My “Run for a Warrior” Pledge

As some of you may now, my miscarriages in the past year have prompted me to do things I have been wanting to do but have put off because of “potential” pregnancy. One of those things is running.

I have never liked running. Like, ever. But after E was born I found this great group of milspouses/women who all ran together twice a week with babies/toddlers/kids in tow- Stroller Warriors. I ran on and off with them for over a year until we PCS’d. Unfortunately, the SW here at our new duty station is flippin far away so I haven’t joined them.

Stroller Warriors

After our first miscarriage, I had this burst of “I MUST DO ALL THINGS” so J and I decided to sign up for the Warrior Dash. Then I found out I was pregnant so we didn’t. Then I miscarried a few days after I ran the furthest I ever ran before, and I decided I wasn’t going to run again until our second child was born. We PCS’d across the country and then we found out we were pregnant again. I didn’t run, I barely worked out at all, and I still miscarried at 8 weeks.

Awesome.

So then I said “F*** it” and decided it was stupid for me to put off my health and my fitness for much longer. Again, I got the burst of “I MUST DO ALL THINGS.” J and I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon 10k and I began running again. Slowly but surely, like the tortoise.

Tortoise

It started off with me struggling to get to 3 miles. Once I got there, I struggled to get to 3 miles under 30 minutes. Then I pushed it to 4 miles, which I hadn’t done since SW. Then I made it to 5. Then 6. As I type this I can officially say I have done my first 6.2 miles- in the MCM 10k.

image

The race bug has bit me.  I loved it. Every second of it, even the parts where it was so cold I thought my fingers would fall off. Even the parts where I wanted to throw up. Even the parts where I was cursing J in my mind because he told me, “You don’t need your iPod, we can just talk while we run.”

I was recently approached by a friend with whom I ran with at SW on the west side (said “west siiiiiddeeee.” Duh). She asked me and a bunch of other runners if we would be interested in pledging a race or two to run in order to raise money for an organization called Save a Warrior.

Save a Warrior

Save a Warrior is an organization that provides a wellness retreat for veterans who have come back from war with combat-related post-traumatic stress. My friend and her husband attended a retreat after he came back from serving overseas, and they were struck by the organization’s work with Warriors.

I have pledged to run the Marine Corps Marathon Heritage Half (that’s 13 f***ing miles, people) in May of 2014 to support Save a Warrior. I am hoping to run other, smaller races before that too but right now that is my BIG pledge.  If I am pregnant and cannot run, my darling husband will run it in my stead. My goal is to raise my portion of the $10,000 donation we are looking to raise, which is $665.  If you would like to donate to our race pledge, please click the image below. It will take you to a gofundme.com site where you can donate directly to the cause.

Run for a Warrior

Whether you donate or not, please share this blog post or the Run for a Warrior Facebook page to spread the word about our race pledge and this wonderful organization. With your help, we can send 10 Warriors to Save a Warrior’s week long retreat!

Thanks, ya’ll. You rock my world.

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I’m totally like the owl.

The last time we talked about my broken uterus, I hadn’t decided what we were going to do about moving on past the third miscarriage- wait it out, take meds, or surgery. After 3 weeks of waiting…and waiting…and waiting…I finally went ahead with the surgery. I heard so many horror stories about take cytotec or misoprisotol that I didn’t want to do that.

The type of surgery (for all you non-loss peeps) was a D&C- dilation and cutterage. Basically they dilate you and then scrape out everything from you uterus. Your stupid, broken uterus. It sounds kind of painful but for me it really was fine. I went into the hospital for out-patient surgery. Fifty people came in asking me the same.exact.questions to basically say, “Ok, so you’re healthy” (except that I didn’t feel healthy because I’M HAVING MY THIRD MISCARRIAGE) and then they gave me some happy drugs and off to sleep I went until everything was over.

J was there with Starbucks in hand when I woke up. He’s amazing, I know. I had to pee in a bucket, literally, before we were discharged but that didn’t take too long with the apple juice and coffee I was drinking. I had to be at surgery at 6:15am and we were walking out of the hospital by 10am. Not too shabby.

The physical part of the surgery was fine. It wasn’t painful, I didn’t bleed very much at all (sorry if that’s TMI), and my doctors have been great. Emotionally, however, things were quite sucky there for awhile.

