After I had my son Sam, 11 months ago now, the baby weight came off fast. Before I knew it, I was back to my “walking around” weight and into my regular size jeans. I could credit it to good diet and exercise, but that would be a total lie.
The truth is that due to a pesky case of gestational diabetes — and the seriously restricting diet that comes along with that diagnosis — I didn’t gain much weight to begin with. During the entire pregnancy, I only gained 20 pounds and 8 of that was the baby. Then after he was born, my thyroid went insane and the weight just melted away.
The best part was that even after I was back to my “pre-baby” weight, it didn’t stop. Soon I was down to a size that I hadn’t worn since high school.
I was stoked.
The thing is, my thyroid has since gotten its ducks back in a row and my “super metabolism” has run its course. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted — although I’m sure my husband won’t miss the crazy mood swings that came with it.
I didn’t notice at first as the weight began to creep back. I’m not one of those people who obsessively weighs themselves everyday or counts calories or turns down a second helping of … anything. Ever.
It’s no secret: I love food.
But I wasn’t quite willing to give up on my brush with a size six, however brief it was. I wanted it back, which meant I was either going to have to start watching what I eat (ha!) or … I was going to have to start exercising.
I called my friend Kim to ask for advice.
“Do push-ups, they work everything — your arms, your abs, your thighs. Trust me. You do a bunch of push-ups every day and it’ll work,” she sounded very optimistic. “How many can you do?”
I told her I had no idea, I couldn’t remember the last time I even attempted a push-up.
“Put me on speaker phone and do as many as you can, right now,” Kim said.
The only reason I complied was because my husband wasn’t home. There’s no way I would have embarrassed myself this way in front of him. A marriage, after all, has to maintain at least some areas of mystery.
I huffed and heaved and struggled and finally managed to complete what I considered to be a respectable number of push-ups. Winded and arms shaking, I picked the phone back up and told her I was done, I couldn’t do any more.
“How many did you get?”
“Three,” I panted, completely out of breath.
Kim started cracking up. “No, you can’t stop at three. Do two more, at least make it five.”
“Can I at least do the ‘girl’ ones on my knees?” I pleaded.
She was unmerciful, called me a wimp and basically ridiculed me into submission.
Somehow, I managed two more before collapsing into a quivering pile on the floor.
The next day, I was ridiculously sore. I made up a story at work that I must have “slept in a bad position” because I wouldn’t dare admit the truth to my co-workers — that I was sore from doing five push-ups (two of which were coerced). I’d never hear the end of it.
Kim’s plan is simple: keep doing push-ups every day — as many as you can — then add two. And do it three times a day. So far, I can do eight — not counting the extra two that I’m fairly sure she just tacks on to be cruel. And while eight push-ups still sounds like a laughable number — even to me — progress is being made. It’s better than three.
Then again, I did have that strawberry shortcake at lunch today … better go for nine.
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.