You guys. It’s Fat Tuesday – the beginning of Mardi Gras! This is easily one of my favorite and least favorite of all the holidays. Although I am not in New Orleans celebrating this Mardi Gras season with the beloved Nanny Leah, I will definitely be participating from afar! Mardi Gras, which is literally French for “Fat Tuesday,” reflects the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. In other words, eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we fast! Obviously that’s why it’s my favorite. I love eating. I love drinking. I love being merry! If I had to pick, those would probably be three of my favorite things.
So why is it also my least favorite? Because the fast is coming. I have been living the past year of my life like it’s Fat Tuesday. Ice cream almost every night, and donuts. So many donuts. I found this meme on Pinterest and it has inadvertently become my mantra:
Oops. I didn’t mean for it to happen. And honestly, I didn’t expect it. I kept hearing over and over again that breastfeeding was great for the baby but also a great way for the mother to lose the weight. False. I’m hungry all the time. My body is holding on to every last fat deposit, I can only assume for energy while I feed another human. And don’t get me started on the hormones!
I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations for myself as a first time parent. Pretty much just keeping my new baby alive and breastfeeding – I really wanted to make it at least a year. And let me tell you what a year it has been! Rory just turned one, and we did it. Late nights, early mornings, weird cravings, pumping across the UK, mastitis (x2), blood, pain, and tears – we’ve seen it all and we have come through on the other side! It hasn’t been without some major sacrifice and struggle, but I guess that’s what parenting is. Sacrifice, struggle, and so much love and joy.
I wouldn’t change a thing about my breastfeeding journey, but I wish I had known about the toll it would take on my physical body, my emotional state, my time and my marriage. That’s not what I’m here to talk about though. The point I am trying to make (in a very scattered way, I think) is that the fast is coming. I don’t want to live my whole life giving in to every indulgence (ie. food, lazy weekends, using yoga pants for Netflix watching instead of actual yoga). I need balance. And I need to focus more on my health.
I gave myself one year after Rory was born to give in to the cravings, allow my body to rest and heal, and not track any workout or food consumption. But that year is over. No more Fat Tuesday. The fast is coming. I don’t want to go overboard on this end either, so I’m taking baby steps. Cutting down on snacks. Logging my meals in MyFitnessPal. Counting my steps with my new Vivofit. Drinking more water. Setting realistic goals. Eating one less donut. A coworker and I are even doing a daily 15 minute workout video in the office. You should see us do standing splits – woof.
Much like Oprah on the overplayed Hulu ad, “I don’t have, like, a pair of jeans I’m trying to get into. I’ve been down that road, honey child. And I don’t have, like, a dress or some big red carpet thing I have to do. I’m really just looking at 2016 as the year of my best body. That’s what I want for you, too. Let’s let 2016 be the year of our best bodies.”
So I’m putting these goals out there so I am held accountable. If you see me walking down Main Street in a snow storm, I am probably trying to get my steps in. If you happen to catch me eating a donut, ask me how many I’ve had that day. And whatever your motivation is, don’t be afraid to join me in the year of our best bodies!