This blog post is part of a series of blog posts through WanderFit Training: Real People, Real Health. Meet Jess, a 20-something mom of two. Jess and I met 5 years ago working at a local gym together, and have been friends ever since. Read on if you have ever felt like a frazzled, tired mom, discouraged on your fitness journey, or like you just don’t know how to start over with taking your health into your own hands.
Hi, I am Jess. A wife, mother, student and gainfully employed. To say that life gets hectic is an understatement. Potty training my two year old while nursing my four month old is an adventure, but also a curse I wish on no one. Upon the arrival of my second son, Abe, the little time I had to devote to my health and exercise vanished. I even dropped my gym membership. I, a certified personal trainer had to part with my beloved workouts.
At first, I found this disheartening. Mostly, because I had gained back the 70 pounds that I lost after my first pregnancy. My health and my fitness are very important to me, how would I get that back with the amount of free time I had? The wallowing in self-pity didn’t last long, thankfully. First, I consulted my physician. He did blood work and found that my thyroid function was incredibly low. For those of you who don’t know how important thyroid function is, you are not alone. Most people are unaware what bodily functions the thyroid supports and how to keep it up and running.. Your metabolism is dependent on a healthy, fully functioning thyroid. Upon receiving my test results I began consulting friends, family and the Internet on what I could do naturally to support my thyroid. Mainly, this meant a big change in diet.
Up to this point, I had been eating mostly processed foods simply because I indulged in them during pregnancy and had developed cravings for them. With the advice of my doctor and a nutritionist I started a cleanse. First, I cut out caffeine and followed that up by breaking up with sugar, gluten, then meat. I ate whole, raw foods, and drank A LOT of cold pressed, fruit and veggie juice. Within days of starting this process my skin completely cleared up, my milk supply increased (happy baby), my hair became shinier, and yes I lost weight. I slowly started introducing things back into my diet, began eating more protein, consuming healthy fats, and kept eating lots of veggies! Subsequently, my family was eating healthier and everyone was happier. Grocery shopping became an all-inclusive event that was not nearly as painful as it had been when we were all hyped-up on sugar. We stuck to the perimeter of the store and involved our two year old in the shopping process as much as possible.
The healthy eating and the happier kids made life a little easier and I found I was not nearly as drained of energy. I put that extra oomph towards long “adventure” walks, which were just as beneficial for my boys as it was for me. On these walk my eldest, Jack, and I would talk about all the things we saw. His cognitive skills increased dramatically this summer. Just going to show a happy, healthy mom yields a happy, healthy family! I already knew from previous weight loss exploits that I am greatly motivated by goals. So I set a goal in June: 60 Miles by September. Walking, biking, rollerblading, whatever it took to get to the mile marker. With the help of handy iPhone apps, I kept close track of our progress. When September rolled around, we weren’t at 60 miles. We were at 104 miles. We had moved all those miles and we had reaped so many benefits. Jack was healthier, my husband was healthier, and I was healthier. In the four months after I had Abe I lost 33 pounds, and lost over 9.5” from my body. Sure, I had the extra calorie burner of breast feeding, but the change of diet and exercise were the biggest contributing factors to this change! We now live Paleo and have found it fits in well with our lifestyle and with our dietary sensitivities. This isn’t to say that we don’t indulge every once in a while. Surprisingly, those indulgences aren’t nearly as satisfying s they used to be and we don’t miss our previous habits at all.
Being a busy wife and mom is the most rewarding thing in my life. For me, making sure I can give my family and I what we deserve means taking care of my health. Discovering what works for me, what healthy means for me and how to make it happen amidst the chaos of my life has been and will continue to be such a fulfilling journey.