How I lost the baby weight + more!

I’ve had a lot of people asking me lately what I’ve been doing to lose weight, so I thought I’d take to the blog again and do a post on my “body after baby” journey.

First I want to say to any new mothers out there reading this, please don’t feel like you should compare yourself to my progress. This is my journey, and everybody (every BODY) is different. Some people bounce back after one week (ahem, my sister-in-law lol), and for others it takes 6 months or even a year to get back to anything close to their pre-pregnancy weight. And for some moms, they are perfectly content with their bodies after a baby and don’t feel the need to try to lose any weight!

I had some morning sickness in the first few weeks of my pregnancy, so I wasn’t running or eating healthy at all. After that, I never really found the motivation to get back into running or exercising, and eating whatever I wanted was way too much fun! haha So that was my pregnancy. I ended up gaining a lot of weight, but since I don’t know how much I weighed before I got pregnant, I’m not sure exactly how much I gained. But that’s not really important…

After Jack was born, I obviously was just trying to survive, so we ate whatever was easiest. We frequently ate fast food and drank a lot of soda and sweet tea. This went on for about the first 5 months of Jack’s life. It was right after New Years (typical haha) when Chad and I decided to freakin’ get it together and get healthy!

We started with baby steps. The first few weeks, we decided to cut out all fast food and drink only water. You guys, I lost 7 lbs that first week and Chad lost 10 lbs! It’s amazing what drinking water can do for you. After that, it was actually pretty easy for me to fall back into good habits since I had been fairly healthy before my pregnancy. Since starting this process, I’ve lost 40 lbs!


I’m feeling great but still have some goals in mind as far as my post-baby health is concerned. So with all this said, I wanted to lay out the things I’ve done to help me lose the weight. I’m going to do bullet points so that it’s easy to follow.

  • Drink only water

Coffee and unsweetened teas are fine also. Every day, I try to drink at least 100 oz of water. I have a 32 oz Bubba mug that I use for my water, and I try to drink 4 of them a day which comes out to 128 oz. I’ve read before that people tend to drink more if they drink through a straw. So if you’re having trouble drinking water, try getting a fun cup or bottle that has a straw! I have so many water bottles (Chad makes fun of me) because I can’t resist buying a fun new one every now and then.

  • Meal plan/meal prep like a boss

Every weekend, I loosely plan our meals for the week. I usually grocery shop on Saturday or Sunday, and then use Sunday afternoon/evening to cook and prep my lunches for the week. Now that I have a baby to get ready in the mornings, having my lunches pre-made is the only way to make sure I continue to eat healthy. Here are some examples of foods I eat for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Dinners change a lot, but I usually follow a “meat, veggie, and carb/starch” plan.

Breakfast: Oatmeal made with almond milk, berries, chia seeds, and sometimes peanut butter (make sure it’s all natural with no added sugar!). Greek yogurt (I like Oikos triple zero because it has the lowest sugar content I’ve seen). Occasionally I’ll have eggs with cheese and spinach. And I just recently jumped on the chia pudding train. Chia pudding is weird but so good if you can handle the texture of the chia seeds. You can google chia pudding and find a ton of different recipes, but the general recipe I follow is 2 tbs of chia seeds and 1/2 cup of almond milk. Then you can add whatever sweetener and mix-ins you want!

Lunch: This one gets boring because I pretty much eat the same thing for lunch every single day lol Each day I will have about 3 oz of chicken breast, a green veggie (green beans, brussels sprouts, or sugar snap peas), and sweet potatoes. I prep all of this at the beginning of the week. If I ever slip up and don’t have time to meal prep, I will fix tuna (mixed with avocado instead of mayo) and have an easy veggie like baby carrots, and I’ll throw in a string cheese. Then, I’ll make sure to prep Monday evening.

