*The above pictures were taken when I was 8 months pregnant (I got EVEN bigger) and around 5ish months post partum. My son will be 7 months on Thursday, and I am now 9 pounds lighter than in the picture on the right. I gained 50 pounds during my pregnancy (while working out daily & eating healthy, albeit A LOT). I’ve lost 47 pounds total as of this morning.
When I started this blog, my intentions were to share my passion and knowledge about health, fitness, yoga, and Ayurveda. I’ve cashed in my retirement and paid for more alternative licensing programs when it comes to alternative, natural, crunchy healthstyles than I want to admit. I haven’t been writing about any of it. Because.
Because 5 Things:
1. There are like a bajillion and one health blogs out there already. There are equally as many mommy blogs about healthy living out there too. Why add another conflicting voice to the mix of diet dos and don’ts.
2. Everyone is all hopped up on the Paleo punch these days, and I have some misgivings about that diet.
3.Though I’ve made money being a health coach, I often feel terrible taking money to help people because if they just spent time doing research and following through, they could get a lot of what I give for free. (Although I get not having much extra time these days….)
4. I’m so frustrated with health and fitness. I’m passionate about sharing what I know and what has worked for me. But I am deeply frustrated that the health & fitness industry seems to largely perpetuate unhealthy attitudes when it comes to physical perfection. Fitspo isn’t any psychologically less damaging than thinspo.
5. I haven’t been nearly as committed to nutrition and fitness post-baby. I went from running 5+ days a week, teaching 3 yoga classes & practicing 2+ times a week at home, & strength-training 2+ times a week to doing far less. During my pregnancy I walked. Every day I walked. I did yoga 2 times a week and strength training 1-2 times a week. I feel good about this. But post pregnancy, I had planned to do much more than I have. This planning I did was pre-baby, a time when I severely underestimated just how TIRED I would be.
But I am still passionate about healthy living. I still really want to help other women, other mothers with their health and fitness goals. So, without knowing any of your individual goals or needs (I believe health & fitness mean different things for each person & health & wellness goals should have individualized plans to be followed), here are 5 things that have helped me to start feeling strong & health again–especially over the last three months:
1. Running. I do not run far or fast. Fitness isn’t my main reason for running. I run because it gives me energy. I run because it’s one of the most effective ways to fight post partum depression and anxiety for me. And when I feel strong and energized from running, it makes choosing health so much easier. I run 3 days a week. 2-3 miles, with the stroller. I’ve gone on 3 runs alone, without baby. There just isn’t time for me to focus on me alone right now. You do what you can, right?
2. Eating real, mostly plant-based foods. If I can’t pronounce an ingredient or don’t know what it is, I don’t eat it. I strongly believe that the chemicals and franken-foods out there (especially weight-loss foods) often interfere with hormones, are not healthy, and make it impossible to lose “the-last-10-pounds.” Also, I breastfeed & don’t want to expose my little guy to more chemicals than he inevitably is each day. If y’all are interested, I’ll take pictures of and post what I eat in a typical day. If so, let me know in the comments.
3. Cooking food at home. Eating out and eating packaged foods is convenient–especially when you are pressed for time, even more so when your significant other eats completely different from you. But cooking food at home means you control what goes in, cooking at home nourishes us through our other senses (sight & smell), and it’s a grounding activity–something most of us need in a hectic world. On Sundays, I usually will cook up 1-2 big “salads” that contain lentils, beans, veggies, and some sort of grain. I top green salads with this for lunch or quick dinners throughout the week. I make my husbands meals each evening, unless we have a busy day planned & then I let my crockpot do the work.
4. Strength-training. I don’t go to the gym to work out. I do yoga 2-4 times a week during naps. This helps to ground, strengthen and calm me. It also affects our nervous systems, another type of medicine for ppd. I count yoga as strength and flexibility training for my body and mind, but it’s not all I do. Usually on my walks or runs, Easton falls asleep and I do stroller strength-training until he wakes up afterwards. Sometimes it’s 5 minutes, sometimes it’s 30, but I do this 5 days a week. I may post exercises that I’ve come up with on here if there is interest. Let me know!
5. Breastfeeding. I’m quite sure that breastfeeding has helped me lose the weight a little more quickly than I might have if I weren’t breastfeeding. Especially in the first few months. The first 30 pounds came off pretty quick. The last 17 have been slower and taken more work–strength training, smart snacking, running, moving more. I see the work as a way of life that I am showing my son. I want him knowing a strong mom who is active and healthy and ready to play. I want him knowing the joy that comes from feeling strong, from eating healthy home-cooked meals, that comes from making fitness a part of everyday.
And I guess I want to share it with you too. Because how awesome would it be to have a world full of strong moms who fit health and movement into everyday?!