Lessons From My Littles: Vol. 1

100 stickers and a chart on the fridge

As you may know, I have 2 little boys, one age 5 (R), and the other age 3 (D). What you may not know is that both my boys take violin lessons weekly from my mom. Yes. They both do. R has been taking lessons for about a year and a half and D decided that he was going to start this most recent summer. Some days it is a challenge to say the least, and it really is me taking lessons as much as it is them taking lessons. (Luckily for me, I also started violin lessons around age 3, so I know a few things.)


This fall, my mom did a challenge for all her students in her studio. Over 115 calendar days, her students were to log 100 days of practice. During those 115 days we had fall break, Thanksgiving, and numerous weekends (obviously). We had been struggling on the consistency department when it came to practicing so this was the perfect opportunity for us to get back at it again. 


We came home from our lesson at the end of August, and taped our charts up to the fridge, all ready to start on Labor day. I talked to both boys about how we needed to practice every day, and when we did our practice, we would get a sticker to place on our chart. They were ECSTATIC! 

The first few weeks I had to keep reminding them that we needed to practice to earn our stickers, but they happily did. Then we almost missed our first day. We were getting ready for bed when R stood up and yelled “WE NEED TO PRACTICE!” Talk about a proud mom moment. The switch from me asking them to practice, to them asking me to practice was awesome to see. Some mornings we practiced at 6:30 am before we started our day, sometimes we practiced at 7:30 pm, right before heading to bed. But we practiced nearly every day. We even took our violins on a road trip to Idaho for fall break where we didn’t miss a single day. 


The challenge was set to end on Christmas eve. R placed his last sticker on December 17, and D placed his on December 22. Both boys made it. (And I only had to nag occasionally)

Watching them go through this, and going through it with them taught me a lot, but I’d like to share 4 things with you.


  1. Find ways to celebrate your successes along the way. Yes, our ultimate goal was 100 days, but day 100 feels an awfully long ways away when you are on day 3. Occasionally R would tell me that he was working towards 100 days, but he was far more excited about the sticker he got every day. That little sticker was his celebration and reward for putting in the time that day. Yes, we eventually got to day 100 and we made a HUGE deal out of it (plus a prize that is on its way), but the daily reward of putting the sticker on the chart is really what kept both boys moving. The same idea can be applied to us for literally ANYTHING. Training for a race? Trying to lose weight? Working to recover from having a baby? Trying to learn a new skill/hobby? Needing to fold the laundry? CELEBRATE along the way. Big goals are much more achievable when we can see the successes along the way. 

  2. We all have the time. This one might be a hard pill to swallow but here it is. We all have the time to work on our goals. Literally all of us. Between 3 kids, a full time job, 2 businesses, and a husband that works wacky hours, it could have been SO EASY to say that we just simply didn’t have the time for something like this, and no one would have argued with me. But I saw the value in some consistent practice for my boys and the opportunity to teach them to work towards something. So we MADE time. We didn’t find the time, or hope it would happen. We made time for it. Every day. On busy days, on stressful days, on sick days, on holidays. We all waste time every day, whether it is on social media, binging netflix, hitting snooze a few too many times on our alarm, or just not being focused when we are working on something. There are extra minutes in our day, just waiting for us to be more intentional with. Now, I’m not suggesting that we need to schedule out every second of our day, because we all need some downtime, trust me, I get it. What I am saying is that when we really truly want to make something happen, we can and will find the time for it. 

  3. Consistency wins, every time. I’ll be honest, some days our practice session was less than stellar. Trying to get a 5 and 3 year old to focus isn’t always the easiest, and for some reason, someone always has to poop right when we get started. But being consistent makes all the difference. R went from barely knowing a song to being ready to play that song in an upcoming recital. We hadn’t even discussed that as a possibility until about half way through our 100 days. And D can tell you all the parts of a violin, including the string names, can play a pretty decent “pepperoni pizza” rhythm, and has a beautiful bow hold, when in September he was still in the beginning stages of learning how to hold his violin. We didn’t make those gains by doing some grand practice sessions occasionally, we made them by practicing regularly and making progress a little at a time. It is so easy for us to think that if we “hit it hard” once a week and then coast through the rest of the week that we will make progress, and unfortunately, that simply isn’t true. Showing up EVERY DAY is how you make progress. And when you show up every day, then missing a day here or there doesn’t totally derail your progress either, you just hop back up and keep going. 

