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It’s just a few days early for a 4 week update, but if I’m going to start working out and tracking my eating today, it makes more sense to me to record my actual starting point. For reference, when I arrived at the hospital in labor, I was 188 pounds.

Weight — 177 pounds

Waist — 40 inches

Hips — 46 inches

Thigh (R) — 23 inches

I had planned on including a before picture, but I’m sad to admit that I’m just not ready to post what I look like yet. It doesn’t look nearly as bad in the mirror as it does when I look at a picture, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little horrified. I promise to start including pictures as I progress though. For now, these will be the measurements I use to track my progress every two weeks. As I get back in shape I’ll probably add more, but these are the ones that need the most work right now and I want to keep things simple.

I’m starting to feel a lot more normal physically. Even though I’m carrying an extra 60 pounds on me I already feel stronger and have a lot more energy than I did a month ago. The biggest challenge for me right now is fatigue. Jonah has pretty effectively reversed my sleep schedule — even when he’s asleep I have trouble going to bed before midnight, and it’s usually closer to 2 am. It wouldn’t be a big deal if I could sleep in, but Micah refuses to sleep past 8 or 9 so I’m just not getting very much sleep. I’m starting to adjust to the lack of sleep, and I’m hoping that as Jonah starts to sleep for longer stretches I’ll be able to get back to a more normal sleep pattern.

Mentally I feel pretty good, but I have to admit that adjusting to having a third child has been a little bit overwhelming. It’s just that Jonah needs so much of my time and energy that I worry that I’m neglecting my older kids. Kinsey is old enough to understand and to be really helpful, but Micah is still practically a baby himself and I worry that he’ll feel hurt that I can’t devote all of my attention to him. Despite my worries though, he does seem to be adjusting pretty well. He regularly steals his sister’s dolls so he can hold and burp them while I’m burping Jonah, and he’s always the first one to tell me when Jonah starts crying. He’s also started kissing Jonah on the head and rubbing his back pretty regularly, which is just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen! It makes me a little crazy to let him get that close to Jonah because he plays really rough, but I’m trying to suppress that instinct a bit and let him spend more time with his brother. There have been a few close calls where Micah has tried to be affectionate by head-butting (there are some things about having boys that will never make sense to me) or trying to play catch, but at least he’s not resentful or mean to the baby. Watching the three of them together helps me feel like I’m a good enough parent to manage this, and it keeps me smiling when I need it most.

Emotionally I don’t feel very different from when I was pregnant. I was hoping that having the baby would help my hormones go back to normal, but nursing has kept them pretty much exactly where they were before. It takes just about nothing to make me cry still — the other day my husband decided he wanted to watch the season finales from a couple of his favorite TV shows on Netflix, and between Scrubs, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, House, and Psych. I pretty much used every tissue in the house and it took me an hour to stop crying. I really can’t wait for that to go away! Looking in the mirror has also been a bit of an emotional issue for me right now. No matter how much I tell myself that I just had a baby and I need to relax, seeing myself all soft, saggy, and huge is just not an ego boost. I’m hoping that working out will help my self-image as much as it’ll help my waistline. I’ve had body image issues as long as I can remember, but hopefully I can leave those behind for good as I get healthy again.

What were your biggest challenges when working to get in shape? How did you overcome them?