Snacks: I’m a hard core snacker. I love snacks! My morning schedule doesn’t really allow for a snack in between breakfast and lunch, but if I have to have a snack, I will do something easy like string cheese. I end up having the same snack every afternoon, and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet! I always have an apple (I like Gala) and almonds. It’s a good mix of carbs, fat, and protein. Once I get home from work, I usually grab another snack. My go-to snack after work is some kind of bar. I like protein bars, but you really have to find a good one that doesn’t have a ton of sugar or unnecessary ingredients. My favorites are Quest Bars! But, you can only get them certain places like GNC and some random grocery stores. I also like MuscleTech protein bars which you can get at Walmart. If I don’t have any protein bars on hand, I go for Lara Bars. They are made of very few ingredients, and everything is REAL food. They are high in sugar, but there is no added sugar. It all comes naturally from dates or other fruits that are in the bars. I like to eat Lara Bars after dinner if I’m craving something sweet.

  •  Stay away from processed foods

I try really hard to eat mostly whole foods. When I grocery shop, I rarely go down the middle aisles except for a few things. I get most of my groceries from the outside of the store and spend most of my time in the produce section. When I do venture to those middle aisles for something, I always check the ingredients list and don’t pay as much attention to the calories. I look for ingredients that I can pronounce!

  • Watch out for added sugar!

You’d be so surprised at how many products have added sugar. Always look at the ingredients list to see if any sugar (or sugar-like ingredient) has been added. All of those boxed “diet” foods have tons of added sugar. Foods that are “fat-free” have added sugar to make up for the taste lost with the fat.

  • Give yourself splurges!

One of my splurges comes from coffee creamer. It’s just something I’m not willing to give up! haha But I do make sure to buy sugar-free. Yes, there’s still artificial ingredients in it, but like I said, I’m not giving that once up just yet! I also have a few splurges over the weekends. Chad and I love getting pizza and fries from Stephano’s. We put Jack to bed, turn on Netflix, and pig out! On Sunday’s, we always eat lunch at my parents’ house. Usually Mom cooks healthy foods anyway, but occasionally we have no-so-healthy lunches, which is no big deal. Chad and I also have a tradition of Mexican food on Sunday nights while we watch Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, or whatever we’re watching on Netflix at the time. So for me, the weekends are very relaxed when it comes to food.

  • Exercise

Find something that you love to do, even if it’s just a brisk walk! I ran before I got pregnant, so I knew I wanted to get back to that again. I slowly started back running about 4 weeks into my weight-loss journey. I also love resistance/strength training, so I started adding in some at home workouts to my routine. I find them on Pinterest, YouTube, or OnDemand tv. We don’t have a gym membership anymore, but even if we did, I know I wouldn’t make it to the gym. So running and working out at home is what works for me for now!


This has been a LONG post, so I’m going to wrap it up!. I plan to keep moving right along with my weight-loss journey. I’m pretty close to my goal weight, but I’ve got a lot of fitness goals that I’m working towards, like faster 5k times, running more half marathons, and going back to cross-fit. I may be back with more updates as I reach my goals!

Thanks for reading! 🙂


May 2, 2016 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

Jack – 2 and 3 Months

Well, I missed Jack’s 2 month update last month, so this will be a mega update. haha Months 2 and 3 have definitely been fun! He has grown SO much. I don’t know where my tiny newborn went!

2 Months

At his two month appointment, Jack weighed over 14lbs 11oz and was 24 inches long. He was over the 95th %tile for weight, height, and head circumference. Momma’s big healthy boy!😊


During his second month of life, Jack started smiling! He began cooing and “talking” back to us when we talked to him. He held his head up a lot more and we official had to stop holding him “like a baby” because he hated being on his back in our arms.


He napped in his crib for the first time, but would only sleep on his tummy.


Even though we started putting him down for naps, he still took MANY “chest naps.” They are my favorite 😊


Jack went to the nursery at church for the first time


And he went to his first football game!


Jack started holding his head up a lot better and grasping things… mostly fingers😄


He loves being outside, so usually we could calm him down instantly just by walking outside.


He really “woke up” during this month, so there was a lot more awake time. To keep him occupied we would let him swing, play on his activity mat, and of course have some tummy time.

Now onto month 3!