  4. We are never too young (or old) to form new habits. This may seem obvious, but I’ve actually talked to a lot of people that have told me they just think they are past the point where they can make changes in their routine. If we want something bad enough, we will make it happen. If a 5 year old and a 3 year old can develop a habit of practicing daily, then we adults can change our daily habits to things that will benefit us. Whether we are 3 or 88 (yes, I have personally worked with people within that age range) we can make changes and form habits and see progress. 


So, there you have it. Things I learned from my boys and about 200 “Cars” stickers. And, if you are at all curious, we have 2 new “100 day” charts on the refrigerator and started counting days on December 29th, because I like the consistency, but mostly because R told me that because he filled his chart, he no longer needed to practice. (Maybe we haven’t quite made it a habit yet!)


Baby J Birth Story

January 18th- 39 weeks pregnant I went to my weekly appointment with my midwife. By this point, I had been having Braxton hicks contractions daily for WEEKS and was really just feeling done. After my appointment the week before, I opted to schedule myself for an induction on the 21st, just in case, and really more for my mental sanity of having an actual end date. At my appointment, I asked my midwife is she could strip my membranes, just to see what happens. She said she would if the on call midwife at the hospital okayed it…. but we never heard back. So she checked me, I was dilated to not quite a 4. She offered to strip my membranes Sunday, if she had time (she was the in call midwife that day) and said she would text me if she had time. The rest if Friday and Saturday were all pretty uneventful. Saturday I snuck in one last workout with my boys, just for fun and spent the day just hanging out.



January 20th: Sunday morning I got up and get me and the boys ready for church. Ken was working so Dani came to church with us. We walked in and took our usually seats, armed with goldfish crackers and our books when about 10 minutes into the meeting I got a call from my midwife asking if I still wanted my membranes stripped. I hesitated because I didn’t want to haul everyone over to the office but after calling Ken, I hopped in my car, leaving the boys with Dani and headed to the office. Let me just add, if you haven’t ever gotten your membranes stripped, it’s not the most pleasant experience…. but totally worth it in this case After meeting with my midwife, I headed back to church, sat in Sunday school for about an hour then headed home. She stripped my membranes around 11. I got the boys down for naps around 1 and started noticing some regular contractions around 2. In an attempt to keep myself distracted and not get too excited about contractions, I decided to start a new crochet project (and who knows when I will finish it now. When Ken got home from work a little after 4, I was having contractions about 8-10 min apart for about 30-40 seconds, depending on what I was doing. Nothing to exciting or unbearable but they were definitely there. We headed to Sunday dinner at my mom’s  and I kept praying that my contractions would continue. They did, but they were still tolerable. We got home, put the boys to bed around 8:00ish. By this point, I didn’t trust that my contractions were enough to take us to the hospital. I called the on call midwife and she agreed that I needed to wait until they were closer, especially while laying down and relaxing. We called Ken’s mom to come over, “just in case” and got ready for bed. Ken fell asleep quickly (which often happens when you go to work so early) and I laid in bed, timing contractions…. until I got bored. I think I stopped using my contraction timer around 10 PM maybe…. because looking at my phone made it hard to relax between contractions. The progressively got stronger and closer together until around 11:45 PM I felt like we needed to get going. I woke Ken up, told him that they were much stronger and we needed to leave. He helped my put my shoes on and we headed out. 12:15 AM, January 21, we were admitted to the hospital. Between contractions they got my basic info and walked me to a room. My midwife came and check me, I was at a 7. At my request, she broke my water around 12:30 am. With 4 other nurses in the room trying to place an IV (that took 4 tries), collecting health info, and contractions now coming hard and fast, things seemed to go a million miles a minute. Ken and my midwife were awesome and helping me labor on my side and providing counter pressure to deal with the contractions. Not long after, I felt like I needed to push. I tried to push on my side, but that just wasn’t working for me so I moved to my back (where I was more familiar as this is how i delivered my previous 2 babies). Pushing this time was hard. I really don’t remember it being this hard or PAINFUL (but I guess we all forget that right? ) She was much more forward than my boys were and I had to work quite a bit harder to get her down into my pelvis. I really don’t know how long I pushed but I know that at 1:15 am, my sweet baby Jolie was born and placed on my chest. She was hairy, and slimy, and perfect, she let out a little cry and then was calm as could be. Ken cut the cord after a few minutes and she was doing remarkably well. 20190121_025935 20190121_095051 I needed some stitches (also a normal thing for me) and since that part is challenging for me, Ken took baby girl so I could focus on getting that taken care of. We stayed in our delivery room for a few hours until they had a recovery room ready for us. Jolie started nursing right a way, without any issues and had her evaluation by the nurses before we were moved. We stayed in the hospital until Wednesday morning, and the rest of the stay was gratefully uneventful. We were definitely grateful to be home and working towards figuring out this “family of 5” thing. (More of which I will share in another post!) We are so happy to have this sweet girl as part of our family. She was the missing piece we didn’t realize we were missing and I am so grateful I get to be her mom! 20190121_131833 20190122_101233

Why Do We Train?