Since I felt fine physically, I thought I should be fine. I should act normal. Nothing was wrong because nothing hurt. But I was still sad. I was that we went through another miscarriage. I was sad that I can’t announce our pregnancy on Facebook. I was sad that any and all plans for another baby were put on hold once again.

After a few days and a few really big hugs from J and E, I felt better. After alot of pondering during my sleepless nights, I decided to take this opportunity of not creating a baby in my uterus to accomplish some goals of mine.

  1. Get fit- Through the three pregnancies and miscarriages, I let go of my personal fitness and healthy eating. First I’d be all like, “Oh I’m pregnant! I can eat what I want! And I shouldn’t run because I might shake the baby out.” Then I’d have a  miscarriage and I’d be all like, “Damn it, I’m going to eat what I want and watch The Kardashians instead.” Repeat that times 3. So with baby making on hold until we find out what’s going on with me, I decided to take the time to get back in shape. I’ve been doing pretty good with running, strength training, or yoga 6xs/week. Along with eating much healthier and not eating a ton of crap at night, I’ve already lost about 5 pounds. J and I even signed up for our first race together- the Marine Corps Marathon 10k!
  2. Start an at home business- Being a stay-at-home mom with a teaching degree, working from home is limited. But I still wanted to do something to keep my resume up to date, help socialize Evelyn, and generate some income for our family. So I decided to start a mom’s day out program where I will take a few kids three days a week to provide them with socialization in an academic environment. More kids = more fun! Or more gray hairs for me. All debatable.
  3. Go back to school- Yes, I already have a degree and a license in a particular field but finding jobs right now is impossible. I’ve always wanted to explore nursing and I feel that its more transferable then teaching. And since we move all the time, I need something that will be able to come with me. So grab your Dora backpack, we’re going back to school!

See, I’m totally like the owl.

I hope you stick around to see how this all pans out for me. I also have some really great home reveals coming up. Stick around. Its going to be pretty awesome.

Let’s Get Physical, Physical!

I was going to put the video up to help you transport you back in time, but it is VERY different from what I remembered as a kid. All I remembered was Olivia Newton-John working out in some leotard. YouTube at your own discretion.

Man, don’t you just love this 80’s style and hair?! THE HAIR, PEOPLE. They got more dressed up to work out than I do when I go to Target. Because let’s be honest, the only thing I do besides laundry and cooking is go to Target. In fact, when E gets into the car she immediatley says, “Shopping?”

Ok, that’s not entirely true. Well, the “shopping” part is. But I actually do do (<–haha) other stuff besides laundry, cooking, and Target. And Starbucks. I WORK OUT.

If you are a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) and/or a military spouse, you understand how hard it can be to find the time to stay fit. Its hard to do it at home because you have a million things to do plus at least one small person hanging on your leg or sitting on your hip (or both) at all times. And being a MilSpouse comes with all different sorts of challenges. Sometimes you don’t have anyone coming home at 5pm or on the weekends so you can run to the gym. The gyms on base oftentimes don’t offer childcare, and by the time you find a gym out in town that is affordable and not totally creepy you’ll probably PCS. Awesome.

When I moved to our current duty station, I wasn’t a mom. And I worked. Finding time to go to the gym was difficult (beacuse eating cookies while watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey is more fun) but not impossible. When I had E I was determined to not be one of “those” moms that totally throws any sort of physical fitness out the window. But even so, I gave myself a six week grace period because I had just pushed a baby out of my you know where and I was TIRED. And then J left for deployment. At that point, throwing everything out the window (except for the cookies) sounded like a great idea.

Over time, however, I started to feel like something was missing for me. I felt the need to pick up all that stuff I threw out the window and get back into some sort of workout routine. I didn’t know what to do though. For those of you that have been following me for awhile (stalkers) may remember this post where I was determined to stick to a tough workout routine while J was gone. That lasted all of 2 seconds- I couldn’t go to the gym on base because there was no childcare. I didn’t want to spend the money for a membership out in town because knowing myself, I wouldn’t actually go enough to make it worth the money. I needed some outside motivation but I didn’t know what to do.

Then God sent me a little angel. Well, lots of angels. More like warriors. With strollers. Stroller Warriors.

Heard of them? Thought you might have. That’s because our founder, Stephanie Gergahty, was selected at the Marine Corps Spouse of the Year for 2012 by Military Spouse Magazine. Hellllzzz Yea.