3 Months

Jack didn’t have a 3 month check up, but we know he weighs about 17 lbs now! Not sure how long he is… I must have some gooood milk because he is growing like a weed! He’s already bigger than his 7 month old cousin!😂

Everyone says he looks just like my dad, which means he looks like me because I’m the spitting image of my dad. haha Here I am at 14 months… 


Not sure if it’s a young enough picture to compare Jack to, so I’ll have to find another one.

So during his 3rd month of life. Jack changed a lot!

He got even chunkier! Especially those thighs!


And I’m always asking him how many chins he has😂


He holds his head up without any help from us. He’s practically a hip baby!


He loves sucking/chewing on his hands, and if he get a hold of something, it goes straight into his mouth.
I went back to work the week of Halloween, and it has been one of the hardest things ever. But Jack is doing great while I’m away! He takes his bottles just fine now, even though he went through a phase where he straight up refused the bottle.

We also discovered the wubba nub! This has been so great because Jack doesn’t always take a paci, but with the wubba nun he can at least hold and play with the monkey. It keeps him occupied when we’re driving or I have to put him down to do something. 

Jack celebrated his first Halloween also!

 After lots of costume searches, we finally decided on this family get up…

 He was the cutest lobster ever! Here he is with the costume on backwards😂😂
And finally, my absolute FAVORITE things about this month is that Jack started laughing!!! I seriously cried when he did this!

Okay, it’s time I end this ridiculously long post. I will do better about monthly updates from now on!

November 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

Jack – One Month




I can’t believe how fast this month has gone! Being a mom has been the most challenging, exciting, and best experience of my life. It’s amazing the love I have for this little stinker!


The first 2 weeks are kind of a blur. All he wanted to do was eat, sleep, and eat some more… and of course pee and poop. He would have a few moments where he was awake and alert, but then he would cry to eat or to be rocked to sleep. We expected that, but it didn’t make those nights where he insisted on eating every hour any easier! 

On the subject of eating, I always knew I wanted to breastfeed Jack. The benifits of breast milk were amazing, and I wanted to have that bonding time with him. Luckily, BF came fairly easy for us. He didn’t have the best latch, which caused some soreness, but other than that, everything went well.


Back to those hourly feedings…. there were times during those first two weeks where I felt (quite literally) drained! It felt like all I was doing was nursing or holding him while he slept. He loves sleeping on mine and Chad’s chest, and how can we resist all that cuddle time?! 



I was BF on-demand, and his eating schedule changed a lot, so for the first two weeks we didn’t really go anywhere. I was okay with that because all I wanted to do after coming home from the hospital was rest. I may not have slept every time Jack slept (during the day), but even just being able to lay back on the couch helped me to rest.

At Jack’s one week check-up we got some great news… He weighed 8lbs 13oz, which was more than his birthweight! The goal for most babies is to be back at their birthweight by two weeks. So this was very exciting for us and assured me that I was giving him all that he needed with breastfeeding! I had worried that I wasn’t making enough milk for him, but boy was I wrong! haha

He did not like laying on the table at the doctor’s office!  


At his two week check-up we were very surprised to find out that he gained more weight and was 9lbs 9oz! Wow, never again will I doubt my ability to feed him! lol At this appointment, the pediatrician checked him all over and told us that he was in the 75th percentile for weight, and the 95th percentile for height (21 & 3/4 in.) and head circumference. Not to brag (just kidding, I am totally bragging!), but the doctor was so impressed with Jack’s growth and said that he was perfect! That made this mamma SO happy! 🙂 

Because he was doing so well and gaining weight, we were told that we didn’t have to wake him up to eat at night anymore. Before this, we were having to make sure he was eating every 3 hours at night. Ironically, that very night he was up about every hour to eat. haha! After that, he started sleeping a little better waking up around 1:30 a.m. to eat. We usually put him down for the night around 10 or 10:30, and he wakes up about 1:30 a.m. to eat and then again around 5:00 a.m. After that, he’s back on a 2 to 2 & 1/2 eating schedule for the day. 

