After the birth of my kiddo, I felt pretty crappy most of the time. He was one of those all-night nursers for a very long time, and I experienced a lot of exhaustion and brain fog during the second half of the first year, and through the second year. I also experienced some depression. I had lost all of my pregnancy weight and then some in the first 6 months, and then my weight started climbing rapidly.
About a month after my kiddo’s second birthday, we successfully gave up nursing in the middle of the night. We still nursed at bedtime, but we no longer nursed in the middle of the night anymore, even though we continued to cosleep. Night wakings became less frequent at this point.
Within a month of night weaning, I finally felt I had some energy return. I noticed that I had trouble falling asleep at night, in a restless sort of way. I decided to add some activity back into my life. I live in a hilly neighborhood, and I started taking morning walks most days (with my toddler on my back).
A couple months later, a friend told me about a local gym with excellent childcare, and I decided to try it out. I had lifted weights on and off since age 15, and I loved it. I had started CrossFit a few years ago – about a month before I became pregnant. My favorite part of CrossFit was the powerlifting – I loved feeling strong. I continued CrossFit until I was 4 months pregnant, and then stopped because I felt exhausted all the time. So, it had been a few years since I had set foot in a weight room, but I was interested in trying it.
For the first few weeks back in the gym, I limited my workouts to about 30 minutes, because my kiddo took a while to adjust to being left in the babysitting room. I did the CrossFit warm up, and that was plenty for me. A few weeks later I started adding a Wendler 5-5-5 program for squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
The ball was rolling. Late in December, I set a few goals for 2015:
- eat a green vegetable every day
- do 150 strength workouts
- finish up our family’s emergency fund
I set up a spreadsheet to track my progress. Each day, I mark off in the appropriate column whether I ate a green vegetable, did a strength workout, etc.
I purposely set up the goals with the following things in mind:
- They are habit based goals, not outcome based goals. My reasoning is that these habits are almost entirely within my control, whereas outcome goals are really only within my influence, not within my control. (An example of an outcome based goal would be to squat X amount of weight, or lose X number of pounds, or be able to do X number of pull ups, or fit into X article of clothing). My body takes the inputs and might work towards those outcomes…..or it might have different outcomes entirely in mind. I purposely decided to make the habits the focus…..and just watch and see what happened as far as outcomes!
- They were long term goals (over a year’s time) rather than short term goals, because I’m trying to create habits/lasting change…..not short term results.
- They emphasize healthful living, not obsessing over a scale. I grew up in a household where food and scale obsession was a way of life, and it did not do me any good. I don’t want my son to live in a household where weight watching is the culture. I’d like him to live in a household where healthy habits and honoring one’s body is the culture – no guilt, shame or fear around healthy living! Knowing that….I know it starts with me, and my son will learn what I show him.
As of 7/7/2015, here are some of the outcomes I’ve enjoyed as a result of focusing on these habits:
- back pain is gone
- depression is gone
- brain fog is gone
- self confidence has increased
- strength has surpassed my pre-pregnancy strength
- I have found a fun hobby/obsession (I took up Olympic weightlifting in May!)
- my kiddo sees weightlifting as a common, normal and fun hobby
- sugar cravings are gone
- feeling better from these changes empowered me to make other healthy changes, such as earlier bedtimes, dates with my husband, and adding some more nutrient dense foods to my diet.
I am very much enjoying all of these outcomes, and I will loudly recommend habit based goals to anyone who asks me for goal setting advice :D.
That’s where I am as of the birth of this blog. I look forward to continuing on this path.