Couch potato

You know, I’ve been un-pregnant for three months now. I figured my body wouldn’t hurt anymore. But somehow lately, everything kind of aches. My shoulders, my back, my hips, my calves.

Most days, I spend literally 19 hours a day sitting on the couch. I also tend to hunch over when I’m at the sink or changing table (though I finally got some risers to get the table higher, and that was a big help), and when I’m on the laptop my shoulders tense and hunch upwards. Honestly, for the past few weeks, it feels like the entire day is uncomfortable somehow. And now that I’ve started to notice it, it’s worse because I don’t know how to fix it or prevent it.

Every so often I’ll notice my shoulders and try to un-tense them. When I try to relax, though, I think I tense my lower back. Also, the tension creeps back within seconds or never un-tensed in the first place. At this very moment I’m typing around the pump, as I so often do nowadays, and that makes the shoulder tensing worse, because my elbows are forced outward a bit, so the position is unnatural and my shoulders and back seem to be over-compensating. In other words, it kind of hurts just to sit here sometimes.

A couple days a week, I go out for a walk for 30-40 minutes, which I think has helped melt off some pounds and inches, but doesn’t seem to do much to undo the muscle fatigue. (Muscle ‘fatigue’ of sitting on my ass all day? Get a grip. I don’t know what else to call it, though. Laziness ache? Couch potato syndrome?) I’ve been trying to stretch a bit while I’m moving around the house–lunges to stretch my atrophying hip flexors and calves, forward bends to relax my lower back. Those brief stretches feel good, but it still isn’t enough. Neither is walking. It’s like I need to do the physical opposite of sitting to undo the damage. I don’t mean standing, I mean the angles need to swap. Instead of sitting in a 90 degree angle, I need to stretch to a 270 degree angle! Haha, can you imagine!

I’m starting to wonder if lying down in bed more would help. I’m still only getting about five hours of sleep, which is also not helping because I am so tired. But lying straight instead of sitting up is probably less stressful on my body. I certainly don’t hunch my shoulders when I’m sleeping! Doctor Self, I’m prescribing ten hours of sleep a night to combat your aches! Along with weekly massages and jacuzzi baths!

One major problem: there’s no end in sight for the sitting. I’m still pumping five times a day for 30-50 minutes. On the couch. Often that doesn’t overlap with feeding the babies. Can’t exactly do that on-the-go, so on-the-couch I am. This week I’m starting some work from home again, and you can guess where I’ll be stationed!

I do have some yoga-ish dvds that I think would feel really good. It’s just a matter of finding time and space to do that during the day. Not as easy as it might sound, unfortunately.

I hope I can find some solution that works, so my body will start feeling good again. Or at least stop feeling so uncomfortable.

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6 thoughts on “Couch potato

  1. Winter babies are hard for this very reason – once the weather warms up at least you’ll be able to get out with them more often for walks. In the meantime, the Shiva Rea post-natal yoga video has some nice stretches. She also has a section at the end of the DVD with some stretches that you can do throughout the day when you get a free minute. Some of them are seated and would be possible to do while pumping. I also have an email I can send you (if you want) with some core exercises that are done seated – very small contracting exercises to mend abs and pelvic floor. I used to do them on the train. You could totally do them while pumping. Let me know if you want me to forward! Hang in there. Before you know it they’ll be crawling and getting into everything and then you’ll have trouble finding a moment to sit down! 🙂

    • Sure, I’d love to see those exercises! And I did finally do some of the yoga dvd that I have, and it felt really good. Hopefully this will help me get motivated to do it regularly.

    • Hm, interesting! Standing is actually feels worse to me than sitting or walking–it hurts my feet/legs. But I could possibly do a few minutes!

  2. You didn’t mention whether you are still taking your pre-natals. Along with moving more, keep up your vitamin intake. Breastfeeding/pumping can suck up a lot of your vitamins & minerals. After Stella was born, my B12 hit rock bottom and I could feel it!

    • Yep, I’m still taking prenatals, plus iron and DHA, and I added a B complex about a month ago. I think it’s helped me feel less zombie-like during the day. I would probably feel even better if I ate enough. :/ At least I’m pretty good about water now–60 or so ounces per day.

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