By week’s 3 and 4, Jack started staying awake more during the day. Sometimes he stayed awake the entire time between feedings, sometimes he’s awake for half of that time and asleep for the other half, and sometimes he sleeps the entire time between feedings. We just let him do what he needs to do, although those awake times are some of my favorites! 

We play on the activity mat,

Have tummy time on the mat or the Boppy,

Or sometimes we just sit around and have photo shoots!

We occasionally go for walks around the neighborhood, but it’s been so hot the last few weeks and I don’t want Jack getting too hot. We had great weather yesterday and today though!

When Jack was just a few days old, we noticed that he smiled and laughed a lot in his sleep. It was the most precious thing ever!


Now that he’s a month old, he’s giving us real smiles while he’s awake! THAT is the best thing ever! I’ve tried to capture some pictures and videos of the smiles, but that’s easier said than done.



Well I think I’ve said enough about this guy for now. lol! What can I say, I’m a bit obsessed with him! I can’t wait to watch him grow and learn more. 

Check back here for more updates!

September 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm 1 comment

Jackson (Jack) Mills Kennington: Birth Story

Hello! It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged. Almost 2 years to be exact! I’m not going to give my excuses for why I haven’t been writing. I just want to jump right back into things! Now that Chad and I have a baby in our lives, I want to blog to document our journey. I also want to write about my attempt at getting back into running and strength training after almost a year off.

I’m starting off my return to the blog world with Jack’s birth story!  It’s been almost a month since Jack was born, so I may not remember every single detail, but I will do my best.

My Pregnancy:

Thankfully, I had a very easy pregnancy. I only had about 2 weeks of morning sickness in the beginning. Other than that, the worst of my symptoms was the heartburn, swelling, and some sciatic nerve pain.


Labor and Delivery

Because I wasn’t dilating and had reached my due date (August 7th), my doctor and I decided to schedule an induction for the following Monday. At midnight on August 10th, Chad and I went to the hospital to be checked in and start an iv and take cytotec which was supposed to help my cervix thin. I started taking the cytotec at 12:30 a.m. and took it every 2 hours until 6:30 when they started an iv drip of pitocin. I tried to get as much sleep as possible during that time, but I was way too excited and anxious!


Chad managed to get some shut eye though.


Before starting the pitocin, the nurse checked to see if I had dilated, and I was 1 cm! After weeks of disappointing OB appointments and being told there was no progress, this was exciting news for us! Not long after the pitocin was started, I began having mild contractions. They weren’t very consistent, so my nurse kept having to increase the meds.

Sometime mid-morning my doctor came in to try and break my water. He was unsuccessful and told me he would come back in an hour to try again. If he couldn’t do it, then we were going to have to talk about the possibility of a c-section. When he left, I told my nurse that I needed to go to the bathroom. Because of my iv and monitor, I had to have the nurse help me any time I needed to use the bathroom. Well, I REALLY had to go to the bathroom. Even though I couldn’t drink anything, I was being pumped with a lot of fluids! Apparently, it was enough that my nurse went and got my doctor to come back and try to break my water again. He said that sometimes a full bladder put pressure on the cervix, so maybe this time it would be easier for him to break my water… and he was right! A few minutes later my water had broken, and the intensity of my contractions increased dramatically. They were pretty uncomfortable, but still bearable. I wanted to wait until I dilated more before getting an epidural. I had read that labor usually slows down once you get the epidural, and i didn’t want to slow anything down! So I waited…

