***Disclaimer: I don’t usually talk about weight and fitness here on the blog, so I’m being brave today posting this! I know that weight and exercise are personal subjects. All bodies are different. There is a lot of speculation and opinions on when to workout after pregnancy and what you should or shouldn’t be eating. This is what worked for me and may not be suitable for everyone. This is not a sponsored post.
My pregnant belly – August 2012
Let’s be real here. I am not athletic. Ask anyone in my family, they’ll just laugh. I also have a major sweet tooth, and you can often find me eating a big old cookie for breakfast. Regardless, I have always been in decent shape. I’ve never been really big or gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time. So when I got pregnant, I had a hard time with the idea of gaining weight. I knew that it was healthy and necessary for bringing a beautiful baby into the world. I gained 28 pounds during my pregnancy. I wasn’t in the best of shape when I got pregnant, but tried to be somewhat active during pregnancy (keyword: somewhat :) Although I struggled with being much larger than I ever had been, I was so happy to have sweet Ellie come into our family.
the day Ellie was born – September 20, 2012
For the first six weeks after I had Ellie, I didn’t do much exercise wise. I was still in the process of recovering (dang episiotomy!), so we would try to go out for a walk everyday, but that was about it. After I got the go-ahead from my doctor to work out again, we continued walking and here and there I would break a good sweat. Everyone told me that the weight would “just fall off” or “breastfeeding makes it go away faster” and it does. After three months, I had lost 19 pounds, but I still only had one pair of jeans and four shirts I could fit into. I knew I would have to work hard to lose the rest or wait awhile. And let’s face it, I’m about as patient as I am athletic.
one week after Ellie was born – September 2012
So, on January 1, Brian and I started Insanity as our New Year’s Resolution. Insanity is an at home fitness program, focusing mainly on cardio. We borrowed the videos from one of Brian’s friends and worked out six times a week. Yup, six. It was a killer! Sundays have become my favorite day of the week for sure. ;) At the beginning of the workouts I couldn’t do a single pushup. I could barely even do a “girl” pushup! By the end, that was totally the opposite! Some days I really struggled with the workouts. If Brian wasn’t there to motivate me, I probably would have just given up. It was hard. But man it was worth it!
one month after Ellie was born – October 2012
A few people have asked how I workout with a baby. It was hard! I would try to workout during naptime or right after I fed her during playtime. Sometimes she would get fussy so we tried to keep it entertaining for her. I would do my pushups over her and every time I would come down I would kiss her little tummy. She would laugh and laugh! Other times we would sing silly songs or make funny faces while we jumped around in front of her. Again, she though we were hilarious! Occasionally she would be tired or hungry, so every once in awhile our workout was cut five minutes short. Basically, as long as we timed it right, we could get the workout in, no problem.
Along with working out, we have also been eating healthy (not disgusting!), proportioned meals. I refuse to say the word DIET, it’s a swear word around here. (No seriously, it is!) Insanity has a meal plan that we adjusted to fit our needs and lifestyle. Basically we ate five small meals a day – two smaller breakfast, two smaller lunches, and a dinner. We also sometimes had a little treat in the evenings. The meals were very similar to what we ate before, we just took out the extra not-so-healthy stuff and downsized the amount a little. Portion control played a big role! The first few days I learned that I wasn’t eating enough to keep my milk supply up, so I added more food to each meal. I refuse to starve myself or go hungry, so if I felt hungry, I ate something healthy. I learned to listen to my body and eat for nourishment, not because I was bored. (More on healthy eating and meals in tomorrow’s post.)
You’re all probably dying to see a before and after Insanity photo. Well, here you go! (Just ignore my dorky faces!)
and a week by week comparison:
I have never stuck with anything this long before and I’m awfully glad I did. During the last two months, I lost a total of 20 pounds. (That’s a total of 39 pounds since being pregnant! I now weigh less than I did when I got pregnant!) My stomach still has some loose skin and such, but it’s much better than before. My stretch marks have gone down a lot. My hips are still wider than they were before pregnancy, but my jeans fit better because of it. ;) I also have so much more energy during the day! It’s amazing what exercising does not only for my body, but also my mood. I find that I’m less irritable and more energetic. I am quite happy with the results and we already have planned to continue this active lifestyle (after a big celebratory meal of course!) Perhaps I am becoming slightly more athletic? Ha. I can only dream! Next up, toning!
family photo - March 2013