There is this big misconception that has developed throughout the health and fitness industry, as well as in the “momming” world that the only reason we would exercise after having kids is to make sure we get our “pre-baby body” back. While I am not one to say feeling confident in the way our body looks is a bad thing, I have issue with referring to this “pre-baby body” as the great achievement “all” moms are working towards.

I like to focus my training and the training for the clients I work with on strength and function. Why? Because that is the stuff that matters (And a little secret, when you focus there, body changes follow!). Being a mom is PHYSICALLY demanding, as well as emotionally draining. Why, then wouldn’t we try to train our bodies to deal with the stresses that motherhood alone (removing all other stresses from this conversation for just a second) places on us? We should and we owe that to ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to allow our bodies to HEAL and RECOVER after growing and delivering a baby (let’s remember, peeing your pants is NOT NORMAL. Read more here). Then we move forward and take care of and train our bodies to deal with the responsibilities we have now taken on.

Talking with a client the other day, we started talking about goals and why we train. I really enjoyed this conversation because she totally got it. We aren’t working to be able to run the fastest mile, or break any crazy records (although, if you want to, more power to you!). We are training for life. We want to feel good, be confident, and be CAPABLE. This mom life gig really does require a lot from us moms.

Just think about how often we pick up our kids in a day. 10? 20? Nope. I would bet that it is easily over 50, especially if we have more than one kid. And depending on the age of our kids, that could be anywhere from 10-50 pounds each time.

What about the last time you wrestled your kids into their carseats to go grocery shopping? Or carried your totally capable 3 ½ year old up and down the stairs AGAIN, because he just wanted you to carry him?

So don’t tell me that moms don’t need to be strong because they do. We need to be strong in many ways, physically, emotionally, spiritually, you name it, we’ve got it. This is why we train. WE TRAIN FOR LIFE. Just as an athlete trains for their event or competition, we as moms, need to train for our event.

Now, to be clear, I am not saying that we are doing this for our kids. I will always fall back on saying that we do this for ourselves and this is no different. We train for life so that we can totally CRUSH IT. We do it to have the confidence and ability to tackle anything that comes our way, because we are moms, and that is just what we do.

5 things I wish I could tell every postpartum mom

So you just had a baby and you are itching to get back into your running routine? Or maybe you are looking to get active and moving again after having your baby. When we have a baby and are ready to start our recovery and return to activity, we need to make sure our body is ready. For me, I was ready far before my body was and I struggled with the best way to get back to my exercise routine, because I didn’t take the time to make sure my postpartum body could handle the stresses of exercise. Every time I visit one of my friends after she has a baby, these are the things I try to tell her, because they are things I wish I knew after I had my first.


1. Wait to be cleared by your doctor/midwife to resume exercise. While it is true that there is nothing “special” that happens after 6 weeks to suddenly make exercise okay, what is the rush? If you had a vaginal delivery especially if stitches were involved, you will want to give your body some time to heal. If you delivered via C-section, you will need to allow your incision to heal before you even think about starting an intense exercise routine again. We may be feeling ready to go before then, but remember, we just grew a whole person. We probably aren’t sleeping great, maybe haven’t showered in a few days or eaten a real meal without an infant attached to us, we need some rest. If we need to move (and I get it, trust me, I was the same) go for a very SLOW walk. Take it easy, there is plenty time to rest and enjoy your new baby.

2. Take care of the pelvic floor. It is NOT normal to pee our pants while we jump and/or run. This is called stress incontinence and needs to be addressed. If we can’t jump in place without fear of peeing, we aren’t ready for running. We need to take our time and heal our pelvic floor. Doing this initially will be so much better in the long run. And if you are later into your postpartum life and still find you have problems with this, you can still fix it, it’s not too late!!! There are a variety of good programs that can help with this but I will ALWAYS recommend that you see a pelvic floor physical therapist if this is something you are struggling with, it will change your life.

