about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    What’s Cooking?

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    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



My Running Roller-Coaster.

It’s been quite a while since I talked about running and workouts here, because – well – I haven’t been running or working out very much.  My postpartum fitness journey has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs.  I’m slowly rolling out of a down, and hoping to get off the ride sooner than later.

I honestly didn’t imagine that postpartum fitness would be such a struggle for me.  I have always made working out and running a very high priority, because I love being active, and it’s important to me to stay in shape.  And yet, here I am – feeling sluggish and working toward getting back to a place where fitness is a big part of my life again.

After having Cullen, I had a pretty long and difficult recovery.  I am amazed by other moms who seem to bounce back so quickly and are out jogging at three weeks postpartum.  At that point, I was still working on walking  a few blocks and trying not to pass out when I went to the bathroom (TMI, but totally true).

I waited about seven weeks to start running again, and it was a slow start.  I jogged here and there, but I wasn’t physically comfortable for a long time, so runs were short and sporadic.  I missed the personal satisfaction and exhilaration of running races, so I thought perhaps setting a goal and training for a race would help get me back into the groove.

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I signed up for the Indianapolis Half Marathon and came up with a training plan, but I abandoned it pretty quickly.  I struggled to find the hours in the day to run, since Casey’s work hours continued to get longer and longer, and Cullen wasn’t old enough to go in the jogging stroller yet.

I ended up running the race anyway after a very subpar training effort, and I surprised myself by not actually doing too badly given the circumstances.

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And while I loved racing again and felt great to be back in the running community, I also knew that I hadn’t done it the right way.  I knew that my training was terrible and I could do better.  So I looked ahead and planned to run another half marathon – this time I would train properly.

I’m sure you know where this is going.

I started out well.  At this point, Cullen was old enough to go into the jogging stroller (although he hated it), and so I’d take him for short weekday runs a few times each week.  On the weekends, I’d do longer runs and trade off the stroller with Casey.  I raced a local 15k and 5k, and felt amazing.  My speed was improving, my motivation was high, and I was training well.

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Right around this time, we moved to a new house and new neighborhood.  I really struggled to find good running routes, and desperately missed my old trails and loop around the lake.  I realize these seem like easy problems to solve, but in the midst of moving, working, and being at home with Cullen for very long days – it felt pretty overwhelming.

My training tanked, and I dropped down to running only one or two days each week.  The half marathon arrived, and while I was better trained this time, it still wasn’t the effort I’d hoped to give.  I ran the Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon in June, and while my run went okay, it still didn’t feel like I’d hoped.

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To be totally honest, I think I jumped into some of these races because I felt pressure that I had something to prove.  So many of you have emailed and commented in the past, thanking me for inspiration and letting me know how I have motivated you toward your own goals.  I felt really driven to continue to inspire and motivate others, and I put pressure on myself that ended up just leaving me frustrated and overwhelmed.

I decided to take a big step back and reevaluate my relationship with running.  I jogged casually all summer – short runs here and there.  Between Casey’s long hours and Cullen’s absolute hatred for the jogging stroller, I didn’t have the energy to do much more.  I stopped writing about running because I didn’t feel inspiring.  I felt more confused than anything else.  Writing about running when I wasn’t really doing much just felt forced and awkward.

The other big piece of all of this is that I am running in a totally different body now.  I know every woman recovers and changes so differently from childbirth.  Right around the time that Cullen reached six months, my body started significantly changing – mostly due to breastfeeding, and Cullen’s voracious appetite.

As his needs continued to increase, it really started to wear on me.  My weight started to drop, and I felt like I literally could not eat enough to stay full or satisfied.  I had zero energy to do more than the basic stuff to get through each day.  I wanted to stay active and get outdoors, so I did a lot of walking, but very little running.

I also went through three horrific bouts with mastitis – all of which caused major breaks in my activity level, as well as decreases in energy.  At my midwife appointment last month, I asked her to check my iron levels because I’ve felt so sluggish and lethargic lately.  I have really been questioning why I suddenly felt so apathetic and unmotivated, when I used to be someone who bounced and ran through my days with gusto.

She called back a few days later to report good news – my iron levels were excellent!  But she followed that with something I hadn’t expected – my thyroid levels were way off.  After talking with my doctors and doing a good amount of Googling, I actually feel somewhat relieved to hear that perhaps I’m not just down in the dumps.  I have an actual hormonal imbalance that causes many of the things I’d described – lack of motivation, lethargy, depression, skin and hair changes – check, check, check.  (This runs in my family, so I’m not entirely surprised.)

I’m happy to have more information and a plan in place to get things back on track (medication, plus a few dietary changes).  I don’t think my thyroid condition is by any means responsible for my decrease in fitness, but I know it has had a big impact on my motivation and energy levels.  I know that you can make a million excuses for anything, but ultimately change has to come from within.

I also think I’ve taken a long enough break that I no longer feel pressured to live up to any (self-imposed) standards or requirements.  I don’t have to run marathons to be motivating.  And hopefully, with the right mindset and goals in place, maybe I’ll get back to running marathons.  Maybe not.  I have stopped guessing what will come next, and I’m trying to just enjoy the present.

In the meantime, I’ve started running again.  It feels great and I feel more excited about it than I have in ten very long months.  This post has gotten absurdly long, so I’ll share more tomorrow on where I hope things go from here…

Ultimately, my biggest motivation comes from wanting my kids to be part of a healthy and active family.  I hope that I can lead by example and make them proud.

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Thanks for sticking with me.

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167 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Andrea     at 5:37 pm

As a reader, I have to say the most motivating thing to me is following a blogger’s honest journey through fitness ups and downs! I can relate so much more when bloggers have highs and lows, and the lows in no way cause me to see the blogger as less motivating. I actually relate to them more, and then celebrate his or her small successes, like a long walk or a one mile run! You are still incredibly inspiring, no matter whether you’re walking around the block or running a marathon!

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Lesley T. Reply:

I completely agree with Andrea–honesty and transparency about ups and downs are far more motivating and inspiring than perfection!

And I’ve loved seeing pictures from your gorgeous hikes and other outdoor family outings. I think those types of activities are just as valuable and motivational as solo running pursuits.

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Alexis Reply:

I third this! I’m far more motivated by people who seem more real. I haven’t even had kids yet and I’m already discouraged by the moms who are back in the gym 3 weeks later and back to their pre-baby weight 2 months later. I appreciate hearing a much more realistic experience, especially to keep in mind as we talk more and more about having kids.

Also, I grew up in a very active family but no, my parents weren’t marathoners. How we were active is hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, skiing, sledding, really anything to keep us outdoors as much as possible. Its the life that my husband and I want to create for our kids as well!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Such a great point! I hope they love being outdoors as much I do. :)

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Emily Reply:

Agreed!!

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Jacquelyn Reply:

Well said!

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Erica     at 5:38 pm

Thank you for sharing this with us. I’ve struggled with thyroid issues in the past so I can empathize. I hope having some sort of explanation for how you’ve been feeling will help make things a bit better and give you inspiration for how to move forward to achieve your goals!

