Caught Up

Confession: I have been caught up in summer fun. We spent all of May celebrating FG’s first birthday. She is as strong, smart and adventurous as I could have ever hoped.

HARD TO BELIEVE THIS WAS MORE THAN A YEAR AGO ***EXCLUSIVE*** PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 26: Meghan Leatherman, 33, is nine months pregnant and dilated to 1cm seen lifting a heavy weight at her home town gym on April 26, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. The 33-year-old even lifted weights on the day she went into labor and broke records in the final days of pregnancy. PHOTOGRAPH BY Dave Cruz / Barcroft Media

HARD TO BELIEVE THIS WAS MORE THAN A YEAR AGO ***EXCLUSIVE*** PHOENIX, ARIZONA – APRIL 26: Meghan Leatherman, 33, is nine months pregnant and dilated to 1cm seen lifting a heavy weight at her home town gym on April 26, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. The 33-year-old even lifted weights on the day she went into labor and broke records in the final days of pregnancy. PHOTOGRAPH BY Dave Cruz / Barcroft Media

Sweet girl is ONE! Photo cred: RoundLens Photography

Sweet girl is ONE!
Photo cred: RoundLens Photography

We have also enjoyed many visitors and taken multiple trips to the beach. In true summer fashion, the days have been lazy, playful and full of dirt/sand/salt water. As a result, I’ve sorely neglected my writing. Apologies.

Beach baby

Beach baby

It’s such an honor to know that despite my extended absence, this site is still getting some love and attention. My dream was to create a space for sharing and support and you, loyal visitors, have exceeded my expectations! THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading. Your support and interest are exactly why I started this site.

To those of you who have submitted profiles, I will be in touch soon. Thank you for your patience!

Athlete Profile: Colleen White

I’m so excited to be featuring Colleen White (nee Rooney). We were introduced by a mutual friend {many} years ago during a wild college St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Santa Clara, Calif. Colleen is one of those women you’re easily drawn to – she has an infectious smile, is overtly friendliness, and, most applicable to CrossFit, a fierce determination.

Colleen in her early CrossFit days

Colleen in her early CrossFit days

Colleen started CrossFit nine years ago. I vividly remember seeing pictures of her when she started lifting crazy amounts of weight – this was long before I had even heard of CrossFit – and I was so impressed. Nine years later, my admiration has only increased as she’s preparing to welcome her second baby. Here’s Colleen’s CrossFitandPregnant story:

Colleen jumped on the CrossFit bandwagon in 2006 to impress a guy. He was the coach and so she signed up for his 5:30 a.m. class. She made a good impression because they married three years later, moved to Texas, and built a box in their garage.

In 2012, Colleen got pregnant and stopped CrossFit, but swam and walked to stay conditioned. This time around, she’s maintained CrossFit with the support of her husband and doctor.

Ben, supportive hubby!

Ben, supportive hubby!

“My husband is supportive of my activity level – he encourages me to take it easy and to listen to my body – not push myself to be a rockstar or prove anything, but to stay active and healthy,” Colleen shared. “Similarly, my doctor encouraged me to do whatever I did before and to listen to my body; that my body would tell me if I was doing something it didn’t like and to stop when it hurt.”

Since her belly is beyond protruding, Colleen’s substituted kettlebells for many of the Olympic lifts. She recommends that other women learn to snatch with a kettlebell before pregnancy, so you can maintain the mechanics of the lift and not have to deal with the bump. “I use them instead of snatching, jerking, and deadlifting. I’ve been able to swing heavy kettlebells the whole time and they provide great cardio.”

39 weeks with her CrossFit crew

39 weeks with her CrossFit crew

And she’s feeling great as a result. Due in just a few days (May 8!), Colleen has achieved her goals of staying active and strong this pregnancy. A member of CrossFit Coppell Central, Colleen is encouraged and supported by fellow members. “They’ve all been proud of my efforts and it helps make me feel proud also.”

“It’s been great to hear people being inspired by my activity level,” Colleen said. “I’m not always inspired by myself, but then I take a step back and realize that I am accomplishing great things.”

She continued, “I aim to be a role model for others who don’t believe that they are capable and to my children in showing them that women are strong and that trying your best and teamwork helps you be successful in life.”

