This is a hard post for me to write only because it is extremely personal. I want to share my story however, because it may help others get through what is a often secret, yet unbelievably common experience for women. In early November, I lost a baby at 10 weeks. I was confident I was going to reach the safety of the 12 week mark. We had heard the heartbeat at about 7 weeks, and had cried with joy at the clear, strong sound that meant our weeks of injections and fertility appointments had succeeded. When we went for the next appointment, we were blindsided. The heartbeat we had heard before was gone, and we were met with a heartbreaking silence. The fetus had stopped developing at 8 weeks, but my placenta was still growing, and my pregnancy symptoms had continued, lending me to believe I was still pregnant. My coworkers and friends that saw me daily had even begun commenting that I was "showing." After surgery to remove the fetus and placenta, I was at an extremely low point. My husband and I were devastated, and I felt that my body had completely failed us. Despite my doctor's insistence, I couldn't help but think it was entirely my fault. Outside of immediate family, close friends and coworkers, nobody had known I was pregnant, and I was left with about 10 pounds of extra weight from fertility treatments and my brief pregnancy. I felt unattractive and apathetic for days, but with the support of my husband and family and closest friends, I was able to gradually get back to my routine and add fitness back to my shattered life. My hormones and thyroid however, took much longer to get back to normal, and I couldn't drop the last 8 pounds. Though I took several days to feel hopeless and stuck in my unfamiliar body, with the encouragement of my husband and family I gradually began to run again, and incorporate the same things I'd always enjoyed physically before. With every day that I made myself move a little more, and eat a little healthier, the better I felt. Initially I had latched on to wine and sugary treats post-surgery, and I had felt like I "deserved" those extra snacks for what I had been through. It took me awhile to realized what I deserved was to feel good again, and the only way to achieve that was to treat my body to good, whole foods and nutrition. Combined with getting out more and exercising when I did opt to stay indoors with yoga or Pilates or a workout online, I felt not only my body change but my emotional health as well. Some of the changes in my body took a long time to ebb away, and I found solace in articles online, and in the support of those closest me as I fought the frustration and sorrow. With clean eating, regular workouts, and a shoulder to cry on, I gradually felt like me again. Within several weeks, I was back to my pre-baby body and weight, and finally felt good physically. As I write this, I'm finally in a good place--I've accepted that my body may or may not be able to conceive again, and I'm loving how I look now. I feel stronger and leaner, and hope that I can inspire women in a similar situation, and women and men in any situation where they don't feel their best. Eating clean and working out isn't just a temporary fix; it's a way of life that we can all benefit from. That's not to say there isn't room for dessert or the occasional junky snack, though. The occasional treat is great. In fact, once you start eating clean, healthy desserts are what you'll crave anyways. Just move a little every day, and acknowledge your body for what it is capable of. Treat it well. An overall commitment to leading an active healthy lifestyle with healthy food is what keeps me at my best, and not only physically, but emotionally and mentally too. My body's wellbeing seeps into other area of my life, and I find that I am a happier, more confident person when I prepare a clean meal or go for a run, or emerge from the pool with my old lady aqua-jog belt strapped around my waist. Thanks for taking the time to read my story, and I hope you or someone you know in a similar situation can find solace from my words. In my experience, eating clean and staying active has changed many other venues in my life--my confidence and overall wellness as well, and I know it can for others, too. My tip for today is hug those you love and thank your body by planning a clean eating meal, and get moving! xo Maiah Running Girl P.S. Here's a sneak peek of a no-bake cookie recipe coming up soon. It is definitely one of my best yet! Best of all? It's great for a balanced hormone level. I have PCOS and hypothyroidism and have learned to really focus on foods that are good for optimal hormone levels. Clean protein, healthy fats and healing spices are phenomenal for helping hormones, and this anti-oxidant packed treat has all of the above! Once you start eating cleaner, treats like these that still make you feel good after you eat them will be even more desirable. I promise!