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Ana     at 5:40 pm

I think by you writting that post you will still motivate people! I read a few blogs because I’m always interest in nutrition and running and fitness. I can tell you this, you are by far the most honest an real blogger. You are human and all of your readers know that!! I love how real you are and how you tell the truth. I think that is a great post! Keep up what you’re doing :) if it works for you then that’s all that matters!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks so much! :)

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Katherine     at 5:42 pm

I’ve never commented on your blog, or honestly ANY blog, ever before but I feel greatly compelled to comment now. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now and I DO find a lot about what you write to be inspiring. While I am a runner, it is and always has been, reluctantly. I’m not naturally an active person, I’ve always been thin, so I never needed or wanted to exercise. So I really force myself to do it. I have two children, and after both pregnancies it was harder than EVER to motivate. It was the first time in my LIFE that I had to work to get the weight off. I breastfed but was not one of those women where the pounds melted off. And I wanted and needed to eat more than I ever had in my life. I cannot tell you how wonderful, and yes, inspiring, it is to have someone else admit to this. SO many women, and society in general, making bouncing back look so easy…and it is NOT. Physically, I didn’t even have a tough recovery. My labors were easy and my body recovered well. But mentally, I had a hard time adjusting to the new life and role of stay at home mom and it made all the other things in daily life so much more difficult. So know that you are not alone and you should feel pressure from no one, including yourself. You do what’s best for you and your baby. EVERYONE will have an opinion and it is AMAZING how vocal people are with these opinions after you have a child, but you smile and go on about your business. No one can tell you how to parent, be the best mom YOU can be, or how to best take care of your own needs but you. Wow. That was a long comment…Sorry. :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you so much, Katherine! You know one thing I could have mentioned is actually that I HAVE been really lucky that my weight has pretty much melted off. I’m actually quite a bit lower than my pre-pregnancy weight now. And I share that only because – like you said – I’m not motivated to lose weight because I dont need to. If anything, I’d like to keep running to get stronger and more fit! Thanks for all the kind words. :)

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Heather     at 5:43 pm

You mentioned that you felt pressure to be inspiring: I don’t want to invalidate your feelings in any way at all, but I just want to point out that your post was about having a baby, getting through a difficult recovery, running 2 half marathons a 15k and a 5k, moving, and working through some new health issues. That’s a lot of big things and you’re doing it all while raising an adorable baby. There’s a lot to be inspired by there, just so you know! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Good point. Thanks Heather! :)

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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries     at 5:43 pm

I personally don’t think you need to be a runner at all to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. There are plenty of other activities/hobbies that can help lead a healthy lifestyle other than running. All of the hiking and walking you’ve been doing is already setting an excellent example to others, so don’t beat yourself up too much! ;)

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Emily Malone Reply:

I totally agree! And I think a lot of what I’ve found is that I really DO enjoy a big variety of ways to stay active. I haven’t been running, but I’ve definitely still be doing a lot of walking, hiking, and baby-chasing. I do love running though, so I hope I can figure out a way to make it a part of my life again, even if not as big a part as it used to be.

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Ashley     at 5:46 pm

Fabulous post, Em. It’s great to hear your honesty about what you’re going through. I’m sorry to hear about the thyroid problems but I know what you mean feeling relief to finally have an answer. I’ve found that walking, cycling, swimming, and lifting work best for me. Maybe I’ll run again at some point, but it’s just not in the cards right now [for my foot!]. You just have to do what feels right! xo

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 5:46 pm

Thank you so much for being so honest and open and sharing of your journey! I’m just starting to get into running and I love how it makes me feel strong and like I’m working towards something. I’d really like to be able to run a half marathon some day but if it never happens I’m okay with that. I’m just enjoying getting out there and getting moving.

I don’t know if this is too personal a question but did your doctor think any of the thyroid issues might be soy based? I’m a vegetarian as well and am always trying to keep my soy intake in check just because I’ve heard you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to that, which is such a bummer because I love tofu!

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Emily Malone Reply:

She didn’t actually. Not for the level that I eat it (just once or twice a week, if that). But with that said, I’m going to be more careful about soy, cruciferous veggies, and other goitrogenic foods going forward!

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Heidi Reply:

Hi Emily – I’ve recently started reading your blog, so this is my first time commenting. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition 7 years ago. I did find that I felt better reducing the amount of soy in my diet. I was vegetarian for nearly 10 years, and eliminating soy actually led me back towards eating meat again – not that I’m suggesting that that is a necessary step at all. I’ve also been reading a lot about the autoimmune connection between gluten intolerance and thyroid disorders lately. It might be worth asking your doctor to add a gluten panel to your blood work to find out if there is any connection there!

Good luck to you! With the help of a good endocrinologist, you will be feeling so much better (energy wise) in no time. =)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Yep, definitely taking the soy issue, and other dietary factors, very seriously. Thanks for the info! :)

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Hannah     at 5:47 pm

What a relief that you will start feeling better soon! More bloggers should be so honest instead of forcing something for the sake of their “brand” or whatever. I admire you and the family that you are raising!

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Lee     at 5:47 pm

First off, I’m glad you found out what the cause of the problem was and that it was a relief. Secondly, I think that people often go through ups and downs when it comes to fitness level. I know it’s easy to except to have the same level of fitness year after year, but sometimes it’s just not achievable. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be at your former fitness level at some point though even if you aren’t right now.

That said, even if you never run again, you are still a motivation to everyone reading. You care about your health and are dedicated to living your life in a healthy manner and that shows in all your posts, running-related or not.

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Kelly     at 5:48 pm

To be honest, Emily, I find it more motivating that you are a good Mom, and a REAL Mom. The average person is not going to be superwoman – out running within weeks of childbirth. It’s encouraging and motivating to hear of your struggles. Why? Because they’re REAL. That’s inspiration, not some super Mom out there running miracles. Your example(s) make it a little easier not to be so hard on ourselves, when we, too, are not back into the same routine we were pre-baby.

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Krissy @ Make it Naked     at 5:49 pm

Love your honesty and wishing you health and happiness as you start running again. I’m so glad you have seemed to figure it out. Wish we were closer so we could run together! I need a running buddy!

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Emily Malone Reply:

ME TOO!!

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Mel     at 5:50 pm

Great post! I can completely relate. My baby is almost 7 months and I am still struggling with losing weight and incorporating fitness back into my life! I really miss running but can’t seem to get motivated :( I was just thinking that I should get my thyroid levels checked too. So nice to know that I am not alone here!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Definitely not! :)

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Cate     at 5:56 pm

I think it’s a million times more inspirational to see a mom be honest and listen to her body and the needs of her family than run a million miles a day just to prove something.
You’re awesome!

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Jenny     at 5:59 pm

I don’t usually comment, but I have really appreciated your blog the last few months. Thank you for being honest about your experience the last few months. Too many bloggers are trying to portray themselves as the perfect parent with the perfect baby and gloss over the fact that it is tough.

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Aimee     at 6:02 pm

Can you share a bit about how you figured out your thyroid was off? Is it just a blood test that can be run? I’ve started tracking my waking temp and low basal body temp + a few other issues are making me wonder about my thyroid function. Did you just bring it up at a doctor’s visit and go from there?

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Anne Reply:

You can ask your doctor to check your TSH level. It’s just a blood test, so pretty easy :)

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Sara Reply:

I’d actually go a step further and have your doctor run a full thyroid panel (TSH, thyroid antibodies, T3, T4 etc). The TSH level can vary from day to day and doesn’t always give an accurate picture of what’s going on. Additionally, the range the lab gives for a normal TSH level is too wide, so make sure to be informed and advocate for yourself if you are told “things are normal” but you know something is off. I share this because I’ve had a long hard struggle with Hashimoto’s over the past few years and don’t want others to have to go through the same thing!

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Emily Malone Reply:

That is the next step! I appreciate the advice and support! Nice to know I’m not alone. :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Just a simple blood test!

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Simply Life     at 6:02 pm

I have been finding other ways to stay healthy and active other than running and LOVE all the options! This summer, my husband and I have gotten really into tennis! I’m pretty bad at it but we have SO much fun and it’s a GREAT workout! I love hearing about your honest ups and downs along the way!

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Liz @ runbakerace     at 6:03 pm

Thank you so much for this post. I am 4 months postpartum and trying to get back to where I was running before baby. It is really hard and I bombed a half marathon last weekend. It made me so upset but I have to get used to my new body. Your honesty is inspiring!

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Heidi     at 6:06 pm

I absolutely love your honesty! So many blogs talk about how happy and perfet things are after baby and that isn’t always the case. I had a rough delivery with my 2nd and a like you, a long recovery. I struggled with PPD which made it hard to get motivated to run again and lose the baby weight. Now that baby is 2 and I’ve lost the weight and got my motivation back, but I really had to mix things up to get there. I still run (only twice a week) but now I swim and bike as well. I love that I’ve tried new things and that I can be a healthy role model for my girls, but getting to that point was SO hard. I think you’re doing an amazing job and I think you are more motivating that someone who only talks about the perfect things in life. Keep up the great work!

