I’m up about 15 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. That doesn’t feel like a huge amount in the scheme of things except that I was already considered obese and have struggled all of my adult life with my weight. Sometimes, especially in recent years, the major reason for the struggle is health related but even then there’s always been that vein of vanity/cowing to patriarchal beauty standards/self consciousness. But now, despite my poochy belly and too-tight pants, the problem is just that I hurt. I have no core strength anymore and I’m carrying around a 17+ lb baby so I have chronic back pain. The plan was that I was going to start running- I even got a jogging stroller off the local gift economy group- but I’ve developed plantar fascitis in one foot and re-developed Achilles tendinitis in the other so even walking is painful. I want to go to the gym and maybe do a little light weight lifting or get on the elliptical but I feel so guilty using the few baby free hours I have each week for anything other than work. I know that my weight causes my pain which continues my sedentary habits but I feel stuck in this weaker, heavier, less fun body. I just want to feel like myself again.