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Training for Baby: Learning how to stand still

Kathy's been working out five to six days a week for at least an hour a day for many months now. But she's always wondered what would happen if she took too many days off. She just found out.

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Kathy Hanrahan
Kathy Hanrahan

Since I started this little project – to drop at least 10 pounds before embarking on “Project Baby” – I haven’t stopped working out for fear the weight would come back.

I have been working out five to six days a week for at least an hour a day. I found a way to balance working out, going to work and spending time with my husband and still didn’t go insane. (A skill that should come in handy when I do become a mom.)

No matter how physically or emotionally bad I felt at times, I kept moving. Working out and burning those calories. I feared that if I took too many days off (more than two in one week), I would start gaining weight again and my progress would be for nothing.

Recently, I faced that fear.

I was at the precipice of getting sick – scratchy throat, itchy eyes, aching stomach and extreme fatigue. I ignored my body and worked out with Trainer Anthony, but even he could tell that I was off.

I burned about 800 calories for the day – a couple hundred less than normal when I do an hour of weight/resistance training and 30 minutes of cardio.

Later that afternoon, I started feeling terrible – like I had a fever.

So, I took a couple days off from the gym. I felt terrible about it, but I had to try to get my strength back.

Those two days ended up becoming a week when, despite my efforts to heal myself with sleep and over-the-counter cold meds, I succumbed to the mucus.

My worst fear was happening – I was a sneezing, coughing, nose-blowing hot mess and in no shape to hit the gym.

I was too sick to care if my waistline was going to expand again. I had no choice but to take care of my body.

Surprisingly, instead of gaining a pound while sick, I think I lost a few more. I know feeling sick often ruins your appetite, and for me it kept me from indulging in those foods I often crave.

Most of my calories each day came from Greek yogurt, soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

I finally realized that I don’t have to work out 24/7 to keep these 20 pounds off. I can take a break, especially when I am sick, and not fear that things will fall apart.

So, maybe getting sick wasn’t so bad. I did have time to catch up on my DVR and try lots of new soups.

Do you have any anxieties about working out or not working out? How do you maintain working out and eating right while balancing everything else in your life?

Kathy is a web producer, entertainment expert and concert photographer for WRAL.com. She has written a manuscript about her life as an entertainment reporter and pop culture. Learn more about Kathy on her website. On Wednesdays here on Go Ask Mom, she's chronicling her efforts to lose weight before she and her husband start a family.


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