3. Heal your core. Growing a person for 9 months does a number on our core. While most (all) women will experience some degree of diastasis recti, we will also likely experience a decrease in strength and control over our abdominal muscles. Running and jumping puts a high demand on our core muscles to stabilize and support our body to be able to move and after a pregnancy, our muscles need some help to get there. I honestly didn’t realize how much my core needed work after my second baby until I tried to do a speed workout and literally COULD NOT sprint. My brain said go, my legs said go, and my core said NO WAY. I did not have the stability in my core and pelvis to move my body that way. It wasn’t until I focused on strengthening my core that I was able to incorporate speed workouts back into my routine. If you are unsure how to strengthen your core safely, click here to grab my free “Restore Your Core” guide, designed especially for strengthening your core postpartum.

4. Focus on quality vs. quantity. Let’s be real for a minute, after having a baby time isn’t something we have in abundance. Between feeding the baby, spending time with family, keeping up with laundry/dishes/food, etc. and trying to find time to sleep, the last thing we want is to have to spend hours running or working out to get back to where we want to be. Focusing on quality workouts will be far more beneficial than spending hours pounding the pavement.

5. Be patient with yourself. This might be the most important thing on the list. Let’s be clear about this, we aren’t here to “get our bodies back”, but to get back to doing something we love and enjoy. Maybe you want to be competitive, maybe you want to finish your first 5k. The one thing we all have in common is that we are moms. Growing and taking care of a baby takes time, energy, and CHANGES you. Your body didn’t change overnight and it won’t “change back” overnight either. We need to give ourselves grace to take our time and adapt to our postpartum life.

These are the 5 pieces of advice I share over and over again, because I wish someone had shared them with me. I struggled a lot after my first was born to heal my body and find a good balance between work, mom life, home life, and taking care of myself. What piece of advice stands out to you? And what do you wish someone had shared with you? Let’s hear it!

And if you core strength is something you are struggling with, don’t forget to snag a copy of my “Restore Your Core” program, right here!

5 tips to help you get it done

We’ve all been there. We plan to workout and for whatever reason, we just aren’t feeling it. The baby didn’t sleep well, there is a million other things to do, we are just too tired. You name it, we’ve all been there. So what is the solution when things happen like this? We could just skip the workout, there is nothing wrong with that, and sometimes, we do need to skip a workout because life happens, our body needs to recover, we are injured, etc. But, what about when we just simply don’t feel like working out? Then what? I’ve learned that if I always wait until I FEEL like working out, I would be very inconsistent and would rarely get it done. I’ve found a few things that help me out. Using these little tips, I rarely miss out on a workout, even when I have just about every reason to skip it.

1. Workout clothes that make you feel good: I love my workout clothes. If you ask my husband, he will tell you I have waaaaay too many workout clothes, but I tend to disagree. 😉 I love my clothes that are cute and work for what I need, but workout clothes that I like really give me a boost of confidence. I feel GOOD when I am ready to workout. My husband also says “look good, feel good, play good”, and I absolutely think that applies to getting ready to workout. While there is nothing wrong with wearing old ratty workout clothes (trust me, I have these too) I promise, having workout clothes that make you feel good make a huge difference.

2. Get dressed before you make the decision to skip your workout: Whether we workout first thing in the morning, or after work, or after the kids are in bed, the odds of being totally psyched to workout are pretty low. Mom life is hard and tiring. I’ve made a deal with myself that when I am not sure I want to workout, I get dressed in my workout clothes BEFORE I make the decision to skip the workout. It is pretty surprising how much a change of clothes can change our mindset.

3. Plan your workout ahead of time: Plan your workout AND a time to workout. Write it down. Don’t just wing it. Trust me on this one. I usually workout first thing in the morning, and if I had to figure out with my workout was going to be at 5:30 in the morning, it would be rolling over and going back to sleep, guaranteed. This is just as important for me on days that I end up working out later in the day, I already know that I need to do. It’s not a discussion or decision of what workout I should do, its already planned, I don’t have to think about it, I just have to do it. This is where having access to a coach or trainer can be extremely helpful! Most coaches and trainers that I know, actually have a coach or trainer themselves. I have a trainer that keeps my workout schedule plenty full and I am more than happy to have someone else tell me what kind of workout I need. I have no problem helping others with their workouts, but when it comes to me, I do better when the information comes from someone else.

