Dusting off the cobwebs.

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

Oh hi there, remember me? Last time we met up here I had just crossed crawled over the Boston Marathon finish line and was living the life in runner’s Narnia. It’s hard to believe that was almost two years ago now.

So where have I been since then? Well fast forward exactly one year later and I found myself sucking air during the BAA 5K, a complete 180 from my athletic feat the year before. When I woke up the next morning and went for another sluggish six miler I started to realize how sore my boobs were. Somewhere in the middle of the day I decided to take a pregnancy test. And on the morning of Christmas Eve….

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Riley Parker entered our lives. 9 pounds, 4 ounces, hair for days, and eyes that could look right into your soul. It’s been almost three months since we met face to face and I every night as I rock him to sleep I look at every perfect little feature, amazed that he is mine.

I was blessed to have a relatively easy pregnancy physically, but mentally and emotionally it was a tough 40 weeks. After all my body had been through and achieved over the last four years the thought of undoing all of that while growing a human terrified me. And while I always knew I wanted to have kids, it took me some time to accept that I no longer had control over my own body. As a first time mom you don’t really look “pregnant” until the 6th or 7th month, but I could feel my body changing in small ways almost overnight. It constantly put me into panic mode. So at the end of my first trimester I made the executive decision that I no longer wanted to know how much weight I had gained, I only wanted to know if it was becoming a concern.
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And so I ventured on. I ran until I was 28 weeks, completing 6 road races with my little buddy inside. I continued to strength train several times a week, and I was in the pool just two days before my water broke.

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I ate, as conservatively as a pregnant girl often does; chicken became an enemy pretty early on, bagels were constantly on my mind, and my afternoon snacks consisted of peanut butter and fluff.  I’ll admit I got pretty lenient towards the end, more lenient that I have been with myself in a very long time. I can very clearly remember parking my big belly on the couch the night before my due date with a bowl of peppermint stick ice cream (which in real life I don’t even LIKE!) and some holiday Joe Joes. “Eh, what does it matter at this point – I’ll deal with it once this baby is here”. Looking back now I can be honest with myself and say that I was eating to deal with how I was feeling about being 40 weeks pregnant, becoming a first time mom, and missing my active self. Old habits die hard. I’ve never considered myself thin, but looking at old race pictures made me realize how true it is that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. FullSizeRender 4

No one prepared me enough for just how foreign my body would feel those first few days after giving birth. My feet had ballooned due to all of the fluids I was given, my hips seemed wider, my boobs had reached porn star status (medium nursing tanks? THAT was a joke) and my stomach was a numb ball of putty. And to top it all off, I had this lovely Frankenstein-esque scar across my abdomen from ending up with a c-section. I remember comparing my body to the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. It was definitely hard to swallow what I saw in the mirror.

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I gave myself the “I just had a baby” card and told myself I would deal with it after my 6 week checkup, when I was finally given the golden ticket to exercise again. To pass the time until then I spent Saturday mornings walking laps around the indoor track, cringing that I was still wearing my maternity workout pants and cursing the toned, athletic women running by. Was it just my imagination or was I once one of them? That girl who I had been just 9 months ago seemed like a very far off memory. And I continued on with my baby diet postpartum because, duh, breastfeeding.

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A few nights before my doctors appointment I decided to bite the bullet and look at the damage. I sat down at my computer, clicked into my provider’s online portal… and there it was. I had to blink a few times just to make sure I was reading the right line and then my heart sunk and I started to cry. I had gained a total of 56 pounds from my last pre-pregnancy weight. I was almost back to my starting weight from years ago. The weight I swore I would never see again. My biggest fears of getting pregnant had come true.

And so here we are again, in a place all too familiar and yet completely different from 5 years ago. I thought it was easy to come up with 100 excuses in the past, but having a newborn gives you at least 150 of them. Part of me feels insanely embarrassed that I’m here again, but as I’ve realized in the past it’s better to just face the facts and get down to work.

In order to do that it’s time to pull out the old tricks from my bag: logging (does anyone remember my My Fitness Pal password?), monthly appointments with my RD/savior Andrea, and some good old fashioned Couch to 5K. Oh and you! In trying to figure out how I got there the first time I found myself pouring through old blog posts and reading over my entire story, from day one to the end. And I realized that yes, writing here helps keep me accountable. Even if no one is reading it. So I’m back in action. It may not be weekly (hell, I already am a day off from when I said I was going to write this), but my goal is to keep this up for as long as this journey continues… and let’s be honest it’s never ending for me. Now let’s go find the Half Ass Bad Ass and get her back.

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Deep breath and here we go… again.

 

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About Kathleen

When your legs get tired run with your heart.

Posted on March 21, 2017, in challenges, goals, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Michele Prevost

    You’ve totally got this! I look forward to reading about the journey and I love working out with the Wednesday night crew who make me laugh while Monica is making me strong! My running hasn’t been going well in terms of speed and it is very discouraging, but I need to stop making excuses and get myself back in the game. Hopefully I make it over the finish line of the baa 5k.

  2. Congrats on your new addition. Looking forward to following your journey.

  3. Glad to see you’re writing again even if it’s for a reason that makes you sad. You’re already a badass, you just have to feel it! 🙂

  4. I’m reading! And excited you’re back. And feeling your pain…minus the good excuse for having gained weight. A zillion years ago when I crashed my bike, my forced hiatus from exercise turned into a semi-permanent hiatus. I kept thinking “I’m at the highest weight of my life, I am no longer comfortable in my own skin, I have to change this” but doing nothing. And then that weight went up…and up…and now, honestly, I haven’t had the guts to get on the scale in about two months because I was so upset with what I saw last time I stepped on it. I need to stop making just just one tiny change and hoping it will be enough to make a difference….I just need to find the motivation to really dig in.

  5. ❤️❤️❤️

  6. Postpartum is a whole new ball game – physically, mentally, emotionally & even socially. But I keep reminding myself slow & steady, back to basics, more protein & fewer carbs … just keep swimming … and you’re not in it alone! 💗 Oh and at the end of the day – baby snuggles, smiles & giggles are the best

  7. Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Know that you created a little miracle there and have faith that you’ll get back to the place you’re supposed to be soon enough. Give yourself time and enjoy these moments. We missed you and are so happy to see you back! xo

  8. At almost 38 weeks pregnant myself – I relate to this post in pretty much every aspect. It actually made me feel better to know I’m not alone in how I feel! I’ve followed you on instagram, and am happy to see that you’re blogging again!

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