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Liz     at 6:07 pm

Wow. Thank you so much for posting this. Thanks for your honesty. I can really relate to struggling to find the time to run.
good luck getting back in the groove!

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Michelle     at 6:07 pm

I’ve been up and down the thyroid roller coaster countless times, and I’m always surprised by how much it affects pretty much every aspect of my life. In my experience, being hypothyroid can absolutely be responsible for lower fitness level, and the low energy and motivation compound everything. It sucks, but for me it’s always kind of a relief to have an explanation. I hope you start feeling better soon!

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Emily S     at 6:12 pm

We all appreciate your honesty. My little one is 16 months, and thanks to nursing alone, I was back to pre-pregnancy weight in 8 weeks. BUT now that I’ve weaned him recently, I was surprised to see 5-7 lbs creep back on due to my inactivity and the fact that my milk production has slowed. I need to make fitness somehow a priority – and even the small changes we make are important!

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Clare     at 6:12 pm

Emily! I have just been a lurker but can I telk you that you are inspiring, just for your freshness, and sweetness , as a mom, a veggie chef and a wife, and an athlete. I have been a mom for 16 years, I am a yoga, pilates , and zumba teacher….and i am a woman who struggled with knowing how much is too much, what is healthy , what does my body need? I read several Hlbs and i from some i gain i.spiration, from others , I feel pressure… they can trigger the need to push yourself beyond that which is healthy. So I thank you so much for your honesty here, your attitude. is a blessing for all of us just trying to find our way.

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Marci     at 6:17 pm

I think you are actually really active and doing awesome. Your daily walks and activity level is impressive. I’m sure it has a lot to do with your weather, but walking outside is out of the question for us for long walks. Starting up after 7 weeks is fast! And running 13.1 miles within months is impressive! Just remember that running isn’t the only way to measure fitness.

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Amber K     at 6:19 pm

I totally understand the thyroid issues. And I know some studies vindicate soy, but for me personally I had to cut it out. I hope you find something that works for you. I hate feeling sluggish and awful all of the time.

Thank you so much for being ap honest about your struggles. That is really lacking in the blogosphere.

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Amber K Reply:

Not sure why ap showed up in my comment, but I do admire your openness!

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Kel     at 6:21 pm

Emily – I enjoy all of your posts – they are like presents.

You have and continue to inspire me in running and eating. You learned something important –
“I have stopped guessing what will come next, and I’m trying to just enjoy the present.”

I hope things keep improving as far as your energy.

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Marina     at 6:23 pm

Thank you for this post – I can 100% identify with your fitness ups and downs, and it’s really helpful to read such an honest post. So many blogs seem to promote an almost unattainable lifestyle and fitness regime, and I really appreciate reading about your real-life challenges. Keep at it – even this post is inspirational to me :)

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Lolly     at 6:26 pm

http://zenhabits.net/no-goal/

reading this link might help you.
his whole blog is really refreshing, i highly recommend it for when you want to step off the over-achiever hamster wheel.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I read, and love, Zen Habits. A great example.

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Sarah     at 6:26 pm

As a long time reader of your blog, I really appreciate how ‘real’ and honest you are with your readers. I had similar symptoms and once my doctor and I figured out that it was thyroid issues, treatment changed my life. I found the energy and drive that once was lost. Stay positive, it will get better! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Very inspiring – thank you!

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Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker     at 6:27 pm

Great post, Emily. I have been thinking of getting my thyroid checked, too. I have many of those same symptoms . . . and I even think I may have had a touch of PPD until recently (all of a sudden, I feel like this huge cloud has lifted — like when I hit 9 months, weird). Anyway, you have nothing to prove to anyone. Running is just for you. And I’ll be the the first person to say SCREW MARATHONS. I don’t have any plans to run one in the near future. Maybe I’ll try for another one before we try for #2, but maybe not. We have so much more going on, so that piece of the pie is smaller now. Anyway, I really enjoyed this post. <3

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Emily Malone Reply:

I was starting to worry that perhaps I had a touch of PPD too. No actual sadness, but just ZERO motivation to do anything beyond take care of Cullen and basic household tasks. Workout out felt impossible. I keep thinking I am over marathons, and then I cheer for one or watch a race on TV, and I feel that urge again. Who knows. So happy you are feeling better too!

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Lydia     at 6:33 pm

I second all the other folks — you ARE inspiring, just being real. I took my 10-month-old son on a 3-mile run today and I love having him out and seeing me (and his papa) being physically fit. In part because you showed me I could… I’m running my first half marathon next Sunday! I’m nervous at my 10 mile run this weekend… 9 sorta kicked my butt this past week… but I’m excited to follow this through! I’ve been no-dairy for my son for the last 9 months… and in that respect and with fitness, your blog is one I look to for encouragement. I get that whether you write about recipes, running or Cullen! We love ya. :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Good luck at your race!! :)

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Lisa @ bakebikeblog     at 6:35 pm

such a beautiful and honest read. Thankyou for sharing it Emily!

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Larissa     at 6:36 pm

thanks so much for writing this! a lot of time reading blogs put pressures on Us readers to run more harder faster,( which is sometimes good) but this really showed how much everyone struggles and has to work through different things!

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Erin     at 6:36 pm

First of all, this: “At that point, I was still working on walking a few blocks and trying not to pass out when I went to the bathroom.”

Um, yes. I was right there with you and know exactly what you’re talking about!

On a more serious note, though, I think it’s great that you are researching into what’s been going on with your health and trying to get to the bottom of it. I love your blog and the fact that you aren’t afraid to be honest with everyone (and yourself!). Being a SAHM is HARD (I’m learning that, too) and it’s nice to see that other people struggle with the same things I do.

Thanks for sharing your life with us!

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Andrea Hood     at 6:43 pm

Oh Emily, you are an inspiration to me every day! I have been following your blog for about a year now and I enjoy reading all of your posts about mommy-hood, fitness, food, etc. You work very hard at everything you do and you should be proud of yourself! You have accomplished quite a bit since Cullen was born – none of which have been small tasks. Thank you for being an inspiration to your readers in everything you do!

And just a side note – I’m currently enrolled in nutrition school and recently learned a lot of information about soy and it’s relation to thyroid problems. Do some research on the topic – the Weston A Price Foundation has some interesting information on soy. I wish you the best of luck and hope that you thyroid condition gets resolved soon! Keep us posted :)

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Ellen     at 6:55 pm

Look into natural thyroid hormone (armour)! It is night and day from synthroid which is what most doctors want to put you on.

A lot of the nutrients that build a healthy thyroid are found in animal products. Not saying you should dive into meat eating, but you might want to consider replacing your soy with eggs and dairy. :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

I will definitely look into this! I eat a ton of eggs, and am cutting out soy. Hope it helps!

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Shellon     at 6:56 pm

While you were pregnant I was happy to have someone who showed that it was possible to be active during pregnancy, my family are very bad role models when it comes to this. I was no where near as active of a person as you were/are but before I was pregnant I was at the gym about four days a week and loved it. I looked forward to being active during pregnancy as well. Now that I am five monthes pregnant, I am miserable and spend a lot of time dealing with my guilt for becoming so lethargic and ill. Though it may not feel as rewarding for you, reading about your struggles has eased some of my guilt and made me feel less alone. Thank you for your honesty and sharing. You are just as much an inspiration for your humanity and realistic acceptance of your body as you were when you ran marathons.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I am so sorry to hear you are struggling. Don’t give up just because you are down right now. You still have almost half of your pregnancy left, and it’s never too late to start trying to get in more activity. Don’t feel guilty – making a baby is very hard work on the body!

