So, without further ado, why walking the Camino is like having a baby.
1. Lingering weight gain: Yes, I walked 500 miles and gained weight. Miraculously, it's about the same amount of weight I was left with after Kepa was born (after being pregnant for only 7 months). Back on Weight Watchers I go. However, it's not just the weight gain. My body shape changed from both dramatically. I'm left with a bigger midsection (from the fluid retention carry the pack/baby). Physically, I feel very different, and I'm sure it's going to take some time to get back to my old shape/self. I teach MWF, so that means I only need to fit into three decent looking outfits come August.
2. Foot enlargement: Again, horrifyingly enough, I actually didn't experience this with pregnancy. My shoes still fit (mostly), but my feet have swollen, flattened out, or something. I also have numbness in a few toes. I am hoping time, and some pedicures, will work this out.
3. Hunger + thirst: Yep, your metabolism goes into high gear during Caminos and pregnancy. I had both, and I am still drinking water constantly (and peeing constantly, which I did throughout my pregnancy). I am seeing a 75% success rate and not stealing food off of Kepa's plate. Check back with me.
4. Pregnancy/Camino Brain: I have a lot of stuff to do, school wise and work wise. But, my mind wanders and I come up with lists comparing the Camino de Santiago to Pregnancy, which I MUST blog. I was a babbling idiot toward the end of my pregnancy (waiting for the jokes....now). We are all feeling the mental shift of being off the Camino. No one can seem to focus on anything, and conversations often lead back to Camino (must like the early months of parenthood when you are all-consumed by the baby).
5. Miscellaneous Aches/Pains: Stuff hurts. Not the same stuff hurts all the time. You're asking a lot of your body, and it responds in weird ways. Most mornings was spent on the Camino comparing what hurt and what didn't versus the day before. If you were a student on mine in Spring of 2012, you should remember my complaining to you quite well (sorry about that).
So, there you have it. None of this is to say that these things were not well worth the physical demands, but these demands were surprising (in both cases).
So, just to recap:
is pretty much like doing
The good news is that our little pilgrim is VERY close to walking on his own, thus I will be retiring from being a pilgrim vessel very soon.