This morning I posted a quick sentence about my morning run. I'll admit that I partially post about running because I went from dreading running, to running a mile and feeling like I climbed Mt Everest to now training for a half marathon and thinking nothing of starting my day by running 6 miles. The other reason I post is because I see alot of new moms who are frustrated with the new body that came along with their baby/babies and want to encourage them to have the confidence to become healthier.
I decided to blog about this Facebook post after a friend commented on my status saying, "I so admire you." Not only did that make my day, it reminded me that sometimes what we do can also impact or help others.
I know that being a mom of small children (two boys one almost 3 years and the other 9 months) means our "extra" or "mommy time" is limited. I also know that no one other than myself can change how I look or feel. Everyday we are given 24 hours, we choose how we use them. For me, that means getting up early- REALLY early. I'm talking 4:45 am early. This really is the only time I 'm guaranteed to have an uninterrupted hour to myself that I can devote to me. Exercise is not only a fundamental element of a healthy physical condition, but it also has a huge impact on us mentally. Scientifically speaking, exercise actually MAKES us feel good by releasing endorphins. Outside of that, taking the time to do something for ourselves like exercising, can build our confidence. When I first started running, I truly never thought I could run a 10k, but I set a goal, trained for it and did it. Last year I decided I wanted to run a half marathon, I chickened out once but now am training to run one the end of October. Being able to set those goals and accomplish them has built my confidence in ways I couldn't have imagined!
While I write this, I can hear some thinking that it must be easy for me to lose the babyweight, that I am one of the lucky ones and that I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight. I'll give you a quick synopsis of me... I'm 5'6" and in high school weighed about 140 or so. My senior year I realized that I wanted to become healthier and that for my frame and height I could maybe stand to tone up a little. Over the course of a year I lost about 15 pounds but more importantly, I was actually in good physical condition and was exercising on a regular basis, had cut out my daily run to the vending machine and started drinking water during the day instead of soda.

36 weeks with Baby #1
Years later when I was pregnant with our first son, I gained 50 pounds. He was born in October and for Christmas that year I asked for a treadmill. To my delight that's just what I got and it has turned into one of the best investments my husband and I have made. That January I started running, I had run a little in the past but only a mile at a time. I was starting to get the hang of things when I decided to challenge myself to something I never thought I'd do- my first 10k run. I trained, ran it well and felt awesome for proving to myself I could do it. During this process I lost all the baby weight and truly changed the shape of my body. I was now making muscles, both from running and carrying my baby boy around. Two years later when I was pregnant with our second son I gained 40 pounds. This little guy was born in December and once again, I decided I better set a goal for myself to help bring my body back to giving me what I needed from  it. I ran another 10k that spring and while this training did help me lose the pregnancy weight, more importantly I really improved my previous time... boosting my confidence in my ability to set out to do something I once thought was impossible.

37 weeks with Baby #2
So, you see, to make a short answer really long- I too have been unhappy with my body. I'll admit that during those first few months of post-partum I would look at my closet of clothes, especially jeans, and thought about accepting the idea that I was a mom now and my body was just different and I wouldn't fit back into those clothes the way I once did. There were and still are days, that I don't want to get up so darn early! Days when I sneak out after the boys are in bed and pick up ice cream for my husband and I to indulge in (Concrete Mixer or Oreo McFlurry... YUM!) But the further on this journey I go, the fewer those days become as I know I'm only at my best when I give my body the best possible things it needs; sleep, water, clean foods, exercise and rest.

With my good friend Mindi at the finish of our second 10k
I once thought that I could "out run" a bad diet. I kn ow every one's body is different, but how our bodies process foods are pretty much the same. Junk in = Junk out. If you are eating drive-thru foods for lunch, office snacks during the day and take-out at night you aren't giving your body what it needs to perform how you need it to. Being a mom takes alot of energy; physically, emotionally, mentally, our bodies can do amazing things (like make little humans) but they can't do it without the right fuel. By taking the time to plan out the night before what you are going to eat, you can eliminate the need to grab the not so healthy burger and fries over your lunch and instead enjoy REAL food. By real I mean, foods that aren't laden with artificial ingredients that your body has no idea what to do with. A simple whole wheat turkey wrap with veggies, carrot sticks with hummus, an apple and  water will give you so much more of what you need. Not only will you be saving money by brown bagging it, you'll be giving yourself the right fuel to have the energy it takes to be a mom. My next post will talk more about healthy meal planning...for you and your family!


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