Emily and I go way back. Actually her husband, Dan and I go way back. I think I've known Dan my entire life. Emily is one of the most caring and thoughtful human beings I know. I follow her on facebook and have been in awe of her fitness story. Emily took to running to lose the baby weight. (AND I hate to run, so props to you Emily!) She lost of 65 pounds with determination, sweat, and making it a priority. I'm completely inspired by this mama. Thank you Emily for sharing your wonderful story.
After suffering from a pretty bad case of postpartum
depression after our second daughter was born, I was determined to help
myself in any way to avoid it when baby number three arrived. On November 16, 2012, we were blessed with a son, named
Henry Allen, our baby number three. So here I was with three little ones. Something was going to have to change. I decided the place to
start was with myself, starting with my weight. After 3 babies in 4
years I had extra weight, but I had always been heavier. I was athletic
throughout high school and college. I was in denial about my actual
weight. I had plenty of excuses.
With the support of my husband, and some wonderful
ladies in a due date club (diaperswappers), I set out to make a lifestyle
change. I knew I couldn't diet, because I would never be able to keep it
up. I was afraid a year or 10 years from now
I would gain it all back or be unhappily stuck on a diet for the rest
of my life. After much thought I decided working out and counting calories was going to work for me.
I figured eating within the calories allowed me to eat foods that I
enjoyed, while still being able to lose weight.
My game plan was set.
On February 1, 2013, Operation
Shrinking Women commenced in our due date club. We were going to work
out, hold each other accountable, and lose the baby weight together. I
committed to working out at least 5 times a week. From February - August
I did not miss a single day. No excuses. Some days it was hard to
motivate myself to do something, but I was holding myself accountable to
report back to the ladies I was working out with. I started with Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. Month 2 I alternated 2 other videos, and by month 3 I was
ready for a challenge. I counted calories the first few weeks using MyFitnessPal, an
app on my phone until I had a good feel for what I was supposed to be
eating and my habits had changed.
It takes 21 days to make a habit!
Month 3 I started running. Running has always been hard for me, even when I
was fit in high school and college. Running would take work, dedicationi, and a lot of commitment, but it was the most efficient way to burn
calories in a short amount of time. Juggling working part-time, being a wife, and mother of 3 I can tell you, efficiency is key.
When I started
running I could barely run a mile. It was more like walk/jogging for
well over 15 minutes. I pushed myself. I set daily distance or time
goals. A little farther. A little faster. I realized that I was starting
to enjoy running. I was enjoying my time alone! Quiet. With no one
screaming at me or pulling on me. My husband was my biggest supporter. He watched
the kids so I could go out alone, and if plans did not permit a solo run
I took one, two, or all three kids out with me in the jogging stroller. My husband started making dinner, a lot. The best time for me
to run was at 4 pm.
I couldn't get up early enough to do it in the mornings and after the kids went to bed I was exhausted and it was too dark outside. I took my weight loss day by day, making sure to carve out
even the littlest bit of time to work out.
As the months
passed, I loved running more and more. I loved the challenge it
presented, the results it produced, and most of all my time alone. It
was my time. My runs got longer in time and distance. They became
easier. Now, a year later, I still run as many times a week as I can. I
still focus on portion control and making good, healthy choices. If I
can't get out to run because of my schedule or the weather, I make sure
to fit in a video or some kind of treadmill workout. I no longer
feel guilty if I miss a workout like I did in the beginning. I am happy
with myself and have lost over 65 pounds. I started by setting small realistic weight
loss goals and rewarded myself when they were achieved. I would have
never imagined I would lose this much weight. I have now found
my ideal weight. The last 4-5 months have been just maintaining the
loss. I am smaller now than before my babies, before I got married, before I started college and even high school.
Most importantly I am healthier
for myself and my family. I have energy again. I am happy.
This year we started homeschooling and I increased my work hours.
It has been hard to find time to work out, but it is a priority. I have
to get creative some days. Some days all I can do is take the baby out
in the stroller during nap time (while Daddy is home to keep an eye on the
girls) or pump out a video really quickly while they are sleeping. The fact is if
you don't make it your priority it will not happen! As I have journeyed
into homeschooling these last few months, I find my patience tested more
than ever. Family is our main focus in our house. We make sure there is at
least one day a week spent as a family. We dedicate quality time for each other. This is
in addition to all the other time during the week we are together. We try to keep
Christ in the center of our lives and set an example for our children to
follow. We have been blessed in so many ways and try to teach our
children not to take any of it for granted.
A few months ago we visited some friends we hadn't seen since the baby
was born. She commented that my husband and I seemed happier, more
in love than ever (and she would know as she was the main force behind
our relationship). I admit I never thought we had problems, we fought
minimally, but we were complacent with each other and the life we have.
We weren't unhappy, but we weren't as happy as we could have been. This
last year has brought us closer together and a renewed focus on our marriage.
My husband's waistline has been a side effect of my working out and
eating right, in a positive way. He has changed his habits and reaped
the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and happier self. Working out has helped me
create routine in our house that has in turn created routine for our
children. There are so many days when I have one (or a ton) of "Mommy fail"
moments and lose my temper or control. I let my kids push my buttons and
act in ways that I am not proud of, but that is what grace is for. My
kids inspire me daily to be a better mother to them in attitude (which
is one of my biggest daily struggles), in health, and in action. I pray
that they can see Christ in me and I can be a good steward of the
blessings we have been given. I
hope my children can see the dedication and perseverance that we have
taken to start a healthier lifestyle not only for ourselves but for them
too. Mostly, we just want our children to know that they are loved.
For those who say they can't run or
work out, just try it!
Commit to it.
Create a plan of attack.
Make it a habit.
Hold yourself accountable.
be days when you don't feel like it, but those are the days you need it
the most. When I find myself angry or in a bad mood, most of the time
it can be cured with a good workout. It just makes you feel better,
especially about yourself. When I started running I could barely
walk/jog a mile and now run 6-8 miles several times a week. I never
thought that I could/would lose as much weight as I did, run as far as I
have, or commit to and stick with the lifestyle changes I have made.
Commitment and accountability have been the biggest things that have
helped. Find someone to push you out of bed and out the door. Find
someone to work out with. Find someone who would text you on a daily
basis and ask how your workout has gone for the day. Being
accountable to someone makes such a difference. There were days when I
texted ladies in my workout group and asked them what their workout plan
was for the day, when they were going to do it, and then later to see how their day went. Being accountable to someone else makes
you much more dedicated when there is someone to report back to!
Make yourself a priority!
It takes hard work. You will be sore. I
couldn't sit or stand for the first 3 days I did the work out videos
(which made for some pretty funny moments in church trying to stand up
and sit down for worship), but it does get easier. Prioritize your
time. It takes work and commitment, but it can be done, no matter how
many hats you are wearing. It is cliche', but there will be good days
and bad days. What sets me apart from those who have failed is on the
bad days I never let myself find an excuse to not work out or quit.
There cannot be any excuses.
Find an activity that you become passionate about. I love running. Continue to challenge yourself. Push yourself a little harder each day. Have a plan and set a goal. I'm working toward a half marathon this spring!
To get started, try one of Emily's home video recommendations: Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown, Jillian Michael's Cardio Kickbox, Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, or Jillian Michael's 6 week 6 pack
Labels: fitness, rockstar mom, running