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012 | My Health Journey: 3 Years Post Partom

012 | My Health Journey: 3 Years Post Partum

Welcome back to my blog.

Over the last 12 weeks, we have been working on getting into a groove or routine. Our toddler is officially out of school and home with us as my husband works full time and I freelance from home.

Thank you for reading and walking this journey with me as we talked about how to set reachable goals, we dug into some options about how to digitally organize your meals/days, I shared some empty schedules for your parent-child plans, I talked about my easy-ish way to meal plan using what you have, and I wrapped up my small improvement wins for the first month of 2024.

Then, I tried to maintain these habits as I focused on career development and built my new website over the next six weeks. My gut reaction was to be embarrassed about spending six whole blog posts talking about my website developments. But, I did this while still meal prepping, working my macros, and staying active... so I need to stop and tell myself “good job.”

Before we jump back in, I am going to share something from my fifth blog post:

“THERE WILL BE HARD DAYS. Not every day is a wake-up and make-progress kinda day. The sun isn’t always shining and my planner isn’t always covered in neat handwriting and cute stickers. Sometimes my hair is undone - the kid is screaming- and there is coffee EVERYWHERE. And that is OK.”

Carrying My Kiddo

My husband and I decided to focus on getting pregnant long before we heard of COVID-19. When the world shut down, I began to look at whole body health and started new habits where I walked daily, played outside, tried to reduce stress, made sourdough with the rest of the world, and went vegan. As we watched documentaries on health, sleep, food, and alcohol, we learned about different health options and paths. Other than veganism, I did not cut anything out of my diet. I had been GMO corn-free for 5-6 years at this time due to an allergy I found earlier in life.

After an additional six months, we got pregnant and just enjoyed life. We hiked, went on road trips, and ate well. After being vegan through the first two trimesters, I added chicken and fish in the third trimester to help with that insatiable hunger. I also added a SUPER UNHEALTHY habit of bananas and Nutella daily to my walking European lifestyle.

After month 8, I hit the 90 kg mark and refused to weigh again until my child was about three months old. We gave birth to a happy, healthy (slightly small and yellow) little one after 23 hours of labor. I remained in the hospital for three more days and then came home to a winter wonderland of snow on the ground and storks in the fields.


Almost a year later, I came to find out that some other languages do not even have a word for post-partum depression. Aware of this before giving birth, I try to make it an open topic now with my friends. There are many resources, but if you want to learn more, maybe start at postpartum.net.

After bringing our newest addition home and acclimating to no sleep, I learned to:

  1. Take photos and save your favorites by month so you can look back through them once you're rested.
  2. Never stop adventuring (we went hiking in the mountains that first month)
  3. Get sunshine and alone time
  4. Know that not every day will be awesome, but they will always bring a new adventure

After 3-4 weeks, I felt connected, and after six months I began to feel more like myself. Without my self-awareness and my hero of a husband, I would have been a danger during the worst of my post-partum depression. Looking back, I think it is important to note that...

You are the best parent your child can have, and it is OK to need to walk away and have space for a moment.

Just make sure someone can support you while you do.

The Next Chapter - Moving Stateside

After only one year as parents, we had to make an oceanic move, care for aging families, and purchase a house. At this time, I was about 30 lbs down from carrying a kiddo, suffering from joint pain, and migraines, and was still not interested in hobbies.

The hobby interest came back after our kid was a year and a half, but I still don't have time to spend hours creating. I learned some of my migraine triggers and my weight was the same for two-and-a-half years. In the fall of 2023, I talked with a friend and realized I was losing hope in my health.

The Biggest Changes

In November 2023, I met with two nutritionists and a physical trainer.  Every person is different, so the nutritionist recommended making changes and seeing how they do before adapting and changing more. Here is what I learned:

  1. My 11:00a migraines were from eating two eggs daily
  2. I respond well to a .75-1g of protein per pound of body weight
  3. I try to stick to 8 grams or less of ADDED sugar per sitting
  4. I do well with Macros of 20-30% protein, 20-30% fat and 25-50% carbs
  5. My why: to age gracefully with the freedom to do, which means I need STRENGTH TRAINING to avoid Sarcopenia

With that, over four months, I have lost 4 pounds. I have gained 2 pounds of muscle and lost 2% body fat. After 2 YEARS OF NOTHING, I see movement. That is priceless.

(That math doesn’t “add up” due to inflammation and other factors.)