This is my story with Stroller Warriors (SW): My friend encouraged me to join a military wives running group. At first I was like, “Um, I don’t like to run.” Because I don’t. Well, I didn’t. Ok, so most of the time I don’t but we’ll get to that in a minute. Anyways, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I mean, these ladies all must be RUNNERS and I’m not a runner. I’m a walker. A yogi. A “watch a old Susan Summers workout VHS” type girl. Dudes, I don’t run. For pete’s sake, I was a CHEERLEADER in high school.

But I decided to go. What’s the worst that could happen? I would pass out and die? Maybe, but I was willing to try it.

My first run with SW sucked. It was cold, it was raining, and I was out of breath in the first 5 seconds. But hot damn those chicks were motivating. Some were out there pushing double-wide BOB strollers with PRESCHOOLERS. Others were wicked fast, and some were more my speed. Everyone that passed me (I’m pretty sure it was EVERYONE) kept saying, “Great job! Keep it up! Way to go!” and even though it sounds a little cheesy, it was super encouraging. It was awesome and for the first time in a LONG time, I knew I was going to actually continue with a group/routine.

SW

So here I am, one YEAR later and still running with SW. I did stop for awhile because E’s naps were during our run times and Lord knows I wasn’t messing with that. But once she went to one nap, it was on like Donky Kong. And I’ll be honest- I still don’t like running. I’d much rather be doing something a little less…exhausting. But these women are so great that I actually sacrifice my dislike for the sport just to hang out with them for a few hours each week. And, not surprisingly, I feel a lot better after the run and kicked-my-ass/my-armsbuttlegs-are-sore-for-the-next-8-days ground work we do each time.

Now, sadly, we are moving and the closest SW is kind of far. I’m hoping that I can do something to help set up a group closer to me though because this group is motivating. They are the reason I get my lazy azz out of bed on Tuesday and Fridays (and Sundays, on my own) to run. They push you to run harder, to run faster, and to be stronger. And occassionally they have run-free days with food, and that’s always a win. They are some BAMRs (Bad Ass Mother Runners) and I am so proud to have been part of this group if only for a little while.

SW Gear

E was munching on her recovery snack. She had a hard run…

In the next couple of weeks I’m going to be talking about some workout routines I’ve found online that I have found really helpful just in case you don’t have an awesome group of BAMRs close by. I may or may not have some before and after pics to show you too. It depends on what my after pic looks like because my before is like…gross. I will also be discussing some diet changes that are easy to make and KEEP even if you are a MilSpouse. So stick around. Until then…….

**Images courtesy of Google Images and personal images from Stroller Warrior members. “Stroller Warriors” video courtesy of YouTube**

Like LMFAO, I work out. Or maybe I’ll just sing about it.

A few months ago, I was sitting on my couch eating chocolate-syrup covered cookie dough with a spoon, dreaming about how in 7 months I was going to look like Alessandra Ambrosio by the time J gets home. I had so many well-laid plans to get myself looking like that hottie with a body. I was going to run with my mom’s group, go to a yoga class, do mommy and me DVDs at home, go to spin class….I was well on my way to being Alessandra’s twin. Just call me Gisele.

For awhile there I was doing great. We were running every Friday and I was even running on days OTHER THAN FRIDAYS. That’s huge for me. We were walking every.single.day, at least a mile but usually more. We contacted the yoga teacher and changed our mom’s group days so we could go. I was attending spin class every week. And then the unthinkable happened…

I got lazy.

Ok, well, that’s not entirely true. Just mostly. We stopped running together on Fridays because gas prices shot through heaven’s roof (even God was like, WTH is this?) and the drive to the track is far. Then the yoga didn’t pan out because frankly, it was during Evelyn’s first nap time and I wasn’t willing to put her through the torture of staying awake and missing that nap (read as: there was no way in hell I was letting her miss that nap because otherwise she is a hot mess and I don’t want to deal with that crabbypants). And I’m too cheap to buy  DVDs. BUT I was going to spin class thanks to my ah-mazing neighbor but due to some unforeseen circumstances (no, really, these were actually unforeseen), I missed quite a few in a row.

Yes, I could have continued to run on my own. And I could have done the 8 workout DVDs I already have at home while Evelyn was napping. And in my mind I thought to myself, “Eh, I have x many months left, its totally fine. I’ll workout. Soon. Eventually. At least before he gets home.”

