Officially the Year of Jess started about 7 months ago at Tessa’s first birthday. (Reminder: I gave myself T’s first 12 months as the Year of Tess, let it be all about baby and not push myself. Now it’s Year of Jess and time to get back to myself.)
Year of Jess has not exactly gone as planned. (Then again, nothing this year has gone as planned.) So far I’ve updated my wardrobe a smidge. And I got a nice haircut and finally took the plunge and went full-on curly. These things are nice but they are really side projects to the big project which is to figure out the post-baby body once and for all.
That part of it… Well, let’s just say that just yesterday someone assumed I was pregnant. It’s a weekly occurrence.
In a way it doesn’t bother me much. My weight carries almost completely in my tummy right now. But still. Ugh.
So the real big Year of Jess weight project has actually started. At the beginning of August or so I started getting more careful about what I eat. I’m cutting back on portions, I’m cutting down on bad habits. And it’s not just a little, it’s full-on thinking about my meals every meal every day. Not just plain old being good.
And the even bigger thing, for me, has also begun: exercise.
Here’s the honest truth: I hate exercise.
And I don’t just mean that in the way everyone hates exercise. I really hate it. I don’t enjoy it. I’ve never had that rush of endorphins people talk about. Ever. Sometimes I feel okay after I exercise, in that I don’t feel like I got hit by a truck but just feel like a more tired and worn out version of myself.
But seriously. I hate it.
I hate it enough that I agreed to do the Fit 4 Fall campaign with Planet Shoes, because I hate it so much that I need to be held publicly accountable for it.
Exercising regularly when you hate exercise is not easy and this isn’t my first rodeo. Lots of things normal people do are out.
Running? You’re hilarious.
But surely you can do a Couch-to-5K? I CAN do one, but I would hate it so much that I WOULDN’T do it.
Seriously. Normal people exercise stuff and me just don’t go together. The big problem with running is that there is nothing to think about except the fact that you’re running and how tired you are and how much longer will it be and my brain starts to sound like my 4-year-old asking for snacks.
You may think to yourself, Why doesn’t she listen to music? Or the radio? Or some podcasts? This is a valid response. But they don’t work. I listen to music or the radio or podcasts while I am doing things I dislike, like washing the dishes. But they are not nearly enough to distract me from things I hate.
But there is a solution: Zumba.
The thing about Zumba is that you’re doing these dance routines and you have to watch the instructor and concentrate and pay such close attention and then (if you’re very brave) watch yourself in the mirror to see if you actually look the way you’re supposed to look and remember to do that little hip swirl and the other little hop and it takes so much brain power that you only remember how much you hate it between songs.
And Zumba doesn’t even let you do that because they have less than a second between songs. It’s ridiculous. By the time I take one swig from my water bottle it’s already started up again.
So far I’ve been going to Zumba at the Y since the beginning of August and I’m doing okay. Some weeks I get in twice, some weeks just once. I’m working on getting a schedule figured out.
The schedule stuff? That’s the thing that’s killing me right now.
But I’ll get to that next week. For now I have to report I’ve made progress. I was weighing in at around 155 (with some sliding around but that average) and this week I broke 150 on the scale for the first time in 2 years. (Basically since when I was pregnant with Tessa.) My average has gone down to 152 and then 151 and this week I’m hoping to bring it below 150.
Pre-baby weight is 140 so I still have some ways to go, but I know that one of the hardest things about post-baby weight loss is just getting off the plateau. Actually making a change and seeing some progress.
And in that respect? It’s all good.
If you’re also someone who needs public shaming (ahem, I mean support) to exercise, you can join me and my other Sole Sisters at the Planet Shoes #Fit4Fall site. We’re doing a 6-week program where we all set our own goals. Mine is simple: to exercise every week. I may be slow and steady but that’s what wins the race, right?