Motherhood presents herself to us in different ways. For me, it was a like my transient lifestyle grew solid roots and said, "Surprise! you're pregnant, guess you're not working in Alaska this summer, going to Thailand in the fall or moving back to Kauai."
I was 23, in my last few months of college and in love with an amazing guy. Not what we planned but we decided we would embrace what life had to offer.
Besides, my best friend was at the end of her pregnancy and my sister was 8 months along as well. She had been trying to get this far along in her pregnancy for 3 years. Miscarriages and months of disappointment had finally led her to a full term pregnancy. My unexpected pregnancy couldn't be taken for granted.
In March, my sister birthed her beautiful son, Ruben, but he was not healthy. He only lived three days.
Here I was, 3 months along with a baby I didn't feel ready for and a devastated sister that wanted a child more than anything and was only met with heartbreak.
I felt guilty, unprepared and terrified for much of my pregnancy.
Two weeks overdue and an induction led to 12 hours of labor, a unexpected infection, worry about heart rate and an emergency c-section. Also, blood tests showed an infection in my daughter as well and she was put on IV antibiotics for the first six days of her life. Despite the scary tests, it was clear that she was a warrior and did not worry us about not sticking around. She was thriving and so aware for a newborn.
As soon as my daughter came, that fear dissipated and was replaced with primal instincts and love. I felt that I had wasted so much negative energy during my pregnancy on worry and fear.
Also, we found out later that my sister got pregnant again the day that I went into labor with my daughter. She now has a healthy thriving boy, Rowan.
I didn't worry too much about my weight, eating habits or regular exercise during my pregnancy and the months that followed. I believed fully in people that told me "Don't worry, breastfeeding will help you lose all your pregnancy weight, just wait until your little one is 3 months, that's when the weight loss will kick in."
3 months no weight loss, 6 months no weight loss (actually a slight gain from my ravaging breastfeeding hungers)… My 5'6" body was packing around 180 lbs.
I have always been a runner and into yoga. At 7 months postpartum I was running 3-5 miles with the stroller on a regular basis with no results. I joined a gym but didn't have a cohesive workout plan.
My wedding was coming up and I had nothing but motivation to kick that baby weight. I removed all refined sugar from my diet and joined a mom's outdoor workout group. The workouts kicked my ass and finally got the weight to shed off. What my body needed was all around strength training and high intensity cardio. Running a few miles at a cruising speed is not what my body needed to burn the calories.
I lost 20 lbs by my wedding and the pounds slowly but surely kept shedding off as I continued attending the workout group. 1-2 pounds a week is how I lost my weight and kept it off. I envisioned how I wanted to see my body and kept working hard to get to that point. That being said, I honestly don’t know if I would have found a system that worked for me if I hadn’t had the motivation of my wedding.
When I moved back to my small mountain hometown, I created a business offering kid-friendly workouts, mama support and motivation, yoga, babywearing exercises, hikes, playdates and mom’s socials. Mountain Mamas has been going strong now for a year and half with multiple mamas attending classes pregnant and coming back with their newborns. I have whittled my weight down from 180 to 130 and feel stronger and healthier than ever. I am now a certified Women's Fitness Specialist and Yoga Instructor.
The antibiotics that my daughter had taken as a newborn affected her gut health. It has steered me to research the importance of the food we nourish our children with and the role our gut plays in our health. I take pride in providing her with nutritious snacks, meals and have seen her digestive system improve dramatically by paying close attention to her diet. I see it as my job to set her up with nourishing foods and eating habits that she can benefit from for the rest of their life.
That does not mean my struggles as a mom dissipated completely.
But my experiences taught me to think outside the box with how I want to manifest changes in my life. Since motherhood I have learned how to center myself through self care, yoga, meditation and my mindset. I have learned that negative thoughts surrounding my body, my lifestyle, time management and money do not serve my purpose and I have learned how to flip the script on those thoughts.
Watching my daughter practice “pushups” on the coffee table or sing our workout songs to her dolls is a motivating factor for me to offer this service to as many moms as possible. If I am able to instill a desire to practice fitness on a regular basis, then I am setting her up with tools to lead a healthy lifestyle. Fitness is an everyday part of our lives and it’s not uncommon for her and I to have random workouts throughout the day.
Motherhood is difficult, demanding, paralyzing and overwhelming. It also can be rewarding, empowering, fun and energizing.
I can help you flip the script on the negative aspects of your life. I can support you in rising above your challenges with your body, health, nutrition, time management and outlook on life. Life is precious, children are precious, parenting is precious.