As I approach my 36th birthday it becomes more clear how much harder it gets to get fit and stay fit as our bodies get older.
I consider myself an average person. I work, have 3 children, tote kids to sports practices and dance lessons and generally struggle to fit time for my own wellness into the mix.
In November my employer changed their health plan. The new plan requires that employees and spouses earn credits that go towards paying their deductible. For all of you that have 3 kids...you can imagine I was all about earning the money!!! This was the kick start I needed to get to where I am today...
Let me go back and explain my fitness journey so far...
In high school I was a sprinter on the track team and co-captain of our volleyball team. I considered myself in decent shape. Not skinny by any stretch but healthy and a reasonable weight for my 5'1" body.
I got married at 22 and baby #1 followed 2 years later. I gained 13 pounds while I was pregnant and I took my aerobics class all through my pregnancy and up until a week prior to delivery. I also walked 4 blocks to and from work each day which helped a bit. After he was born I tried a new form of birth control which added a whopping 40 pounds to me in 3 short months. Once the fat was there...it stuck fast and would not budge. I topped the scales at 181 lbs. My knees hurt, my back ached and I hated the way I looked. Not a fun time for me! I had no time or money to put towards my own fitness and as any new mom will tell you - you do for the baby before you do for yourself.
Eventually...I go back to aerobics to try to find myself again. Still overweight (although getting better!) I get pregnant with baby #2 at the age of 27. Only gained 9 pounds during my pregnancy and worked out as long as possible. My second pregnancy came with a myriad of problems. I was taken out of my workout regime and put on bed-rest about 2 months before I was due to deliver. I ended up in the hospital about a week later and they said I was not allowed to return home. About 3 days after that I was told that the baby was starving, my body was not giving him what he needed and I needed to deliver him as soon as possible. The baby was diagnosed with IUGR...I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. I found myself being rushed back for an emergency C-Section and delivered a "peanut" (6 weeks premature). He came home from the hospital at 3 pounds 1 week after being born. Then I turned into super-mom...must breast feed-good for preemies, must wake baby every 3 hours, must pump extra all the time in case I need to leave him with a sitter...basically became a woman on a mission to make sure he stayed well.
Let me tell you how wonderful breast feeding is for weight control. My weight was getting back under control and life was good...until he turned one and started eating food...back to the gym. This time not only did I join a gym but I got a part time job! How wonderful is that for weight management and fitness! I became the psycho workout girl! I got up every morning and walked 2 miles at 5:30 am. Showered and went to work. Walked another 2-3 miles during my lunch hour every day. Coupled that with some situps and pushups before returning to my deskjob. Worked out at the gym at least 3 days a week and the days that were not scheduled as my work-out days...I worked at the gym training others on equipment. Boy did the inches fall off like you would not beleive! I was not light...I was 140 lbs. but I was a size 2. I was happy and I was fit (although a little crazy when you said I had to miss a walk or a workout...).
Then came baby #3 at the age of 30. I actually continued my nutty routine until a month before my baby girl was born. I had gained 30 pounds and wanted to make sure I had no problem getting the weight back off! I can honestly say that when I delivered her I weighed a pound less the day after she was born then I did when I got pregnant. Mission accomplished!
Over the past 5 years I have gained 20 pounds and gotten into lazy mode. The new health program through my employer was a perfect excuse to get back into the swing of things. In November we all received our health assesment reports (mine was very ugly). I also found out that my cholesterol is a little high so they recommended increasing my activity. We began implementing these "employer verified" activities to earn our credits so I have been walking at lunch ever since to try to get back in shape. A couple months ago we added an aerobics program as well which I am loving as it gives me the opportunity to incorporate the strength training back into my schedule and it is on-site so there is no excuse not to go.
In this blog I will delve into the good the bad and the ugly as it relates to my plan, progress and goals.
Hopefully I will have good news to report on the weight and the workout progress!