wheels come off and we see if I can stick to my routine, and not let life get in the way. This IS life. This IS my health. No matter how much I may dislike those pesky BMI numbers, I admit that I'd love to just be "overweight" instead of obese. I'd like to see my waist again.
Wish me luck and happy health.