Body Image

The Funny-Not-Funny Reality of Returning to Exercise Post Kids

There is one thing that every mother has in common and something we can all agree upon… that pregnancy forever changes our body, one way or another.

When I had my twins my own mother described me as being ‘as wide as I am tall’, thanks mum.  After having them I was boobs deep in nappies and sleepless nights. I paid no mind to nutrition nor exercise because I was just hoping to simply survive the next few years with a semblance of my sanity.  Four years post their birth I staggered past the mirror and thought ‘holy moley who is that chubby checker, staring back at me’.  My twins were starting Kindy so I felt now was the time to delve into the deep abyss of weight loss.

By nature I am somewhat of an extremist; not of the terrorist ilk, more in the ‘grossly overestimating my abilities kind of way’.  So I went out and bought an exercise bike and cross trainer on gumtree; bought myself a nifty little sweat band set with matching wrist gear and was all set to run a marathon.  I thought I looked amazing but I overheard my daughter ask my husband “what happened to mum?” as I walked out in my exercise gear.  That should have rung alarm bells… but alas, it did not.

I imagine I looked something like this. But maybe not as thin.
I imagine I looked something like this. But maybe not as thin.

Having not exercised for four years, I felt that I didn’t need to waste any time with stretching, warming up or taking it slow.  I felt entirely capable of taking on the advanced exercise programs offered on YouTube and becoming the svelte buff mummy babe I imagined in a matter of days (if not hours). Weight loss, come get me!  After the first day of my ‘program’ I woke up and could not move my head.  Apparently my neck and shoulder muscles had resigned from their duties and entirely abandoned me.  Instead of this being a sign that I had overdone the exercise, I decided that what this situation needed was a remedial sports massage. Because I of course was now a “sports athlete“.

I rocked down to the massage place where I was taken into the most beautiful and tranquil environment you could possibly imagine.  It was so serene that I felt entirely out of place, like a toad that had just done a bomb into the holy water of a baptism.  I don’t know why it had not occurred to me prior, but I was taken aback when I was tasked with stripping off to my undies.  I immediately regretted wearing my glow in the dark alien underpants.  Once I was up on the table the lady asked me if there were any areas that I am sensitive about or ticklish.  I said no.  She was standing at my feet and asked me if I was sure.  I felt I needed to offer up a ‘no go zone’ so I said “ok maybe avoid my feet, I have this weird long toe that might creep you out anyways”.  I swear I heard a sigh of relief when she said “ok great”.

In case you are wondering, THIS is how much light glow in the dark alien undies give off...
In case you are wondering, THIS is how much light glow in the dark alien undies give off…

I am so highly strung and neurotic, that I simply cannot just lie there, relax and enjoy.  The whole time I am staring through that massage table hole I am wondering how much light my glow in the dark jocks are giving off.  I’m wondering how close to my butt she intends on massaging me.  I’m wondering what possessed me to mention my mega toe; and also pondered why exercise would turn on me when I was nothing but enthusiastic towards it.  As much as I like receiving a massage, I really feel guilty about paying someone to rub me down.  So I make it even more awkward by asking weird muffled questions through the massage table hole like ”do your hands get tired?” and “have you ever had someone come in and you would rather spontaneously combust that massage them”.  The minute I asked that last question I immediately wished I could take it back, in case I was the customer that made her feel that way. I wished I could learn to relax. And maybe shut up.

After the massage I was send on my merry way, feeling like a loose noodle.  Now I am still on my exercise regime and have lost a few kgs.  Though I am feeling pretty fly about my weight loss, I am mindful of going overboard and buying an entire new wardrobe in the next size down.  Because I would once again go in too hard, too fast and wind up walking around town looking like a poorly packed sausage that is ready to blow. All in good time. And plenty of moderation.

PS – Why do people no longer wear sweat bands? How did I miss this memo?

Avatar of Renae Butson

Renae Hall-Butson is an immature 30 something born and bred in Perth, W.A. Mother of three and survivor of twins. A former Technical Writer who has traded writing fascinating ‘think pieces’ about Mining equipment for writing about the chaos and terror caused by raising small children. Currently the operating a Technical Writing business from home and assisting her punk ass husband with his Music Promotion business (not all heroes wear capes). Hobbies include harassing her mother with prank phone calls, creating awkward and embarrassing moments daily and giving her husband the stink eye. A devoted Pepsi Max enthusiast who copes with adulthood by trying to find the funny in all situations. Once awarded the title of ‘professional turd polisher’ who enjoys the challenge of making the mundane interesting in an effort to make people smile.

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