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Life has changed so much and sadly, how I have dealt with changes hasn't. My health and exercise was a top priority before I went to grad school. Then my time became strained and my focus shifted to school and work. Honestly, "me" became the last priority. Everything came first-school, work, studying and sleep. There was no exercise and there was quick foods on the go. Because I was going at such a break neck pace, I didn't gain weight but was definitely not healthy.

Then I met the man of my dreams. We walked around Chicago and went to the gym together. I was getting "me" back. Then we moved from my walking city to the Twin Cities where I started working overnights. My life became stressful and I was always tired. No exercise and lots of crappy food. And I was happy because my boyfriend turned into my fiance and we were talking about planning our wedding. Wedding planning was surprisingly less stressful than I thought, but I continued to gain weight. I think I slowly forgot what a real portion of food looked like and what a healthy meal should be. Over time, how I was eating felt like a downward spiral that I wasn't aware of.

A few years later (and 20 pounds heavier), we thought about expanding our family. I really looked forward to being one of those super cute pregnant girls and I wasn't. I was miserable. I hated every minute of being pregnant and did not know why. From the first trimester nausea to the second trimester achy back and soreness to my third trimester hospitalization for preclampsia, I was miserable. I had always had super low blood pressure and it was a complete shock to my OB and to me when I got diagnosed with preclampsia at 34 weeks. It was so severe that I had to be on hospital bed rest til 37 weeks when my son would be considered full term. It's amazing what a few weeks on my rump made me think about and consider. I don't want to die early. I want to see my son graduate high school, go to college, find the right girl and get married. And more importantly, I want to be able to run around with my son and be an active and involved parent. I want to be a good wife to my husband. I needed to make some serious changes.

So, here I am. As a new mom, making time for myself is impressively hard. But I'm trying. I'm not going to be negative anymore-if I can't walk for 30 minutes and can only get out for 15, then those 15 minutes are awesome and I'm going to be proud of myself. Since my son's birth (April 2010), I have been eating differently. We eat a salad at almost every dinner. If we go out, I bring leftovers home and don't finish it "just because it tastes good". I order smaller things now and tend to eat on smaller plates. I drink a lot of water and very little soda (I like one diet ginger ale a day.) My husband and I take our son on walks nearly every day (some days it's 15 minutes and other days it's an hour walk.) I'm trying new things (Pilates is my new challenge) and I'm setting goals for myself.

Member Since: 9/28/2008

Fitness Minutes: 17,860

My Goals:
Set my health as a priority. If I am not healthy, I can't be here for anyone else.

Walk at least 3 days a week. Exercise video at least 2 days a week (even if it's only a 10 minute video)

Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day

Know when I am hungry vs when I am angry, bored or scared

Write down at least 2 meals a day, 3 meals is best.

My Program:
Walking with my son and husband at least 3 days a week.

Trying new exercise videos (Pilates is my new adventure)

Carrying a water bottle everywhere and drink at least 8 glasses per day

Eat a salad with dinner.

Personal Information:
Used to live in Chicago and moved to the Twin Cities area a few years back.

Other Information:
I am a huge Steeler Football fan. Love to read. Want to learn how to knit.

Read More About SOCIALKAJ - Profile Information moved here. (Updated November 1)

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