Photo by Philip Ackermann on <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>

Some of the articles on Casa Diem Life may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. It's just one way we keep the journey going! Find out more in my Privacy Policy.

The Unprofessional Athlete

Reading Time: 5 minutes

MisterE and I were once, long ago, known as “the fit couple.” Good times, good times. 

We played tennis a few times a week, woke up at 5am to go running together, and visited the gym often enough to justify the exorbitant membership fees. 

When we got married we started the tradition of running at least one half-marathon a year. It made sense at the time… What other activity embodies the spirit of long-suffering endurance required to build a successful marriage? 

Our first Half-Marathon, the Houston Half in October of 2014. Would have helped if we actually trained for it!

Even our vacations were endurance sports. We climbed, crawled, hiked and swam in all sorts exotic locations, all in the name of fun. 

And then one day — and quite suddenly — we aged. 

After our runs we started comparing aches and pains instead of stats and milestones. Visits to the gym were punctuated with visits to the chiropractor. We slowly started eating more and moving less, but we still looked good in our clothes so we thought nothing of it. 

Unable to leave well enough alone, I decided to start having children. For twenty-six weeks, pregnancy number one went swimmingly. I balanced all my meals, worked out regularly, and walked miles and miles with my mom every weekend. But then I had a pre-term labor scare and was told to stop with all the exercise already! That’s when the weight began to pile on. 

Feeling halfway into Hurricane’s pregnancy. A few weeks later I was put on modified bedrest and tripled in size

By the time Hurricane was born at around 42 weeks, I had gained a total of 65lbs. Sixty-five. Take a moment to count from one to sixty-five and let that sink in. I thought, “Welp, I’ve had a good run. This is where my fitness ends.” 

Embracing MisterE after my first post-baby half marathon in 2018. I was emotional for the entire last mile.

But believe it or not, by the time I returned to work at 12 weeks post-partum, I was more or less back to my pre-baby weight. My muscle memory kicked in, and with round the clock breastfeeding, the weight had just melted off. Hallelujah! 

I was feeling myself! 

Apparently MisterE was feeling me too, because we got pregnant again… 

The second time around the pregnancy was rough from the start. I stopped exercising by 10 weeks because of recurrent bleeding. The most physical activity I got was wrestling with Hurricane to get her teeth brushed every night. At some point I couldn’t even climb up the stairs, so I’d just pray for MisterE as he headed upstairs to brush Hurricane’s teeth. What’s more, I ate any and everything that crossed my path, because  why not? 

Surprisingly, I only gained 25lbs this time around. I thought, “Pssshhh, I’ll be back to fighting weight in 6 weeks.” 

4 days before delivering Chief. Guys, I really thought I’d bounce back from this in a day!

I have never been more wrong in my entire life. 

It’s been over three months and I’ve lost no weight except the 7lbs that was my son. And not for lack of trying. 

About two months after giving birth I got a miraculous 4 hours of sleep, so I was feeling like superwoman. I decided it was time to get back in the saddle! Back in my fit days I used to say “I don’t lace up for anything less than three miles,” so I decided I was going to run a 5k through the neighborhood before the household woke up. 

I was so pumped I didn’t notice that my running tights were so snug that I was restricting circulation to my feet. I stepped into the Houston humidity and it felt like I was breathing pure water, but I was determined. I fired up three different running apps, and off I went… 

The first quarter mile was amazing. I felt alive. Invigorated! Electric! And then, in the blink of an eye, my body realized what I was up to and began to protest. My milk-filled tatas were so heavy they threatened to tip me over. My butt, which had doubled in size during pregnancy, kept dragging me backwards. My thighs rubbed together so much my pants nearly caught on fire. It was entirely a mess. 

I know miracles happen because I somehow made it home in one piece. 

I showered, ate, and then slept for 12 hours straight. When Chief got hungry, MisterE would just pull back the covers, latch him on, and then pick him back up when he was done nursing – all without waking me up. I vaguely remember Hurricane pulling on my arm, begging me to please wake up, and me whispering back, “It’s ok, I’m alive.” 

The next morning I had MisterE check the windows and doors because I was convinced someone had broken into the house and beaten me in my sleep. Everything hurt. Head, legs, back, spleen… it was not a pretty sight. I spent the day on the couch begging MisterE to bring me snacks. 

Two days after my near death experience jog, I could hardly feel my body, but I had another workout scheduled. I kept praying MisterE would forget, but he has the memory of an elephant so he asked me, “Aren’t you supposed to work out today?” 

I knew my only hope of escape was to fake an illness, so I blurted the first thing that came to my mind. “I can’t, I’m pregnant.” 

He squinted at me and said in his calm, measured way, “You’re not pregnant.” 

“HOW CAN WE BE SURE?!” I screamed hysterically. I may have started crying. It was all a blur. 

I’ve since realized that it’s probably in my best interest to ease back into the whole fitness thing. 

Lesson learned! I spend more time on my mat and less time on the trail while my body recovers from delivery.

I’ve done a few workouts using the Nike Training Club app. I’ve gone on a couple of other slow jogs, and done a bit of yoga here and there. Oh, and I’m being more conscious of what and when I eat. One day I even ate a celery stick. Granted I also ate 9 buffalo wings and a plate of potato wedges at that meal, but gosh darnit I ate celery. 

I still haven’t lost a single pound. But at least I can say I’m trying. 

What are you all doing to stay healthy, especially in these days of endless quarantine? 

Have fun!


Hi, I'm Chioma Ikoku, a spirited explorer and a peace-loving homebody. I founded Casa Diem Life to help you combine the excitement of travel with the comfort of home, because I believe that adventure begins at home.

Receive the latest posts, exclusive content, and special offers right in your inbox.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Explore the ways we can work together on the resources page