Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The New Me....

If you haven't known before, I battle right now with a motivation issue. This stems from my feeling helpless about my physical health with pregnancy beyond making sure I'm doing everything for baby!

When I fell pregnant….

Okay I have to stop myself right there. We don’t really fall pregnant now do we? I find this statement hilarious because whenever I say it or hear it I automatically envision Hubby Dearest literally falling on top of me while I’m cleaning the kitchen or something and bouncing up like a cartoon as my belly suddenly protrudes through my clothing ripping it like the Incredible Hulk!

When I became pregnant with Boetie I thought for numerous reasons that this was the worst possible timing! However I quickly came over that as I knew I was blessed by God to be expanding our family!

This is me 2 months before moving to SA at 115lbs!

Pregnancy though put a major damper on my fitness plans! I’ve never been a particularly big girl. Meaning I’m barely over 5 foot and managed to keep an average weight of 115 after high school. In school though and for a while thereafter I was very active. I ran or went to the gym daily. I was in dance and soccer in school. I loved my body.

When I moved to South Africa though, things took a bit of a dive. I gained quite a bit of weight in a very short time period. In the first four months here, I jumped up to around 155 lbs. On such a small frame this was a tremendous amount!
But I didn’t regain my healthy lifestyle.

On my wedding day just shy of 150lbs
In America I drank a lot of coffee. Black coffee though. Occasionally with dessert some cream and sugar. But all day long just black. I drank about 4L of water a day as well. I was active and made a point to get in at least 30 minutes a day. On top of that I taught PE for an elementary school twice a week (which involves a lot of running too! They sit if you sit!). AND I was a waitress. This was on my feet a lot and surprisingly it helped me with my lifestyle.
In South Africa, I drank a lot of coffee. A lot of sugar, milk, instant coffee. I stopped drinking water almost completely. I was going to the jol’s a lot with Hubby Dearest. I NEVER did exercise..unless my new Hubby counted ;-). AND I spent most of my day at the crèche where I was working…sitting!

The food also made a huge difference. I LOVED the food here. I ate like crazy! I’d sit and eat two plates of food the size of Hubby Dearest’s plate. Most of this food was in the form of red meat too. I ate mostly chicken and fish in America. But here, I maxed on red meat like I’d never tasted anything so juicy in my life!

I think you’re getting the picture…

Lovely South African braai vleis!!

So now what does all of this have to do with now?

Just before becoming pregnant with Lil Mister I began losing weight again. I had cut down my portions and was back to working in restaurants. Plus my metabolism had begun to finally adjust to all of the changes. I dropped down to about 132. At the end of my pregnancy with Lil Mister I had only managed to reach 141.

This was okay though because Lil Mister was a healthy guy coming in at a whopping 7.9 lbs!

In January '12 at my skinniest...97lbs
After Lil Mister I dramatically lost weight in the same fashion I picked it up. I wasn’t trying at all but my body decided to go extreme in the other direction. I wound up sitting at 97lbs 3 months after giving birth. The dramatic weight loss made breastfeeding impossible.
Finally a year later I begin to get my health back in order. Realizing that weight gain wasn’t going to happen like it did before; I knew I had to do something. I started planning family meals. I had to start eating balanced meals 3 times a day.

I also started working out again. Best of all I started RUNNING!

I loved it and was doing very well! It gave me something to chart and track. I could see and feel my improvements each week.

Then morning sickness hit and it was a complete road block.

Now I’ve done well to keep myself some what active this pregnancy and am so relieved to say that I’ve finally hit my goal weight at about 141 again. After pregnancy I would like to get to an average between 115-120.

The biggest thing is getting myself out there and moving post pregnancy!

To do that I have to get my mind in the right place. As I said, I wasn’t extremely unhealthy by any means but I believe as a woman YOU have to be happy with yourself. This is especially important being a mom and a wife. My child can quickly see when I am not happy with me and I do not want him to grow up aware of this. If I am not happy with me then I must change me. It is really that simple. I want to live a healthier lifestyle.

So here is my go to 5 steps for getting myself motivated for post-pregnancy training!!

1) Plan, Plan, and Plan: No I do not think that my plans are rigid and going to be effective immediately. I’m aware that things may have to change a little bit. But the best way to keep myself motivated is to work out a workout plan. I’ve looked into cross training that I’ve done before and mapped out a rough draft of how I want my training to go. Any moves that I can do now from those workouts, well I do them now! I’m mentally aware of what I plan to do in what time frame and I’m introducing my body to this plan as well!
I’ve also started getting together a healthier menu. I want to breastfeed Boetie and train for my first half so I need to have a very balanced diet. But I have two other men (Lil Mister counts as a man if you knew his personality!) in the house to feed. Meals need to cater to all and still be healthy for all!

2) Stay involved: I can’t run a marathon right now! I know many women who did run through most of their pregnancies. I shamefully regret not being one of them, but that doesn’t mean I should exclude myself from the fitness world! Every time I read about another mommy runner hitting a PR or see another runner cross that finish line after a long road I cheer for them. I soak in their excitement and emotions. I store that for later when someone will be cheering for me. I stay up to date on what is going on. I read, blog, watch, and listen for any news on people, gear and races! The more involved I am the more excited I am for afterwards!

3) Talk about it: I don’t hide my dreams or goals from friends or family. I hound my husband constantly. Look at my workout tracker I’ve created. Listen to what I read about the Comrades. These races are these months. I start training again on this date. I’m positive they are all sick of hearing about it but it keeps it a part of my mind and heart. If you can, find a partner who is willing to do this with you! Hubby Dearest has agreed that if we join a gym then he will gym with me! That is a great motivation because it is like a date night!

4) Schedule: Especially when you have young children it can be very difficult to just ‘squeeze’ in that run. Schedule time for your workouts. Speak with your spouse, partner, or someone who will be looking after the children. Set a time up each day in which you will run/gym. If you don’t make time for it, the time will go without it. I have already stressed to Hubby and family how important this is to me and that Hubby and I must work out a schedule!

5) Set goals: This I think is my biggest motivator. I have already planned my first 5k and am waiting for races schedules for next year to begin planning the rest of my progress. My largest goal is to run the Comrades in 2016. Yea, that is 3 years from now but it is also a 90km race! I need some time and training. But every step leads me closer. So…set goals. Say you want to be running this far in this amount of time. Be realistic…i.e. my first 5k is 4 months post birth. Unrealistic would have been a half marathon or scheduling my 5k only 4 weeks afterwards! Setting goals gives you something to work towards!

Will everything work out as planned? Probably not. My plans are more of guidelines. But this is where I am. I’m focused. I’m staying involved. I’m planning, scheduling, and dreaming everyday of achieving my goals. Now we play the waiting game. I will keep you updated on where everything is and as soon as my training starts I’ll make sure you are bored glued to your screen to know each pain, cry, tear, and triumph this body and mind of mine accomplishes! We’ll see after Boetie is here how it all goes!

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