4. Try the 10 minute rule: This is my last resort to get myself to get it done. If I’ve gotten dressed, looked at my planned workout, and still don’t feel like working out, I make myself a deal. Workout hard for 10 minutes, and if, after 10 minutes, I still don’t want to workout or don’t feel great about the workout, I can be done. No guilt, no “I should have….”, just done. I love this “rule” for a few different reasons. I love it because I have only ever stopped once or twice. Getting started is literally the hardest part for me. I also love it because on the few occasions I have stopped, I totally let myself off “the hook”. 10 minutes is better than nothing, I gave it an honest effort, and now I can move on with my day without the “would of, should of, could of” that we often have when we skip a workout.

5. Have a goal: The last thing, and perhaps the most important things is to have a goal to work towards. If we don’t have a goal, then why the heck are we doing all of this? Whether our goal is to be more healthy and active, finish a first half marathon, feel confident and empowered in our bodies, or PR on a 5K, we need a goal. Making lifestyle changes are not easy. Waking up early to squeeze a workout in before the kids are awake or staying up later to get it done after they are asleep is hard. When things get hard, if we are not grounded with a goal, it is easy to just say “no, I’ll do it later”. Then later ends up months or years later and we end up wishing we had started earlier. Find a goal, write it done, and put it somewhere you will see it when you are struggling, this will help keep you focused.

Now, I don’t use all of these every time, and the more consistent I am with my workout schedule, the less I have to convince myself that it is a good idea. There is something to be said about forming a habit to working out, or anything for that matter. I’ve gotten to the point that I look forward to my workouts most days, even when I’m tired, but every now and then, I need a little extra push to get it done. These kind of changes don’t just happen overnight and sometimes we need an extra push to keep on track.

I have also found that these steps/tips are helpful in getting ‘non-workout’ things done as well. Don’t want to fold laundry? (who ever does??) Do it for 10 minutes. Don’t feel like going out with the kids? Get everyone dressed first, then decide. Got a lot to get done? Plan it out instead of just winging it. (You get the picture right?)

What keeps you going? How are you able to get things done when you just aren’t feeling it? Have you tried any of these? Let me know, I really want to know!!

Don’t wish for it, work for it

On a fairly regular basis, I get told how “lucky” I am that I have time to workout. I just have to politely laugh and walk away because, really luck has nothing to do with it. I work full time at a job in commute 45-60 minutes each way for. When I get home, I have 2 little ones and a husband to spend time with, cook dinner, take care of things around the house, and probably go to bed earlier than anyone should because Ken has to work early in the morning. One glance at my daily schedule and anyone would assume that there would be no “extra” time for me to workout, and they’d be right. There is no EXTRA time for me to workout, which is why my workout time is planned into my day. It is intentional. Guys, it is written in my planner. I don’t just have the time laying around, I make the time because it is important to me.

Another phrase I hear frequently is “I wish I could….*insert goal/ideal/etc here*”. This is another one of those phrases I smile politely to and walk away because I actually have pretty strong feelings here. A goal without a plan is just a wish. Wishing is easy. Wishing requires no action. But the thing with wishing is, it is safe. If we wish for something, there is no risk of failure. And I get it, I hate failing at something, especially something I really want or try really hard for. But the truth is, when we wish for something, we are wasting our time and energy when we could be doing it instead. Don’t wish for it, work for it. All it takes is one step forward to shift from wishing for something to working for something. We make a plan, we write down our goal, we set aside 20 minutes for ourselves, we remember that we are worth being taken care of and that our goals, wants, and needs matter too.

As women, we tend to be so good at taking care of those around us and making sure they have time for their goals, but somewhere along the way, we seem to forget that we once had goals too. Yes, our lives may be busier now, we may have families to take care of, jobs to work, houses to manage, but why can’t we go after something we want as well?

Now, I know you are probably reading this thinking “but Kelsey, you don’t understand, I really don’t have the time or the energy” and I know the feeling but I’m here to call your bluff. Don’t keep wishing and waiting to be lucky enough to be able to go after something you want. Take a deep breath and go for it. Take the first step forward and write your goal down. Make a plan, give yourself 20 minutes every day, I promise, we all have 20 minutes somewhere in our day that we are wasting on Facebook or watching Netflix (you know, unless your goal is to watch more Netflix ?). The kids will be fine for 20 minutes, the dishes will still be in the sink, the laundry won’t grow feet and walk away (dang it!), but something awesome happens when we make ourselves a priority for 20 minutes. It energizes us, it gives us confidence, 20 minutes can change your whole day.

