Pregnancy Changed Me For The Better

by HEAB on June 26, 2015

Pregnant with Summer in October 2010…

Thank you Emily for the beautiful photo!

And 34 weeks pregnant with Charlie and Katie in June 2012…

And last but not least, awaiting Hannah’s arrival in October 2013…

Another favorite from Emily Smallcomb Family Photography.

I did something I haven’t done in a while.  I wrote a guest post.  My friend Kristin Russell started a new blog called Spill The Gritsa place for us to share our true-life stories—the ones we can’t seem to shake from our pasts, the ones we are living and don’t yet know the ending to, the ones we’ve been dying to speak but haven’t for fear of judgement and shame.  This will be a safe place for us to remind each other that indeed, we are not alone.  She asked me if I’d like to write about my weight loss and pregnancies, and honestly, the thought of sitting down and writing something real sounded pretty darn great.  So, the other night, I sat down and started typing.  You can read the end result here.  Thanks for checking it out if you get a chance, and thanks to Kristin for reminding me how much I enjoy digging a little deep.

{ 34 comments }

Mary @ Fit and Fed July 21, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Hi Heather. That is quite a story. Our bodies are so amazing doing what they do in pregnancy and birth, I’m glad all that landed you into a place of simple appreciation. I remember my children being small and being totally absorbed in being with them. I spent a decade in elastic waist pants and didn’t care about that a bit. Now that they have grown I’ve had time to return to my sport and to fuss about my weight, not, I hope, to any unhealthy degree.

HEAB July 22, 2015 at 7:30 am

Hey Mary,
Yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time in elastic waisted pants these over the past five years – glad yoga pants and leggings are considered stylish these days. 🙂

I do miss my yoga strong body, and I sometimes get frustrated that I seem to have little to no flexibility anymore, but it will all come back someday – thanks for the encouragement and reminder that they are only little for such a short time, and that our bodies are totally amazing!

Jill July 1, 2015 at 11:53 am

It was so good to read this-really beautiful! Although I definitely didn’t lose a lot of weight or maintain the super strict eating and exercise regimens for as long as you did, I experienced a glimpse of all of that and in retrospect it is a waste of time. But I kind of almost feel like you have to sometimes sort it all out by experiencing it and slooooowly improving before you can actually have a new perspective.

I also think for me it took a long time…like maybe even until this past year or so? to see that yes, bodies do have some sort of set point and wasting soooo much time perfecting your calorie intake and beating yourself up over not running marathons is kind of silly. It is interesting that now that I’m so busy with work and just occupied the bigger issues in life, all of the food and exercise stuff is soo secondary. I walk a lot just because of the city, still do yoga because I love it, and run a little to reduce work related stress/anger. Lol…and really, that is fine with me. More fine than it has probably ever been.

Always so good to see a post from you because I still love your blog! As well as the pink and dirt birthday cake!!!!!! So awesome!

HEAB July 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Hi Jill,
Thank you, and yes, I remember having these types of discussions with you, and I’m grateful we’re both on the other side. And yeah, I thought I was over all of it too, but turns out I wasn’t. Just thought all those food rules I had was a good way to live, and that I was taking care of myself and being healthy. Um, not so much. Funny how that can all change when we get busy with life and just live – everything kind of falls into place. 🙂

Heather@hungryforbalance June 29, 2015 at 5:46 am

Beautiful post Heather.

HEAB June 29, 2015 at 6:56 am

Thank you 🙂

Sarah June 28, 2015 at 10:12 am

Beautiful post, from someone who is beautiful inside and out!
Also — I totally thought you were going to announce #5 at the end of this post, haha 🙂

HEAB June 28, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Thank you Sarah, and nope, I’m afraid that announcement is never going to happen. If only I was five years younger…. 😉

Ana June 28, 2015 at 8:47 am

As always, another great post! So touching and so nice of you to share, especially since deep inside us women, in one way or another, all struggle with these body image and food issues.
You are a beautiful person Heather!!
Love,
Ana

HEAB June 28, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Ana,
Yep, I don’t think I know any woman that hasn’t struggled at some point – just hope my girls (and boy) never go through what I did. So much wasted time and energy, and I was way too hard on myself.

