Kia Taylor, a 34-year-old mother of a toddler son, didn't let 80 extra pounds from pregnancy stand in her way. This Atlanta software engineer (@keyalus on Twitter) had run a marathon pre-baby, and thanks to a personalized eating plan, CrossFit, running, and dedication, Kia dropped the weight--and just rocked a half-marathon.
Best recent run: Museum of Aviation Half Marathon last Saturday. My best half ever was a 1:53 at the Georgia Half back in 2007 (pre-pregnancy). I ran two other half marathons this past fall but was thwarted from my time goal of 2:05 by illness, then a combo of warm temperatures and too many hills. Last weekend, I felt great during the race. The course was flat, and the temperature was perfect (low 20s). I’m also about 10 pounds lighter than I was at my last race. It all combined to help me finish in 1:55--way faster than my goal! It was the perfect race.
Back to square one: I started running in spring 2007 as a complete non-athlete and completed a marathon in fall 2008. I got pregnant shortly after that. I stayed active during pregnancy, but my appetite came alive! As my weight grew, running became more difficult and I gave it up altogether in my fifth month for walking, the elliptical, and weight training. I exercised up until the week I gave birth, but I also ate a lot. At my final doctor’s appointment before giving birth, I weighed 235 pounds. I’m only 5’ 3” so this was not good at all. I had gained 80 pounds during pregnancy, and I had to start all over after having a baby with a totally different body. After getting my doctor’s clearance at six weeks post-partum, I got started immediately. I weighed 215 pounds at that point and couldn’t even walk up stairs without getting winded. I started with Couch To 5K, completing the program in January 2010 and running my first post-pregnancy 5K in 37 minutes. My prior (pre-baby) 5K best was around 24 minutes so I was still a long way from home.
Sounds tastier than Lean Cuisine: I realized if I could allow myself to gain 80 pounds during pregnancy, then maybe my eating habits weren’t so good after all. The Lean Eating program guides you through a solid nutrition and weight-lifting program. You get a coach for personal guidance, a private women’s only support group forum, a daily exercise routine, and lessons on nutrition daily for six months (now 12 months). It breaks down the overwhelming task of fat loss into small habits that build upon one another and lead to success. I learned a lot about nutrition and exercise--and about my body and mind--during the program. There’s that saying (paraphrasing here), “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a week. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime”. Lean Eating taught me how to fish.
Water, baby: I can easily drink 64 ounces or more of water at the office during the week, but I suck at drinking water on the weekends. I’m basically lazy. If I’m upstairs playing with my son, it feels like a real hassle to drag both of us downstairs just to get some water. I vowed to drink more water on Saturday and Sunday, and so far it’s going well. I make a point to drink a full 16 ounces with breakfast, then take another bottle upstairs with me. I do the same at lunch. I stash a case of bottled water in my car and chug while on the road. I don’t feel any different yet, but I’m sure my Sunday long runs will go a lot better since I won’t be going into them dehydrated.
Get your chin up: I’m probably the odd runner in that I am equally (if not more) fanatical about weight-lifting. I’ve been doing CrossFit for about 2.5 years now--I even did CrossFit Moms workouts all through my pregnancy! CrossFit is a high-intensity strength and conditioning program. It is also a community where women with big strong muscles are celebrated. The pull-up is prominently featured in a lot of CrossFit workouts. There are modifications you can do to make it easier, but at some point you’ve got to stop modifying. Last year, I set a goal for myself to be able to do two unassisted pull-ups, and I exceeded that goal. I can do 3 chin-ups in a row now. For 2011, I figured I should up the ante to 10.
Fanatical: I just officially became Half-Fanatic #769! Half Fanatics is a sister group to the Marathon Maniacs. (If you’ve ever seen people at marathons wearing a bright yellow T-Shirt featuring a crazed-looking runner, that’s a Marathon Maniac.) Once I learned about the group, I wanted to get in and was pleased to see they had a group for half-marathon runners. The half is truly my favorite distance to run and what a fun way to honor it! To gain entry, you have to run a certain number of half-marathons in a certain amount of days. The most sane way to get in is to run three halfs in 90 days and that is exactly what I did. Now, I’m eager to get to higher levels by completing more races. It is a challenge and a cool way to connect with other runners.
Follow this mother at: http://www.determinedtobefit.com/