So this is my challenge to you, for 1 WEEK, find 20 minutes each day and spend it doing something YOU WANT to do. Whether it is working out, reading a book, crafting, etc, whatever your thing used to be, do it! You’ll be glad you did, and it just might become a regular thing.

Common is NOT normal

I like to think of myself as a pretty “easy going” person. I mean, I love schedules and routines, and I love being productive and getting things done, but I don’t get easily worked up. But I can tell you that there are a few things that will get me worked up every time. Let me explain.

When I was pregnant with my oldest, I was running, A LOT. It was pretty well know to my classmates (PT school), my friends, and basically anyone who spent more than 5 minutes talking to me that I was a runner. With this came so many comments about how running “would never be the same” after having a baby. Or how they “wish” (don’t get me started in wishing, another day, another time) they could still run but their body just couldn’t do it. Or my favorite, when someone told me I should invest in panty liners because that was the only way they could run without having to change their pants since having a baby. (Like really? Can you say chaffing?)  All of these comments were pointing to the same thing, having a baby equals loss of bladder control and that is NORMAL. I am here to tell you that just because something is COMMON, does not mean that it is NORMAL.


Things that are common:

The common cold

Neck pain, especially if you work at a desk job or have poor posture

Back pain after standing in one place for too long

Diaper rash on a newborn baby


I could go on, but I hope we are seeing a trend, just because something is COMMON does not mean that it is NORMAL. Just because something is COMMON, does not mean we have to accept that “things are just different and there is nothing we can do about it”. When we have a cold, we try to help our bodies heal and take whatever medication will help us sleep and feel better.

When we have neck or back pain, we stretch, move, massage, take a hot shower, etc. To try and help alleviate that pain.

When we have a newborn with a diaper rash, we Google every possible solution and try just about anything to get the poor kid some relief.

Why, then do we not try to do this for ourselves? Why have we all accepted that motherhood equals wetting your pants when you cough or sneeze? Or when you jump? Or run?

We don’t and shouldn’t have to accept this as our “new normal” once we have little ones in our lives. Wetting your pants when you sneeze, cough, jump, exercise, etc actually has a name, it is called Stress Incontinence. It’s a condition, it’s treatable if you know what to do and who to talk to.

Pelvic floor recovery is so often overlooked during postpartum recovery and it really is a huge disservice to the women who struggle to regain some sense of normalcy and activity routine post baby. We tend to feel that we need to bounce back to our exercise routine that we forget what our body just went through and that it needs time to heal and recover. I can confidently say that when we take time to heal, recovery, and strength those muscles that just went through hell, we recovery faster, better, and feel much more confident.

So what do I recommend? Hands down, my recommendation to EVERYONE who has had a baby is to to see a physical therapist that specializes in the pelvic floor or women’s health. Didn’t know that was a thing? Well, it is and these people are amazing. Most of the time, it is a simple matter of learning which muscles you need to strengthen and how to do that properly. And another little secret, “kegals” are not always the answer. Most people actually don’t do kegals correctly anyways, which is why seeing someone that is trained in this area is so important.

I have found, in talking with friends and coworkers, that this is something that most of us moms experience but are too embarrassed to talk about, which is often why we don’t seek help. I’ve made it a goal of mine to bring it up and make it a discussion because it isn’t something to be embarrassed about, it just happens and we need to know how to address it so we can help our bodies recover adequate and return to our activities/exercise/life without having to worry about if we are going to sneeze and wet our pants (I mean, I have enough to worry about without that).

Now, let me just add, once we are postpartum, we are always postpartum. It doesn’t matter if we have a teenager or a newborn, once a baby exits your body, you are postpartum. It is never too late to start taking care of bodies and helping them recovery from bringing little people into the world.

So, if you find yourself needing to change your pants after you workout, crossing your legs when you sneeze, avoiding jumping, or something along those lines, know you are not alone. You don’t have to accept that “this is just your life now”, because you deserve more than that. Please reach out if you are unsure of where to go and I would love to help, because mom life is awesome, crazy, and busy, and the only wet pants you should need to worry about are the ones on your kids!

How do we measure progress?

In the world of health and fitness, 2 of the most common ways of measuring progress and wellness are a load of BS,  how much we weigh and our BMI (body mass index). For some reason, we tend to hold on to these as indicators of success when they are terrible. Both ways rely on the number on a BATTERY OPERATED machine to dictate how we see our bodies. Then BMI has the audacity to factor in our height, something we have absolutely no control over. Both these numbers are used by medical and fitness professionals to tell is where we are and where we “should” be. (In all honesty, I could have written this entire post without including BMI but as a healthcare professional, I felt the need to address it as well.)

