FITNESS: After the baby, reporter Payne braves push-ups for progress
It has been a tough six months since my colleague Janis Warren and I launched our fitness program at the Port Moody recreation complex, filled with days of sore, aching muscles — but plenty of rewards.
To help assess whether I met my fitness goals, I looked back at our introduction to this series and had to smile. Those first few weeks were beyond tough and my personal trainer, Kari Werner, was good-natured but (very) firm when it came to completing the programs she’d planned for me.
I often (not so silently) objected to what she was asking me to do but, somehow, after a few visits to the gym, I was actually doing it. Many times, I surprised myself by following her suggestions to make the exercises tougher, a feat that never failed to make me flush with pride.
Heck, I can even polish off more than a few push-ups, though I can promise you I won’t like it.
In the evaluation we filled out prior to embarking on this fitness mission, I declared that I wanted to rid myself of the extra pounds still lurking 18 months after the birth of my first baby.
I said something vague about wanting to get back in shape and how I hadn’t really felt “fit” for a few years. There was even a mention of that elusive dream, wearing the pre-baby jeans.
And I looked forward to going from an almost complete lack of exercise to ideally hitting the gym up to four days a week, acknowledging that scheduling would likely be my biggest obstacle.
Six months later, my predictions about the difficulty of scheduling workouts into busy days while juggling work and family proved true. There were stretches when everything went smoothly and I succeeded in getting to the gym several times a week, and some definite blips (like moving homes) that derailed my efforts and were difficult to recover from.
But what of those pre-mom jeans?
At my first meeting with the trainer, I sheepishly allowed Werner to do the necessary measurements (and did my best not to listen to the results) for the inevitable post-regime comparisons.
But a few months into our training sessions, I was feeling the effects of all that exercise. I felt stronger, I had more energy and I was sleeping better. My clothes fit differently — in a good way, for a change.
I often dragged my feet to the gym but never failed to feel happier, less stressed and refreshed by the time I headed home after a workout.
Perhaps the highlight of the past six months came in late September, when Werner said something that sounded like it came from heaven itself: She said I was noticeably slimmer, and suggested I try on those old jeans.
And with that, all those lunges and squats — even the push-ups — were instantly forgiven.