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chiara     at 6:56 pm

Hi Emily,

Agree with all of the positive commenters above that you are a great example of someone who gives her very best to all areas of her life. Im very curious about your thyroid issue and hope that you will share more if you are comfortable. My thyroid went hyper almost a year after my 2nd son was born. My obgyn didn’t call it postpartum thyroiditis because it was almost a full year after giving birth but that didn’t make sense to me since we hadn’t tested it up until that point and who knows how long it had been in overdrive (postpartum thyroiditis is defined as up to one year post birth and i was in that window). Anyway, mine did clear up on its own with no medication. I also did do acupuncture and I think it helped. You may want to consider it. Finally, when my thyroid went wonky it was during a period of extreme stress (a big move and job change, etc.). It sounds like parts of the last year or so have been stressful on you and your system. I will stop myself now but wish you all the best and thanks again for sharing/building this community. I look forward to all your posts regardless of topic.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Very interesting! I wonder if I wasn’t hyper for a while before going hypo. I will consider the acupuncture route! I think we actually just discovered that it’s covered by our health insurance – kind of cool. And yes, this past year has had periods of extreme stress. Obviously I don’t post all of my personal life here, but there have been some significant downs along with the obvious highs. I am sure that has had an effect as well.

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Dani     at 7:00 pm

What an excellent post. I just had my second baby two months ago and am struggling getting back into fitness and running. I stayed fairly active throughout pregnancy but things are different now, especially with this strange body that I’m not used to. It’s nice to see someone being honest about struggles- everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows all the time :)

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Lindsay     at 7:01 pm

I was diagnosed with PCOS which is a hormonal imbalance in February. It has been a huge hurdle kn regards to my energy and getting through long work day and then spending time wig my active 3 year old at night.

We are currently expecting our 2nd child and dealing with the lethargic 1st trimester has been so hard to deal with. You are such an inspiration and I really appreciate you sharing your story!

Balancing everthing including uncontrollable issues with our bodies can be so hard…but we are women and just like everything else..we will figure it out with grace and strength! :)

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Jessie @ Graze With Me     at 7:03 pm

I’m with you on the postpartum thyroiditis. It runs in my family too. The weird part is that even though I’m hypothyroid, I’m losing weight like crazy! Good luck getting it all figured out along with your running.. It’s incredible how many changes your body goes through to grow, birth and breastfeed a baby. But it’s worth it!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Jessie – ME TOO. I was actually shocked when she explained I was hypo, because for a while I was dropping weight rapidly. I’m way under my pre-preg weight, and even though I eat a TON of food (and a lot of sugar), I can’t seem to keep it on or gain past where I am now. Wonder what that’s all about, but interesting to hear you are having the same experience.

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Megan Reply:

Hello – Felt compelled to comment. I have hashi’s and agree with another poster who said to be sure your doc runs more than one TSH blood test which has a tendancy to vary. Ask for a FULL thyroid panel (T3, FT3, T4, FT4) as well as the test for hashi’s and grave’s antibodies (autoimmune thyroid disease). They are super tricky bc hashis (For instance) can swing both hyper and hypo depending on the day as your thyroid peters out. I also agree 100% with the gluten comment…might as well run a blood test, but keep in mind there are a lot of false negatives with that..an elimination diet might be the cheaper and more effective way to find out There is a high correlation between celiacs and hashis…if you have one, be on the look out for the other. I have both and am doing MUCH better since figuring this out. Good luck!!! You are doing awesome – dont be so hard on yourself :)

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Staci     at 7:04 pm

First, I started following you because of your culinary expertise but I appreciated your approach to fitness, too.

Now, I appreciate you because you are genuine and are not trying to create some faux existence that some bloggers might. You’re enjoying your LIFE and that’s what’s most important. Your son is going to lead an active lifestyle, no doubt, because of the way you guys interact as a family … and whether you run marathons or a 5k here and there.

You keep on keeping on, and keep your health a priority.

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Tricia     at 7:10 pm

1) You are a great wife and mom. That is inspiring!
2) Your food is inspiring! Makes me so hungry!
3) Even if you aren’t running like you used to, the important thing is you are taking care of yourself!
4) I had a friend with severe depression. It actually turned out to be her thyroid. Once they put her on medication for it, she was a completely different person. She actually just got married! Something I never thought I would see.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Very inspiring!

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Ansc525     at 7:27 pm

I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, a form of under active thyroid. It’s really affected my energy levels, and like you I’ve always been active but I just haven’t been into it lately. It’s hard and I feel a lot of guilt. Thanks for writing this post, it is inspiring to see I’m not the only one struggling with this.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Sure thing! Sounds like it’s more common than you might think – several other commenters mention having Hashi’s as well!

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Megan Reply:

agreed…it usually takes years to get a proper diagnosis…I kept thinking something was off with my thyroid… they’d run a TSH test… come back and tell me I’m “normal” and send me off….I kept getting worse and worse and finally begged for the antibody hashi’s test (I had a past history of graves so was super sensitive to thyroid issues)…and it came back positive!

You have to be persistent but it ‘s worth it. I have a feeling there are a TON of hashi’s patients out there that just havent been diagnosed yet.

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Amanda     at 7:34 pm

Emily,

You have been and have remained an inspiration in my quest to become a healthier, better person. This post just continues that. You’re so brave to be so honest with your readers, and trust me — we appreciate it, because like you, most of us are struggling with something, too. Thanks for helping us know we’re not alone. I just moved to the west coast from the east coast and I feel so lonely, but just seeing your updates on my time definitely help. ;) You rock, and I am so happy I found your blog many years ago. I will be a reader forever!! :)

Amanda (used to be in PA), now in AZ!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Welcome to the WC! I was very lonely for many months, but it grows on you with time. :) Happy you are enjoying my late night posts, haha.

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Katherine     at 7:36 pm

I have a 13 month old and am still in the process of getting back into fitness the way I was before. I had a 4th degree tear and totally hear you on the recovery time postpartum. I didn’t even think about doing anything other than walk for 6 months. I just got into paddleboarding and am loving finding fitness in new and different ways as a mama….it’s just the challenge of finding time!

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Emily Malone Reply:

YES. Amazing how long the body takes to heal from rough deliveries! I still have pelvic floor pain when I run!

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Katherine Reply:

I also wanted to say that, like you, at about 7 months I was starving all the time due to my little one’s breastfeeding needs. I had to get into a totally different mindset about eating. I lost too much weight and was way under weight…she was literally sucking it out of me and I was not feeling well at all. My loving sweet yoga mentor finally told me I needed to start eating ice cream at night and gain some weight back. At 13 months, we are still going strong with BF and some days I need way more food than others depending on her intake. Seriously, I still wake in the middle of the night starving sometimes. I feel like culturally and on HLBs often all we seem to hear about it getting back to “normal,” but the reality is there is a new “normal” and it’s all about being on the path and figuring out what that is along the way. Best to you and thanks for your ever meaningful honesty.

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Christine     at 7:41 pm

I was a huge runner and general fitness buff before my first baby. She’s now three and my little one is 17 months. I’ve just now gotten back into running. It didn’t feel good for awhile so I stopped doing it. Now I not only enjoy it, I look forward to it.
Time is always an issue, but you’ll figure it out. And whether you run or not, you’re still an inspiration :)

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Katie     at 7:42 pm

A beautiful reminder that it is all in the journey Emily! And so wonderful for you to share because I can attest to some of the similar feelings! I have complained (almost to the point of annoyance) to my family for my lack of energy, my little sprite Autumn is 8 months, and my mom has continued to tell me to be easy on myself! It is so hard to do bc as you notice, there are those that bounce back consistently quickly and makes it discouraging at times because we allow ourselves to mentally benchmark that same expectation. Coming from someone of a running/yoga/lifting energy filled background like yourself, I have NEVER felt as exhausted as I have with a child, they truly do require a ton of energy and I think at the end of the day we feel it! Good for you for stepping back and listening to your body, it’s more important than ever I believe when you become a mama so i have learned!

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Sarah G     at 7:51 pm

I hope you’ll share more about your thyroid journey and dietary changes, although I understand if that’s not something you want to get into. Are you hypo or hyper? I hope you can truly truly truly let go of the self-imposed expectations and just do what feels true to your moods and lifestyle. That’s what we readers respond to – the honest expression of being good to yourself :) Best wishes.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I am hypo, and I’ll probably mention it more once I know more. Thanks!

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Elizabeth     at 8:13 pm

Thank you for this post! I have related so much to you (similar fitness paths, veg eating, sons around the same age). I too have been surprised by my struggle to get in a good fitness routine. I realize some of it is excuses and barriers I shouldn’t let stop me, but it’s hard to adjust to running with a baby or during a nap instead of showering and even finding new running loops. I appreciate your honesty and hope to also get back to running to be an active and healthy example for my son. Let us all know how it’s going and how you are overcoming your barriers.

