Hey, friends. I've been writing this blog post in my head for awhile. I've had time to think about it each time I went to the gym or for a long walk when I was very pregnant. I thought about this process for nine months as my body grew with our growing daughter. I definitely thought about it at week 39 when I went on a run at nine months pregnant. During my entire pregnancy, I was adamant to stay active because I knew it would help baby and me. Postpartum rebound is here. I'm happy about that! It feels good to know that I can lose weight and tone again. But I'll be honest, it hasn't gone as I expected. The weight isn't falling off as quickly as I hoped. But that is part of the process, right? And so when some of you asked me specifically to document my postpartum progress (Hi, Katie!), I knew it was time to start writing it down. I've been snapping photos for documentation purposes, but I didn't post them until now because I don't feel like I have anything to be proud of yet. It's difficult to feel proud when there's so little time to exercise my body, sweat, and have something to show for it.
The hardest part of getting fit with four children is relying on other people for my fitness. It probably sounds like a cop out to you...and maybe it is. But I truly don't think I can workout with all of them here. I try and it's so ridiculous. Do a few moves, change a diaper. Do another, wipe a noise and break up a toy scuffle. Insert screaming and you don't have a relaxing, sweat burning workout at all. It's more of a mental exercise in not throwing in the towel and checking yourself into the nuthouse. When I workout, that's my ME TIME. I enjoy being alone for an hour a day and running, lifting weights, or anything of the sort. It gives me something to work toward. As a stay at home mom, your job is never done. Never. So I cleaned the kitchen and it's sparkling? Well, now it's lunch time so I have to prepare food and clean it all up again...and while I was cleaning that kitchen? Yeah, you guessed it. The children were destroying the downstairs. With running or lifting weights, I can set a mile goal or make out an exercise plan and ACTUALLY ACHIEVE IT. It gives me just a tiny break of sanity as a list maker. Maybe you're one of those people, too who find enjoyment in checking off something on their list of things to do? Well, by the time I check off laundry, clean kitchen, clean toilet, whatever....it's time to write it down again because it's not ever done. A workout for the day IS done. At five weeks postpartum, I'm still stuck in a bit of a rut because I feel like I need a babysitter in order to get my sweat on! And if you know anything about my life, you know I don't have those much! Ha.
But in order to be successful, I need goals. Because I'm supposed to wait until 6 weeks postpartum, I've been taking it fairly easy. As I approach being cleared for exercise, I've been thinking about some goals. Here are my stats:
Lost to date: 19 lbs
What have I been doing?
Mostly running (ok, pathetic jogging and mostly walking)
Raise my self esteem by exercising and remembering what this body can do! I AM proud that I've carried four children in my womb and now I want to focus on creating a capable body again, one that can go hike 10 miles in the Smokies if I feel like it without getting too winded. I want to not be self conscious when I'm in a bathing suit and trying to play on the beach with my kids. I definitely don't want to pass along my abysmal body image to my daughter (or three boys for that matter). The plan is to feel good...and I truly don't care about the scale. I just use it as a reference point.
How will I get there?
Well, for the month of August, I'm focusing on baby steps. Little, achievable goals are what I'm starting with.
1. Drink 8+ glasses of water daily
2. 50 miles in August
Grace means that I remember that I just had a beautiful baby girl and the changes in my body are more than worth it. I've gotten back in shape three times after a baby and I can do it again. One foot in front of the other.
Time to get to work! I'll share workouts, progress, and additional thoughts on health and fitness as the months pass by.