Tuesday, June 28, 2016

6 Week Post Partum Fit Check In

I am now six weeks into post partum fitness and 12 weeks post partum. Whoa. Baby time is light years ahead of pregnant time. Over the last four weeks, we have settled into a much more predicable sleeping pattern with Rafe, which has made my work outs much more predictable, and possible.

This picture just because Rafe's such a little stud
Fitting in Fitness is for sure a challenge <--- understatement.  I'm blessed with a few things that have made fitness at this early stage a possibility for me: an amazing hands on husband, and a baby who sleeps at night (we aren't quite STTN just yet. more on that later).



As I suspected while I was pregnant, I don't want to go to the gym after work. I want to go home and be with my family. Over the last six weeks,I've had to be flexible and patient. I didn't work out everyday. If the work out didn't fit, then well, it didn't fit. Onto the next day. What I have been able to do is make my workouts count.

I've been focusing on a lot of HIIT routines consisting of 20-30 minutes of intense effort. This strategy is paying off! I was able to shave nearly three minutes off my 5k road time in 6 weeks and without logging a bunch of road miles.

I've pulled work outs together from a variety of different resources. Jamie Eason's Post Pregnancy series, Pinterest, and most recently, Blonde Ponytail's 30 Day Trainer.  To measure my progress, once a week, I complete an old favorite 55 Minute Incline Walk/Run routine, increasing my run pace each week. The goal is work back up to designated run pace, and I'm not there yet, but getting close. Last week intervals were 6.3/6.8. The 5 AM Club work outs are fitting in quite nicely. I feel like I am getting so much stronger, my endurance has made leaps and bounds and it shows in the road run times! Feels great to be moving in a 10 minute mile again. Last week I ran ONE mile under a 10 minute pace. Sometimes I can't believe I was ever running half marathons in the 9 minute mile range, but I know what once was can be again, with consistent work and effort. 

                     5k Time 6 Weeks PP on the Left                 5k Time 12 Weeks PP on the Right



Real talk, I'm so glad I have fitness as a focus because the scale and I are not seeing eye to eye. I'm trying my best to be kind to myself as I work on this post patrum body. It's a struggle for me. The more time goes on, the less kind I am able to be to myself. I find myself picking apart my imperfections in the mirrors at the gym or avoiding my reflection all together. I'm focusing on all of my insecurities instead of all of the positives, I do know there are many. 9 months on, 9 months off. I know this. I've honestly forgotten just how trying active weight loss is, and I'm struggle busing.  I do know that if I keep at it, the numbers will come, and my skinny jeans will fit once more. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Email me


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fit Check In- 11 Weeks Post Partum

Good morning and Happy Thursday to you! It has been a while since I posted an update uh yeah like almost two months #whoops I am trying to get back into the swing of regular life, and real talk I am riding the struggle bus.

This week marks my fourth full week back at work, and time is really flying. Time is my most precious commodity at the moment and there just doesn't seem to be enough of it. I've thought a few times about posting my regular ole weekly goals post, but my weekly goals are fluid and flexible. Most importantly they depend on how this little cute baby sleeps during the night.

So cute right? I know, I know! It's so hard not to stare!

I have lost all of the weight I gained during my pregnancy, however, my body composition has significantly changed. I've lost a lot of muscle and consequently put on fat. Obviously, my body was busy making that perfect little baby boy! Like most women, I am eager for all of my pre-pregnancy cloths to fit, and to start tackling runs at a familiar pace, however I'm not in a real rush to get there.