Thanks for you kindness friend. 🙂

Ana June 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm

We are always, always our worst critics Heather!
But u know what, don’t see any of what you went through as a waste of anything, see it all as growth, and learning!
Now you have the knowledge and awareness and have the tools to pass all this new vision of life to your kids and ensure that they can have a better perspective on things than you did!
Everything we go through in life happens for a reason, the good and the bad, and it all comes to teach us something and make us grown in one way or another. We gotta be thankful for the best days but also for the not so good ones, because it is through the hard times that we learn the most 😉
I have been through a few not so good years also, and even though at the time I didn’t realize it, it all actually made me happier and stronger than I was before.
So let’s embrace the new perspectives and views in life, enjoying all of it, and not being so hard on ourselves, ever again!!!
Love u much!
Ana

HEAB June 29, 2015 at 9:34 pm

Ana, I could not agree more – thank you for this reminder. Looking back, I definitely made some unwise decisions, but there were lessons learned – and I know it all happened for a reason. In fact, I can think of four very good reasons right now. 🙂

purelytwins June 27, 2015 at 8:45 pm

Love this!! Heather you are a beautiful amazing mom. You inspire me to be the best mom.

love you
Lori

HEAB June 28, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Thanks Lori, love you too, and from what I’ve seen, you’re pretty good at this whole mom thing yourself. Madison is the CUTEST!!! 🙂

Tracy June 27, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Thank you for writing this. After losing 140 pounds during my twenties, I’m struggling with weight gain now that I’m pregnant with my first child. It’s so, so hard to accept gaining weight – even for the best of reasons! – after so many years of constantly thinking about weight loss. Your post helped me to realize that there’s more to life than counting calories and exercising x number of times and minutes per week, and that the best things sometimes come with a little bit of extra weight – and that’s okay! So thank you. I’m very grateful to have read this beautiful piece.

Also – I live in Nashville and can’t wait to raise my kiddos here. Do you have any good suggestions for mamas to be in Music City? Prenatal yoga classes, massage, doulas, etc? Thanks in advance!

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm

Hi Tracy,
I’m so happy to hear this post has brought you some comfort. That first pregnancy carried with it the most anxiety for sure. I know that acceptance is hard, but you obviously know how to take care of your body, and you will make good choices during and after your pregnancy. You will bounce back – just be patient with yourself and enjoy those newborn months. They really do go by so fast.

So fun you live in Nashville, and yes, lots of fun things going on for new and seasoned moms in our city. I took pre and post natal yoga classes from Bethany Hard: http://www.bethanyhard.com/pre-postnatal-yoga/. She teaches Kundalini yoga style yoga (which is different from the vinyasa type classes I prefer but still good). It was awesome to connect with other moms-to-be, and I still run into women from all of my classes. There is a relatively new yoga studio that opened in my neighborhood (still haven’t been yet, but I hear it’s great) that caters to mamas called Blooma Nashville: http://bloomanashville.com/. My favorite pre-natal massage therapist moved away, but I bet you could get some good recommendations if you tried out a class at Blooma. We used Mary Anne Richardson as our doula for my first birth, and she is amazing. She’s a nurse as well as a mid-wife, and we adored her: http://www.tender-beginnings.com/maryanne-anne-richardson/. Hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading and for your comment. 🙂

Em June 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Hi HEAB!!!!!! I cannot believe that you have 4 children now!! Congratulations!! I am so happy for you!! I loved reading your blog post and can relate so much to it!! I too am finally at a very healthy, happy place FINALLY. But like you said there are still times I struggle with guilt and anxiety, but it’s different from before. Priorities definitely change after babies!! Loved reading this!!!!:-)

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 7:44 pm

Em,
Oh my gosh, so good to hear from you! I feel like I lost touch with so many people when I got off of Facebook, and you’re one of them. I hope you are doing well – sounds like it! Thanks for reading, and again, good to hear from you! 🙂

Cara (Twinthusiast) June 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm

I can definitely relate to this post. I kind of want to take my early 20’s self and smack her upside the head for wasted time stressing over nothing. I have found that the post-kids era has been the time when I have least worried about my figure. I’ve eaten substantially healthier during pregnancy and after (no diet-y foods, good, real fat) and just feel so much better all around. Love that you called out the Michael Pollen philosophy (eat FOOD). 🙂 So glad you’re in a healthy place — so great for you and the kids.

