Category Archives: Fitness

Keeping It Real

When am I due? Oh seven months ago.

post baby body

This, folks, is my post-second-baby body. It has taken me seven months to come to terms with it. But I’m almost there. I’m almost comfortable being uncomfortable.

Weight has never been an issue for me. Maybe I’d hit the gym a little harder before a beach vacation or need to watch my brownie intake after a week or two of sloppy eating. But I’ve never been faced with an extra 15 pounds on the scale. That didn’t even happen at my four week postpartum checkup after having My Girl.

And maybe that is a part of why dealing with this extra weight has been such a struggle: it simply wasn’t an issue after having my first baby. I lost the weight obnoxiously quickly with My Girl. And I assumed the same would happen after round two. Boy am I wrong.

But as My Hubs has said more than once: my body is doing the best it can under the circumstances. My Bear is awesome, but he’s been a tough cookie: colicky, anti-sleep, anti-bath, anti-bottle, anti-anything-that-isn’t-his-momma.  I’ve yet to sleep more than a four hour stretch since bringing home My Bear. I’m unable to eat really clean or workout intensely because it really affects my milk supply. I’m really trying to make a napper out of this kid, so I’m home-bound with staggering nap schedules between my two kiddos. And when I do make it to the gym? My Bear isn’t the happiest customer & may or may not have been asked to leave in the past.

So I’m getting comfortable with the idea that 2014 just isn’t my year of beauty. It’s the year of baby. It’s the year I didn’t sleep, the year I sported a perma-ponytail, the year I wore a body shaping one piece to the beach. It’s also the year of love – oh so much love, the year I kept it all together when it would’ve been understandable to fall apart, the year I became my strongest self.

And while I’m counting down the months for when I can claim my body again, I am doing my best to cherish this time with My Bear. It will be fleeting. It will be missed, I’m sure.

But the baby weight? Not so much.

The 8 Week Mark

It’s here: the eight week postpartum mark. I feel I’m out of the Survival Mode gutter (most days) and kind of feel like I know what I’m doing with a toddler and a baby. So now it’s time to put a little focus on myself and my issue at hand: baby weight. Sigh. The baby weight.

With My Girl, losing the weight was pretty easy. It kind of just fell off and I was able to button my pre-baby jeans two weeks after delivery. Eight weeks after having My Bear and those same jeans won’t go past my thighs.

The difference in my post-baby circumstances is for several reasons: I carried my second four weeks longer than my first and definitely put on those last month pregnancy pounds; I was having contractions after our Disney trip and was told to “rest” the remainder of my pregnancy (aka no more working out); I didn’t have a doctor who made me cry over my weight gain & therefore I didn’t feel pressured to count calories like I did with my first (shamefully so); and, to be honest, I didn’t have an aversion to sweets like I did with My Girl and I definitely indulged in my love for brownies.  And I’m sure being in my 30s and having a second kid haven’t worked in my favor either.

Ok, ending personal therapy session.

So here I am, faced with having to lose a large amount of weight for the first time in my life. It seems overwhelming. But it also seems exciting to have that challenge. I’m incredibly excited to work my butt off at the gym (literally) , a little less so about giving up my brownies. But I’m ready.

And I know myself: I can be extremely disciplined with clean eating and exercise when I have a game plan.  So here it goes…

Go to the gym three days a week.
I don’t have the pre-baby luxury of dictating my own time that allows for a stringent gym schedule anymore, but I know I can make three days a week work. It’s doable. And enjoyable. The gym is my release like shopping is for others.

Move everyday.
If I don’t make it to the gym, I will walk my dog. If that doesn’t happen, I will have a dance party with my toddler and do squats while bouncing my baby. Maybe I’ll do all three. Movement is crucial.

Eat five servings of fruit and vegetables everyday.
I have been in the bad habit of just grabbing a handful of crackers whenever I’m hungry. I need to start grabbing an apple instead.  It is time to refocus on clean foods again!

No fast food.
Ending a long stretch of very little fast food (I’m talking years here), I got in the horrible habit of hitting up the Chick-fil-a down the street during Survival Mode. No more. Just no more.

No daily chocolate.
My entire adult life, I’ve had chocolate everyday. A little bit (usually two Dove squares) would keep me from going overboard. But my ability to stop at a little bit seems to have disappeared for the time being (two Dove squares turned into ten). So it’s bye bye daily indulgence until I can enjoy it responsibly.

Water. Water. Water.
Drink at least 100 ounces everyday. This is needed in general, but especially needed to keep up my milk supply as I get back to the gym (this kid is actually nursing!).

