May 112016
 

Just shy of two months postpartum and I’m feeling pretty good. I was itching to get back to some kind of fitness, even if it was going to be low-key and not as intense as I used to do. Even if it was just walking, I wanted to do something and it felt good to workout again.

I’m getting back into the swing of things and slowly introducing stuff back into my routine.

One thing I’ve found is that I feel really good when I workout and right afterward but later in the day I feel really tired. Not exhausted, but definitely depleted. It’s like my body has a limited amount of energy these days and on days that I workout I definitely need a nap because I can’t power through it like I used to be able to. And rest days I don’t need that nap to avoid feeling overly tired. I never had this issue before–I could go, go, go and rarely sat still but now? That’s not the case at all.

Saturday

I decided to ease back in to weight lifting at almost 6 weeks postpartum. It had been a little over a month since I lifted weights and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be but I took it easy nonetheless. (And I was surprisingly sore the next day.)

 

Then later that afternoon a friend and I went for a walk with Logan. It was such a nice day out! I took a little nap (and I mean little because Mr. Man decided he didn’t want to nap) and then my friend and I did a walk. It felt good to get outside.

 

 

Sunday

Michael and I finally got a chance to go for that “hike” we attempted to do a few weeks ago. It was going to be a lovely, hot day in Portland but we were up pretty early and out the door before it was much hotter than 65.

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We went to Mount Tabor Park and parked in the residential neighborhood near the base of the park entrance. Then we loaded up the dog and baby and hiked up to the top of the park. It’s a great little urban hike with tons of trails (dirt) and then paved roads for bicyclists, skateboarders, runners, walkers, you name it. Everyone was out on such a nice day.

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It was all uphill. We hiked to the top, did a circle around the top, went back down and then hiked back up part way before heading back down to the car. We both burned more calories than we anticipated.

 

It was a good little workout though. I think we will do this more in the future on nice days. We’re up early because Logan gets us up at the crack of dawn, so we are able to get to the park before it’s too crowded or too hot. It’s not far from the house, either, so the drive time doesn’t make it too difficult to do right now.

Monday

Monday I woke up and just needed to get out of the house so I decided Logan and I would go for a walk first thing before it got too hot. We stopped for iced coffee on our route first. 🙂

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It was a good walk and I got to clear my head and move my body and get out of the house.

 

Tuesday

Took Bella and Logan for a short walk before lunch today. Looking at the forecast I figured it might be the last opportunity for a walk for a few days.

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When Michael got home from work I went to the gym for yoga class. Unfortunately, when I got there class was cancelled. 🙁 I ended up on the elliptical and did 3 miles in about 35 minutes and then went home. And my heart rate monitor died on me, so no idea on the calories. Bummer of an evening!

Wednesday and Thursday

Rest Days! And it was kind of rainy and blah so no walking.  But honestly I needed the rest days, so that’s ok.

Friday

I’ve been itching to try running again (especially considering I have two 5k’s in a few months) but wanted to wait until I was ready physically. I think it’s going to be a slow process to get it all back.

 

I did a slow walk/jog on the treadmill. I did intervals of about 90 seconds jogging, then 60-90 seconds walking, and so on. It was okay but my knees felt a little creaky. I cut it short and then did the elliptical for the rest of the workout.

Saturday

I wanted to do something a little different this day. Instead of the treadmill I did the stair master. I used to LOVE the stair master. It is a major calorie burn. Even short sessions would make me drenched in sweat. But with my knees I kind of stopped using it. I’ve been slowly getting back to it.

 

This week I hope to go to yoga class, swim, and try running again.

What are you fitness goals for this week?

 

May 042016
 

I recently read an article that I wanted to share with you guys. Here is the link: I Stopped Exercising For One Year: Here’s What Happened. I read the article and found myself nodding and saying “yes!” to a lot of stuff in the article. It was well-written and I think a lot of people can relate to it. I know I could.

When I first started losing weight I had to be super diligent–like almost obsessive. I was counting my calories and I had to be strict. I had over 100 pounds to lose and I felt weak–I didn’t think it would work or “stick” and so I was diligent about staying within my calorie range each day. That meant denying myself a lot of stuff.

During my exercise mania days, I ate “clean” most of the time, which means, I stripped every bit of fun out of the experience of eating. Every day I ate grilled whatchamadingle with a side of steamed doojawockey. I removed sugar, alcohol and complex carbs out of my diet, along with the will to live.

Yes yes and yes. I stopped drinking all alcohol for the year and a half it took to lose the weight. I just didn’t need the calories. I stopped drinking all of my calories, which was a smart move on my part. But did that mean I stopped doing fun things like going out with friends to happy hour? Yep, it sure did. I didn’t trust myself in the beginning to make good choices — with food or alcohol. In those early days of trying to lose weight I didn’t think I could have just one drink and I knew I wouldn’t be able to order a salad or something and skip the happy hour treats like deep fried foods and fatty treats. You know how it goes…having fun out with friends, have a cocktail, someone orders some fatty food for the table and you vow to have just one bite but then…things get away from you and suddenly you’ve completely tanked your calories for the day. So I just didn’t go out. It sucked.