Looking fantastic at six months!

Looking fantastic at six months!

You’re definitely a role model, Colleen!

More from Colleen:

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: to be humble. pregnancy and the body is an amazing machine and I need to respect the process, even if it means modifying all the time. J

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? Yes & No – We eat healthily, but there are times when I give into my cravings. I do balance out my diet with a daily Shakeology shake; great opportunity to add whole foods and lots of greens into my body even when I don’t really have a taste for it.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: In addition to using kettlebells, I suggest to keep wearing workout clothes that make you feel good. I am always stronger and can do more when I feel like I look good and look strong.

Lessons learned: I am capable. My body is different from nine years ago and it’s different when I’m pregnant. I’m embracing it all. There are frustrating days, but my goal is just to show up. I have to cut myself slack when I’m pregnant.

If you could do it all again, you would: Do the same thing: push it when I can, rest when I need to, but to keep showing up and working hard.

Favorite quote: “She believed she could so she did.”

Favorite girl WOD: Fight Gone Bad is my all-time favorite WOD – it’s not a girl WOD – but anything with thrusters, I’m in!

Three words that describe me: mother, wife, strong

Another CrossFit Momma Making Headlines

Photo credit: K. Martinko

Photo credit: K. Martinko

Like Lea-Ann Ellison and me, Katherine Martinko (@feistyredhair), is making waves with her blog post, “Pregnancy should not be an excuse to stop exercising.” That was my point exactly and the reason I started CrossFitandpregnant. It’s thrilling to see other women continuing to remain active and healthy during their pregnancy. And it’s awesome to connect to other bloggers – especially when sharing a similar message!

Little did I know, Katherine actually found me first. She was traveling in Brazil with her family and while visiting a local box in Recife, a large city in northeastern Brazil, she was shown a clip of my news coverage last year.

Photo credit: K. Martinko

Photo credit: K. Martinko

“There, it’s a really different culture surrounding pregnancy in Brazil; most pregnant women are treated as if they’re extremely delicate and sick, so people were shocked to see me being active, let alone training at a box,” Katherine shared. “One day after the WOD, one of the girl showed me a video clip she’d found online of Meghan. It was the only other example of a pregnant CrossFitter that she’d ever seen. She found it shocking, but I found it wonderfully inspiring. It led me to write a post for TreeHugger about working out while pregnant, in which I linked to an article about Meghan, and then she found me.”

Katherine, a Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada resident, is currently pregnant with her third, due in April. Katherine didn’t CrossFit during her first two pregnancies. She was an active biker with her first son, now five, and didn’t do much of anything during her second (another son, now three).

Martinko family before pregnancy #3 Photo credit: K. Martinko

Martinko family before pregnancy #3 Photo credit: K. Martinko

Wanting to get into shape after baby two, Katherine tried CrossFit. Her husband, Jason, made her stick with it for 90 days, but it didn’t take that long to get her hooked. “Jason is hugely supportive and encouraging. He’s been doing CrossFit for 6+ years and was the one who got me started on it after the birth of my second son, when I needed to get active again. He works as a coach part-time at our box, EAG CrossFit in Port Elgin.”

Like most of us, Katherine has struggled to slow down and listen to her body. But she’s relishing the strength in the hormones. She recently hit a deadlift PR of 200# by three. Awesome work!

“I’m not a competitive CrossFitter by any means,” Katherine says. “I’m nowhere near as good as some of the girls at my gym. I’m just a normal mom who goes two or three times a week in order to stay in shape. Working out during pregnancy is just a continuation of the lifestyle I had already established.”

She’s also packed on the pounds like I did. “A number of women cite not gaining as much pregnancy weight thanks to CF, which I found so interesting, because I’m heavier than I’ve ever been,” Katherine said. “With my first pregnancy I gained 25 pounds, second was 30 pounds, and now I’m well on my way to 40 pounds, despite being WAY more active. At the same time, I feel fabulous, even though I weigh almost 190 pounds. I wonder if it’s because I’m building a lot more muscle, thanks to those crazy pregnancy hormones?!”

