I’ve always been a little OCD about fitness, especially after college. In college, I was a Division II cheerleader and competed every year at Nationals in Disney. In high school, I was a cheerleader as well. When I was younger, I played soccer, basketball, ice skating, and gymnastics. I was terrible at soccer and basketball. Since I was a cheerleader in college and practice was pretty strict, I never really gained the freshman 15, but I fluctuated a lot because I ate crap food. I was never a big drinker either…I’m still not a big drinker, thought I like wine or a cider from time to time.
Fast forward now, I am 33 years old on Friday and I have 2 kids. One of them is only 10 months old so of course I don’t look like I did in college…at all. But I will say I am pretty damn proud of my self-motivation. I run 3 miles a day Monday through Friday, a quick 7 minute mile on Saturdays after I teach Zumba s\Step and sometimes I will take a rest day on Sunday or do Core De Force kickboxing/T25 Ab intervals. I know what to listen to my body, although my mind begs for routine so if I can’t work out because I am sick or there are other priorities, I go crazy- this is all from my Dad.
I was never a runner, but I have trained and trained and trained and now I am a decent runner…not advanced by any means but I can run a 9 minute mile for my half marathons. In 2014, I ran my first half marathon at about a 10 minute mile and was in what I thought was the best shape of my life- pre-kids 105 lbs. Then I ran my second half 4 months later and shaved my time down to 9 minutes and 40 secondsish-again pre-kids and same weight- newly married and just pregnant before I even knew it. I had Juliana and thought I could never run again, but 6 weeks postpartum I ran 6 miles with Kim. Besides feeling like my uterus was going to fall out, I felt great and started to run more and more. It really is so hard when you train diligently and then have to re-train to get back to where you were. I ran my third half marathon in October of last year- 6 months postpartum and ran a 9 minute mile finishing at 2 hours 4 minutes. I felt amazing and definitely wasn’t 105 lbs. I actually struggled more to get back to pre-pregnancy with my second than with my first. Thank you nursing for helping me get back to where I was both times.
I don’t obsess over losing weight like I used to- especially as a college cheerleader they used to throw up in the air. I do obsess over when I can work out and get my run in. I know I need to vary my workouts, but I adore running. I love what it does to my brain, my mind, and my heart. I sneak out of work and run 3-4 miles before I pick my kids up at daycare. I catch up on The Bachelor, This is Us, or Grey’s Anatomy on my phone in the dark in my work clothes with my running sneakers. That is ME time. I could take a bath or lay down and watch TV, but I decided I needed to leak those endorphins and get my heart pumping. I do it for me and I do it for my kids. Anyone who knows me knows I can be competitive, but when I am running, just me, myself and I, the competition is me. Personally, I love to vary my speeds and inclines. I have pinned a few great HIIT treadmill workouts, but I typically start out running at 6mph, then every .10 miles I will increase speed to 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, back down to 6mph. Sometimes I will put an incline of up to 10.0 and walk at 4.0. My OCD brain has trouble walking, but some days I am downright tired and just want to walk. I will say one of my strengths is my mindset. Once I hit habit status, my mind doesn’t let me fail. I will always find a way- even if it means I have to put on Core De Force on my DVD player in the living room with both kids climbing all over me and the house. I crave endorphins- it’s like anxiety and depression medication. It’s good for my soul.
When I was pregnant, I was teaching Zumba 2x a week and taking a HIIT class. I stopped running with both pregnancies in the second trimester due to sciatica. I did acupuncture for both pregnancies since my posture was pretty terrible and the sciatica hurt so much- I swear by it! I haven’t taken HIIT since I had Hudson because having 2 kids really makes going to the gym difficult. I do teach Zumba Step on Saturday mornings and will run a quick mile while I blast the most inappropriate rap because I can. Out of the whole week, this is the time I don’t usually have to rush and for that I am grateful.
Another thing I love love love is joining challenges on Facebook or Instagram. For example, I just joined a plank challenge where we plank for a certain amount of seconds per day for X amount of days. I started doing a 2 minute plank so instead of learning up to a 90 second plank, I am committing to doing a 2 minute plank daily. I also joined a 50 push up challenge sponsored by DJ TANNER! Yes, DJ Tanner- judge all you want- she is amazing and such a fit mom. I am inspired by her big time.
Besides zumba, running, and challenges, I like to be part of a team or a group. I discovered an awesome boot camp group on Sunday mornings in the summer and fall. Again, with my schedule and Howie being a firefighter I can’t always commit to going. But when I do I feel strong. With all the running I do, it can be hard to feel strong because my body is memorizing running certain distances. If I had time I would vary my runs and distances but I am usually rushing to pick them up from daycare or relieving Howie from daddy duty, etc. In the nice weather, I love going for a good ol’ fashioned walk or jog with my kids in the stroller. My Fitbit is great for tracking all of this. Although, I will say it’s not amazing for people with OCD–> me. I will run around my classroom just to get my steps in.
My point is get out there. Do something for you that makes your heart pump a little bit. It doesn’t have to be crazy. You don’t need to join a boot camp class or attend CrossFit (which I used to be part of before paying $1760/month just for daycare). Take yoga, do a yoga DVD in your house, do some zumba on youtube, set a goal of doing 100 pushups in a month, take one class at the gym you love once a week, walk on the treadmill and watch your favorite show…do whatever it takes. I don’t work out to lose weight because. I do it for me- my mind and my soul crave it. Make it a priority.
The rest happens in the kitchen. I will make another blog on healthy treats I LOVE and can be easy to make. I don’t eat the best lately, especially because I am nursing and pumping and I’m pretty much a ravenous beast and starving every hour. I am not a qualified dietician or personal trainer, but I am a tired old beat up mama who just wants to let other mamas know that you’re not alone and it’s not as hard as you think. I have 2 kids who are hyper and on the move and I still make it work because I need it. I want to set a good example for my kids that being healthy and loving fitness is fun. Juliana already wants to be a runner and I will run a 5K with her soon. I love that she sees me running and striving to be fit.
You got this, mama. Do it for you and your kids. Start out small and see how amazing you will feel.