Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Couch to 5K Running Plan, Take II

Three years ago, while worrying about the impending 3-0, I began the Couch to 5K Running Plan for the first time. I've been 30 for almost a year now, and it's not so bad. As long as I don't think about it too much, I barely notice it. My husband doesn't seem to mind. He seems to think I am still hot, which is always a good thing.

For the past two months, I have been doing Pilates and Fitness Blender workouts. They've been a nice and "gentle" entrance into exercising again. I say "gentle" because they've allowed me to exercise in the comfort of my living room, although the workouts have kicked my butt quite a bit.

My future doula and me after my first 5K
A few weeks ago, one of my doula clients told me that she used to do the Couch to 5K Running Plan as her form of exercise before she got pregnant. It sparked my interest again because I've done that before. I decided I should try it again. Pilates is not helping me lose weight, not that I thought it would. I knew I would eventually have to add some sort of unpleasant cardio to have any chance of getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. For the past week or so, I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for restarting the Couch to 5K Running Plan. It's the only time I have ever been able to stick with a running program for any length of time. It's the only time I have ever felt any kind of confidence in my ability to run. It helped me to feel accomplished. I want to try it again. I never in my life thought I would be able to run a 5K, but I did it using the Couch to 5K Running Plan.

Two more reasons I want to start running again:


Teaching a comfort measures class
to expecing mamas and their doulas

And this:

Evidence that I do indeed play with my children
Lily is on my left and Kimberly to the right

Which is a far cry from this:

Newlyweds and pre-children

Or even this:
Postpartum after Lily
All the pregnancy weight is gone.

I'm not happy looking the way I do. When I first weighed myself several months after Kimberly was born, I burst into tears. I told my husband, "I've never been here before." 

Here = this weight 

After Lily was born, I dropped all the weight relatively quickly with no effort. Breastfeeding was all I needed. My midwife at the time cautioned me to be very careful not to eat everything in sight, because as a breastfeeding mother, I would want to. Because I was always worried about Lily's slow weight gain and with her always being on the petite side, I, naturally blaming the quality and quantity of my breastmilk, wanted to do it differently with Kimberly. I decided not to worry so much about the scale, and I gave in to all of my hunger pangs and cravings. What did I crave after Kimberly was born? Cake and Cocoa Pebbles! All the things I couldn't have while pregnant. I feel like I worked hard trying not to grow a big baby by eating way healthier than I did during my first pregnancy. I only gained 25 pounds this time, as opposed to the 35 pounds I gained the first time. My baby ended up weighing a pound more despite my efforts!

If I make an honest assessment of my eating habits after this birth, they have been awful. I've had Cokes. I've had cookies and brownies and cake. I've eaten carbs and way too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because I love them. I've eaten fast food. In short, I've pretty much eaten like I did when I was in college and could eat as much as I wanted, whatever I wanted, without gaining a single pound. With a few salads thrown in there. And quinoa. I love quinoa. It speaks to my soul. 

This has to stop. I have to change my life. I'm taking baby steps. I've cut out the Cokes since January 2nd. It's been nearly 5 months. I need to stop eating the cookies. And brownies. And all the yummy things. I'm trying to be more mindful about what I eat and ask myself if I can make a better choice when I am about to eat something. 

I'm a little worried that I am too late. I am worried that I will be stuck here forever. I've never actually lost weight before. I've never stuck with anything more than about 2 months at a time though. I've never done anything more strenuous than the Couch to 5K. After that first 5K, I burned out. I'm worried that one day, I'll look back on pictures of myself NOW and wish to be back here again. That thought really scares me. I can't be here anymore. 

I've read all the Facebook posts about embracing your curves and loving your body. I do appreciate the wonderful work that my body has done with growing, birthing, and nourishing my two beautiful girls. I really do. I'm deeply impressed with and thankful for my body being able to birth and breastfeed my babies. Truly. I feel like I owe it to myself to drop the weight. No matter what people say or how many motivational memes show up on my Facebook News Feed, the numbers on the scale matter to me. They just do. My pants and dress sizes matter to me. 

I really want to lose 20 pounds before I even think of having another baby. That will put me back to my pre-pregnancy weight (which was half a pound shy of being in the overweight category anyway). I've put my scale back up in my closet, and I am determined to not weigh myself again until I finish the program. That's my reward for finishing. 

I've also signed up for the Freedom 5K-First Colony. I would love some local friends to sign up with me. I won't be finished with the program by then, but I figure it would be a good start.