Photo credit: Jennifer Lamont

Photo credit: Jennifer Lamont

Photo credit: Jennifer Lamont

Photo credit: Jennifer Lamont

Photo credit: Jennifer Lamont

Photo credit: Jennifer Lamont

Still looks fabulous to me. You inspire us, Katherine. Keep up the great work, momma!

More from Katherine, in her own words:

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: to keep going for as long as it feels great. I’m not trying to get any crazy PRs, although when I hit a three rep max deadlift at 200#! I’m also eager to see how the birth differs from the first two, if my increased strength and level of fitness will make a big difference.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? My husband is my biggest supporter. Since our box is new and relatively small, I’m the first pregnant member, so nobody really knows what to do with me. I do feel like I’m forging my own path, which can be daunting, and I often rely on my husband’s encouragement to assure me I’m not insane to be doing this.

I struggle with the societal double standard that exists, where pregnant women are told to stay active, but at the same time pregnant women like me who go above and beyond the standard “gentle yoga and walking” are criticized or, at the very least, challenged. I often hear, “Are you sure? Should I be worried? Are you crazy? etc.” I wish more people would respect my instinct to protect my baby and to listen to my body.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration? Meghan’s website and that first video I saw in Brazil have been inspiring, as is, just because I need to know that other pregnant women are doing this, too. I’ve checked out a few of the CF forums to read other people’s opinions, and watched some YouTube videos of pregnant WODs. Mostly, though, I just keep going because I want to prove it can be done. I disagree with the assumption that pregnant women should let their bodies go completely. This is the most important time of my life to be healthy, and I do it for my baby.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: I have to slow down! My mental game doesn’t always match where my body’s at right now. Some things I can do better (like that deadlift), but I have to be careful with the metcons; I watch my breath and heart rate. Forcing myself to take breathers and slow my heart rate is frustrating but necessary.

I’ve also learned it’s possible! I’m in my third trimester, and it’s going wonderfully. I guess you could say that I am out to prove something – that pregnant women have a responsibility to themselves and to their babies to stay in shape, and that pregnancy is not an excuse to sit on the couch for nine months and gorge on junk food (which horrifies me every time I hear about it, which is often).

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: The first three months were tough because I felt nauseous and exhausted, so I pretty much quit completely. Getting back to it in the fourth month was hard, and then I went travelling for almost three months in Brazil with my family. That meant having to do WODs in foreign gyms at suffocatingly hot temperatures (35 degrees Celsius) every day. I’m from Ontario, where it rarely gets that hot, so I’m not used to working out in heat.

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? No, but I love to cook and make everything from scratch. I source almost everything we eat locally, from a year-round vegetable and grain CSA program and the local butcher shop. It’s a clean and green diet!

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Sometimes those crazy pregnancy hormones can turn the most seemingly impossible lift into reality!

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: It has made my pregnancy feel easy. Although I’ve already had two great pregnancies with no complications, this time I hardly even feel pregnant. My body is strong; I don’t have aches and pains, swelling or bloating; and I feel much more energetic.

Modifications you’d like to share with others: Doing burpees and pushups off a box has been helpful. I’m careful not to do anything that makes me doubtful, i.e. I quit GHDs entirely at the beginning and HSPU. I use a band for pull-ups, just to be safe and not pull my abs too much. I don’t stress too much about not squatting below 90 degrees for things like wallballs, although I usually stick a box under my butt when doing thrusters or front squats, since there’s added weight.

Lessons learned: People will be SHOCKED – and won’t be afraid to say it, which is annoying. But some others will be thoroughly impressed, and those compliments always make it worthwhile. The greatest thing I heard the other week from a guy who just joined our gym was, “You are a tank! You killed that WOD!” I never thought I’d love those words so much!

If you could do it all again, you would: Do it all over again, without a doubt, and encourage other women to do it, too. To not be scared of being active.

Favorite quote: From author Michael Crichton: “Work inspires inspiration. Keep working. If you succeed, keep working. If you fail, keep working. If you are interested, keep working. If you are bored, keep working.”

Favorite girl WOD: Anything with double unders, bring it on J

Three words that describe me: Passionate, driven, creative

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: At home with my kids, where I love cooking and reading. Travelling, or dreaming about travelling. I also work from home; I’m a writer for TreeHugger, an environmental news blog, and write daily columns for the Living section.