Over the last 5 weeks, I've been *mostly* diligent with my diet, and *mostly* consistent with exercise and I've lost a grand total of four pounds. What the what?! Real talk, this is the hardest weight I've ever tried to lose. I've got a certain number in my head I'd like to hit, and I need to lose 20 more pounds to do that. My long term goal is to run the marathon in February 2017. before I turn 30. I also have a certain pace in mind I'd like to shoot for, and I know that in order to do that, I'm going to have to drop some fat and put on lean muscle mass. It's hard to put a lot pf pressure on myself right now, when ya know life has radically changed and I'm juggling fifteen different life balls, but I am trying. A for effort! I am going to try to make a consistent effort to document the struggle that is wiggling out of fat with a commitment to one post per week. I have to put it in writing so I can loud cap myself if I don't do it. #accountability

At my 6 week post delivery check up, I was given the all clear to resume my normal fitness routine, and the first thing I did was go out on a 5k run to see exactly where my starting point would be for my "blankslate" body


Just shy of 35 minutes when I thought it would take closer to 40. I felt like I was going to puke faint or die that last mile but I never let myself walk, and none of those things happened.  Kee yaw it was tough but it felt GOOD to power through. Everything felt just fine underneath (I had a 3rd degree tear- fun times), and I never felt like ohemgee I gotta pee, which was so NICE!! Mostly I just felt out-of-shape. Next week, it will be time to test myself and see how much progress I've made in the last 6 weeks.

While not an apples to apples comparison, because everything is easier in the AC, on June 8th I decided to test my progress and I ran a 5k in just over 32 minutes. I can feel my endurance coming up each and every work out and that is the BEST feeling. Even if the scale so no bueno the run times don't lie.



This is not my first go around (weight loss saga here) with the elle bee game, and I know if I keep at it, the numbers will come. I'm trying to focus most on how I feel, and the increased endurance makes me feel great! I haven't had that this feels so great I could fly type run yet but I know it's coming.

Obviously, my number one focus right now is little Rafe, and everything else falls into place depending on the day. I've had to get a lot smarter about my work outs and I'm learning to put more focus on intensity over duration and just trust the rest will come. One day, one pound at a time.

11 Weeks PP 

Email me


Friday, May 13, 2016

New Born Product Favorites + Post Partum Updates

Good morning! So it turns out I haven't gotten better at managing my time with a new born yet. I find since I am home all day right now, we are using the house so much more which has created a lot more housework for me. Every time it seems I have a minute to type something up, I think to myself nah, I'm just gonna snuggle with this sweet little baby. But today he is sleeping, and all of my housework is done, so here I am!



Before I jump into our favorite newborn products, an update on post partum recovery. Overall, I feel fantastic. I've been able to be really kind to myself while I navigate this post partum body which is unfamiliar to me. This has been surprising to me because historically that's not my style. To be kind to myself when I'm not 100% happy with my body.

1st Date Night!

Each day that passes I feel more and more like "me" again. I haven't been released to work out just yet. I do go on walks, like Sunday stroll kind of walks, and I try to watch what I'm eating. I'm not drinking enough water and I know it. I've tried to eat somewhat balanced and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. Well this morning I weighed myself and I am within one pound of pre-pregnant weight. That said, it looks a whole lot different on the way down than it did on the way up. Last summer I was doing a lot of lifting, and obviously my work outs became less and less intense over my pregnancy. My body composition is completely different. I did put on some weight prior to my pregnancy. Because vacation and pina coladas.  Monday, I have my 6 week follow up with the doc, and I'm praying for the all clear. I miss being active! I'm participating in a weight loss challenge with my run group that starts Monday and I could not be more excited to get cracking on my blank slate body!

Newborn product favorites, must of these are pretty common knowledge but since I knew diddly I'm going to share my basics.

1. The Rock N Play: Rafe has loved is Rock N Play from the day we got home from the hospital. It's been a life saver. He's taking a little nap in it right now as I type of this post. It's light weight and follows me from room to room.

2. The Summer Infant Snuzzler. I'm so glad a friend told me to buy this prior to Rafe's birth. Without the car seat insert, Rafe would have absolutely floated in his car seat. The tight fit provided the support he needs to be comfortable in the car.  It's already become too tight and I had to remove the bottom portion, but at under 12 dollars, it's well worth the purchase.

