As I mentioned in my last post, I started running. It’s been great. Not because I always feel great, but because it allows me to reconnect with the part of me that doesn’t have baby poo on her face (true story) or playdough under her finger nails.

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Some of my runs this past week have actually been kind of a struggle. Turns out that coming back after a baby isn’t jumping right back into my pre-pregnancy fitness. Who woulda thunk, right? The good news is I’m at the fitness level that took probably about 12-18 months after my second baby to achieve, and very close to pre-pregnancy. I’m hopeful I can get back to pre-pregnancy fitness within 6-8 months. (Just in case you needed more motivation to continue your fitness throughout pregnancy!)

But as I was saying, these short runs this past week have been such a blessing. There’s something that happens after a woman has a baby. She transforms from a beautiful, intelligent woman who can carry on a conversation, wear high heels, and has time to do her hair, to a crazy, sleep-deprived zombie who days are spent changing diapers to a soundtrack of the Paw Patrol theme song. High heels have been traded in for yoga pants, and intelligence has been turned into “Mommy brain.”

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The “Mom Brain” is real.

What happened?

It’s easy for us to get tied up with all the “mommy” jobs we have to do, and often that leaves nothing left for ourselves. I’m not saying sacrifice your children’s needs just to make sure you get your hair done. That would be selfish and irresponsible. But I do think it’s important to reconnect with the things we enjoy that help make us who we are. It could be anything really, but one of the things for me is running.

I’ve been running since I was fourteen. That’s a seventeen year relationship. Have I always been consistent? No. But having that one outlet where I can just plug into my thoughts and get back to me is pretty fantastic. It helps remind me that I’m strong and can endure.

Those moments I’m able to dedicate to me, make me a better mom. I’m happier when I’m able to get out and run. (Heaven help the child  who throws a tantrum when I haven’t had a run. We’ll both be crying.) I have more patience and energy to keep up with my kids. And it gives me a much needed mental break. It’s amazing what physical activity can do for the mood and mind!

Once I hit the 6 week mark, I plan on incorporating more strength training and speedwork to my workouts as well as tweek my diet to start shedding some of this baby weight.

Here are the 4 week updates:

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4 weeks post

Baby Girl: She’s been doing really well; noticeably filling out. Gotta love the baby cheekers! She still sleeps like a champ. In fact, one night she gave us almost 9 hours! I almost had to wake her because my chest hurt so badly. She still wants to be held all the time, and I’m trying not to get frustrated, but sometimes things need to get done. (Like feeding my other two children.) These newborn snuggles last only a short while, and I need to enjoy them while I can!

Workouts: I managed about 5 runs this past week ranging from 1-3 miles. Pace is actually quicker than my pregnancy pace by about a minute and slower than my pre-pregnancy easy pace by 30 seconds. I’m pretty happy with that considering after both previous pregnancies I was running about 2-3 minutes slower per mile. I’ve lessened the yoga to about 2 times this past week but I’m still working on that core regularly. The good news is the DR is basically gone. I have about a 1-2 finger gap around my belly button which is actually pretty normal.

Nutrition: I did kind of fall off the wagon this week. Between indulgences on Mother’s Day and some sick kiddos, my nutrition got a little out of wack. (C’mon, I think on Mother’s Day, Momma can use a little frozen custard, right?) So I’m trying to reign that back in. But that’s life isn’t it? Holidays and parties, sick kids and busy jobs. Sometimes we’re not perfect, but it’s not about perfection. It’s about trying to be consistent and not completely throwing in the towel when we stumble.

Weight loss: Uh, I actually gained a couple pounds. Not really what I wanted, but things have been a little crazy and my diet was out of wack so that factors in. Maybe water retention, maybe growth in muscle, maybe stress,  maybe my scale was just a jerk. (A girl can dream, right?) Either way, I wasn’t thrilled. Gotta tell myself to not freak out. I’m not in weight loss mode yet; still giving myself a couple weeks before I start that to ensure Baby Girl and I have a good breastfeeding rhythm down. Sometimes you just gotta take what your body gives you.

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I’m look forward to getting out more this week and upping my mileage slowly but surely. It’s already getting easier!

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