A note to my 34 year old body

Dearest body,

I’m writing this to you because we’ve been at odds in the last year or so, and I’m hoping this note might clear the air and help us get along better.

Now I know you have produced for us two beautiful children.  And for that I will be eternally grateful.  You’ve also not (touch wood) failed me in terms of serious illness or back problems, or the like.  You’re generally a reliable model, in part due to genes and due to me taking care of you.  You don’t present me with much difficulty, except perhaps the monthly hormonal rollercoaster you seem to still thrust upon me without fail.

But in the last year, coincidentally after the birth of my second child (funny that), externally you’ve been struggling to snap back into place, haven’t you.  Haven’t you?  Yes, you know it’s true.  It seems when I turned 34, things suddenly got a lot harder between us.

I’ve heard many times that everyone has “an age” when all of a sudden, to get their body to remain in good shape externally, it suddenly becomes hard work.  For some, it happens at 30, 35, 40.  Well, it’s clear that 34 is my magic number.  Yes, sadly, our number is up.

No body, I am not talking about being skinny.  No no no.  You can be skinny and untoned.  You can be skinny and look quite unhealthy.  And anyhow, you’ve never been one of those bodies without hips and a bum.  Let’s not kid ourselves here!!

I’m talking about muscle tone.  The kind of tone that generally starts dissipating following pregnancy, along with age. 

Need some reminding?  Here you and I are together, aged 27.

As you can see, you were never model-skinny.  That’s OK.  You’ve always been built strong – broad shoulders and hips, with curves.  But at 27, you were serving me quite well.  You let me eat whatever I wanted and generally laze about, with the exception of a couple of half hour gym visits a week.  (You also let me drink like a fish until 1am and wake up bouncing out of bed to start work at 7:30am the next day.  Remember?  Remember?!!)

I’m a little angry at your timing on that.  Why didn’t you make me work hard back then and let me laze about now, when I have two kids to look after?  But yes I know…that’s how you work.  Ageing, and all that. 

And in all honesty, I owe you an apology.  Back before getting pregnant, I spent far too long nitpicking you.

Ah, for the gift of hindsight.  If only I knew back then that your stomach would, in a few years’ time, bear a 20cm scar running vertically down it due to childbirth.  If only I knew what breastfeeding would do to your breasts.  If only I could’ve foreseen just how much weight you’d gain during pregnancy, I wouldn’t have stressed over 1 or 2kg fluctuations back then, and put you on silly diets.

If I’d have known all that, I would never have criticised you like I did.  I’d have dismissed a not-perfectly-flat stomach and not wasted money on creams that didn’t work, at the first sign of a bit of cellulite.  For that I am sorry. 

But let’s move onto when there was some genuine strain placed on our relationship.  After you produced baby number 1, you were heavier than you’d ever been.  That wasn’t your fault, I’ll admit – that was mine, because the baby craved Lindt balls the entire 9 months.  (Actually, so technically it was the baby’s fault). 

Anyhow, when I decided to do something about it, I took you off to the gym and worked you hard.  I made you lift heavy weights over and over.  I fed you with a lot of egg whites, chicken, green veges and protein shakes.  Within four months, you weighed less than you did before the baby, and were fitter than you’d ever been.  You had lots of muscle and I was very, very happy.

Then you produced baby number 2. 

And even though I was smart enough second time around to resist the Lindt balls, we turned 34.

Instead of a walk, or a gentle jog as its been of late, I decided not to muck around and took you out for a good hard run today.  Because you and I both know, that at 34, running is the really the only effective way to stay toned.  And was the run enjoyable for you?  It wasn’t particularly fun for me.  For the most part, it felt like bloody hard work.   

I know there’s going to be no such thing as a walk in the park anymore (pardon the pun) when it comes to maintaining you.  You and I have had it pretty easy up until now.  Yes, from now on, it’s going to be tough and it’s going to hurt.  But unfortunately, that’s just the way it is.  Especially it seems, after baby number 2.

So, are you with me on this?  Are you willing to endure greater pain than I put you through after baby number 1?  To still reach bench pressing 60kg and flys with 12kg dumbells in each hand?

All rhetorical questions of course, dearest 34 year old body… 

Because if my mind says yes, you’ll just have to follow.

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19 responses to “A note to my 34 year old body

  1. I think you’ve just set the wheels in motion! What you put out into the universe, you will get back tenfold. So look out mid 30’s, your best body years are yet to come! 🙂

  2. Oh wow, that was awesome. The birth of my 2nd child was definitely my undoing 4 yrs ago. Before then with my first, I gained 30kg and got to 90kg! I am short, so that didn’t bode very well. Afterwards I got down to 55kgs without doing anything except breastfeeding. THEN after my daughter, I had stacked on 20kg again (my vice were Big Macs) and after her birth I never list it again. I’m 37 so what you say is exactly on cue!!

    • Oh thanks! Yep the first was a minor blip in comparison with the 2nd, it seems and being closer to 30 the first time round, and closer to 35 the second time around makes a difference!

  3. Holy mother of hooters – Look at your rack! Nice boobage going on there.

    I have given up on the old woogiebod and am just trying to make the most of what I am left with.

  4. I hear you!! Great blog.

    The doctor told me the other day that “the weight should just start falling off” three months after the baby is born. Obviously he has no idea. He has not had three children. It’s been three months and I am waiting for it to fall off, because that is exactly how I lost the weight after baby 2 was born. Oh yeah, and I watched everything I ate and I exercised all the time. This time I am older (37), more tired, more hungry and have less time. Going out to get me a nancy gantz!!

    Stop being so hard on yourself. You have had two gorgeous children. You will feel amazing again, just different.

  5. Gosh..this really hit a nail right in. At least you went for a run. I’ve been asking my brain to do that since.. well, it has been such a long time ago.

    I hv to take my No.3 in for swim lessons, and no matter how many times I think I can suck in my gut when I’m out of the pool, I’m really just kidding my brains. Sigh.. ok ok..

    I. Must. Start. Running
    Again.

    Please, brain?

  6. It was 29 for me.

    More specifically, after my second baby.

    After the first, yes, I had stretch marks and a saggy time (boo hoo), but I was able to eat pretty much the way I used to, and work out just a little and everything was fine.

    Then baby #2 came almost 11 months ago, and yes, while I’ve lost most of the weight, I just feel ‘blah.’ Not quite fit, not quite fat.

    • I know how you feel…

      I suppose the point I was trying to make in this blog post was that if you work hard enough at it, it’s possible to get your old body back. I am absolutely of the belief that if you work hard enough at it, it’s possible. Trouble is most people don’t know how hard they have to work. Takes a lot of discipline and effort. Bloody hard work, there’s no way around it!

  7. You’re a hottie at any age.

    And frankly, if you can look at that gorgeous photo and say you weren’t model skinny at 27, I don’t know what skinny looks like. x

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