We Go Back

Have you ever heard the phrase “glory days”? Do you have any of them?

I have had when I like to call Glory Kicks throughout my adulthood. I identify these as times when I made choices and did things that moved the ball of my life forward. In all of them- I learned lessons about myself, but as their title would indicate, the lessons were sometimes short lived- a kick I was on.

For a period of time in college I was on the Atkins diet. This served me well- I was a carb addict and by tracking and limiting the carbs I lost good weight. Unfortunately I also began an unhealthy obsession tracking my ketosis. Like constantly.

What I learned: Carbs make me gain weight and cutting them out helped me lose. Meat and cheese is took expensive for a poor college kid. Tracking sometimes makes me a little nuts.

Also while I was in college, I enrolled in a tae kwon do class to get an extra few credit hours. I learned a ton and I had so much fun in the process. I earned a medal in a form competition and I got a green stripe when I tested at the end of the semester. Unfortunately, when the class ended I couldn’t afford individual lessons so I stopped.

What I learned: I love the discipline and fitness required for martial arts. Martial arts have a significant cost associated for lessons.

After college and after the job that helped me gain 100 pounds I stumbled on Nerd Fitness. I jumped into the community and challenges. I started running and tracking my food. Eventually I realized I had an issue with gluten. I lost 100 pounds and was so happy. Then things went sideways and I had conflicting goals. After I ran my marathon I was stuck with- Do I run? Do I lift? Do I eat to train? Do I go back to calorie watching? How do I keep doing what I was doing when I just got married and our eating and fitness habits re so different? Slowly I started putting weight back on… then I had a baby.

What I learned: I don’t need the quantity of food I had been consuming. Some running was great for me. Gluten is bad. I like being strong. Too many goals makes me stop achieving any of them.

Most recently I completed a DietBet challenge. Normally I don’t just shoot to have a weight loss goal, because there are so many other and better markers of health, but I needed to do something to motivate me out of my slump. This plan worked- I woke up early and went to the gym 3 days a week, tracked what I ate, and lost 9.4 pound in 4 weeks.

What I learned: Money can be very motivating. Working out early helps me start my day. I still don’t need to eat like I’m nursing.

So here’s what I’m getting at- our lives are races that we run and we have these power bursts (or kicks) that propel us forward. We just need to be able to look back at what we learned and put those ideas into practice when we need a jolt.

For me this looks like: Eat only what you need; not too many carbs and avoid gluten. Choose a sport or activity that allows you to be disciplined; don’t just go willy nilly and play it by ear (have a plan). Get up early and either workout or at a minimum get your head right. Have a financial stake in your success.

These rules are specific to me, not a blueprint for everyone. They can get me where I want to go because they are time tested.

I think that anyone who is willing to look back with a discerning eye on their life, like I did, will see patterns of what worked and what didn’t that they can lay over their current circumstances to help define a beat path.

Also, I think I’m going to go back and try tae kwon do again.

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To My Son, on Your First Day of “School”

Sweet Bug,

It seems like it was yesterday that we were celebrating your birth-day. I knew you were coming that day from the moment I woke at midnight, just like I knew your name from the day we found out you even existed. Your entrance into the world was so smooth and easy, but I’ll be honest Sweet G, those first two weeks were rough. We both cried a lot- me way more than you.

I didn’t know what I was doing. YOU didn’t know what I was doing. We were so out of sync. I sat there in the dark (after figuring out you hated when I turned all the lights on at 2am) so many nights just nursing you while I cried, feeling like I was so ill equipped for the role of being your mommy. I thought a lot that maybe there would be someone better for you, someone who didn’t make you cry so much. Someone who wasn’t so anxious or sad. Surely I wasn’t what God had in mind for you.

Then one night, about two weeks in, as I sat there in my sadness, a song came on the radio that said “and I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night, and You tell me that You’re pleased and that I’m never alone.” I needed to hear that so badly. I needed to hear that I was chosen to be your mommy and that I was good enough. Being your mommy reminded me how much I needed Jesus.

Hearing that encouraged me to accept my role instead of fighting it. You and I fell into sync that night- it was magical. I always knew that you were a huge blessing to me and that you would change me for the better, but the ways God uses you, my sweet one, are profound.

I’m so excited to start a new adventure with you, as you start to go off into the world, little by little without me. You need to know that I am now and will always be your number one fan, even when I can’t be standing right beside you. I know that the goal of being your mommy is that I train you up to be loving and kind and independent, but if we could take that independent piece gently…..

My Sweet G- I love you so much.

Forevever, For Always, No Matter What.

I Lava You.

Mommy

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Momlife and Feelings. 

My son is 7 months old. I look at how much he has changed over the course of the past few months and I am just blown away at all the progress he has made. 

Unfortunately, when I look at my own journey, I don’t feel the same amount of pride. In fact, I feel a bit of the opposite. 

It’s really tough to admit that this is really hard. 

