When I started my blog over four (FOUR!) years ago I was at a very different point in my life. In fact, one of the main reasons I started it was my husband and I were dealing with infertility. Doctors pretty much told us that we would not be able to have children on our own. I don’t remember why but for some reason, at that time, we decided not to pursue any medical intervention to help us have a child. I guess we decided to just put the whole thing on hold and see if nature would take its course. I had been following several healthy living bloggers and was inspired by their stories of clean eating, mindful eating, race recaps, and more. I wanted to write about my own healthy living journey. I wanted to stop focusing on the fact that we couldn’t start our family. I started grad school, was teaching several fitness classes, and decided to train for an Olympic distance triathlon and two half marathons. I enjoyed writing about my daily efforts to live better and be healthy. That’s how “The Girl With The Pink Sneakers” was born. It was a good distraction, something fun and creative to do. It kept me motivated to live a healthy lifestyle and achieve my fitness goals. Other people told me they enjoyed reading about my joys and struggles. They even told me I was an inspiration.
I remember at some point after the Disney Half Marathon I had dreams in my head about running a full marathon but in the back of my mind was still that undeniable desire and yearning to be a mom. We decided to go back to the doctors and see what needed to be done to achieve this goal and if we couldn’t have children of our own then we needed to decide where to go from there. I didn’t write about any of these struggles because they felt very personal at the time. I still continued to live and write about my own personal health and fitness. By God’s grace and blessings we finally got pregnant (naturally!) and I continued to write about how I was having a healthy pregnancy and still being fit and active.
Well, after my precious Hunter was born our lives took a dramatic shift and so did my own personal health and fitness. I gained 40 lbs. when I was pregnant. 20 of those pounds fell off instantly but the remaining 20 seemed to hang on for good even though I was exclusively nursing. I started to get back into a fitness routine and even ran a 5K but it was SO HARD to fit exercise in. On many of the blogs that I started reading way back when the women have had children and seem to get right back into their fit and active lifestyles completing triathlons, marathons pursuing goals of becoming fitness instructors and more. They also seemed to get right back into their pre-pregnancy jeans! Weight loss has never been easy for me and this was no exception. Once Hunter turned a year old I started getting back into the swing of things as far as healthy eating and exercise goes. But then, much to my joy and surprise I found out I was pregnant again!
Here I am today, almost six months after my sweet Everly was born, still clinging on to 20 of the 40 lbs. I gained with her. I haven’t formally exercised since the yoga class I went to the day before she was born.
To be honest I am really struggling to find some semblance of “The Girl With the Pink Sneakers.” Of course I don’t expect to be working out 5-6 times a week including teaching fitness classes and training for some race. But it would be nice to do SOMETHING! I honestly don’t miss that lifestyle. It was a good distraction from the maddening fact that I wasn’t a mom. I feel lucky that I am able to only work part time so when I am not working I want to spend time with my kids. I don’t want to drop them off in some child care room so I can work out. I want to be with THEM. The little free time I do have is usually spent trying to catch up on housework (my house is a mess!) or other chores. Or sometimes I am just plain exhausted and all I want to do is sit on my couch and veg out.
All that being said I know how important being healthy is and now I have the ultimate reason to be healthy, my children! I don’t want to be the mom that sits on the park bench and watches her kids play on the playground because I am too out of shape to play with them. I want to be around for when my children have children. I want to be a good example of what healthy is to my kids. I want to feel good about myself and have the reflect outward so my children know what it means to have a positive self image.
The big questions that looms over my head right now is, “how the heck am I going to do this?” Exercise is the biggest challenge right now. I know all it takes is 30 minutes a day BUT if you work up a good sweat then you have to figure in showering time too. Since I am pumping at work I take a lot of time out of my work day to do that and I don’t feel it is ethical to take more time (like a long lunch break) for exercise. Everly is still not on a consistent sleeping schedule so early mornings are tough and I am usually exhausted once both kids are in bed for the night (and Everly doesn’t always stay asleep!). Nap time is a possibility (if they both nap at the same time) but I am finding it hard to find space in our little house to actually do any type of work out. I have been doing a squat, push up, plank challenge during the month of May and that has been a good start but I need to devise a plan to keep it going. Everly still naps a lot but I think I will try my hardest to get in activity with both kids while they are awake and also utilize nap time once I can clear a space to actually do exercise in!
I have started to “clean up” my eating over the past three weeks and am amazed at how a few simple changes have made a difference (I’ve lost almost 6lbs!). I started tracking my calorie intake with myfitnesspal.com and that has been a good way for me to stay within healthy calorie range and not affect my milk supply. In fact I think that because I am eating more whole, less processed food my supply has actually increased. In addition to my fitness challenge for May I’m doing a “no” cookie, candy, doughnut, cake, ice cream challenge except for one serving once a week. I was going to throw alcohol in there as well but don’t really imbibe that much any way.
I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day and I didn’t become “The Girl With The Pink Sneakers” overnight. I just need to keep working at it until I can find “The Mama With The Pink Sneakers!” I am doing this for so much more than my skinny jeans. I’m doing it for the two precious loves of my life!