Posted by Jennifer McClelland on March 12, 2014
It’s a rainy afternoon and I find myself looking through old photos on the computer. By old I mean, 2-3 years ago, 5 years tops. If I had $1 for every time I saw a photo and thought, “ugh, I look fat,” I’d be a wealthy woman. But that’s the old me – looking at photos and thinking I’m fat. By definition, “old me” dates back to anything older than 13 months ago. The thing is, in October I had a baby and oh boy was that an experience. The summary will be brief. It includes a blood clot, 4 weeks in the hospital, a c-section gone bad, two blood transfusions, about 10 other procedures and in the very end, kidney “trauma” which almost landed me on dialysis (but luckily I dodged at least one bullet). The silver lining is that our baby was perfectly healthy (and 4 months into our parental journey, he has to be one of the most chill, happy, low-maintenance babies ever.)
From June through October, I found myself telling doctors, nurses and general hospital staff what a “healthy” person I was. “This kind of thing doesn’t happen to someone like me.” Sure, I’m not a small girl but dang it, I can ride my bike for 80+ miles without training. I went from hiking over 4 miles a day to walking no miles a day and I groaned every time I had to get on the scale (which is a lot when you’re pregnant).
After the baby, I’ve struggled less with the actual weight gain and more with my body not feeling the way it used to. I don’t remember so many aches and pains walking up stairs and I certainly don’t remember my bones groaning in protest when heaving it out of bed. I won’t even mention my knees! Let’s face it, 4 months post-baby and my fitness level is in the negative. Which brings me to the present and again, looking through “old” photos. Just like the hysterical woman who loses it under a stressful situation and then needs a swift smack in order to come to her senses – that’s exactly what the “old me” needed. Come on, I was hot in those pictures! I’m curvy and meaty and dang did I have quad muscles! They were huge and they were like pistons in an engine. For crap’s sake I rode across Spain for 11 days straight. I’ve ridden back-to-back 70, 80 and 90 mile days and I rode Mt. Tamalpais (with 3,000 feet of climb) on a regular basis. How dare me and my self-deprecating ways. I was healthy. I was happy and I was really fit, even if I didn’t believe it at the time.
Looking forward, I’m figuring out how to get back to a fitness level that I’m comfortable with. Getting fit is hard, damn hard, but I’ll get there. Knowing me, I won’t rest until I do. In fact, tomorrow morning is my first spin class in over a year. I’d wish myself luck, but I don’t think I’ll need it. I’ll remember my old photos and think, damn, I was phat! According to the Urban Dictionary, Phat: “pretty hot and tempting.” (I’m using it, even if it did go out in the late 90’s!)
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