Here’s how it happened.

I’ve guess I’ve only been talking about this on Twitter and Facebook, but I’ve started going to the gym here at Prov. The membership is only $15 a month, and you can’t beat that! Marc’s been jogging at 7:30 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and so it looks like my gym mornings will be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and whenever I can squeeze other times in. But it’s quietest in the morning, and I’m all about going there when no one is around.

So off I went Tuesday at 7:30am. Yikes! I don’t know the last time I was out of bed before 7:30am, let alone out of the house. But it looks like we’ll be going to bed early and getting up early while we’re out here. And it actually isn’t so bad. Luckily there was one guy in the gym on Tuesday morning, so he showed me how to work the treadmill.

Perhaps this is the time to interject here and explain a few things. I’ve never been athletic. I’ve always been reasonably thin, but never athletic or in shape. I’ve never had any sort of regular exercise routine. The only time I would regularly exercise was when I was pregnant. As soon as I found out I was pregnant and the lightheadedness (I was rarely nauseous, just lightheaded) stopped, I’d get going on my old school Kathy Smith pregnancy aerobics video, along with a little pre-natal pilates.

You know why I would exercise? Because my body was no longer just “mine”.Β  There was someone else I was taking care of when I exercised. So all of a sudden it became important to exercise and take care of myself, because it was doing something for someone else.

Then after the baby was born, my time was spent nursing and taking care of the baby (and siblings) and my body would trim down pretty reasonably, with usually only the last 5-8 pounds to go after the first month. Those pounds would hang around until I stopped nursing about a year later and then they’d magically fall off. Then three to five months after that I’d be pregnant again and would start exercising.

Then I had Olivia. And I lost the weight. But right around the time when she stopped nursing, I was still dealing with some personal stuff and depression, and I’d found great comfort in the form of french fries, gravy and cheese curds (oh, and I do the ungodly thing of adding ketchup to it). Seven letters, 800 delicious calories: poutine. And then we were deciding if we were going to have any more children. So I didn’t get pregnant right away. And I was eatingΒ  my 800 calories of comfort before bed at least once a week. So I was gaining the weight I would’ve from pregnancy without exercising.

Stupid, stupid Dixie. But in my half-depressed mind it was a waste of time to take care of my body at that point.

And so here I sit, almost two and a half years since Olivia was born, having done almost no exercise since the weeks before she was born. And I’m paying for it.

Like this morning, when I was laying on the mat at the gym trying to do some sit-ups when someone else came in (I’d been alone for a good 20 minutes at that point). I imagined her thinking, “Look at that girl. I think she’s trying to do a sit up, but I don’t think her shoulder blades are even leaving the floor!” At that point I was just trying to channel all of the wisdom Kathy Smith ever shared with me about pressing my belly button to the floor and tightening the things that need to be tightened and making the downward motion as tight as the upward motion. But, let’s face it. After two and a half years, I don’t have a whole lot of stomach muscle.

But I’ve got some time here. Time to take care of myself and put in the effort to find those long, lost stomach muscles, and whatever happened to my ass. So I’m going to be a work in progress for a bit. And hopefully it won’t be long before the muscle at the bottom of my back will feel like it hasn’t been put through a meat grinder. (I never knew I had a muscle there, but I feel it as soon as I’m done exercising.)

So there you go. That’s how it happened. And now I try really hard to get it back.

Posted in Family, Life, Pregnancy/Birth | 6 Comments

6 Responses to Here’s how it happened.

  1. Carissa says:

    Good for you, Dixie!! I’ve been working hard for most of this year, and it continues to be a DAILY DRUDGERY for me….I hate it. But I’m trying hard to keep at it! πŸ™‚ Hopefully your new routine and life and schedule will make it easier for you! πŸ™‚

  2. Mel says:

    My name is Mel and I have been following your blog through Jobina’s blog. I don’t think I have ever commented but love what you write.
    Good for you for getting back into exercise, for every woman who wants to loose weight the hardest step is walking into the gym. It is all down hill ( in a good way) from that point.
    How do I know this…. I am a fitness Instructor in Calgary working with Goodlife fitness. I teach groups of women to work out and appreciate there bodies.
    I also am a mom of two wonderful kids who I deeply adore. I am 5’3 and I gain a bunch of weight after my kids were born, my highest weight was 198 pounds which is huge.
    I managed to lose it with many struggles but it was all worth it in the end.
    If you want any advice on working out or for abdominal exercises please let me know, I would love to help in any way I can.


  3. Thanks Mel! I’d love for you to help in any way you can too. πŸ™‚

    I noticed at the gym today that there are some sheets with different workouts. One is for fat burning and one is for building muscle. Each has 3 different skill levels.

    I guess I’ll have to pick one of those up and hope to find the person who can show me how to use the machines. I know I’d be the person upside on one of the machines with my legs wrapped around the bar my arms are supposed to be holding. πŸ™‚

    But, yes, if you have some things you could email me, please feel free: vandermeander AT gmail DOT com


  4. Lisa says:

    What?! Oh gross!! All these years I’ve known you and I just find out now that you put kethup on your poutine?! πŸ™‚

    Keep going girl! You can do it!

  5. Toni says:

    Hey Dixie – well done for hitting the gym now.

    We starting going to a local circuit training thing about 10 years ago, partly because after 30 all that ‘natural slimness’ stops being natural and partly because it’s a great way to meet real people outside the church. It was also a good way for me to balance up the cycling, as that develops very specific muscle sets.

    You really should take a little time to ease into things and build some basic fitness first, before you worry about fat burning or muscle building. It’s important not to rush straight in, work flat out and then collapse when you get home. Much better to gently build up, getting your muscles used to the idea they’re required to do some sustained work as part of your normal day. That will also increase your metabolic rate and use more calories even when you’re not exercising. As a bonus, you’ll find you’ll stay warm better during the winter!

    Once you do feel reasonably fit then there’s no reason you should push yourself hard once or twice a week. I’m sure Mel will have some great female specific advice for you, but if there’s anything I can do to help then drop me a line.

  6. Ang says:

    I’m with Lisa on the ketchup with poutine thing. Dixie, I never knew. {shakes head saddly}

    But woohoo on getting to the gym! I just pulled out an old picture of me and stuck it on my fridge as a goal picture. Hallie saw it yesterday and said “wow mom, were you ever skinny…” Um thanks baby…

    I don’t have a $15 gym membership but, I am on this path with you!

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