So there it is: my bye bye baby weight game plan. My before pictures have been snapped – maybe I’ll have the guts to post them soon – and my fridge is stocked with clean foods. I’m pumped to get started!

Exercising When Pregnant

Super Fit Mama Pregnancy Book
During my first pregnancy, I had some pretty hard core morning sickness the first 16 weeks. And, oddly, the only thing that gave me any relief was exercising. I don’t know if it actually alleviated any symptoms or if it just took my mind off them, but hopping on the treadmill was the only escape.

Wanting to continue exercising throughout my pregnancy and also wanting to be mindful that I was responsible for a human being growing inside of me, I sought out a lot of different pregnancy workout books, websites and DVDs (along with my doctor’s advice, of course). The hands-down best resource I found was this little gem – Super Fit Mama: Stay Fit During Pregnancy and Get Your Body Back After Pregnancy by Tracey Mallett.

This book is loaded with great information: exercises tailored to each trimester, ab exercises (I had no idea until this book that you could work on your abs during pregnancy), recipes, and tips on getting back in shape after baby arrives. Some of the exercises didn’t seem too intense while I was completing them, but I would be sore the next day. That’s when you know you’ve got a pregnancy workout keeper! I have continued utilizing her moves during my second pregnancy too.

I feel like exercising throughout my pregnancy definitely helped me get back into the groove after I had My Girl. (Time will tell if that will hold true for Baby #2!) Not only did I appreciate exercising throughout my pregnancy from the physical aspect, I think it was really helpful to keep myself accountable mentally as well. It wasn’t complete drudgery getting back into a workout routine after giving birth since I never really stopped. It also helped that I had a crazy weight-obsessed doctor who told me a walk around the block wasn’t going to do me any good. (I appreciated this, but I don’t think she’d be the doctor for everyone!)

So if you are wanting to get up with your routine while growing that bump, I highly recommend giving Super Fit Mama a shot!

The Greatest Thing My Mother Never Did

the greatest thing my mother never didWe all know of the pressures young girls face growing up, especially about looking a certain way and fitting a certain mold of what the world has decided is beautiful. And though I was certainly not immune to these outside pressures growing up, I had a role model to keep me grounded: my mom.

At home, I was never exposed to a woman second-guessing her body. Did she have insecure moments? She’s a human being, and I’m sure she did. Did she see changes in her body after having two kids? I’d think so, but I never heard a complaint about them. Did she undertake diets during my childhood? Probably, but I never saw evidence of it.

At the same time, she didn’t smother me with positive body messaging and tell me at every waking moment that I was beautiful and worthwhile and someone to be treasured. It was much more organic. It was much more simple. It was just a mom living by example.

Seeing my mom with a positive body image provided an awesome home base for me to grow my own healthy body ideas. While I’ve seen friends really struggle with the way they look, analyze every morsel of food they consume, and agonize over every imperfection, I’ve been pretty low key in that arena. I have always had a strong confidence in myself, sometimes dinged but never destroyed. And I know that stems from my mom showcasing that in herself.

Do I have insecure moments? I’m a human being, and I do. Do I see changes in my body after having a baby? Of course, but I strive not to complain about them. Will I undertake some sort of lifestyle change to lose the baby weight from my second pregnancy? Probably, but I will not allow my daughter to see evidence of it.

The greatest thing my mother never did was talk negatively about herself in front of me. And that’s one thing I hope to never do for my daughter too.

The Fab 15 Workout Review

fab15 greater than reeses

I pinned the Fab 15 Total Body Workout from Fit Fab Cities quite some time ago but only recently tried it out when I was needing some inspiration at the gym. And the verdict? You definitely need to add it to the repetoire!

I wanted to focus on cardio, but I also wanted a few strength moves to feel like I had made a decent attempt to burn off at least one of the Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter eggs I’ve consumed in the past week. Those things are chocolate crack.

I started with 20 minutes of cardio then did one round of the Fab 15 moves. Having my iPhone stop watch was clutch – and I was able to click back-and-forth from Pinterest to the watch throughout my workout. The workout kept my heart rate up with the cardio intervals, and most of my muscles felt fatiqued after one minute (i.e. one minute of push ups is usually not how I roll!). Next time, I will add some weight to the squats though.

I ended with some additional ab & glute work (I always feel particularly gross in those areas after a chocolate crack binge), and I walked away feeling like I had a great workout.

Do you plan on giving the Fab 15 Workout a try?