Well, it didn’t take long before the contractions were coming on FULL FORCE. Chad tried to distract me by talking, but I wasn’t having it. He tried once to massage my back, but the look I gave him told him to back off. haha All I could do was grip the bed rail and breath through each one. Every part of me wanted to tense up and hold my breath, but I knew that would just make them worse, so I tried to relax. It took over an hour to get the epidural once I asked, during which I was given pain meds to help me while i waited. It took the edge off, but only for about 20 minutes. Finally, the anesthesiologist came in to give the epidural. At the point, I am in so much pain i can barely sit up. My contractions seem to be coming one right after the other with very little time between. The nurse helped me sit up on the edge of the bed. If you’ve ever had an epidural, you know that you have to sit up and lean forward kind of slumped over so that the needle can go in your back easily. I was having to do this all while having contractions, so it was not easy. The anesthesiologist kept asking me where I felt the needle and even asked if I had scoliosis. He was having a hard time with me for some reason. He ended up having to try three different times, and thankfully the third time worked. Now, remember when I said the my doctor broke my water? FALSE. He may have cause a leak, but my water didn’t truly break until I was sitting up on the edge of the bed getting that epidural. And it broke all over my poor nurse’s shoes! haha I was so embarrassed, but I didn’t care. I needed that epidural stat! After about 20 minutes, I couldn’t feel a thing and was finally able to relax. The nurse checked me before leaving, and I was 3 cm dilated.

I slept on and off after that, but everything seemed to be moving so fast. My nurse came in to check me, and I was 7 cm! Then maybe an hour or so later, I was 9 cm! Before I knew it, it was time to push!! We seriously couldn’t believe that we were about to meet our little boy! Around 3:15 I started pushing. By this time, the epidural was starting to wear off. I could feel my feet and pressure from the contractions but no pain. I had no idea how long it could take to push a baby out? I thought it would be quick, but I ended up pushing for almost 2 hours. It was so exhausting. I actually kept falling asleep in between contractions. After what seemed like forever, my doctor came in to deliver our baby! He had me push normally a few times, and then I had one slow, easy push. The nurse told me to look down, and there was Jack!! I couldn’t believe it! The doctor got Chad to cut the chord, and then they put Jack on my chest. I wanted to have that skin to skin time as soon as possible. I held him for a while before letting them clean and check him.


Jack was born at 5:03 p.m., weighed 8lbs 3oz, and was 20 and 1/2 inches long. They put him back on my chest for more skin time. Chad and I just stared at our little boy for the longest time! During this time, I tried nursing Jack. My plan was to exclusively breastfeed for as long as possible. More on the topic later! Then sadly, it was time for Jack to go to the nursery. I was taken to another room where I would stay for the rest of our time at the hospital. They had to keep Jack in the nursery a little longer than normal because his blood sugar was low, but Chad got to go back to the nursery to see him while we waited.


He was perfect!!

The nurse finally brought him back to us with a clean bill of health!


I don’t know what we ever did without him! I’m so in love with my perfect little family.


I’ll have more posts on our new lives with baby Jack, but this one is already long enough.

Thanks for reading!

September 4, 2015 at 6:15 pm 1 comment

Faster Than the Speed of Light

Well, my life is currently traveling faster than the speed of light, so of course blogging has to get put on the back burner. But hey, at least it’s HUMP DAYYYYY. YEAH.

Here’s what’s been going on!

Saturday I had 12 miles to run, but since I was doing a 5k mud run I scaled it back to 10 miles before the race. It was raining when I woke up, but I sucked it up and got out there in the dark to start my run. I made it to the bluff along the river in Sheffield around the half-way point. It was the perfect place to stop and stretch before going back towards Tuscumbia. 🙂


I finished my run at Spring Park which is where the mud run started, so it was perfect! I met up with my team (Team Trenholm), and we got registered and ready to go.

It was such a fun experience! We ran the first 1/4 mile through the creek. Literally water was up to our waist the entire time, so it was more of a wade through the creek instead of run. lol There were tons of mud pits, hay bells to climb over, ropes to pull ourselves up slippery muddy hills, but the best part was the gigantic water slide. Our group went down together “train style.” The video was posted to Facebook, and it’s the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen!

Mud Run

Our team ended up placing 2nd, even though it took us an hour and sixteen minutes to finish! haha I was still proud.



On Sunday Chad and I took the youth to the fair! It was a beautiful day and perfect weather. I don’t particularly enjoy fair rides, but what I do enjoy is fair FOOD! 😉 These guys especially loved their food.


My favorite thing to get at the fair is the lemonade and funnel cakes. But this time, I passed on the funnel cake and got something even better and more fattening… fried oreos! I shared with Chad, and we ate them up in no time.