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Ari @ Ari's Menu     at 8:46 pm

I LOVE everything about this post! You are still the same motivating and inspiring person. It is only natural that your life will change a little becoming a new mom. You are doing an amazing job of balancing everything!

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Joe @ The Frolicking Fells     at 9:05 pm

Thanks for sharing your story! Although I haven’t been running for long, I have learned that running for the sheer sake of enjoyment and fitness can be a very invigorating thing. Removing the pressure of time\distance goals and allowing running to be something that keeps me healthy and provides me with exercise has been incredibly liberating. While I am looking forward to my next 5K, simply going out for runs because I like it instead of going out for runs because I need to train has been a new and pleasant experience. Good luck with your future running endeavors!

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com     at 9:08 pm

That’s what makes bloggers wonderful — for transparency and pushing the limits, even with so many wonderful changes in your life. Bravo Emily :)

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PJ     at 9:56 pm

Emily, you are like a lifeline for me. Thanks for helping me to not feel so alone raising my baby. I am very grateful for your blog.

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Jun     at 1:03 am

Runner or not- you look amazing, glowing and have always been an inspiration to all of us. The way you juggle life, family, food and exercise is indeed impressive and it’s wonderful knowing that you live your life not up to others’ expectations because what matters most is you- your happiness, your life. It’s all about knowing what’s best for you. You’re great :)

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Lesley     at 2:50 am

You will get to where you want to be soon and enjoy the time it takes you to get there! Sometimes I focus upon where I want to be and forget to enjoy where I am at the here and now! Go mama, you will be an inspiration to your child/family throughout the way!

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Michelle     at 3:22 am

Just wanted to say that inspiration can come in a lot of different ways. One of those ways can be recognizing that you’re trying your best, despite unforeseen circumstances. :)

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Annalisa     at 3:39 am

Hi Emily — I do appreciate your attitude and honesty. I think there is pressure to be “normal” after baby relatively quickly and it’s hard. Not to mention, you develop a new sense of normal. My 15 mo. never took to a bottle so getting out of the house for alone time almost never happened until 7, 8 months and then I got pregnant again! My need for an intense workout daily is gone. I LOVE walks — even now that my daughter is anti-stroller, backpack, etc. I enjoy walking with her, even for a block or two. Life is different and it’s OK. Someday I’ll be a portion of my old self but I really like being a Mom and I can only fit so much in right now.

PS – I had PP thyroiditis and my thyroid levels were fine until 5, 6 mos. PP and it was BAD. I had never been so tired and listless in my whole life but I chalked it up to a disruption in sleep patterns. I think this is more common than most women talk about so I’m glad you did. I’m also glad we chose a family doc over a ped so she always asks mom and dad about their health every visit otherwise, I would probably be in pretty bad shape!

Anyway, thanks for this post. I think it sheds a light on what having a baby does for many women (and men!) and it’s OK!

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Liz     at 3:48 am

This is such a great, honest post. I’ve gone through several periods where I’ve either had to stop working out or chose to stop working out (dropped the ball those times) and it is such a mental struggle to regain fitness and not beat myself up for not meeting my prior standards right away. It’s so nice to read a post that deals with some of the real-life struggles that can get in the way of running as much as we’d like. Much more inspiring, I think!

How does your new neighborhood compare to the old in terms of getting outdoors (also just in general)? I hope you find some new running routes soon!

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Jeni     at 5:09 am

I’m not a mom, but I have struggled with a lack of motivation when it comes to fitness for a long time. And, like you, have had ups and downs. I really think everyone does, and people need to be comforted by knowing that they’re still the person they think they are. Being fit and healthy becomes part of who you are, so I think there can be a lot of guilt when we have to take a break or hit a slump. And you can feel guilty and almost like you’re not the person you thought you were. So it’s even MORE inspiring to connect with someone who is also having a similar experience.

I did my yoga teacher training this summer, and one thing I was really worried about was the fact that I can’t do every single pose out there. I felt like, how am I supposed to advise others and teach when I don’t know EVERYTHING and can’t do EVERYTHING? My teacher was awesome and just said, have you ever taken a class where the teacher didn’t demo something? Did you notice? Did it make them less of a teacher in your eyes? That’s something I think of when I’m having self doubt. There are more ways of inspiring and teaching than showing what you can do yourself. Thank you for continuing to inspire and teach through your own journey and blog. I know us readers all appreciate it!

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Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 5:12 am

Honestly, I don’t know how people find the time to train for marathons at all, let alone with a baby! You’re doing great, all that hiking definitely counts! Thanks for the honesty :)

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Nicole     at 5:14 am

You overcame getting hit by a car — you can def overcome other health/fitness obstacles after that :)

You are inspiring because of your honesty and determination to still lead a healthy life for the positive benefits of you and your family. As always, I enjoy all of your posts :)

Glad you were able to get some answers to your new challenges and good luck on your new path to recovery!

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Dana     at 5:40 am

Sometimes it’s not just being down – glad you were able to get some medical advice.
I found out I have thyroid issues about a year ago and am on medication, but I’d love to hear what kind of dietary changes you’re making as well.

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Julia     at 5:41 am

I’ve been reading your blog for a long time without ever commenting, until now. I know you get a ton of great comments all the time but I wanted to say that the way you’ve been keeping motivated and positive with hypothyroidism (even though you didn’t know you have it) is truly amazing and a testament to your positive attitude and healthy values. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was in college and before I knew what was wrong with me, I could barely make it out of bed to go to class and routinely spent mealtimes crying into my plate. With a simple (and cheap!) little hormone pill a day, I’m back to my normal self! And you will be too! :)

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Anne     at 5:43 am

There are lot of other sports also ! I read your blog since 2-3 years, you often said how much you love yoga but paradoxically never practice… Maybe you have to find your sport or your way to stay active and feel fulfill beyond the standards of the blogosphere.

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Jaclyn @ JustJac     at 5:51 am

i love this and often find that these “long ramblings” posts of yours are the only ones I read on the blogosphere-even your long posts are well written and enjoyable :) so keep it up !

i like this too because it is honest. EVERYONE has struggles and I like that you shared this, because that too, is motivating and inspiring to your readers. You are only human. Oh, and I think you are definitely an active family..SEVEN miles weekend hikes are no small feat!!!!!

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Sarah     at 5:52 am

I’m sure I will be repeating what many other commenters have said but what I find the most inspiring about you is your honesty and that you are a real person. We can be too hard on ourselves sometimes (women, moms, athletes, etc.) so I’m glad you have come out of this with your head held high. I’m also inspired by the way you take charge of things, like when you knew something was just not right, you sought medical attention. I hope you continue to feel better and good luck in whatever you do, we’re rooting for you :)

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Andrea     at 6:23 am

Thank you, thank you! This type of post is what makes me continue to come back…your honesty is refreshing. As a working mom of 2 young boys I totally appreciat this post and can relate. It IS different with a baby and you need to readjust your goals, etc. Love this since I’m struggling with the same thing recently. I love running, but only when I take the pressure off!

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Melissa     at 6:45 am

Thanks Emily! I’ve gone through a lot of the same things over the course of my baby’s 11 months. I surprised myself by losing the baby weight fairly easily, although I do feel like my body is really different now. I also am surprised by my attitude toward exercise and food. I used to let a bad day of eating or a missed workout really affect my mood, and now I am finding more acceptance with myself when I feel like I am doing the best I can. I wish I could have that attitude toward other things in my life- as a mom it’s easy to feel like nothing is ever enough- but I’m working on it. I’m so glad you are learning to go easier on yourself too!

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Emily McIntyre     at 6:45 am

Thanks for your honesty, Emily. While not a runner, I also have had a much more difficult journey postpartum than many seem to, and it is frustrating in the extreme to have a body which doesn’t seem to be ‘working’ as expected. So sorry for your mastitis bouts! I’ve only been through that once and it was murder.

Hope things continue to improve for you.

