When I first started blogging, I was a passionate fitness guru. I ate a Paleo diet, worked out every day, and walked with the stroller every day. I couldn’t believe people complained about getting to the gym with children. It seemed easy enough to me, but I was so naive. I managed to work out daily with my second pregnancy with varying degrees of intensity. I had retained a lot of water, and seemed to lose all the weight I’d gained before leaving the hospital. I was feeling wonderful postpartum, and would regularly put Liam in childcare and walk the track with Sawyer in the Ergo, even before the six weeks postpartum release. Between nursing, a healthy diet, and walking I was feeling fit and great.
That summer, my husband had a two month break between his job in the Navy and the start of graduate school. We were eating out regularly, I wasn’t getting to the gym as often, and I stopped nursing after 13 months. I gained ten pounds that summer, and once graduate school began and my husband’s schedule was everywhere. I was also still coaching cheer, eating fast food more than I had since high school, and rarely working out. I gained another 10 pounds around this time.
Months later, we went out to Oregon and ate a lot of take out, and while I felt like we were very active, I gained another twenty pounds. I began to notice my weight gain in photos, and when we came home I realized that my clothes were not fitting, whatsoever.
Since I can remember, I’ve struggled with being a small person- even at my heaviest. Sometimes I struggle with getting my mindset where it needs to be to start making changes. I want to feel comfortable in my skin though, I want to be in photos with my children, I want to walk into my closet and pull out anything and know it will fit and look great. I also love food, and the experience of food. I love to break bread with my husband or close friends, sip wine with people who make me laugh, or sample desserts with my boys. Striking this balance isn’t always easy, it takes dedication and planning. When you’re a mother, it also requires sacrificing something else. Time in the gym is less time with friends, unless they are at the gym with you, or less time cleaning, or less time reading to your kids. I’m sharing what I’ve been eating that is achievable for my lifestyle, my work out schedule, and my hardships.
Easily, my biggest struggle right now is that my son is hardly sleeping. (which means I’m not getting enough rest to feel truly recovered.) Everyone knows I’m a morning person, and don’t require a ton of sleep. However, to perform I need at least six hours of rest. It is also a struggle for me to justify using my energy on exercise when I have these kids to raise! When I’m sleepy, I really have to dig deep to find the intrinsic motivation. I’ve reached a point where I know that I always feel better after a good, efficient work out. Every week, I look at my schedule and then I compare it with the class schedule at the YMCA. I’ve found classes I love, tried some I didn’t, and have really found my groove. As for my diet, I am in a busy season of life, so I’ve found it most helpful to keep my meals as simple as I can. My emphasis is on eating a lot of protein, good fats, vegetables, and the occasional fruits. I eat my fruit in the morning, and usually pair it with oatmeal or two scrambled eggs. For lunch: I eat salads, leftovers, eggs or tuna or chicken with avocado, chicken breasts with broccoli. For dinner- This is the meal I usually don’t restrict WHAT I’m eating, but how much I’m eating. I try to keep my focus on a healthy protein, a good fat, and a vegetable of some sort. I have completely given up sweets, which was challenging. I eat no dairy, it reduces inflammation and has made a huge difference in my acne. I drink more than water than ever, drink a lot of green tea, and one cup of coffee every morning. I find that having plans in place, and making my meals every morning helps me stay on task and avoid eating something that will derail me. I also have found if I do get derailed, I just restart at the next meal.
If you’re interested in making some lifestyle changes, I urge you to consult your doctor. Get a physical and blood work done, make sure you’re healthy enough to begin working out!