Getting it Together

I think that when you have children your perspective on life changes in so many different ways.  I had always thought my self-esteem was above average… I’m a fairly confident person in general, so not a whole lot really holds me back.  Post childbirth, though…  I stopped leaving my house and I refused to have my photo taken.  I was not in the shape I was hoping for prior to getting pregnant with Liam.  I had just started losing weight when I realized I was pregnant with Sylvi.  To be completely honest, I was really glad to be pregnant again because I could actually answer yes when people eyed my belly and asked for my due date.  I’d never been the “fat friend” and I really didn’t like being her now.

Additionally, I now have a daughter.  To be completely honest, when I stand in front of the mirror tearing myself down, it’s my mother’s voice in my head.  It’s her words about her body that I hear and I suddenly realized that if I didn’t get it together, my own child would be hearing my voice complaining about stretch marks and flab.  At the same time, a friend invited me to attend a session of Mommy and Me Fitness in late January.  Not only did she invite, she called, she texted and she was waiting for me outside the building that night.  I knew that I was out of shape and class was going to be rough; I hoped she would forget about me.  In that class, I was introduced to the Burpee.  Many, many burpees.  I cried most of my drive home.  In fact, I cried on the way home for a few classes.  About a month into the classes, I suddenly realized that I had done everything without a break.  I knew I looked like a fool grinning ear to ear as we counted our way to 200 jumping jacks, but in that moment, I saw progress and strength and I wanted more. Then, it was announced that one of the instructors was going to be offering personal training and I saw it as my chance to actually re-learn how to exercise.  I know how to exercise as an energetic college student working for a grade.  I know how to exercise to maintain weight, but not how to lose.  I didn’t know how to gain strength and endurance.  Through tears (yes, I cry a lot) I emailed Brooke and told her that it wasn’t so much about being a bikini model as it was about having positive body image for the sake of my children and finally feeling healthy enough to be a great mom.

The next week, I started my exercise plan, tracked my calories and attended class.  I lost 8 pounds the first week, but it came back in the form of muscle weight.  At the 9-week mark, I had lost an official 10 pounds and have currently kept it off for over a month.  However, my measurements are changing and dropping.  This weekend, I bought a shirt in a size I haven’t worn since before I had children!!  The point of this is that I feel strong.  I feel healthy.  And I love my butt.

I have set some goals for myself personally to achieve by October 14th and as added bonus, I found a group of bloggers who are looking to Go Green and Get Fit in the next few months.  The challenge officially begins June 18th, but I’m announcing it here now so that if you want to join in as a participant you have the time to set your goals and prepare yourself mentally.  GGGF has a Facebook page, Twitter feed and Pinterest boards to follow along with.

The goals for myself:

  • Continue to strengthen my core.  As a result of pregnancy, I have a serious Diastasis recti.  Through the core exercises, the space between my muscles is closing, but I still have a lot of work to do.
  • Continue to workout 6 days a week, with two days having twice-a-day workouts.  Tuesday is my main 2-a-day as I’m taking a running class in the morning and my regular class in the evening.  Some of my workout days will be lighter so I get a rest, but I am counting on Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays being my more challenging days.  (I am also willing to count a bike ride or hike on the weekend as a workout as long as I add in some weights/abs.)
  • Run and complete the Color Run in Columbus July 21st.  I’d like to finish in less than 40 minutes, ideally as close to 30 minutes as possible.
  • Run and complete the Mommy and Me Fitness 5k (October 6th) in less than 30 minutes.
  • Participate in and complete the Life Time Fitness Indoor Tri (October 14th).  I just registered myself this morning so it’s official… I’m committed and taking the challenge.  And my hands are shaking.  🙂
I plan to update here on the blog on a weekly basis.  I am taking precautions so that I don’t injure myself or over work my muscles.  Saturday morning, I walked a 5k (pushing a stroller) in 50 minutes and then later in the afternoon hiked 2 miles with the same child on my back or hip.  I was sore on Sunday and spent much of the church service stretching my feet and ankles.  Yesterday was my first running class and then M&MF class at night.  I am sore today and need to take the time to stretch this afternoon before I go to Crossfit.  I would remiss if I didn’t admit that muscles pain in my quads and calves didn’t wake me up in the middle of the night.  On the shopping list for the week: Arnica cream.
So how about it?  Are you willing to sign up for the challenge?  You goals don’t have to be as scary as mine, just pick something that pushes you to be the best you you can be.  Challenge yourself and I’ll be happy to celebrate along with you when your goals are met!

11 Replies to “Getting it Together”

  1. “…when I stand in front of the mirror tearing myself down, it’s my mother’s voice in my head. It’s her words about her body that I hear…”

    This is one of the hardest things to overcome, but recognizing it is so huge! I too deal with this and while I have always thought my mother had was perfectly trim, her self-doubt and toxic words somehow found a way to creep into my unconscious mind, projecting themselves onto me. I need to get active and I want to be fit, but those unconscious thoughts in my head can be so damaging. Knowing that they are “her” words gives me something to fight against!

    1. It’s frightening how much power we have as mothers isn’t it? I’m just grateful I recognized this now instead of when Sylvi is in junior high and struggling with her own adolescent awkwardness. I’m rooting for you too! I’m looking forward to beating this cycle of self-doubt and being strong!

  2. Wow Laura ~ I love love loved reading this. And yes I cried too every time you said you did. I am so glad you are being blessed by Mommy and Me Fitness. God is calling all of us to be the STRONG MOMS He made us to be. You are awesome I can not wait to see this journey progress keep posting. I will be reading.

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