The First Step

People who know me well have likely heard about my struggle finding the balance between self-acceptance and body love on the one hand and a desire for a healthy, fit, and yes, conventionally-attractive body on the other. I don’t believe in diets– either ideologically or in terms of efficacy– but I eventually realized I would benefit from being more active, regardless of intended outcome (size, weight, endurance, etc). So, I bought myself a Fitbit Flex with some birthday money this year, and decided to start tracking my steps.

Now, I do a little bit of walking each day as part of my job at a law office– I have to walk a few blocks from the office to the Post Office and the Courthouse– but other than that it’s a fairly sedentary desk job. Even the recommended “beginner” goal of 10,000 steps is sometimes far above my end-of-day total. I go to work, come home, and then spend the evening either making dinner and then collapsing while my wife, MamaRae, occupies the baby, or I play with the Bug while MamaRae takes care of dinner. By the time dinner is over, we’re both often too tired (whether physically or mentally) to do much else, plus it tends to be the Bug’s fussiest time of day, so more physical activity for its own sake is unlikely.

This was my pattern for the first 3 1/2 months of the Bug’s life. Work, home, dinner, collapse. Maybe 6,000-8,000 steps a day. Until last week, when I discovered the perfect mama-baby activity that kept her happy and me moving– a baby-wearing dance party! I put on our Moby wrap and began dancing around the house to a playlist I had made a couple of years ago when I was in my first year of grad school. Not only was the baby happy, but I was getting *all kinds* of steps in– and with about 16 extra pounds of weight tied to my body, it was quite the workout! I reached my 10,000 steps that day for the first time in a week or two, and the next day, I even woke up with sore quads and glutes.

Since then, I have had several of these dance parties with the Bug, and they continue to be fun and effective ways of increasing my activity level. Moreover, they have inspired me to start thinking about other activities I can do (especially those I can perform indoors while MamaRae makes dinner) while baby-wearing. This blog will chronicle what works, what doesn’t, and whatever other revelations I have along the way. I want the Bug to grow up seeing her Mamas being active, but hopefully in a way that looks fun, not like work, and doesn’t give her the idea that the reason to stay active is to be thin and fit a certain definition of beauty. I’m really hoping this will help me fulfill that wish.

Here’s the playlist I was listening to. Enjoy– until next time!

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