Post-baby body angst is normal—we've all felt a modicum of jealousy when a no-stretch-marks, lean-and-mean fellow mom sits next to us at the playground. But imagine feeling envious of the rock-hard abs of another new mother...who just happens to be feline!
Several years ago, I served as midwife to a young black cat that gave birth to six kittens in the bottom of my bathroom closet. She was a stray who had adopted us; and at some point in time, found herself in the family way. Imagine: six kittens in her very first (and only) pregnancy!
For years, she slept at the end of our bed, snapping at my feet under the covers and even growling should I disturb her by rolling over or otherwise jostling the mattress.
I think I hate that cat.
But it's not her sourpuss disposition that annoys me. Her infraction is much more serious than that. She has the best body I've ever seen. Lithe and elegant, she loves to roll over and taunt me with her taught tummy. ?No sagging, no stretch marks-just rock-hard abs.
I hate that cat.
For me, one of the toughest parts about becoming a mom is what happened to my body, and I'm not talking about labor (although that deserves serious respect). The whole thing is summed up by the first time I weighed myself after giving birth. I was shocked to realize that although I could now carry my baby in my arms, most of the pregnancy weight was still on my hips, thighs, and tri-fold tummy!
I was able to get pretty much back into shape by breast-feeding and working out to television exercise shows. I maintained a comfortable weight for a good decade. Not skinny, but healthy
And then, it happened. My metabolism disappeared. I misplaced it...or something. And my weight started to creep up. So now my life is an exercise in moderation and trying to do some activity that's good for my heart, helps burn calories, is beneficial to my bones, and doesn't hurt my joints.
And that wretched cat just rolls over and shows me her belly.
I really hate that cat.
During her kids' nap times, Toni Garcia Carpenter co-authored a book on hurricane preparedness for families, "The Hurricane Handbook," and when the children started school, she began a second career as a cable TV producer and director. Her latest book is "Domestic Commando: A Stay at Home (R)evolution". She is the proud mother of two children whom she considers her greatest work.
Your "Mommy Body": Learn how to live with it, get tips and advice on how to make fitness happen, and get some good news about stroller activity!
Stroller Strides holds one-hour workouts for moms throughout our region, each complete with walking intervals, body toning, and strengthening components as well as nursery rhymes, songs, and props to keep baby happy during the workout. Visit our calendar to search for Stroller Strides classes near you (and visit www.strollerstrides.com to see the array of classes available for pregnant women plus moms whose babies aren't nearly in strollers anymore-there's something for everyone)!