Photo credit: Jennifer Lamont

Photo credit: Jennifer Lamont

Athlete Profile: Alessandra Wall

When I began my CrossFit journey three years ago in San Diego, there were two woman who stood out to me. Not only are they incredibly strong and agile, but they are also moms. Knowing I wanted to stand in their oly shoes someday, I watched them closely to see how they balanced fitness and family.

Today, I am excited to feature one of those women – Dr. Alessandra Wall, owner of Life in Focus Coaching. A wife of a successful anesthesiologist and co-owner of CrossFit Elysium, mother of two wildly energetic boys, small business owner, champion of Empower Charter School, CrossFitter, gardener, friend … yes, like most of us, Alessandra wears many hats. Yet, in the insanity of it all, Alessandra finds balance. It’s what she preaches and provides her clients. I know because I benefitted from her coaching after I delivered FG.

Chang Family  credit: Lot116 photography

Chang Family
credit: Lot116 photography

Alessandra finds balance in her CrossFit pursuits by managing what she eats, how much she sleeps and the time she devotes in the box. She acknowledges the recipe is more than just what happens during a WOD. It’s ultimately everything else.

While Alessandra isn’t currently CrossFitting pregnant, she is one of those women who paved the way for me to feel confident and comfortable maintaining my regime when I got pregnant. Here’s her story:

Muscle Up during a competition Credit: Karen Gallagher

Muscle Up during a competition
Credit: Karen Gallagher

A seasoned CrossFitter, Alessandra began her journey more than six years ago when a personal trainer friend invited her to participate in a Saturday community WOD conducted by a box he recently collaborated with in a neighborhood park. Alessandra was impressed with the group setting and found that it pushed her to work harder. Her competitive and enthusiastic spirit convinced her husband, Leon Chang, to join her.

Leon & Alessandra credit: CrossFit Elysium

Leon & Alessandra
Credit: CrossFit Elysium

Fast forward to 2010. Leon partnered with highly respected trainer Paul Estrada to open CrossFit Elysium. This opening happened a year after Alessandra and Leon welcomed their first son.

During her first pregnancy courtesy of Alessandra Wall

During her first pregnancy
Courtesy: Alessandra Wall

“During my first pregnancy I didn’t CrossFit at all,” Alessandra reflected. “I had been CrossFitting for three to four months at the time and was just too worried about the impact on my growing child. Forty pounds later, I realized avoiding CrossFit was a huge mistake.”

Starting them young in the Chang/Wall family Credit: CrossFit Elysium

Starting them young in the Chang/Wall family
Credit: CrossFit Elysium

A mistake Alessandra didn’t make twice.

Pregnancy two Courtesy: Alessandra Wall

Pregnancy two
Courtesy: Alessandra Wall

Three years later, she was pregnant with their second son. “I was better versed in CrossFit, but I also had a better understanding of my body and what it was capable of,” said Alessandra. “My plan was to move along, to keep on working out hard until my body let me know I needed to slow down.”

Early in the pregnancy, she was told her son’s umbilical cord only had one artery. An umbilical cord normally has two arteries that remove waste from the uterus and a vein that brings in clean blood. “With only one artery, I had to do stress tests twice a week and my son was just not thriving in the womb,” Alessandra said. “Uncertain of how best to approach this, I chose to keep moving, and working out, but replaced heavy and dynamic workouts with light explosive weight lifting and reduced the intensity of my metcons.”

This was effective for Alessandra and her son. They welcomed their full-spirited boy in an uneventful delivery in August 2011.

Alessandra and Stacie with their first borns. Courtesy: Stacie Beal

Alessandra and Stacie with their first born.
Courtesy: Stacie Beal

Alessandra credits the community at CrossFit Elysium for remaining active during her pregnancy, but admits she and Coach Stacie Beal were the gym’s guinea pigs. Now Elysium has coached a number of women through successful pregnancies. “Since 2011, we have had a lot of members CrossFit while pregnant,” Alessandra said. “Our advice is always the same: CrossFitting while pregnant is safe, but it is also your body, no one can tell you what you can and can’t do. You have to listen to your body, your gut and your brain on this one.”