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Jen     at 6:52 am

Honestly, I love this post. You are so real, I love that. Everyone has struggles, and as a new mom myself (Evan is 6 weeks!) I’m finding that I feel very similar as you do. I thought while pregnant, “I will MAKE time to workout” – now with the little one, I live for our time together and it has been hard to get back into a routine. It doesn’t help that our bodies are all funny afterward. I ran a Marathon last October and this September a mile and a half seemed like a half marathon to me.

You still inspire, you inspire me to push a little harder. Go you. You are awesome!

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Sharon     at 7:03 am

Thank you for your honesty. Everyone has struggles, but it is how we deal with them and persevere that matters. You are so incredibly real, and for that, you are so motivating.

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Ali     at 7:07 am

I love your honestly so much. I am pregnant right now and I have read your pregnancy posts and followed you through the end of your pregnancy and since. It helps me to have a realistic expectation of what could happen post-partum. I am 14 weeks into my pregnancy and I have “guilt” as you described in one post about not having the “perfect pregnancy.” I read about women that run marathons and halfs their entire pregnancy and I can’t keep my heart rate low enough to run period, so I walk. Anyways, thanks for keeping realistic expectations for women about real things!!

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Elyse     at 7:18 am

Thanks for such an honest, real post! That’s the big reason I love your blog so much, you are such a genuine writer. And you always inspire me with fitness, recipes and just being a great mom! I hope you start feeling better soon. :-)

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martha     at 7:19 am

Thank you! you bring so much joy to those who follow your blog, and I feel like Christmas when it pops up in my email. You are an amazing woman, wife and mom!

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Dawn     at 7:24 am

I have been following your blog for a while now, and haven’t commented until now. I think other things about your approach to life are motivating and inspirational to people (okay, I should probably only speak for myself). I appreciate your thoughtful and clean writing style, and the look and feel of your blog. I love your honesty. I also appreciate how active you are as a family, and how conscientious about a lot of things, like the environment.

I started following your blog for the food and fitness tips, but I’m not at all interested in running a marathon. A lot of women’s magazines showcase 5Ks and races as a sign that someone is finally getting back in shape. I think that’s a lot of pressure on all of us. There are so many ways to stay active and healthy.

And even though I don’t have kids and don’t plan on it, I can still relate to the changes you feel in motivation (and even body changes, as I approach 40!), and the pressure of expectations. You have a gift to be able to reach a wide variety of people!

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kimberly     at 7:25 am

Your honesty is what keeps me a constant follower of your blog. I think it is important for readers like myself to know that it’s OK to lose motivation sometimes – life happens, and that’s the reality of it all. But learning to adapt to it and make changes is what makes you a stronger person. Thank you for continuing to inspire us all!

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sarah venn     at 8:05 am

Hearing you being honest about your ups and downs is what keeps me reading your blog. It is comforting to know that there is someone else out there that has gone through the same thing. I have not had a child yet, but I am 23 weeks pregnant. I was a runner before, but now I am struggling with just getting walks in, and it is nice to know that others have felt the same way. I actually look forward to reading your blog posts more now. Maybe it’s because i’m about to have a baby of my own:) It’s so fun to see a little glimpse of what life will be like in a couple of months:)I love reading about your daily life with Cullen and what you’re feeding him, his nap times, and so on. Keep them coming! I find you motivational and inspiring no matter what!

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ash     at 8:27 am

Love your blog, so inspiring!

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elizabeth     at 8:53 am

Sorry to hear about your Thryoid disorder! I too have Hashimotos and I always hate looking at the list of foods i shouldn’t eat. It seems so wrong to skip out on GREAT veggies. And I’ve eliminated gluten (mostly) from my diet and over the months it has helped me feel better. Don’t get down on yourself about the running, sometimes you can’t go back to what you were doing, you just have to move forward and follow your desire.
p.s. your outdoor pictures make me want to move to the NW!!

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Laura     at 8:55 am

Thanks for keeping it real. I’ve also dealt with thyroid issues, although not with as much other stuff going on in my life! It’s rough sometimes, but it can be managed. Do what you can at this moment-there’s a lot of exciting potential no matter what activity you do!

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Mandy     at 8:59 am

Your posts have always motivated me! It is nice to hear your perspective on this topic because I can defintely relate. I’ve always loved your blog and reading about your life from food to exercise to baby Cullen. I especially love that I feel I can relate to a lot of your pregnancy/postpartum stories. I had my first baby almost 6 months ago (yikes! time flies!) and before she was born I exercised every day- mostly running. I always imagined I would be one of those women who runs throughout her pregnancy and post pregnancy with her baby in a jogging stroller. 9 months of nausea and vomiting…and now 6 months of pelvic discomfort have changed that plan. It’s been tougher than I thought to have to re-evaluate my running life and decide that it is OK that I am starting from square 1…or square zero as it seems sometimes. Thank you for your honesty. It is comforting to know that other moms go through the same type of thing.

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Dory     at 9:02 am

Take it easy on yourself! You are doing amazing, with or without thyroid issues. You have been undergoing a huge transition in your life. Inspiration doesn’t only come from times or finish lines.

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anne     at 9:26 am

I wondered which thryoid med you were on. I know one of them is made from a pig’s thyroid, and I wondered your stance, with you being vegan and I don’t do pork. I have grave’s so I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum, but someday I’ll need to take one when my thyroid ‘burns out’. Scary. Anyway, good job on the running. I am impressed by anyone who can do all that! I feel like no matter how often I run I can never do more than 3 miles… :( so you’re doing great!!

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krugthethinker     at 9:30 am

I am a long-time reader, and I am always happy to see new posts, but this one really touched me. One of my favorite things about your writing is your honesty: thank you for sharing it with us. I am so sorry that the recovery has been difficult, but I am so happy that you are where you are now. You have so much wisdom, in every area of your life, and it’s a joy to see.

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Amy Ramos     at 9:31 am

Thank you for this email. While I am not a mom, I have been struggling with my running. I think people go through this whether it is thyroid case like yours or being burnt out like me.
After completing a 1/2 marathon 2 yrs ago, I had this “what now?”
This year, I set to accomplish 12 in 12. Twelve races this year. While it was a huge goal, race #9 will be Sunday and I am burnt out. I think after my races, I am going to take a break. I just do not seem “that in to it”. I am still active with my boot camp class and doing my own thing. Plus, a walk is always so refreshing.
cheers

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Alison     at 9:33 am

You are so right to take the pressure off of yourself.

I started my pregnancy with a PR in a half marathon and planned to finish with a full marathon during my baby’s 2nd year (after his 1st birthday). All that quickly went out the window and I had to realize that i needed a different set of goals now. I decided to focus on being fit. That’s it. Not losing weight, not being a certain size, just being healthy and getting stronger. Baby is 9 months and I’m still nursing, so there are plenty of demands of my body already. Changing my definition of fitness and how I look at my body has really made the difference for me.

Good luck in your efforts to find what works for you. I had my baby about a month after you and I love reading your blog for hints of what may be in my near future and dinner inspiration.

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Madison @ E&C     at 9:35 am

I obviously don’t have anything to share in regards to post-partum fitness, but know that your blog is inspirational to many without you having to run marathons or countless races. Fitness is such a lifelong journey with plenty of ups and downs (it’s really like a relationship, isn’t it?) and it’s refreshing to read a real and honest take on your experience.

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Ingunn     at 9:58 am

So sorry to hear about this, but the upside is that with the right medication, you’ll feel good as new. (I recently cut out gluten since my doctor suspects I have endometriosis and it’s supposed to help. What I wasn’t expecting was that three days later, the brain fog and lethargy I’ve been feeling my whole adult life suddenly disappeared, and I feel like an entirely different person. It’s amazing how much a hormonal imbalance or food intolerance can affect your mood and energy level.)

As for running routes (and training for your next family hike!), have you been to Bridle Trails or Redmond Watershed Preserve yet? What this area lacks in inspiring road running, it more than makes up for with great trails. As a hiking addict, my opinion is of course that instead of race goals, you could always switch to hike goals – there are lots of beautiful mountains to be climbed in this state! ;^)

Good luck with everything!!

