The first time I walked into a gym with my much younger, super svelte, 20-year-old sister, I sucked in my gut, tucked a few stray rolls into the band of my yoga pants, and then thought —
What the fudge have I got myself into?
I know being a #fit mom and showing off pictures of your abs post-baby is a trendy thing right now, but I’m going to be completely honest with you: I am not, nor have I ever been, what one would call a “fit” mom. I’m not necessarily proud of this fact, but it is what it is.
I didn’t know a lot about exercising when I first started having kids. Frankly, in the process of having four kids over the past seven years, you can bet your maternity pants that I did some serious emotional brownie eating, more than my fair share of couch lounging any chance I could get, and packed on a few stretch marks that I can’t blame entirely on the babies.
But I’ve discovered something: Exercising isn’t all about what you look like.
Turns out, after dragging my buns to the gym with said svelte sister, I discovered that I actually like exercising. I like having an hour to myself where no one needs me. It’s just me, my sweaty self, and I. And it feels good.
Unlike most of my day, working out makes me feel like I’m alive, like I’m strong, and I’m the one in charge of this ol’ body. And before I start sounding too much like an infomercial (but wait! there’s more!), let me just back up and assure you that as much as I like working out, I am still very much a chubby mom in the gym. Which means that on a general basis, all of these thoughts are very, very true for me.
1. “Do all moms sweat like a 50-year-old blacksmith working in the furies of hell?”
Seriously. Am I even remotely normal? At all??
2. “Maybe if I pull my pants up high enough, my fat roll won’t poke out.”
Oh, oops, there it goes again. And right in the middle of a squat! Oh well, it’s just going to have to stay there for all the world to see now.
3. “Why so many squats?!?”
Listen here, trainers: not everyone wants a booty like Kim Kardashian, OK? Priorities, people. Squats are great, but can we talk about the (torn apart) abs, please?
4. “He’s not … Omg is he … That guy’s not actually checking me out, is he?”
Holy crap, what do I do with my eyes? This is hilarious. I have four kids and more stretch marks hidden under these yoga pants than you have years in your life, buddy! Wait `til I tell my husband about this, he will laugh his head off. Actually, now that I think about it, why would he laugh so hard? What a jerk. It’s his fault I’m in this situation in the first place. Laugh away, buddy.
5. “Please don’t say jumping jacks, please don’t say jumping jacks.”
The first commandment of taking an exercise class of any kind when you’re a mom: There will be jumping jacks, and you will need to excuse yourself, so choose a spot by the door and you’ll be way ahead of the game. #FitMomTipOfTheDay
6. “Why would I ever waste time on a protein shake when I could eat actual food?”
If I just eat a steak instead, does that count? `Cuz I’m starving and some measly little shake is not going to cut it, honey. You do realize I’m still burning calories from giving birth four years ago, right?
7. “Is it possible for your abs to actually fall off your body?”
Because mine seem to be nowhere to be found. Seriously. I must have misplaced my abs somewhere between child #1 and child #3, so if you see them, could you kindly send them back my way? Thanks in advance.
8. “Why the frick are there so many mirrors?”
Honestly. Are we in a gym or a secret Playboy mansion here? I don’t want to see my body from 823 different angles. Thanks, I’m good. It’s still chubby no matter which way you look at it under this flattering fluorescent lighting.
9. “So if I burn 500 calories on the treadmill now, does that mean I can have ice cream after dinner?”
No, Chaunie, focus. Exercising is about more than just off-setting your sugar addiction, gosh. But certainly, you deserve a glass of wine after all this hard work! You only live once, after all.
10. “These little boys ain’t got nothin’ on me.”
Sometimes it’s tough being a chubby mom at the gym, because let’s face it: While I am well aware that certain parts of my body have gotten a little soft, and that there is more than one roll in places there never used to be, and from most angles that I catch a glimpse of myself in that hideous mirror, I still look about five months pregnant, I also know that my body is freaking strong. And part of me just wants to plunk a few of those 50-pound dumbbells from those meathead gym rats’ hands and say what I’m really thinking —
Oh honey. You think that curling a little bit of weight makes you strong? Try giving birth.