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Eventually I felt more confident and trusted myself and I started going out again. I found that I could make better choices and I COULD limit myself to one drink and one happy hour treat instead of completely derailing my weight loss goals.

Once I reached my goal weight I was able to loosen the reigns a little bit. I didn’t stop doing what worked but I did allow myself to have treats here and there. Doing things in MODERATION worked so much better for me. Instead of the early days of weight loss where I was afraid of the slippery slope one treat or one drink could do to my diet, I enjoyed more things and enjoyed life. Instead of feeling restricted, I ate whatever I wanted in moderation and it worked for a really long time–years in fact.

After all, life is supposed to be fun–good food enjoyed with people you love.

Something that disappointed me about the article was that the author quit the gym and then proceeded to just eat junk food. As she said–the dam burst. She gained weight and gave in to all the junk. On some level I can understand that but I was hoping that she’d say she quit the gym and quit being obsessed with food and … somehow found a balance.

The article went on to talk about exercising a lot:

I lifted weights. I trained with kettle bells. I climbed a zillion steps to nowhere on the stairmaster. I yoga’d and spun and kick boxed. I set impractical and ludicrous fitness goals, like being able to do 20 unassisted pull ups.

There were other downsides to being an exercise devotee. Going to the gym was time-consuming. Aside from exercising, there’s also getting changed, traveling to and from the gym, showering afterwards – it took up hours of my day. I put more energy into my relationship with exercise than I did with a living human being.

Again, I could relate 100%. Like with food, I went through phases of being obsessed with it. In the early days I did overexercise. I didn’t take rest days like I should and that lead to burnout, overuse injuries and exhaustion. I learned my lesson and incorporated mandatory 2 rest days a week. I’m glad I learned that lesson early on in my “career” as a gym rat because it’s necessary. Rest days are good. For the mind and the body.

Even with rest days incorporated in my schedule, working out 5 days a week would take it’s toll once in awhile. It made it hard to do fun things after work because I “had to go to the gym.” It really limited my schedule. I wish it didn’t. It was frustrating how much effort it took. Like the author of the article said, it wasn’t just the workout, it was the travel time, changing clothes, showering afterward. For me that was about 90 minutes total of my day and that meant less time for other things.

Things that helped alleviate that in my life? When I used to run during my lunch hour at work. I loved that. It gave me so much freedom. I was able to break up the work day, get out of the office, burn off stress, get my workout done and out of the way and then I had my evenings free! To do STUFF! To have fun! See friends! Go on dates with Michael. The other thing that helped was biking to work. Again, that freed up my evenings immensely.

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Then the author said she woke up from the fog of not working out, eating junk and gaining weight and she DID find a balance that worked. Instead of hardcore everything, she found moderation.

I’ve had to reframe my whole idea of myself. My identity was wrapped around being very skinny, and I’ve had to give that up.

Now that I’m a mom I’m reevaluating my life. I think that’s why this article spoke to me so strongly. Priorities have changed in my life, obviously.

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When I was pregnant, that last month or two I started reducing my workout schedule. Instead of five days a week I went down to four. Then it was three. I was just tired, my body was starting to hurt, and I needed a break. I thought it would be a slippery slope for me–that I’d just stop exercising, that I’d fall off the horse–but I didn’t. I just took a little bit of time for myself. The world DID NOT END. It was ok.

Now that I’m easing back into the fit life postpartum, I’m thinking about the future and what I want it to look like. I know once I go back to work full time and Logan is in daycare, the last thing I’m going to want to do is drop him off at home every night and then go to the gym for an hour. I don’t want to miss these moments with my son. I don’t want to waste what tiny time I have in the evenings with Logan by leaving. I just don’t.

At the same time, I know I want to keep active, stay fit and healthy and have some ME time, too. So it’s about finding balance.

I’m already thinking about what the future might look like.

Biking to work after dropping him off at daycare once or twice a week will be a good option when the weather is nice. It means I can get my workout done and then have the whole evening at home with my family.

Running at lunch is something I’ve missed a lot! I would love to get back to that.

The gym at work is also an option. Is it ideal? No, but it’s something I can do during my lunch hour in a pinch, especially if the weather is crappy.

Working out on the weekends is still ok because Michael can be with Logan and honestly if we can find things to do together as a family that would be even better — like hiking as a family! That’s something I am really looking forward to.

Running with Logan once he’s old enough will be great.

The Warrior Room is another option, too, because they have childcare options if I need it. We also have kettlebells at home, so I can always do that if I can’t make it to the gym (or if there are childcare issues).

And maybe it’s ok to drop my schedule down to 3 or 4 days a week instead of going back to 5.

Basically what I’m saying is that my workout routine/schedule will look different in the future, but I think it is still doable. I don’t think I have to sacrifice me time, fitness and time with family as much as I thought. I just think it will take more planning and will definitely take ME to learn how to be more flexible and let somethings go if necessary. Maybe it’s doing quick sprints in the neighborhood instead of long runs on the weekend, for example.

Finding balance in life is hard, even without kids. You want to be able to enjoy the things you love to do (even if that includes sleeping in on a Saturday morning instead of getting up early for a run!) but still be fit, right? There’s GOT to be a way!

So what about you? Especially if you have small kids/babies, how did you find that balance and what worked for you? What did you think of this article?