Born in Iran and raised in France, Alessandra wholeheartedly believes that advice. Her worldly perspective provided her the reality that women around the world continue strenuous activity during pregnancies. “In the States, we treat pregnant women (and honestly most people) as though they are fragile and frail,” she reflects. “There are women all over the world who carry heavy loads, move long distances and put their bodies under strain and have happy, healthy pregnancies. The human body is designed to work hard and survive; CrossFitting in a safe environment is nothing in comparison!”

Comparing her two pregnancies. Alessandra had very different experiences. The differences led her to two truths she found during and after recovering from her second pregnancy:

  1. It’s not about what is right, but what is right for you. Expert advice, whether it be with diet, exercise or life means NOTHING if you don’t adjust it to your own needs, values and lifestyle.
  2. As humans, we continue to evolve and develop even into adulthood. Big changes, like motherhood, can precipitate huge shifts in our needs and values. It can be tough to negotiate those shifts, and the transition in roles that come with motherhood.

Experiencing her own shifts led Alessandra to create her business, Life in Focus Coaching. Today, Alessandra works with woman [and men] inside and outside the box as a lifestyle and nutrition coach.

And, speaking from experience, she’s damn good at helping people emerge directed and confident from those life shifts.

More on Alessandra:

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: I can do anything I want with my body; there is no reason to worry if I put on weight or lose strength because I have to take a break. It will take time, effort, and a bit of mental fortitude, while I negotiate the loss of skill and strength, but I can get back to a place where I feel/am strong, agile, capable and fit.

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: Arguing with others that I am strong and not foolish or neglectful.

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? Paleo/Primal since May 2009 (I needed it to get my body back from giving birth to my first baby).

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Rest > diet > exercise. Rest has been the hardest thing to allow myself, especially as a mother and during my second pregnancy. I have done very well with diet, but that is because I understood very early on the importance of making lifestyle changes rather than reactively dieting or trying to follow “expert” advice that doesn’t meet my personal needs.

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: The point of view! I love being able to see other real women’s experience in negotiating what is both an incredibly inspiring and trying time for a woman.

If you could do it all again, you would: Absolutely, except I would work out through my first pregnancy.

Favorite girl WOD: Grace, although I also have a soft spot in my heart and my very scarred tailbone for Annie.

Three words that describe me: Assertive, stubborn, and loyal

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: at work, at home working, running around doing errands and taking the kids to the playground and trying to change my world in a meaningful way

Twitter handle: @lifenfocus

Facebook profile: Life in Focus

Athlete Profile (update): Leslie Spector


Hiking with her babies (photo courtesy of Leslie)

A year ago, we featured Phoenix, Ariz., native Leslie Spector, who was pregnant with baby #2, and an advocate for CrossFitting while pregnant. Today, Leslie is rocking a hot bod thanks to hard work and participating in a Back Alley CrossFit paleo challenge. “I had hit a plateau with my weight loss after Sean,” said Leslie. “The paleo challenge was the nudge of motivation I needed.”

Her results speak volumes:

  • 15lbs gone forever
  • 16 inches gone forever
  • Reduced performance times by at least a minute

Leslie advises that it’s more than just the box and paleo (or any diet tweaks) to get that weight off. “If the kiddos are losing their minds and you can’t make it in, you need to have a back-up plan.” She recommends having a list of at-home WODs, DVDs, or getting outside. “Anything is better than nothing!”

Balance is a struggle for this full time working mom of two. Now having two kiddos to manage and a husband with a fire fighter’s schedule, getting into the box can be tricky, but making the commitment is key.

Double unders! (photo courtesy of Back Alley CF)

Double unders! (photo courtesy of Back Alley CF)

“My best advice is to have a solid routine and stick with it,” said Leslie. “On days when your heart is tugging more toward baby than the box, listen! Those feelings happen for a reason. I love Elizabeth Akinwale’s quote about always having inches to lose and gains to make, but our babies are only babies once. That got me through last week having two sick babies and only working out twice. I really try to be in tune with my needs. If it’s respite, I find someone else to love my babies for the hour I’m working out. If I miss my babes, but know for my own well-being my butt needs to be at the gym, they come along and I work out with the annoying interruptions because that’s better than not seeing them.”