What do these numbers tell us? I mean REALLY? Our weight tells us our relationship with gravity, and our BMI puts our weight into math equation with our height to tell us if we are “normal weight” “under weight” or “overweight”. THAT IS IT.

What these numbers don’t tell us is how strong we are. How much muscle we have built. They don’t tell us about how fast or far we can run. They don’t tell us about how we are breastfeeding a baby, or sleeping an average of 2 hours at night. They don’t tells us how awesome we are or what amazing things we can do.


When I’m “talking shop” with someone about working out, lifting weights, and making progress, and they mention that they have been doing all these things but aren’t losing weight I cringe. Why, when we are making progress with how much we can lift or how fast we can run, do we let that seem like nothing, because the number on the scale isn’t any smaller??? Since when did this machine get so much say over how well we are doing and why are we so obsessed with seeing a certain number pop up, every time we step on?

about 3 months postpartum (147 pounds)

Let me share something. I haven’t weighed myself in over a year, in fact I think the last time I was weighed was at a doctor’s office. I stepped on the scale for the sole purpose of this post. I weigh 147. I was this same weight at my 6 week check after having Dean (now almost 18 months old).  With this weight, I am also 3 pounds away from being considered overweight according to BMI. The thing is, my body now looks much different than 6 weeks postpartum and there is nothing wrong with that. A postpartum body SHOULD look different. But sitting here with an 18 month old, it would be very easy to feel “defeated” that I still weigh the same, unless I had a different way to measure progress.

So if I’m suggesting that the scale is a terrible way to measure progress  (which I am, in case I was being too subtle), then what are good ways to measure progress when it comes to fitness? Oh let me count the ways! There are endless ways, but I’ll share my favorites.

Almost 18 months postpartum (147 pounds)

How to measure progress:

  1. Set fitness goals and track them. Want to be able to do a push up on your toes? Want to he able to do a pull-up? What to be able to run a mile without stopping? Great! Now WRITE IT DOWN and do it. Our goals should drive our action and our action should be driven by our goals. If you have a goal written down where you can see it daily, you are more likely to take action towards it on a daily basis. And it feels so good when you can check that goal off and move on to something more challenging. Losing “that last 5 pounds” doesn’t feel this good, trust me.
  2. Take some measurements. If you are working towards body change, these next few was of progress tracking are great. Measure your arms, chest, waist, hips, and thigh. Check your measurements often or not so often. Don’t obsess but use them to see what happens when you are consistent with your workouts.
  3. Take a picture. This one is probably the one that is used the least but is my favorite. Anytime I mention this to anyone I get a response along the lines of “Oh, I don’t want to see myself like that!”. Well, if you never take the “before” picture, you can’t have the “after” picture. We all have our cellphones within arms reach, so snap a quick pic and move on. These don’t have to be shared publicly, unless that’s your thing, but I promise it’s totally worth it.
  4. Notice how your clothes fit. This is easy, because we all wear clothes, every day. Are these pants fitting a little looser? Did I need to tighten my belt? SCORE! Something must be working.
  5. Track your workouts. Whether we lift, run, swim, bike, etc, we can track how we are doing. I’ve started writing down the weight I lift for each workout, something I wish I had done when I started lifting 2 years ago. When I started 2 years ago, I was using 5 and 8 pound dumbbells because that’s all I had. Now I’ve got my dumbbells set between 20 and 22.5 pounds for most of my lifts. If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is.


Personally, I use pictures, how I feel, and tracking my workouts to measure progress. I can do more now then I could a year ago. I feel better, stronger, and more confident now then I did a year ago. That feeling is something that I never got from losing 5-10 pounds. The confidence that comes from overcoming the need for the scale and taking its power away is incredible and something we all need, especially as women. I realize that this is a big mindset shift and it isn’t something that happens overnight, but I believe it NEEDS to happen because we are worth so much more than a number.

Just Roll With It

Guys, I am a person who likes to have a plan, follow a plan, and am pretty happy when that plan works out. I like to have my “ducks in a row”. Lately, with a 3 year old and a 1 and ½ year old, I’m feeling pretty happy if I have all my ducks in the same pond.

