It shouldn’t be a shock that my body is different now than it was a year ago. I should be able to do the math and realize that I became pregnant almost exactly one year ago, then got even more pregnant (30 pounds more) as the nine months rolled on, then had the baby, then began nursing the baby…which brings me to today. No, it shouldn’t be a shock that things aren’t back to normal by now…and yet it is. I am out of shape. There, I said it. OUT OF shape. I’m all OUT OF shape. There’s no more shape here. Excuse me, I’m looking for some shape, do you have any? Nope. We’re all OUT OF shape here, come back in a year. OK, so I have shape, but it’s not mine. I don’t know whose shape this is, but it sure isn’t mine. I would like mine back please.
Not only am I OUT OF shape, I’m out of coordination. I went to my first fitness class last week in an attempt to try to find my old shape, only to realize my coordination must be hiding somewhere with it. I used to be good at this stuff! But on this particular day, this sad, pitiful day, I was, well, sad and pitiful. I seem to have forgotten how to lift anything to the timing of any kind of music. And damn those big mirrors that force you to look at yourself! I used to like those mirrors, they used to point out muscle definition and tight things. But now they just drew attention to paleness, to the absence of tight things.
Not being sure what class to take, I just blindly followed the tight butts into a room filled with tiny people in tiny clothes following a mean man with a whistle. There were many stations set out on the floor, some with weights, some with mats and balls, there were jump ropes, traffic cones, resistance bands, lots and lots of stations. The class began with a whistle and everyone but me knew what that whistle meant. All the little tiny people were hard at work and I just stood there, confused. I’m not one to like looking like an idiot, so I just found the closest open station and did what the giant flash card on the floor said to do. Crab Walk, it said. So walk like a crab, I did. I did my best crab impression for a minute or so until the mean man blew his whistle. Everyone scattered across the floor again. I was kicked out of the crab station and thrown into the next one that said D.B. Press. D.B.? What the heck is a D.B.? I just picked up the weights and did shoulder presses…that’s the only press I knew how to do standing up.
After awhile, I started to really get into it. I kinda forgot where I was and began singing and enjoying my freedom. I didn’t care that the tight ones were staring at me, (I mean, who can keep their mouth shut when Micheal Jackson is calling you an abbreviated Pretty Young Thing? Or when Barry Gibb is telling you to keep Stayin’ Alive, whether you happen to be a brother OR a mother?!) It was fun. The class itself wasn’t necessarily fun, but I made it that way. I soon figured out, after about 45 minutes that D.B. meant Dumb Bell…that made me feel just about as dumb as the bell. And I soon learned to just copy what the person in front of me was doing, and I curled, pressed, walked like both a crab and a bear, jumped, jacked, crunched and stepped my way through the hour long class. And here’s what I learned:
#1.) I do not wish I was a crab. Or a bear.
#2.) No one who has ever had a baby should jump without the proper protection, ever.
#3.) If you’re not used to having breasts of any kind, you should rethink any sort of bouncing unless you are prepared to grab them with one hand as you work out the other.
#4.) If you are driving a loaner car from the dealership, make sure you know what it looks like before you enter a building or else you will be running around in confused circles for 15 minutes pressing your key thingy until you see lights flash.
And finally, lesson #5.) I may have lost my shape and my coordination, but my balance was impeccable. Because isn’t that what I’ve been doing the past 3 months? Balancing? Every single day of this new life has me balancing something and everything. I could stand on that Bosu ball and curl and press my D.B.’s all day long without falling. Because I can balance. If I ever feel like I have lost anything, whether it be my shape or my sanity, I can take pride in knowing that I never lost my balance.
(I’ve posted this recipe before, a long time ago, but thought about them the other day when I found several logs of the dough in my freezer. This is a great thing to whip up, freeze, and always have on hand for a cocktail party. You can use parmesan, asiago, cheddar or gorgonzola instead of the romano, and fresh thyme is a fine replacement for the rosemary, especially if you add a bit of lemon zest to the dough. These shortbread disks are deliciously addictive and have a wonderful Balance of sweet and savory.)
*Rosemary-Romano Shortbread Disks
2 cups AP flour
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp fresh minced rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
2 sticks soft butter
-Pulse everything in a food processor until combined.
-Form the dough into log shape (2 in wide) and wrap tightly in plastic, chill til firm, or freeze for several months*
-Slice into disks, about 1/2 inch thick and bake 375* for 12-14 min.
-Allow to cool completely before serving or they will crumble.
*you can slice and bake these without thawing if you’re in a pinch, you just may need to adjust the baking time.