 *he had plenty of breathing room between his mouth in that blanket. It's just the angle of this picture*

Homeward Bound


3. Water Proof Changing Pad Liners. Absolutely genius. I would be washing changing pad covers all day long without them. 





4. Comfort & Harmony Portable Swing- Rafe loves this swing and we love this swing because it's so easy to bring from room to room! I can carry the baby and the swing no problems. Love it.

We love swinging!!!!

5 Gripe Water- I don't want to get too much into what and how we are feeding Rafe because everyone has an opinion on how babies should be fed, but I can't in good conscience not recommend Gripe water to other new Moms. You find out what you're really made of when your baby is crying, in obvious discomfort and you are at a loss as to how to fix it for them. No Bueno. Our pediatrician recommended Gripe Water. Game Changer! Happy Baby , Happy Mom and Dad!


Next up on the blog, getting back into fitness! If I get the all clear from the doctor Monday, crossing all crossables, I'm getting right back into running Monday. I literally find myself fantasizing about a run. Craziness Step One:  Going out for a little 5k. Gonna try my hardest and see how long it takes me. Step two, spend the next 6 weeks trying to improve upon that time. Starting all over is definitely intimidating, but also exciting! There aren't many times in life when you get a true blank slate, and I've got one now!

Email me




Monday, April 25, 2016

What's in a Name: Rafe Harrell Noel

Life with a newborn: Day 23. I think the baby knows we will say How High every time he says jump.

I said box jumps lady!



I can now refill the keurig using my right foot, with my eyes closed, while bouncing the baby, and singing whatever free style lullaby comes out of my mouth. I have't slept through the night since April 1st and I know it will be a long time before I'm afforded such luxuries again. Truly never been happier :) 


Rafe really is such a great baby but like all new babies he doesn't sleep for long periods of time. But now that I'm not pregnant I can have all of the caffeine and I need it.



I get so excited by a little gassy grin and I'm counting down the days until he intentionally smiles at me. 23 days ago I found myself looking up a steep learning curve and I feel like we are making big progress. The biggest thing I'm struggling with today right now, is managing my time. Lawd day it gets away from me. I started this blog post at 8:00am. One day at a time!



When it came to choosing Rafe's name, I knew pretty early on we were in for a big challenge when Nick said I want him to have a name that no one I have ever met has had before. My reaction was, so like you want to make something up?

The name Rafe first came up as a suggestion around week 18? It was a pretty early suggestion that Nick made. He pulled it out of thin air. We were riding around in the car one day and Nick said, What about Rafe? 

My reaction was, I like it, but I'm not ready to commit to it. I wanted to explore a whole bunch of names and it turns out there are a lot that I like. I knew I wanted our boy to have something different but not did they make that up? different, and I felt like I had a lot of research to do. No matter how many names I suggested, we kept circling back to Rafe. I knew it was a done deal when that's how we started referring to him in conversation.

Turns out Rafe is a bit of a family name on my side. I had a great great uncle named Rafe. It's a popular name in the UK aka how the British pronounce Ralph. The most common frame of reference we have been using is that it is also Ben Affleck's character's name in the movie Pearl Harbor, however our Rafe was not named after this character. Really we just liked the name. Pronounced "Rayf" it means "God has Healed". The meaning of his name moved me in a deeply personal way. I liked that the name sounded appropriate for a boy and just as fitting for a successful man.

Rafe's middle name is a family name and a tribute to my maternal Grandfather who was a huge positive influence on my life. It also honors our family as a whole and felt sweet and sentimental. 

When we choose this name, we knew the reviews would be mixed. You can tell immediately who likes the name and who doesn't which isn't offensive to us. We own our decisions :) Naming someone ain't easy!

Later this week, if I can manage my time, newborn product favorites! This list is surprisingly short and inexpensive. 

Disclaimer: any previous attempt I ever made at proofreading is now out of the window. 

Happy Monday!!

Email me