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Kaci Blake     at 10:10 am

Wow, I hope you are feeling better. You are inspiring to me…not just fitness, but in health, happiness, mommyhood…all those things too. XOXO

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Mer @mersworld     at 10:15 am

Hi! I haven’t commented before, but I’ve been reading for a while! Just wanted to say that you are inspiring in the healthy choices you make, your love for your family and your honesty in the challenges you face! Whether you’re running or not, I’ve found inspiration in your posts-to help me live a healthier life!

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Becca     at 10:49 am

I actually started reading your blog because of the running posts, but I love the recipes (though I have yet to try one…soon!) and despite not being a mom myself, I also enjoy your posts about Cullen. He’s such a cute little guy! It’s neat to see your baby-fitness-life journey, too.

People in my family have thyroid problems as well and that definitely caused some huge drops in energy for them. I’m sure once you get that straightened out you’ll start to feel better in all ways.

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Jackie     at 11:20 am

I also have an (almost) 10 month old and I have struggled to find the time and energy to return to my hard core pre-baby workouts. Thank you for posting about your struggles so that I know I’m not the only one!

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Julie     at 1:21 pm

Hi Emily,

That’s so funny because as I was reading this post, the more you described your symptoms, I was thinking, “I wonder if she’s had her thyroid levels checked.” :) I’ve had an underactive thyroid since I was 12. It is very easy to regulate w/ meds, & I haven’t had any adverse reactions to them. You should be feeling like your old self in no time. Best of luck! :)

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Jenny H.     at 1:55 pm

This is more inspiring than any race re-cap you have written. No matter how far you can run, an attitude like yours is what is so healthy, and inspiring.

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Pallavi     at 1:58 pm

Hey Emily,

It feels so good to know that its not just me going thru this lack of motivation issue. I have a 5 month old daughter so i am pretty much exhausted all the time. Just the thought of making an effort to work out..no way!

Hang in there…i hope we get to a point where we can define a new normal for ourselves..i’m sure once that’s done we can make the time to do the things we love.

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Suzanne     at 3:22 pm

You might want to look into adrenal fatigue issues as well. It’s usually tied in to Thyroid issues. There’s a saliva test you can order to test that.

I’d also have your B12 and D3 levels checked – if either are low then it can prevent the medication from working properly.

This website’s great: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/

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Kelsey     at 3:44 pm

This is so encouraging, Emily. Thank you! I have been on a roller coaster myself and instead of feeling like I have to race to prove to myself that I’m still the hardcore athlete I once was (ha!) I feel like I have permission to just be who I am now. My life has changed so dramatically in the last year and I am in a totally different place physically, mentally, and emotionally. I need to take a step back and give myself the grace to appreciate who, what, where I am today, and make reasonable new goals to reflect where I am now. Ultimately what I want is to be healthy, set a good example for my family, and to have fun doing it – regardless of whether that means triathlons, hikes, or leisurely strolls around the lake.

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Alison (Fueling for Fitness)     at 3:46 pm

Thank you for this wonderful & honest post. Very touching… you are amazing (and inspiring, even if you don’t always feel that way!).

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Katie     at 3:47 pm

I’ve been a long time reader and have tried to stick with you through the new mommy transition but I think I’ve finally reached the point where your blog isn’t inspiring me anymore, and not for any of the reasons that you mention. As an objective outsider, I’m not “inspired” (at least by what is shown on your blog) by your complete and utter lack of any kind of separation from your child. I understand it can be tough as a new mom but it just got really old to hear you talk about how you don’t have any time for yourself. You have the luxury of finding someone to watch your kid so you can go to the gym. Seriously. It can be tough leaving your baby with a stranger, sure, but at some point you have to suck it up and realize he’ll be fine for two hours without you. I promise. At least you have the option of *not* having a babysitter. I had to go back to work shortly after my baby was born- doing “freelance” computer work and blogging from home wasn’t an option. And she’s fine. So no, I don’t want to hear about how you can’t run a marathon or how you can’t put on weight because you have some bizarre ideal that you to HAVE to breastfeed your child for a year. Stop breastfeeding, eat some cookies, gain weight, have someone watch your kid so you can take some time out for yourself. I’d be a hell of a lot more inspired by that than you running some stupid race.

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Danielle Reply:

Bizarre? The World Health Organization recommends breast feeding up through 2 years old and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it to at least 1 year.

I’m inspired by people who make an effort to accomplish whatever they want to do with their life even if I don’t agree. I have no desire or intentions to have children or run marathons, but observing someone strive towards their goals gives me inspiration to strive towards mine even if my goals are different.

Emily- I appreciate and read for your honesty not to mention the adorable baby and amazing recipes. It reminds me that we are all humans trying to put together lives for ourselves and our families one day at a time!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Danielle!

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Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) Reply:

This is in response to Katie. I’m all for differing opinions,especially in comment sections, but you have to look back at what you wrote and realize that you sound incredibly bitter, not objective in the least. You seem to assume a lot about Emily’s life and circumstances without any real basis for those assumptions. Not sure if you meant it that way…but those are my two cents.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I’m sorry you aren’t enjoying this space anymore, but I appreciate you reading for so long! I think you are assuming a lot about things you don’t know. Cullen has childcare once a week now, and should be three times a week soon – not that I need to justify any of that to you. It’s clear that you don’t respect what I do for a living, but like it or not, I make money doing what I do, and I work hard for it. I would never judge another mom for choosing not to breastfeed or stopping early – I’m surprised to hear another mom judge my decision to breastfeed for as long as what works for MY family. It sounds like perhaps you aren’t happy with your own circumstances, and I wish you and your family luck going forward.

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Alice     at 3:52 pm

Great post Emily! Btw…just got a call from my doctor this afternoon after some follow up blood work yesterday that my thyroid levels are low. It is great to find out that maybe there’s another reason (besides getting old!!) for just wanting to curl up and snooze after a long day instead of getting out for a jog. I’ll be really curious to see what kind of nutritional adjustments will work for you.

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Brittney     at 4:30 pm

I am glad you wrote this Emily. I already feel some of the same things you feel, since I’m not running during my pregnancy, and wonder what my running will look like post partum too. I don’t know that it will ever be back at the level it once was when I ran my half and full marathons. I’m ok with it, but I agree, it’s hard when you hear about all these seemingly hardcore pregnant runners and people who get right back out there and are even faster than they were before they had a baby. I just don’t know if that’s realistic for me either.

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Gena     at 4:47 pm

This is a great post, Emily. As someone who finds running to be hard WITHOUT being post-partem or a young mother, I cannot imagine how hard it would be to jump back in!

Ultimately, I believe fitness should be a joy. Part of why I’ve never run races or trained for a marathon is that, while I do like short distances, I just don’t love running that much. There are other things, like yoga, that I love enough to push through tough phases and persist with, because it really feeds my soul. Clearly, you have that kind of relationship with running, so I’m glad you’re getting back into it, but I hope you never feel pressure to do it. Your readers find you inspiring not because you’re a runner, but because you show passion and commitment to anything you do. Running isn’t the admirable trait; it’s just the outlet. xo

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks, friend! So true!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 4:58 pm

I’m hypothyroid, and I can tell almost immediately when my levels are off. I’m lethargic, have no energy, and my emotions are out of CONTROL. I’m glad you got it figured out!

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Rachelle     at 5:44 pm

So glad to read that you are getting things organised. I too am a person whose body changed tremendously. I was a runner…then baby…then Adrenal Insufficiency. Diagnosed 2 years after baby. My weight dropped to 83 (from a normal 120 – I am 5’3″) and I was SO tired. I am most happy to read that you are ok with the changes. It was SO hard for me to accept the changes, but now, though I can’t run long distances anymore I am strong and fit and happy. My daughter is turning 5 in a few weeks and finally my health is almost under control. It is important to take care of your body. You only get one. So happy for you!! I love reading your blogs and cooking your recipes.

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy     at 5:46 pm

Thank you for being so honest! We all go through ups and downs, and I can’t even imagine how much more difficult those downs are when you have a baby to take care of. I hope that the medication and dietary changes help!

