Taking it Back - How My Health Journey Began

As you already know, I recently started my new health journey (since having baby #4), however, I'd like to share the full story of how my health journey BEGAN. Like from the very beginning. I figured I'd finally share it all in one place now that I'm stuck at home from, you know, just having a baby and all. ;) So here goes....

Health and fitness, for me, started back in my college days. After my freshman year at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, I gained what they call the "freshman fifteen" (or at least close to it) and found myself in need of a workout regimen. I decided to start working out at the school gym and would switch off running outdoors when it wasn't too cold outside. At that point in time, I didn't pay much attention to my diet. I just made sure that I was being active 3-4 times a week. Then as time went on that slowly started to change. I was an Exercise Science major and the more I learned about exercise and nutrition, the more I started applying it into my daily life. I wasn't always the best at it--being a busy college student and all--but I could see that I was starting to be more mindful of my choices and started eating healthy whenever the opportunity presented itself.

During my junior and senior years, I was a member of the Performing Arts Group, Living Legends, so I replaced my running with dancing for those years and stayed active that way. With how busy I was in school, with practices, and with traveling, eating healthy wasn't always the easiest, but with how active I was I was still able to maintain my weight. But to be completely honest, health and nutrition wasn't something I worried a whole lot about (or put much effort in to) during that time of my life. I was too busy being a young 20 year old living and loving that fun college life. ;) (As it should be.)

But then I got married and had a baby and everything changed. I had gained 40 lbs. during that pregnancy and was left with 25 lbs. to lose so I had to get serious about it...and fast! So that is when I like to say my "real" health journey began. It was in June of 2010, when my daughter was 2 1/2 months old. I started working out daily (at the nearby Gold's Gym) and started watching what I ate. I would go to the Zumba, Turbo Kick and Pilates classes and if I ever had extra time, I'd do 30 minutes of the treadmill/elliptical before or after class. And I am proud to say that after 3 months, I lost 20 of those pounds. (The last 5 fell off over the next month or so.) I was so proud of myself and was surprised that that even included cheat meals. What I learned from that experience was that I could live an active and healthy lifestyle while still being able to enjoy the foods that I love, as long as it was in moderation. Making it realistic is what made it possible for me to continue living this way even after the weight was lost.

Something unexpected, however, was becoming pregnant again when my daughter was only 8 months old. As you can probably imagine, I was a little bit scared about having to go through that whole experience again so soon, but because of the good habits I had created, there was nothing that I needed to be worried about. Because I continued living that way throughout my pregnancy, I had only gained 27 pounds that time. That left me with only 2-3 pounds to lose after having baby, which is practically nothing, right? (And thanks to breastfeeding, it went away on its own within the first 3 weeks, leaving me with no weight to lose.) Going through my pregnancy with that kind of lifestyle made all the difference. Even my delivery and postpartum experience was night and day from the first one. So, of course, I continued living that way. By then it was routine.

I was also finishing my Physical Therapist Assisting program at the time, so it felt really good to be able to have a lifestyle that somewhat matched my future profession. Not that you have to be living a healthy lifestyle to work in a Physical Therapy setting, but for me personally, I'd find it hard to be an advocate of healing and recovery when I myself am not a healthy person or experienced in strength training, in working with weights or with stretching. It is one thing to teach it, but to also have experience in it just gave me the added confidence I needed in school and in the workplace.  

Side note: I graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Exercise Science before having kids. It was shortly after graduating that I had my daughter. Then I continued school for another 2 years to obtain the Physical Therapist Assistant degree and license. The crazy part is that I got pregnant and had the second baby during that time! So I was able to live this kind of lifestyle during all of that, and you know what? It certainly paid off, because like I said here, I had no weight to lose after having the second baby. Making that lifestyle a priority even amongst the busy-ness of life is what made all the difference. :)

Then in October of 2012 we moved home to Hawaii. Moving to a small country town where there are no Gold's or 24 Hour Fitness gyms to run to presented a little bit of a challenge for us, but we eventually adjusted. We had to get used to running outside and had to be creative with our workouts, doing them around the neighborhood or even on the beach. 

Then in January of 2014, a Crossfit gym opened up in our area, so we became members there and soon came to love it! We loved being back in a gym setting and loved being able to see the results of our hard work. I became pregnant with my 3rd baby that year, but was able to continue Crossfit for almost the entire pregnancy. I did most of it modified towards the end there, but just being there and trying was an accomplishment in and of itself. After having the baby, I took about 6 months off before starting again and then got a good year in (Summer 2015-Summer 2016).

Then lo and behold, I got pregnant again! But this time I got so sick that I had to stop. I was not able to do Crossfit for any of that pregnancy and quite frankly, had a hard time doing any type of workout thanks to how sick I was. Well now it's APRIL 2017, I'm 4 weeks postpartum from having that baby, and starting my health journey all over again. This time my situation is very similar to the first time around. I gained about the same amount of weight (a little more, actually) and have almost the same amount to lose (30 lbs. instead of 25). That just goes to show that fitness and proper nutrition during pregnancy really does matter. So you can check in on how I'm doing through my wellness blog. I am currently on round 1 of the 21 Day Fix Beach Body Program, which I actually did after my 3rd pregnancy, and I figured since I had a lot of success with it before, I'd give it another go!

So there it is. My story. My health journey.

If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to ask away in the comment box below. Hugs and kisses!