Team WOD (photo courtesy of Back Alley CF)

Team WOD (photo courtesy of Back Alley CF)

When her kiddos do join her in the box, she leverages technology and food. For her toddler, some tablet time is key, since WOD time is some of the only time she sees technology. Her baby’s distractions shift from food, to other people, to his big sissy, to the various toys in the box. “To be honest, the awesome community at Back Alley is what gets me through if he is there,” Leslie said.

Leslie’s focus on a paleo lifestyle helped with the weight loss, but she suggests finding something that works for you and your family. “Dial in the diet, but make it realistic so it works for you instead of being destined to fail. If it’s not realistic, you’ll fail. If you fail, it’s an excuse to go off the rails. At least it is for me.” Having the support of a spouse/partner or the entire family definitely helps. For other moms considering paleo, she offers this advice, “It seems more complicated than it is. Once you know the basics, and carve out prep time, it’s easy.” She turns to Paleo Grubs for recipe inspiration. “I make a spicy chicken recipe at least once a week. I also, have bacon and steak wrapped asparagus in the weekly rotation.” YUM!

Leslie didn’t CrossFit during her first pregnancy, but was a huge advocate for it when she became pregnant with her second baby. Leslie isn’t only focused on her physical health through CrossFit; she uses it for full mind, body, and spiritual health.

Endurance training with Coach Melissa (photo courtesy of Leslie)

Endurance training with Coach Melissa (photo courtesy of Leslie)

“CrossFit is my medicine! Literally, I use it to naturally treat my bipolar disorder,” said Leslie. “Chemicals freak me out and Back Alley makes it possible for me to maintain balance without having to pop pills. If I go more than a couple days without my daily dose of BACF, it’s obvious. I love being dependent on exercise and friends…the support and friendships I have built are priceless!”

How’s that for CrossFit and pregnant success?

More on Leslie:

Biggest CrossFit challenge she’s faced: Front rack lifts, due to a nagging wrist injury that won’t go away.

Greatest CrossFit accomplishment: I can see back muscles after a super successful paleo challenge!

Favorite girl WOD: I like Fran for the challenge. My best time 4:47, but that is a light and scaled version. I did it in 5:53 a little heavier, still a bit scaled too.

Biggest value in CrossFitting while pregnant?: My mental well being and there is less work on the back-end. During my first pregnancy, I gained 70# (sans CrossFit). With number two, it was only about 26# – enough said!

Favorite mom resources? (book, blog, website, toy for baby, etc.): Friends are number one. Support group is number two. I joined one specific to Nursing. Google is another favorite. When my babies were tiny, ‘Baby Wise’ was my go to book. Now I frequently delve into ‘Love and Logic.’

How much time did you take off after your pregnancy before you got back to CF?: I took the recommended six weeks and then I went really slow. CrossFitting while pregnant was much easier than after baby.

A Pro’s Perspective

Hello friend. I've missed you.

Hello friend. I’ve missed you.

Eight and a half months post natal and I am within 10# of my original weight. Ten pounds won’t be easy, but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. As I’ve shared, it’s been a struggle – most likely because my number one priority is the sweet baby I love fiercely.

CrossFit Baby

CrossFit Baby

The weather is at the height of perfection in Phoenix. I’ve been taking advantage of being outdoors – long walks with my babies and a run squeezed in when I can muster motivation. I CrossFit once or twice a week and do a lot of conditioning (burpees, sit ups, supermans, push ups, leg lifts, etc.) at home while playing with the babe.

Best running buddy ever!

Best running buddy ever!

Knowing my struggle to accept the new me and also knowing how extremely hard I am on myself, my sweet husband shared a blog post from CrossFit Elite Athlete Elizabeth Akinwale. Titled “All Due Respect,” Akinwale shares her thoughts on getting her own body back post babies. My favorite line:

“Priorities will change and that’s ok because you know what? If you put your fitness on the back burner, it will come back! You have an entire lifetime to continue to pursue the fittest version of yourself, but your babies are only little for a short time.”

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

How so very true. Thanks, Elizabeth, for the fantastic reminder.

Now, off to snuggle my sweet baby.


