If you've been following this blog or my life for the past 4 years you've seen bits and pieces of my attempts to lose weight and/or come to terms with the new body I've been given after twin pregnancy. My pregnancy wasn't all that bad but let me tell you- when you have triplet brothers and sister who were born at 33 weeks and were in the hospital for quite awhile - you'd do just about anything you could to prevent that from happening to yourself. I went into my pregnancy in pretty good shape. I'd lost about 15lbs after college, worked with a trainer for quite awhile and was running regularly.
Me on the left, about a month before I got pregnant. I'm 5'9" and was probably around 158-160 here.
Now let me back this story up a little bit - I've always been an athlete. I played sports all through high school (mostly volleyball) and then played and coached club volleyball in college. I have a B.A. in Health and Sport Studies and was a high school volleyball coach after college. Fitness has always been very important to me and I've always had some sort of structured environment in which to fulfill my fitness goals.
When I found out I was pregnant I had this vision of myself in my mind of how my pregnancy would go - I'd be one of those women who stayed super healthy and active throughout the entire thing. I'd like to think about half my pregnancy went that way. Although, the majority of my activity was prenatal yoga and walking, I did it for quite awhile. And then fear struck me. My brothers and sister are triplets and were born at 33 weeks. They were all very small and my brothers got very sick. They were in the hospital for a month and it was hard for everyone. I was afraid that because I was pregnant with twins and I'd seen first hand the struggles families have with premies that I would suffer the same route. By 36 weeks I'd been admitted 3 times for early contractions and put on modified bed rest for the last 3 months of the pregnancy.
36 weeks pregnant. Later that evening I was a mommy!
In retrospect, as wonderful as my pregnancy was, it was equally as emotionally taxing on me. Only months before I'd quit my job and moved to California only to basically sit around and be pregnant for 9 months. We didn't have much money and I couldn't get a job. I knew no one and because we only had 1 car (that my husband needed for work) I could only go as far as walking distance most days. I missed my family, friends and home. I felt very lonely and afraid. I ate whatever I craved and it was almost always in the form of sugar. I let food fill the void.
The boys were born at 36 weeks and completely healthy. I gained 50-55lbs during the pregnancy and when I came home was down about 28 of those pounds. I was so happy to have my body back that as soon as I was allowed to exercise I did. I ran my first post-babies 5k three months after the boys were born. But it just wasn't the same experience for me anymore. I ran by myself, no one came to cheer me on, I couldn't enjoy the experience with anyone and it just wasn't fun anymore.
In spring of 2012 one day while leaning over the couch I felt a pop in my lower back and immediately collapsed on the floor. I was nauseous and on the bring of passing out. I laid there for a few minutes thinking of how I'd be able to get up and call for help. The boys were playing nicely in the living room so thankfully that base was covered. Over the course of the next 15 minutes I managed to get to a kneeling position and crawled across our apartment to find my phone. The pain was comparable to a bad sprain to your ankle but continues to cause pain for long, long after.
The following months revealed what had happened that day- I'd herniated a disc in my lower back. I couldn't lift much. I was afraid to do anything too physical out of fear I'd feel that pain in my back again. Every so often it would "catch" while I bent over- just enough to remind me that it was still weak. This was the first time in my life that my body wouldn't allow me to do what I wanted it to do. It was infuriating to me and depressing.
Over the past 4 years I've been so up and down in my fitness journey. I've struggled so much with eating healthy. I used to have such discipline that really was all broken down in a few months of pregnancy. The will I had to be active was quickly diminished just by bending over once. We've had 3 long distance moves since we moved to California, and 3 other moves in between those moves. I started a blog and handmade business. I've stayed home to raise two boys. Life happened. My desire to put my fitness at the top of my list quickly faded.
Now this is where the story changes. Stay tuned for tomorrow's Part 2 :)