  1. I track my macros for free with Lose It.
  2. I use ChatGPT for workout ideas when I am in a rut.
  3. And then finally, these are our two workout plans.

Full Body

We started with the Golden Six Workout from Arnold Schwarzenegger. This workout is well-documented. For example, it's in Men's Health.  This workout is done every other day and allows you to build strength throughout your body. I am not a doctor, and this is all anecdotal data, but I enjoyed this as an intro to strength training. I also loved learning about progressive overload.

My husband even made a free application if you want a little mini-coach to walk you through this workout.


We work out 3-4 days a week and rotate between 4 major body parts. Once again, I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or trainer... but I am loving this. I keep my workouts to 45 minutes and some days that means I skip an exercise, and that is OK.

If you try this, please rest between sets.

“To increase strength and power, the best rest period is 2-5 minutes between sets. To increase hypertrophy (muscle growth), the best rest period is 30-90 seconds between sets. To increase muscular endurance, the best rest period is 30 seconds or less between sets.”

Back and biceps

  1.  Pull up with counterweight | Three sets of as many as I can
  2. Deadlift | Three sets of 8-12
  3. Barbell curl  | Three sets of 8-12
  4. Barbell row | Three sets of 8-12
  5. Hammer curl  | Three sets of 8-12
  6. Weighted Back Extensions/Raises  | Three sets of 8-12

Chest and triceps

  1. Incline Press with Dumbbells | Three sets of 8-12
  2. Triceps you choose | Three sets of 8-12
  3. Chest Press | Three sets of 8-12
  4. Pectoral fly | Three sets of 8-12
  5. Optional: Modified Diamond pushups, Up-Up-Down-Down pushups, followed by Modified pushups | Repeat each 5-10 times
  6. Weighted Wrist Curls | Three sets of 8-12

Legs and butt

  1. Hip Adduction | Four sets of 8-12
  2. Hip Abduction | Four sets of 8-12
  3. Leg Press| Three sets of 8-12
  4. Leg Press Toes Heals in and Toes out at 45deg  | Three sets of 8-12
  5. Knees-in Seated Leg Curl | Three sets of 8-12
  6. Knees-out Leg Extension | Three sets of 8-12
  7. Weighted squats | Three sets of 8-12
  8. Pistol squats  | Three sets of 8-12 on each side ( I just go halfway down)
  9. Romanian Lift - for Hamstring | Three sets of 8-12
  10. Calf Raise - on step  | Three sets of 20-25
  11. Glute Isolator  | Two sets of 8-12 and repeat on each leg

Abs and shoulder

  1. Overhead/Military Press  | Three sets of 8-12 (I was doing this behind my head at a lighter weight, but I am reading that it may strain my neck too much)
  2. Front Raise | Three sets of 8-12
  3. Lateral Raise  | Three sets of 8-12
  4. Reverse Flies (hinge the hip) | Three sets of 8-12
  5. Planks | Two sets of 45 Seconds
  6. Russian twist | Three sets of 30 with a dumbbell
  7. Leg raises | Three sets of 8-12
  8. Oblique Crunches | Two sets of 10-20 on each size

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Over three years, I have inched closer to my goal weight and health.

I look now and see a difference. I finally feel strong. Of the 23% of my weight post-baby the doctors recommended I lose, I have lost 3-4%. Note: I have ONLY seen this health change since November of 2023. I have almost lost my drive so many times. I want to take a step back and focus on why I haven't lost the drive so far.

  1. Someone supporting me and who may even go to the gym with me once in a while
  2. Encouragement from friends
  3. When people give me compliments they can see the change.

Which, what a wonderful reason to think of how we can help in our circle by encouraging, lifting, and saying yes to healthy activities with our friends.

In Conclusion

My health journey, three years post-partum, has been a testament to resilience and determination. Over the past few months, I've shared snippets of my life, from navigating parenthood to prioritizing my well-being amidst various challenges. It's been a path of self-discovery, learning, and growth. Despite the ups and downs, I've persevered, embracing each day as it comes, acknowledging that progress isn't always linear.

Through changes in diet, exercise routines, and mindset shifts, I've gradually seen positive changes in my health and fitness. The support of loved ones and the lessons learned along the way have been invaluable. As I continue forward, I'm reminded that health is not just about physical fitness but also about finding balance, seeking joy in everyday moments, and fostering meaningful (supportive) connections. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and here's to embracing the next chapter with hope, resilience, and gratitude.

Here's to a journey of purpose, progress, and a life well-lived.