On Monday, Chad and I finally went back to the gym! We picked up where we left off in the New Rules of Lifting for Abs program. Hopefully this wont set us back too much.

After work, I had a little bit of time to rest at home before having to go to the stadium for our JV game. The game ended around 9:00, and I went home, had some dinner, watched too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, and went to bed way too late.


Because of that late bed time, I slept through my morning run yesterday.

I had oatmeal for breakfast before heading off to work.


After work, my cheerleaders had to get pictures taken before rushing to Florence for an extra gymnastics class with the varsity. We’re getting ready for homecoming which is next week!

After dropping one of the girls off at her house, I made it home around 6:15 and at that point, I just wanted to eat and go to bed. So, I fixed something quick, and we ate on the couch while watching more Grey’s and then went to bed.


This morning, I woke up at 4:30, let the dogs out, had some coffee, and then drove to the gym. I had 6 miles to run and hate running in the dark for that long, so the treadmill was my only other option. It wasn’t too terrible because I had my iPad and, you guessed it, Grey’s Anatomy. Obsessed.


Breakfast was oatmeal again because I can’t get enough of it ever. You don’t need to see another picture of oatmeal.

Work was work.

Cheerleaders practiced until 4:30.

And now I literally have 5 seconds to get this post up before I have to be at the church.

Happy Wednesday!!

September 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm 1 comment

Short and Sweet

Hey there! This post is gonna be short and sweet.

Yesterday was pretty uneventful, so I wont talk much about the day. But, one kind of interesting thing that happened was the free running form clinic I went to last night. It was at First Place Athletics in Florence and was really helpful. The guy leading the clinic put us through different drills that help improve running form, and then we went out on an easy mile jog to put the drills into practice. I really enjoyed it!


Since I was already in Florence, I decided to stop by Publix to pick up something I’ve been dying to try.


Cotton candy grapes!!! I ate half the bag just last night! bahaha They are SO good.


This morning I got up at 4:30, let the dogs out, had some coffee, and then drove to the gym to try to fit in 5 miles. I made it to 4 miles and then realized I wouldn’t have time to get ready if I didn’t leave right then, so that was that.


I also bought Barney Butter at Publix last night (ummm holy expensive nut butter Batman) and tried it in my oatmeal this morning. I honestly don’t know why it’s so expensive or why people rave about it, because it was not that good. I mean, I’ll eat it…. but I really like Maranatha almond butter much better!

Work today was pretty exhausting. Those kids were hyper. I’m pretty sure tonight’s a full moon.

Tonight I’m finally getting a chance to cook dinner! I just haven’t decided what that’s going to be yet. 😉

This was such a short post, I probably shouldn’t have even bothered. lol Oh well!

Happy Tuesday! 🙂

September 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm 1 comment

MIMM [The Weekend!]

Hey there! Happy Monday! Hope your weekend was good! Mine was awesome, and here are some pictures for proof! 🙂


Cookies at work





10 mile run


Outside all day


Afternoon skeet shooting




Oh Bryans dinner

Treat for running 10 miles 🙂


Sunday (funday)

Also known as the day I don’t really take pictures. But I do have one…

While on a mission to find pumpkin spiced M&Ms, Kayla, Rick, and I found these!!


Other Sunday happenings included:


Lunch at my aunt and uncle’s

Grey’s Anatomy by myself on the couch

Church again where we played kickball for an hour and a half. (My team beat Chad’s team lol)

Fiesta for dinner

Back home to watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix before bed.


Has anyone else been watching OITNB?? I didn’t want to at first, but it’s actually really good!


After a weekend like that, I think it’s time I linked back up with Katie today for Marvelous in My Monday!! 🙂

September 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm 6 comments

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Hello, I'm Grace! I'm a 24 year old living in a small town in Alabama. I'm married and have the most amazing job teaching music to elementary students. I blog about healthy eating, exercising, running, and the random things that happen in my life. I've recently completed my second half marathon and can't wait to pursue that 26.2!

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