I truly thought that by now I would be back in action, making things happen, getting my poop in a group (all the other moms reading this are either nodding or laughing. I was so naïve). It’s so hard to contain my own disappointment. 

A friend told me this week, as I was shrugging off those feelings that everyone has, that just because everyone has them doesn’t make them any less valid. 

So in an effort to be transparent, and maybe help other moms struggling with the guilt I have, I feel:

Tired. Like all the time. I’m pretty sure someone took our clocks and just removed a couple of the hours. 

Hungry. Like all the time. Being responsible for another humans sustenance is no easy task. And I graze constantly. Which brings me to my next one…

Frumpy. I feel blah and squishy- like I’m wearing someone else’s skin. 

Guilty. I find myself wishing that things were different. That I could have someone else’s life. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I wish some of my certain circumstances and challenges would magically disappear. I wish that things could be as easy for me as they appear (key word) for other mamas. And that makes me feel guilty- because I wouldn’t change  anything that would change my son. Nothing. No questions asked. But, I still feel guilty thinking that. 

Disappointed. In myself for not being the Pinterest mom I thought I woulda coulda shoulda been. 

Sad– that time is going by so fast and I can’t catch a breath. 

Angry. This one surprises me but if I am totally honest I’m angry that other moms are so judgy with each other. There, I said it. Be kind to each other. Seriously. 

Lonely. Being up in the middle of the night or the times when I’m home alone is incredibly isolating. It doesn’t have to be, but sometimes it’s just not worth it to engage. 

Most of all happy. There’s something to be said for having your prayers be answered and your dreams come true. That sounds cheesy but I don’t care. Having joy with my son doesn’t negate all the other emotions. Rather, I think it validates them. 

Baby Vs Barbell

Life is really busy right now. All the moms in the room, I’m sure, are nodding knowingly. My little man will be 4 months old on Monday and I feel like I am just now getting back into the swing of things. This new found rhythm made me think that going back to the gym would be a snap.

Mr Ham and I located a gym very close to our home where there is daycare ($1/hr! Amazing!) and we signed up right away. I was pumped. I know that lifting again will get my head right and will help me feel more like myself. Unfortunately, there is one thing I didn’t take into account:  Mom guilt is real.

Monday afternoon I rushed home from work to get my workout clothes on. I was pumped. Then I realized that I could no longer just drop everything and lift. My body was different now and my baby was nursing. I would have to time things just right so that he had food and so that my body wouldn’t be uncomfortable. Timing this sort of thing out is hard, guys.

Not only that, I also had to take into account the effects that lifting would have on the quality of his…dinner. (There’s no way to phrase this that doesn’t come off slightly awkward!)

Thirdly, lifting always leaves me a little sore the next day (DOMs) but I never took into account that it would make me sore for 4 fulls days. It was such a chore to just walk up the stairs- it was hard to get down and play with my son when I was as sore as I was.

All of this made me feel guilty- was he going to suffer just so I could start to get my body back? I felt so guilty, like I was taking from him. See- mom guilt is real.

However, what I realized then and have to remind myself now, my body will serve both of us better if I am healthy and strong. There may be some stumbling blocks on the way there, but if I am careful and take care of my body well (hydrate, lift smart, keep walking) I think the both of us can benefit from this process!

I’m excited to get back under the barbell! Time to get to work!

 

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In Four Weeks…

In four weeks my son will meet the world, me, and his dad. He will look around for the first time, be held, snuggled, kissed, and welcomed. He will have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends anxiously standing by to cheer him on and help him know just how much he is loved.

In four weeks our dogs, our furbabies, will learn what having a tiny human around the house means for them; snacks on the floor, tugs on the ears, nights spent *not* on our bed (sorry kids), and a little buddy who loves them like a sibling would.

In four weeks our everyday life will involve a level of vigilance and protection that we’ve never had to have before- putting someone else’s needs before our own (when appropriate) and keeping a watchful eye out for anything and everything we can do to keep the small one safe.

In four weeks a hope I’ve had since I first decided I wanted to be a mom will be realized and whatever it looks like, though drastically different from the first visions I had, will be perfect. The time spent will be worth it. The let downs turned into teaching lessons. The prayers, though not on our timeline or in the ways we would’ve thought, answered.

In four weeks we begin a new adventure. I couldn’t be more excited, scared, thrilled, blessed, or joyful.

I’m overwhelmed, in all the best ways possible.

Come, little man. In your own time, in your own way. You have no idea the wild ride you’re in for.

Lucky Number Seven

Seven. I have about seven weeks until my son gets here, my world gets rocked, and life changes forever.

Or so I’m told.

The last few months have gone by fast. Between moving, work, and weekly birth classes, I’ve barely noticed that we have snuck into single digits. It wasn’t until I was sitting in the living room folding an amazing yet unending pile of Newborn to 3 month baby clothes we were gifted that I realized just how soon there would be a tiny body in them.

Reality– my favorite brick wall to the face.

Time hop offers me a look back at my life a year ago: all the hiking I was doing, all the PR’s and lifts I was hitting, and all the crazy adventures I was getting myself into. Man, I was busy.