Just this week, I’ve dropped a whole gallon of milk on the sidewalk that broke and went everywhere. I’ve done a few loads of laundry that are now sitting clean and unfolded in my laundry baskets, where they will likely remain for another week or 2. I’ve picked up half a bag of goldfish crackers off the floor because the bag ripped while I was carrying it back to the pantry. (No lie, I can’t make this stuff up) I’ve gone to the grocery store at least once a day (in addition to picking up my online grocery order) and still forgotten the ranch dressing every single time. And now as I type this I am sitting on the floor in the hallway between my room and my boys room, where Roy is sleeping in my bed with Ken, and Dean is back asleep in Roy’s bed instead of his crib, and I need to leave for work in less than an hour.

But can I tell you what else has happened this week? I just snuggled my 18 month old back to sleep (which hardly happens anymore). My 3 year old fell asleep in our bed at 4 this morning because he wanted to be in mommy and daddy’s bed. I’ve played hot wheels, watched cars, gone for a walk/bike ride and had dinner with my family almost every night this week. I got to laugh as both my boys picked up dumbbells in the living room, excited to show me their muscles. I got to do push ups with Roy on my back (only a few) and step-ups while getting a big hug from Dean. I got to take Roy to the “ducky wash” car wash twice this week. I got all of this, and the week isn’t even over yet.

It is so easy when we are “fighting the good fight” of motherhood to get caught up in what we “should” be doing or what we wish we could do that we forget to look around at what we have right in front of us. It’s hard when we have to make a shift from someone who has it all together to someone just trying to hold anything together.  But the best thing to remember is that we don’t have to have it all together. Our children aren’t looking for the “pinterest perfect” mom. They are looking for THEIR mom, and that is you!


So, do me a favor. Next time the milk spills on the floor, or the laundry goes unfolded for yet another day, take just a minute and look at what is all around. Go play in the ground with your kids. Take everyone for a walk outside, snuggle together in bed for an extra 10 minutes. We only have these Littles in our home for a short time. Let’s not be so concerned about being perfect, that we miss out on all the messy chaos that comes with this wonderful thing called motherhood.

Why am I here?

My name is Kelsey. Mom of 2 wonderful boys, wife to my best friend, and a physical therapist. When I had my first son in 2014, I was in physical therapy school. The midwives that I saw throughout my pregnancy and delivery were great, but I learned more about recovery and healing during the postpartum period at school than I did from my medical provider. I was given the “warning signs” to watch for for postpartum depression and “cleared” for exercise at 6 weeks. I can tell you right now, that after delivering a 10 pound baby, I was NOT ready for exercise at 6 weeks. My pelvic floor was in need of strengthening, my abdominals were stretched out and separated, and if I hadn’t been taught in school about healing postpartum, I would have jumped right back into my workout routine, which included some pretty intense running.

Even with the knowledge that I had of postpartum recovery, I still jumped in early and started back to my old routine sooner than I should have. No, I didn’t suffer any devastating injury, but my body just wasn’t ready. I didn’t have the support, someone to remind me to slow down, take my time, heal my body, and ease back into it. I ran a marathon 6 months after having my baby. Was I proud of this? You bet. Was my body ready for it? No way.

Fast forward 8 months later, and I found out I was pregnant with baby #2. This time it was different. I shifted my focus from running to lifting weights. I still ran (and still do), but my main workouts were lifting workouts at home. After 9 months of lifting, I had a quick and easy delivery, and a beautiful baby boy. This time around, I took my time. I worked on my pelvic floor, I healed my abdominals, I had support. I wasn’t in a hurry, there was nothing to prove. I started running when I was ready. I started lifting when I was ready. If I needed the rest, I took it. If I felt I could push it, I did. And let me tell you something, sitting here now with a 17 month old, I have never felt better physically. I feel stronger, more in control, more balanced. I can jump without peeing my pants. I can do a plank without worrying about any abdominal separation. It wasn’t a magic formula, no magic pill, no magic program. I was NOT working out to “get my body back”. My body will never be the same as it was before kids and I wouldn’t want it to. I am stronger now that I was then. I am more capable now than I was then. I am more CONFIDENT now than I was then. And it feels great.

So that is why I am here. I am here to help. I am here to educate. I am here to support. Whether your baby is 6 weeks, 6 years, or 16 years old. Whether you have a knee injury or have been told you will never do something ever again. I am here for you. You don’t have to go through this journey alone. Our bodies can do amazing things, if we give them the right foundation and take care of them as we progress. Whether you start today, a week from now, or a few months from now, let’s do it together. And someday you will look back at where you are today and be happy to see how far you’ve come, because you decided to make a change for you! You can do it, and you are WORTH it.