Back in Good Shape—by Jamie Levine
For the past 15 years or so, I’ve been quite dedicated to working out and eating right. Prior to contemplating single motherhood, I was ridiculously lean and muscular—in the best shape of my life—as the result of spending several hours a day at the gym and eating a super-clean diet. And while I certainly toned down my weight lifting regimen during my pregnancy, I did still manage to work out almost daily—hitting the gym up until the day before Jayda was born. Then, just a few weeks after my C-section, I was back on the stairmill again. Fitting in workouts and avoiding stress-eating wasn’t always easy for me, but I did my best to stay on track. However, I never managed to completely shred my 10 extra pregnancy pounds, somehow found myself sporting a little belly, and started to loathe my body. Then I met Library Guy.
As I’ve articulated here before, Library Guy calms me, completes me, and generally makes me feel very good about myself; he seems to think I’m the most beautiful woman in the world, and constantly showers me with compliments. Thus, falling into a relationship with him unconsciously caused me to make some changes: I started eating a little less and working out a bit more intensely, and over time, I began to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. As our dates have progressed, my wardrobe has multiplied: I’m now able to wear clothes I haven’t worn in years. Having my body confidence back is important to me, and being fit is a crucial part of my identity that I've been desperately missing. For the past several years I’ve felt like a hot, hard-bodied woman trapped in a not-so-sexy mommy mold. Now I’m the fit, confident mother I was meant to be—both inside and out.
During the past few weeks, while I experienced a bout of relationship insecurity, I discovered that the best way for me to fight back was to focus on my body. I ate even more healthfully than usual, and took out my frustration and fears at the gym; I’ve started to get stronger and fitter as a result. And I’ve even started running. I’ve never been a runner, as I have minor knee and ankle injuries that have always held me back, but I’m pushing through those handicaps and have started to log a bit of low mileage in the hopes that I can run outside when the weather improves. It feels good physically and mentally, and I like having a goal for myself. And rather than running away from my past and my pain, by taking care of myself and my muscles again, I feel like I’m running towards something. Something really good. And with my fit body, strong heart, and positive mind, I know I’ll get there.