But now here we are, in the middle of April and there isn’t that much time left. I mean, we still have a ways to go before J gets home but not enough to do the total body transformation I was hoping to do before he arrives. I’ve found this to be pretty typical of military wives though: We have all these great and awesome plans of how we are going to change things while they’re gone whether it be getting sexified like all those chicks you see pinned on Pinterest, organizing every closet to look like the ones on Pinterest, redoing every room to look like the ones on Pinterest, create and try 198923487 new recipes that we have pinned on Pinterest….the list goes on and on. But before we know it, we realize that we only have a month left and we’re scrambling to lose those 10 pounds and redo/organize/clean the whole dang house before they get home.

Luckily, I’m not there yet. I still have enough time to kick my larger-than-I’d-like-it-to-be butt into gear. And because its what I do, I have a plan:

  • Run/Elliptical- No seriously, I’m doing it. For a few weeks I have access to a treadmill and elliptical so I’m planning on using that to get myself into a routine.
  • Continue spin- I actually really like the spin class I attend. Except when we have a sub because last time she kicked my azz. So I will continue to do that as well.
  • Yoga- I honestly have always enjoyed yoga. They give a class at the gym on base but they don’t have daycare so its going to be home DVDs for now. I don’t like lifting so this is a great way for me to get toned.

Oh don’t worry, my planning doesn’t stop there. Much like my house chores, everything will have its own day:

  • Running/Elliptical-  Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Spin- Mondays
  • Yoga- Tuesdays and Thursdays

I have a written and well-coordinated plan. Will I be able to execute? With the motivation of the latest Victoria’s Secret catalog and God on my side, I think I can do it. I want to do it. I want to be back to the fit wife that I was before I schelped on 50 pounds to carry my baby. Granted 40 of those pounds were gone before J left, but the jiggle is all still there. So here I go, on my way back to my pre-baby bod. Right after I finish this bowl of ice cream…

Yea, so what I’m eating cookie dough drenched in chocolate syrup with a spoon?

Judge me. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

….

Done yet? Awesome, thanks.

This is what my Saturday night now consists of: cookie dough, chocolate syrup, cheap wine, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Sweeeet.

But don’t worry, I’m a total multi-tasker: I’m also looking through the Victoria’s Secret catalog trying to figure out which bathing suit I’ll look best in by the time James comes home. As I stare at the chocolate syrup drenched cookie dough, a one-piece is calling my name.

Ah, heaven on a spoon. Ok but seriously, I need to get my butt into gear. How am I going to look like Alessandra Ambrosio by the time James gets home?

So here’s my plan: I’m going to workout. I know what you’re thinking: “SHUT THE FRONTDOOR.” Yep, I’m actually going to do it. For a few reasons: 1. I can’t starve myself because Evelyn needs to eat too, 2. I like food too much (see above), and 3. I want to actually be healthy (forget that you looked above).

My husband is great at working out. Even when he doesn’t want to he gets his butt up off the couch and goes. Meanwhile, I’m still on said couch creating an imprint with my butt and waving to him with my cookie-dough-chocolate-syrup spoon. What kind of image does that portray to my daughter? Not a very good one.

The great thing is that I have a wonderful group of people that will help me whip me into shape. For one, my mommy’s group meets to run every week. And I hate running. But there is something about knowing that you have people waiting on you (and watching you) that motivates you to work harder. I also have a neighbor, God bless her soul, that offered to come once a week to watch Evelyn so I could go to our gym and take a class (seriously, if I could pack this lady up when we move next I totally would. She takes down our garbage cans, she offers to watch my dog and my child, and SHE OFFERED TO MOW MY LAWN (that’s another story). And she has 3 kids of her own that she has to take care of. Amazing woman). Also, one of my other friends is interested in doing Mommy and Me Yoga.

In all honesty, this is going to be hard. I’d much rather nap than run, spin, and/or do yoga. But this is the best time for me to get into a good routine. I can adjust my days accordingly and figure out what works best for me, for Evelyn, and for our family when James gets home. It is motivating to have something to work towards (i.e., his homecoming).

I know more than once I’m going to have to call on God to give me the strength to keep going. I am going to need Him every step, cycle, and downward dog {pose} of the way. But I can do it, because I have Him, my friends, and my husband telling me that I can and I trust them.

So judges (I totally know you judged), I ask you to follow me on this journey towards no-more-cookie-dough-chocolate-syrup-spoon hood. Please feel free to leave your fatty comments below, or tell me what your greatest motivator is- maybe it will help motivate me and others, too!