Can I admit something? I go to the gym almost every single day. I squat and deadlift and lunge until I’m so sore, I cry using the bathroom the next day. I curl and burpee and rep and sweat, and I keep going back for more. I’m a mom who works out.
But I don’t always do it for the right reasons.
Although I have always exercised and worked out, my motivation behind it has pretty much been the same: to try to escape my body. When I was training for a half-marathon, I would put on my music and just run, willing the postpartum rolls I was sporting to disappear by the time I got back. When I am squatting, I can forget just for an hour, how for the rest of the day, I’ll avoid looking in the mirror at all costs.
The truth is, I hate my body and have used exercise as a way to escape it.
I know as moms, we’re supposed to love and appreciate the bodies that gave life and nourished little people, blah, blah, blah. But can we be real? That’s not always easy. So much of motherhood is sacrificing at the most basic level; that doesn’t always leave time for appreciating the scraps, scars, and stretch marks that are left after all that giving.
And my efforts to love my body by taking care of it have been a bit misguided. Instead of facing what I have, I turned to heavy exercise in the hope that it would take my body out of the equation completely. Every time I squatted, lifted a dumbbell, or did a burpee, I was escaping what I saw as a flawed body. So exercise, for me, has become a way of mentally and physically “checking out” out.
But after two miscarriages, I am changing my approach to fitness. I am finally learning to face my body through yoga.