Six Months

photo 1

Six months of motherhood. I blinked and we’re already at the half-year point. I have no idea how that happened. In honor of those six months, I would like to expose some of my truths:

I was slovenly all summer. It’s no secret: I’m not a desert heat kinda gal. I hibernate like it’s nobody’s business. So the extra 20 (yes, 20!) pounds have stuck around at six months. All those statements about nursing and losing the weight? Lies. Pre-pregnancy clothes have yet to fit (can I get an AMEN for yoga pants?). I’m awkwardly wide. Spanx don’t do shit. This is probably my greatest struggle with pregnancy and motherhood. I miss my wardrobe and the body I worked so hard for prior to baby.

Monkey Swings at Back Alley CrossFit

Monkey Swings at Back Alley CrossFit

CrossFit definitely helps, but I have been at a weight-loss plateau for quite some time. Have I CrossFitted five days a week? No. But it’s more than just working out. Recently, I started keeping a food journal. The minute I put what I consumed on paper, I shredded some inches and pounds (no lie). Through my week of food journaling, Coach Melissa helped me realize my sugar addiction and is currently helping me get my blood sugar back in check. Melissa has me eating so much, which seems counter-intuitive, but I am also not crashing or experiencing extreme starvation post-nursing. Huge wins – mentally, emotionally, and physically!

iPhones let you take selfies!

iPhones let you take selfies!

My iPhone and social media saved me from the long stretches of boredom and isolation and kept me engaged during the early days of hours-upon-hours of nursing. Sometimes I feel guilty about this (Should I be talking, singing, praying to her? How can I be more present? Will she be addicted to technology at a young age from seeing me like this?). But to my fellow online mommas, thank you for being there; for responding at crazy hours. It’s nice knowing there’s a village out there googling the same crazy questions, posting hilarious parenthood articles, and sharing pics of the cutie-patooties.

Courtesy of ecardforum

Courtesy of ecardforum

And when I wasn’t scrolling through my phone, TV was my best friend. I watched every season of Lost. I started Pretty Little Liars (terrible, but addicting). Chad and I watched The Office and Friday Night Lights (this was the second time we’ve watched every episode). People, that’s four series consumed from May to August. My word, that’s a lot of TV! But in the dead of summer (aka 116 degrees), there’s not much else to do with a newborn, but hole away in the air conditioning.

For the first five months, Florie refused to sleep during the day. Until we bought a swing for nap time. Yes, judge away; my child naps in the swing. But there are days (like today) where she fights a nap, even in the swing, (and wins). She just doesn’t want to miss anything. My Type-A personality struggles with the reality that I get little accomplished everyday. It’s one I’m overcoming as she becomes more independent, but those early days were hard! And I thank God everyday that she has slept through the night from a very young age.

The pendulum of emotions and weird things your body does postpartum sucks. There’s no better word. I’m tired of the hair loss, the irritability, the feelings of starvation that follow long periods of nursing (see point above; no wonder I can’t lose the extra 20 pounds), the brain fog…

Then there’s the challenge of balancing my professional self with my new role as a momma. This isn’t easy for me. My friend, and subsequently my life coach, Dr. Alessandra Wall, of Life in Focus, has helped me in this time of re-definition. We’re working on a variety of things, but, most importantly, she’s definitely my voice of reason when I’m battling the “how do I do it?” questions.

My friend Margie’s very honest blog about her first year as a mom has been a point of salvation. She suffered a rough first year with her first-born and was brave enough to share her truths with the world. I applaud her for bucking the norm and for making me feel OK with some of my own challenges. And let me tell you, she’s on baby #2, kicking ass and taking names, all while running her own business. Major props!

I wouldn’t change any of this if it meant I didn’t have my sweet, strong, fierce Little Miss. Life with her is so much brighter and better. I’m fascinated by her daily developments – what’s instinctive and what she’s picking up from us. I’ve loved getting us involved in all the fun (FREE!) activities around town. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to deepen some friendships with other (new) mommas. And I’m so thankful for my supportive, patient husband, who has risen to his fatherhood duties without hesitation. For that, I’m truly thankful and lucky.

What are your truths? Where did you turn on bad days? Any wise sages have advice for new moms?