Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mama, You Are So Strong

...This is what I wish I could magically import into every mother's brain. The mental and self esteem benefits of fitness. More than being a certain weight or fitting in a certain size, the value gained from working out surpasses it all. Last summer we 'accidentally' took our 3 young kids on an 11+mile steep hike. The mountain had logging detours and we were clueless where we were going. I had my almost 3 year old on my back for all but a mile. My 5 year old ended up on my front in my arms for about 8 miles. I was literally carrying two children for 8 miles. I remember thinking, "holy crap. There's no way I could have done this a year or two ago." I was physically so strong! I could handle that crazy situation and get us off that darn mountain. I felt so proud of myself.

I see other mothers, just like me. Up too much at night with kids, drinking coffee on the couch in the morning before the craziness of the day ramps up. Feeling blah about themselves, fighting to have any energy, comparing themselves to what they see online. It wasn't overnight, but over time, consistency, and work, I learned so much about myself. Sweating so much it dripped in my eyes and burned, wanting to quit, telling myself, "this is too hard", but not letting myself quit- it taught me so much. I learned I am a badass. I can do anything I set my mind to. Slowly the glass ceiling in my life, which had been placed there by me, was being lifted. It's more than just endorphins. It's more than losing weight. It's telling yourself over and over, you can do this. One more push up. One more mile. One more squat. Then the workout is done, you're covered in sweat, the endorphins have created a high, and you know for certain, "dang girl, you did it, you really did it!"

 We all have to start somewhere. I started from 0, having never actually "worked out". I was overweight, super out of shape, and had to learn each move as I did it. I didn't even know the proper way to do a push up. But learn it, I did. Oh girl, how I learned.

Dear sweet mama, raising your littles. Wondering where you fit in, where time for you fits in? Here's where: right in the middle of your beautiful and messy life. Kids will climb on you while you Plank, they will stare up at you from the floor while you Downward Dog, they will come alongside you and Squat and Lunge. You will break up toddler fights while you Scissor Jack. They will see mama getting stronger and doing hard things. As you are learning you can do the tough stuff, you're teaching them that lesson, too. Working out isn't about getting smaller, although that may happen, it's about finding the strong woman that already lives in you. I promise you she's in there. She's a badass, too.

Plenty of us need a little motivation to get something going. Honestly, just knowing where to start can feel supremely overwhelming. Maybe that feels scary or too hard or you're afraid you'll quit after 5 days. Maybe you just really need someone to do the journey with you. I think we all do. If you live in Kitsap County, I'd love you to come workout with me. Your first class is free and you won't regret coming. Your kids under 5 stay in the stroller....hold on, before you say they won't do that, let them try it. You'll be surprised ;) Kids love habit and structure and this is a great habit to start!

You can bring your kid/s and your stroller and come check out a class with me, for FREE. I would truly love to see you. We workout indoors in the winter.
You can leave your name and email HERE and receive our daily schedule. No obligation, no pressure, just information.
The local website for Fit4Mom is HERE.
Also, working mama's and those who refuse to workout with their kiddos (haha, no shame, it's alright!), there's a FREE Preview Class for the evening Body Back series coming up. Details HERE. Ok, have I hyper-linked you to death? 

Shush the voice of fear inside your head, telling you the many reasons why it won't work, why it can't happen. Give yourself a chance, mama. 


Long overdo update

Hello again. Somehow blogging felt so much easier when I had two kids...adding that 3rd and very busy little one eliminated that chunk of time or gusto I had left for blogging. I think blogging is like most things, the more we do it, the more we find time for it. I mean, I never miss a cup of morning coffee, right? Priorities ;)

We're now expecting our 4th baby in May, 2017. Life will likely be as busy as ever. I know everyone says once you get past 2 kids it doesn't get much harder, but here's the deal: each kid is more laundry (Ohhhh, the laundry), another child to bathe, another set of teeth to brush, another child to feed, another child to take to activities, another child to help with homework, etc. So yeah, maybe not harder per se, depending how we define hard, but it's more time and more work. It creates a feeling of busyness, even if we never leave the house. There is never NOT something to do. Ya know?

I am 19 weeks today and feeling mostly good. Tired. Quite tired. But I haven't been nauseous and so far the baby is doing well. Our genetic screening came back today with everything looking good. I have our 20 week ultrasound in about a week. We will not be finding out gender this time. I've had two ultrasounds already, so for those wondering about twins, nope, just one.

I kept running til about 12 weeks and then it just got too hard. I had to pee every 1/2 mile, my feet felt 'weird', and it just didn't feel good anymore. My asthma has also gotten worse, which is fairly common in pregnancy. I have continued HIIT workouts, both at home and with my local Stroller Strides group. The only thing I really can't do right now is situps (my ab muscles are too separated and it hurts). I plan to keep working out and pushing myself as long as I can. I rest more when needed and don't push to the same level as before.  But in pregnancy, if you are having a hard time breathing, that means oxygen is restricted to the baby as well. So, I'm listening to my body more. Talk about opposite of the running mindset pre-pregnancy! Running before was all about "mind over matter", "your body will do what your mind tells it to". I pushed and pushed and forced my body into submission. It was awesome! I was running 8 miles of hills, in 75-80 degree weather, with 130lbs of double stroller in May of this year. I was a lean, mean, tell my body to do anything machine!
Woohoo! I started some new meds in early June to help better manage my PCOS (things that working out and weight loss still hadn't fixed) and the meds made me gain weight right away. I was just trying to deal with that and sort it out and then I found out in September I was pregnant. Hmmmm.....took me a bit to adjust to this. I had worked so stinking hard to lose weight and become super fit. I knew this would all change to some degree. I had to adjust expectations. Especially about my weight. I do feel a bit like I'll be starting all over once this baby comes and it will be even harder with 4 children needing me. But, now I know how strong and capable I am (really, we all are ;)), so I hope I can remember that and find that inner beast again. I gained weight slowly during Solomon's pregnancy, this one I feel like I'm getting big all over, not just my belly. I'm not a fan of that, but there's only so much I can do. Each pregnancy is different. This one is already almost half over. Wow.