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Cara,
Right? Oh the time I wasted at the gym and running, running, running. It was fun for a while but then became so forced and made me miserable. Oh well, lessons learned, right? Happy to hear you’re in a better place now too – and yum, real fat. Bring on the guac!!! 🙂

Natalie June 27, 2015 at 11:45 am

Such a great post and I agree w/ the title here. Loved your writing.
Went through similar things in college, and now it’s all about balance for me.
You’re beautiful inside and out!

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Hi Natalie,
I know you can relate to this post. I’ve always admired how you bounce back so quickly post-baby, and you just seem so laid back about it all. I think we’d have fun hanging out if we lived in the same city. 🙂

Tracy June 27, 2015 at 9:02 am

Beautifully written! I love your honesty and inspiration as always. You’re so right about the change in perspective brought about by parenting. Those little people sure make you see life in a different way! Yoga is another path that has helped me reprioritize the important things in life!

On a side note…thanks again for the intro to Yoga by Adriene. I adore her and have really enjoyed the 30 day challenge!

Have a great weekend, Heather! xoxo

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Tracy,
Yes, little people and yoga – both game changers. 😉

So happy to hear you’re enjoying Adriene’s videos. She is great, and I always look forward to doing yoga with her and receiving her emails. Wish I could take one of her classes in person, but grateful she shares so much of her practice online with us.

Claire June 27, 2015 at 8:57 am

Your blog is my favorite and I’m always excited when I see post pop up. Thank you for sharing your journey!

As someone who has struggled with weight my entire life ..and had four kids I completely relate.

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Thanks for reading Claire – sounds like we have a few things in common. 🙂

Cherie June 26, 2015 at 10:52 pm

Nice to walk down memory lane with you Heather! I’m so happy for you. Love the idea of Kristin’s site and wish her lots of success! I enjoyed your article too.

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for reading my article and for reading all of my posts. You always leave the sweetest comments. They’ve meant a lot to me over the years and still do! 🙂

Ashley R. June 26, 2015 at 10:35 pm

Heater,

Thank you for your vulnerability! We’ve had very similar experiences and pregnancy has changed me in similar ways too. Family definitely changes priorities!

–Ashley, the one who led you to the Caramel PB Cup ice cream at Trader Joe’s 😉 I was actually thinking about that the other day!

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Ashley,
Oh my gosh!!!! Still one of my most favorite ice-cream flavors ever, and I thought about you every time I bought some. Haven’t had it in a while as I don’t make it in to Trader Joe’s much these days, but I’m thinking I will pick some up soon. A perfect treat on a hot summer day.

If I recall, you were avoiding that ice-cream last time we emailed, and I totally understood why (so been there!). Sounds like you’re in a better place now, and I’m so happy to hear it. 🙂

Amelia @i_heart_kale June 26, 2015 at 9:56 pm

I remember reading from the very beginning of this blog. Oh how all of this rings true and sits so deeply with me. Only having had my first 7 months ago, it truly does change your perspective and really make you recognize the things that are really important in life. Oh to live through the innocence of a childs eyes and the things I never want her to have to go through. Love to you and your crew, Heather.

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Amelia,
Thanks for sticking with me all these years – it’s been fun to watch you grow and change as well. I cannot believe C is already 7 months old. Feels like just yesterday that you just had her. I remember seeing pics of you taking her on walks those first few weeks in your carrier. Makes me miss those newborn months just thinking about it. And I hear ya, I wish I could protect them from the world for forever, but I know I can’t. So, for now, I’m just trying to soak it all in. 🙂

Health Bee June 26, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Thank you so much for such an empowering post!

HEAB June 27, 2015 at 8:41 pm

Thanks for reading (as always) Health Bee. 🙂

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