Now my days are full of preparing for a tiny human to join our crazy little family unit. I’m still very busy.

Instead of leaving everyone wondering if I got eaten or fell off the face of the Earth, here are some things that I am up to:

Each week my husband and I take a childbirth class, focusing on the Bradley Method, through Colorado Natural Childbirth. I like it because when I think about things that keep me healthy (like the ideals that I hold dear and that drive the personal decisions I make), having a drug and intervention free delivery and offering that same type of start to life to my son is of utmost importance. It’s my way of putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak. We learn lots of different things from anatomy to interventions to relaxation techniques. All of this is so that we can be informed consumers and directors of our own healthcare decisions in the delivery room. I feel empowered.

Also, many of you know I struggle with a clinical level of anxiety- taking these classes has given me the knowledge that I need to be able to calm myself down and somewhat know what to expect when the big day comes. GI Joe wasn’t kidding, and if you struggle with anxiety like I do, you know that one of the best tools to combat new situations and triggers is to get informed. Some of the information is scary and overwhelming, but the alternative of freaking out in the delivery room is way worse.

Our class also has a nutrition and stretching/exercise component, which I really like. While I haven’t been able to maintain clean or even paleo type eating through the pregnancy (haven’t/chose not to…), the nutrition guidelines they ask us to follow are pretty basic and very helpful. They keep me eating a certain number of green and orange veggies, protein, eggs etc. each day, which I needed. The stretching and exercises we do are great to keep my body flexible and strong for the marathon that is labor.

My husband and I have a birth plan we are happy with and a healthy level of reality where we can expect the unexpected.

My sleep, which is one of the 4 pillars of health I try to keep my focus on, is sufficient. The only major issue I’m having is hip pain, causing me to roll like a rotisserie chicken on a spit throughout the night. That’s an attractive visual, isn’t it? I end up getting close to 7 ½ hours each night and I generally wake up feeling pretty good. I just try to remember that the dull ache is my body stretching and moving to make room for Tinybaby to come into the world.

The only piece of my life that I’m truly “missing” these days is walking/hiking. I used to be able to get out for hours on end and wander, but now if I get too far from home I worry that I won’t be able to get back or that I’ll have to go to the bathroom while in the middle of nowhere. This is not ideal.

Anyhow, this is where I’m at, for anyone who was wondering. Life has a rhythm right now, and soon a new rhythm will replace it- one full of crying, giggles, snuggles, and adventures as a family. And for that, I am so freaking excited.

Change of Plans (Surprise!)

I was just sitting here thinking “I should probably update my blog and tell folks how that big awesome list of things to do is going…”

Well, here is your update: I have done zero things that I said I would so far. And it’s totally ok.

After I wrote that amazing list of things I was going to accomplish in 2015, I got sick. Around Mid January I found myself barely able to pull myself out of bed. I was lethargic, weepy, and just plain exhausted. I thought at first that maybe the time change that had happened in November was having some lingering affect on me. Maybe I was coming down with mono or some other sort of illness. Maybe I overdid it at Christmas and my body was revolting.

Never once did I consider the now obvious answer.

I’m expecting.

It’s crazy- after trying to get pregnant for nearly two years, you just stop expecting it to happen. At the urging of a friend who heard my symptoms, I went to the store and bought a pregnancy test. In fact, I bought a two pack. I have been through the let down of the negative test before, so I was bracing myself for more of the same. My husband, however, had not and I didn’t want to get his hopes up and crush them, so I decided to take it in private. I even went as far as to hide the packaging and extra test in my car, so that when it was a bust, he would be none the wiser.

As I sat there waiting for the three minutes to come around, I watched in awe as a second line appeared for the very first time. Two. There were two lines.

My husband was in the other room asking me questions and telling me about his day, when I quietly asked him to come in the bathroom and help me. I’ve always wanted to be one of those girls who had awesome ways of surprising her husband with the news, but in my shock and awe, all I could get out was “Are those two lines? There’s two, right?”

He had no idea what I was talking about, but he did agree there were two. Then his eyes focused on what exactly I was holding and he looked up at me as I shook violently.

The next hour was filled with phone calls to close friends, talking and staring at the test, and tears.

I am now 17 1/2 weeks along and Bacon Bits (the name we have affectionately given out spawn) seems to be doing well.

I haven’t done much since I got pregnant- I always thought I would be one of those moms you see, belly out, still dead-lifting, but alas I am not. I’m lucky if I have the energy to walk 5,000 steps a day. We tried to go for a hike the other day and I had to go very slow up some very small hills. I just can’t breathe like I used to.

This little peanut is taking a toll on me. But to quote a picture I saw the other day, “Pregnancy is the happiest reason there is to feel like crap.” It’s so true.

I’m hoping this summer can bring some more hikes, but for now I am doing what I can to keep my stress down, sleep a ton, drink all the water, and nourish my body well.

Lucy and Maui get promoted!