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Melanie @ Thinking Thin Loving Food     at 6:38 pm

Preach it sister! I’m in the same boat with workouts and BF issues (mastitis and recurring plugged ducts). At this point the marathon is being a new mom, moving to our new duty station and surviving the first year! I’m sorry to hear about the thyroid but happy to hear you have a STELLAR midwife. You rock Emily!

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Kate     at 6:44 pm

My daughter is just a week or two younger than Cullen, and I went through some of the same things you did (rough labor and delivery, lots of tearing, some baby blues and a lot of difficulty getting back into running) and I just have one ray of hope for you…once you decide to stop breast feeding, you might feel a bit better. I had to stop at 6 months when keeping up my supply and working 45 hours a week became too much for me…and within a few weeks I stopped feeling sick, had more energy, and felt more like myself again. It is awesome that you have made it so far with breast feeding (I am jealous because it didn’t go smoothly for my daughter and I at all and I thought you were super woman for figuring it out so well!) so I’m not trying to discourage that at all, just trying to give you hope that things may get better once you are done with it. Thanks for giving a real take on this stuff…it is refreshing to know that I’m not the only one who didn’t bounce back from pregnancy and childbirth in like two seconds. :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Good to hear! I have a feeling breastfeeding has affected a lot of things – although I love it and am happy to have done it this long. But I’m also looking forward to getting back to just “me” again, and seeing how that feels!

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Marissa@ohhhsolovely     at 7:17 pm

this was a really great post! i had noticed that you stopped posting about running and i thought something might be up. don’t be too hard on yourself! i know firsthand that any imbalance in the body can cause some pretty significant challenges. i had several low vitamin levels last year & since i’ve gotten them up, i feel like a new woman. i’m sure you will get back on track with exercise once your thyroid levels are in normal range. good luck!

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Eileen     at 8:15 pm

I am so glad you found out somethin was wrong and are getting it taken care. I think a lot of times after pregnancy especially the first, new moms feel that the fatigue, depression just comes with the territory when there is something physically wrong. That happened to me but it took me a lot longer than 10 months to figure it out. I am happy for you and hope that this post helps other new moms to check things out sooner rather than later if they aren’t feeling right.

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Mary@FitandFed     at 9:08 pm

Hope you feel better on your thyroid meds…. I’m sure that didn’t help, and postpartum is already challenging enough. I think you have run a lot of races for a postpartum mom, I hope you are happy with all the things you did do, especially considering that your thyroid has been slowing you down.

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Army Amy*     at 1:04 am

I love reading what you have to say about running! I’m always excited to hear what’s working well and what roadblocks you are facing. I’m trying to get my running groove back (post-marathon slump plus summer heat plus a move to a new country all have my mileage and pace suffering.) Keep the honesty coming! That’s what people want to hear!*

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Jacqui     at 5:10 am

Emily,
You are such an inspiration to me. I found your blog about 6 months ago, since then you have made me look at what I put in my body and how I use it. At 27, I have started running (something I have always wanted to do). Your blog has given me a new respect for my body and what I put in in. Thank you, and keep up the good work.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Jacqui!

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Pam     at 7:36 am

Thank you for writing this! I am 14 mos post partum and have struggled so much with regaining my fitness. I finally have realized that it will come in time and have released myself from this internal pressure that I placed on myself (and for some reason felt that “others”/society placed on me!) For now, I like to jog (I can’t call it running anymore :), walk, and enjoy being with my baby outside. This is a time in my life to enjoy my days and not feel some kind of pressure to “get in a workout”…. but I do hope in a few years, when my kids are more grown, I will get back to the fitness level that I am used to. Good luck with everything! It is refreshing to hear your perspective and to realize I am not alone :) Thank you!

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laurie     at 12:24 pm

I think you’re on track with your mindset. I’m now 52 years old and am very fit (5’4″, 114 lbs). I’ve had 4 kids (all C sections!) and I decided early on that running was hard on my body and I could get just as much of a workout by walking/hiking in my hills and mountains around me. My kids are grown now(28, 26, 23, 20)and they know fitness is important to me and they look at me as a good role model and that makes me happy! My hubby and I climb a huge mountain every day for about an hour and I feel as fit or more fit than my running friends who are struggling now with knee problems!! Do what makes YOU happy!

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Lauren @ The Homeostatic Mindset     at 12:37 pm

Now THIS is an inspiring post. Real, honest and uplifting. Thank you, Emily :)

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Lyndsay     at 5:34 pm

I have not had a child and cannot compare my experience with yours but I was also fairly active until I had my gallbladder taken out, just last Thursday. It still amazes me how far back just that minor surgery can put someone, especially an active 28-year old. It took me 35 minutes to walk a mile on Wednesday, but just 20 today. After going through this experience, it definitely makes me appreciate my ability to be more active when I’m able, but I also am learning very quickly how much I really have to listen to my own body and do what works for me right now. Thanks for being so honest about your journey – you are still an inspiration!

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Ashley     at 3:13 pm

I have scanned through some of these comments and 100% agree that you are very motivating no matter what you do! I greatly appreciate reading about a person who is down to earth and, like everyone else in the world, has high and lows! Thank-you for being so honest – this in itself is motivating! But for the record, you have always been inspiring to me – even when your life changed with a baby!!! :) I will always enjoy reading your blog!

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Julie     at 8:02 pm

You are doing awesome. Be kind to yourself and if you haven’t already, read the book: Run Like a Mother. It will inspire you, it’ll make you laugh and it will remind you that you are not alone. Hang in there! :)

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Sarah     at 4:33 am

Thanks for your honesty in this post and sharing your journey. I find it difficult when my expectations don’t meet reality but I’m glad you’re going with the flow, so to speak. I love walking (it’s prob my fave form of exercise) and used to feel pressured to adopt a more intensive form of exercise in order to feel that I really am exercising. I felt this especially from reading my fave blogs (but that’s due to my own insecurities, i’m sure). Now I just listen to my body and adapt to where my life is at the time. That said, I’m not as toned as I was when I was running, and now that I’m pregnant I do miss just being able to go out for a run whenever I fancy :)

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Angela     at 12:25 pm

You’re inspiring by so much that you do! You don’t have to run marathons to do that. Any level of activity is great. Thanks for sharing your struggle to find a good place for activity.

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Corrina     at 8:30 pm

I didn’t start running until after I had my first child–and I ran 2 or 3 half marathons without properly training. I was just happy to be running and able to complete 13.1. Even without completely following a training plan or doing too many long runs, my times still improved. I think wherever you are at after having a baby–just be there! Baby will grow and things will change. I have 3 kids now, my youngest is 3.5 and I have so many running goals, but my life doesn’t allow for the training I wish it did. But I know one day it will and in the meantime I’ll run and train as I can.

I will also say that I’ve been through bad spells with my kids in joggers too—letting them cry and fuss for miles because I just needed to run. They got through it and we figured out our routines to make it work. Now when I run with the jogger, I often have Justin Beiber and other music my 3yr old likes blaring from my iphone to keep her happy. I’m more than happy to give people a chuckle as I run by!

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Chasity Grome     at 8:37 am

I know this is an older post, but I wanted to go ahead and comment anyway. Part of the reason you’re so motivating (at least to me) is because you make a real effort to stay active in your daily life and it’s apparent that fitness is very important to you. Even if your life gets to a point where you’re not able to run any races (even 5Ks) I’m motivated and encouraged by the fact that you try your best to balance your work with staying home with Cullen and with still finding the time and energy to get out and be active. Going for weekend hikes with a baby – most families don’t do that. Daily walks of 3 miles? Lots of moms just stick their kids in front of the TV, even at Cullen’s age. Part of what is so inspiring reading your stories isn’t just the specific things that you do, but it’s the overall picture of your life. From my point of view you’re doing a great job :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you so much, Chasity! This means a lot to me. :)

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Weekly Wrap-Up: Workouts & Wardrobe.     at 10:09 pm

[...] but I thought I’d take a minute to talk about…running.  After Cullen was born, I had a really hard time both physically and mentally getting back into running.  It was a lot of typical new mom [...]

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