People who have visited us since the twins were born have commented that both Greg and I seem relaxed and have this parenthood thing down. These people don’t see me zombie my way to the nursery for middle of the night feedings or cry when my incision is being dressed, but they are right. And my theory as to why? In 2011, I set out on a journey to better health. I lost 130 pounds and gained a lot more self love than I had before (and I had a lot even at my heaviest because I couldn’t see my weight issue and thought I was just fine). This journey led me to running, eventually training for and running the 2013 Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I believe this lifestyle change attributed to my healthy pregnancy and being ready to welcome twins. In turn, I can easily compare training for the Half to being a mom to newborn twins.
1. I sleep few hours (less than 6) but am fueled for my day. Sure, little sleep is rough on the body, but training and motherhood while balancing all the other things are time consuming. Sleep is necessary, but it happens when it can…do read number 2.
2. When I sleep, it is amazing. I sleep very deeply whether I’m training or being a mom to newborns. Running puts me in a good place and even short amounts of sleep are quality (Greg used to worry I wouldn’t hear a smoke detector). Being a new mom has raised my love for life, too. When the girls and big kids let me sleep, I sleep hard. Out cold. Sleeping while training or as a mom just is very easy for me.
3. Protein, protein, protein. My body is so thankful to training for this one. As someone who used to live life fueled on carbs and chocolate, I had a learning curve to conquer when it came to eating protein at every meal and snack. Now, I have tons of favorite options that I would not have had if I hadn’t been in training. Speaking of…I need to bake up some egg whites for quick and easy breakfasts (since that’s always been my easiest to miss meal). I even had a box of protein bars and packs of nuts on hand for snacks while feeding the girls. And while training…I ate all things protein (and often, see #4). Shakes, bars, ground turkey, turkey jerky, egg whites, almonds…always something protein to keep me going.
4. Eat often. I was ravenous while training, but was doing so much activity that it didn’t pack on pounds. Likewise, I am pretty much eating all day long post twins. They eat, I eat. And the weight? That’s truthfully a different post (I have thoughts on all the recent social media body movements and want to share them), but I have never lost weight faster in my life…even when I had lots to lose. I eat often, but try to make it good. We just finished up the welcome home cake and are almost through my birthday cookies and then it’s pretty much healthy from here out. (This was not the case in Half training with the exception of my 30th birthday cake.)
5. I am motivated by my kids. When you run, you don’t just run to run or because you have to. Deep inside, there is something that moves you, that motivates you to push past steep hills, shin splints, and forward to the finish line. When I look at my little girls and big kids, I am motivated to push past the hurdles of running and life because they are (and I AM) worth it.
And probably the most crazy thing? I’d do either one all over again because of what they’ve done for me and my spirit…but the Half Marathon is way more likely now that I am a new mom of four kids and have college and weddings to look toward paying for some day – that’s nothing compared to the price of a race bib!