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Post Pregnancy Update – 6 weeks

The whole process of being pregnant and giving birth, has really opened my eyes for the second time about what women go through after having a child. I feel so unbelievably lucky to have experienced birth for the second time.   I have learned quite a bit through the whole process, and moving forward will be better able to relate and train my post pregnancy clients.

The first thing I noticed after giving birth, was how bloated I was, and very much in pain from surgery.

2 days after giving birth

 

6 weeks – my feet ‘lost’ weight

My feet were so big I had to leave my shoes slightly untied in order to put them on. I read that pregnancy can change the size of your feet and they might not go back.  The first time things did not change, and I am hopeful that this time will be the same.

I feel like I am just coming out of this swollen, soft, mushy feeling that I am sure all women go through after having a child.  I feel like a deflated balloon.  Although I am still very mushy, especially in the middle I know things are improving, as I am already into some of the ‘transitional’ pants.

 

Training

The last 8 weeks of my pregnancy I gave up on training. I was trying to preserve my energies to train my clients, and get through the day to day.  So to say that now I am ‘out of shape’ would be a solid description.  Add to that a major surgery and I know the road back will be a tough one. For instance, climbing the stairs and just walking about was my ‘workout’ for the first 2 weeks.  The doctor recommended to only carry the baby for the first 8 weeks, but staying home for me is not an option. By the end of week 2, I was carrying Owen with his carrier (those things are awkward and heavy), and  ‘working out’ without really realizing it.

Best glute builder – hills w/a stroller.

The last month, I have been trying to walk every other day, or every third day. It has been a progressive return to general movement.  At first my distances were very short, and I was very slow.  Then I gradually worked my way up to longer distances, although the pace was still slow.  If I needed a day or two to recovery in between ‘trainings’ I did just that.   In the last 2 weeks I have been walking a path I have laid out for myself around my house, on a daily basis

This path, 3/4 of it is pretty flat but this one part,  a very steep hill, is hard, especially when you are pushing a stroller.

At first it took an hour, to do the whole tour, but now I can do it in 50 minutes.  So in around 3 weeks, I shaved off 10 minutes off my time. #smallwin

I have dabbled in a few training sessions in the gym, but they have been short – around 20 minutes (it is amazing how much you get done in 20 minutes when you are carrying around a baby that might wake up). I ere on the side of less, as I can always add more reps, weight etc, next time.  I want to see how my body reacts, and then adjust accordingly for the next workout.  It feels really good to sweat again, on a daily basis.   I would say I have been ‘to the gym’ maybe 3 times.  I have really been waiting as there has been some side effects of training in the gym – so I backed off completely and just waited to heal.  Now I think I am ready but there is no way I can simply pick up where I left off.

I don’t have that hip/pelvic pain that I had when I was pregnant.  Although I did have some minor aches and pains, when I started back walking, an I have been ‘testing’ out my lunges.  I know this pain is temporary adjustment pain as my body is just not used to moving like that anymore.  Now, 6 weeks later things are much, much better. I know I am getting stronger as I can feel it as I move throughout the day, I have more energy especially late in the day, and I feel better in my own skin.

 

Nutrition

Salad does not have to have lettuce.
Salad does not have to have lettuce.

I have not been as consistent with my nutrition as like I would like to be.  Once I got home from the hospital I craved vegetables, and lots of salads, but added other foods I would not normally consume such as baked chips, bread, butter and granola.  Although I eat lots of the good stuff (what does that mean?), I added a few extra things here and there.

Right now, I eat lots of salads, vegetables, including carrots, eggs, chicken, beef, avocados, berries, cottage cheese, oatmeal, coconut, bread, baked chips, and yogurt.

I don’t measure my food, or even consider the calories. I just eat what I feel like eating.

I can tell you there are things I will NOT eat. Ever.

I am breastfeeding so chocolate is out.  The caffeine keeps my son up. And I enjoy the consistent sleep that I do get.

Fast food of any kind which includes pizza.  I would rather go hungry than eat it, as I just don’t digest it well.

Any high calorie beverages – I just don’t need them.

Candies – I am just not craving sugar of any kind – so why even bother?

I see food mostly as fuel, something to keep my hunger at bay.  Food can be pleasurable, but I don’t generally eat a food just to eat.  If I actually don’t enjoy something or if there is a negative reaction to eating a food, I just live without it.

Eventually I will start dieting, especially if the weight does not come off.  I am giving myself a good 3 months before I even attempt dieting, and see what just moving more in my daily life, and following a solid nutritional plan (what does that mean?) with minimal junk.   I don’t want to compromise my milk supply as well, as I remember last time (10 years ago) that my milk quality went down once I started dieting.   I don’t mind keeping a few pounds on if that means my son gets good quality nutrition.

Short term pain, long term gain.

 

Timeline

3 days before b
3 days before giving birth

Before giving birth, my weight was 165 lbs, , and I lost around 20 lbs pretty quickly. This was extra fluid I was holding from the baby, and general swelling and actual water weight.  I am around 142 lbs and that has been holding for the last 2 weeks.  I like to be in the 125-130lbs weight range in the off season, and 130 lbs at the top end feels very heavy to me.  I notice things on my body that I just don’t like and will be working toward getting rid of them – such as back fat, belly fat, top of hip fat, and my belly bounces when I walk – I really don’t like that one.

I will be giving myself at least a year to 15 months to get back into the body that I feel comfortable in.

It is interesting that people come to me to get ‘in shape’ and have these huge expectations that they will get there in 3 months or even half a year.  I, as their trainer have to manage these (at times) unrealistic expectations.  Changing a body is hard, and depending on a whole host of factors, such as previous training status, will determine how fast you get to where you want to be.  There is a number of factors that will go into ‘how fast can I get into shape”, many of which I will leave for another posting.

Left: 3 days after giving birth. Right: 6 weeks.
Left: 3 days after giving birth. Right: 6 weeks.

After giving birth 10 years ago, I put a lot of pressure on myself to get back to the stage. I competed 7 months after my son was born, and shed 65 lbs in the process. I was still very soft, especially in the middle, and probably should have waited a few more months or at least a year to return to the stage.  However, the look back then was quite a bit different than it is now. We were fit, feminine, but not so muscular and hard. I am older, and feel no need to put that kind of pressure on myself to get back to the stage so soon. Perhaps you could say wiser as well?  I have decide not to give myself a timeline on how quickly I can get back into shape.  But with that being said, I will be still working hard in the gym, just at a more modest pace, with no immediate end date to get to where I feel comfortable, and then decide if I want to do a show.

Slow and steady is my plan.

It took me 9 months, and major surgery to get to this point, and I will be taking a consistent approach back to me whether it takes me 3 months, 6 months, a year or more…I will get there.  It is the same strategic approach I preach to my clients.

Work hard, be consistent, implement that plan, and you will get there.

A.

1 comment on “Post Pregnancy Update – 6 weeks

Reply

Congrats on your progress to get yourself back in shape after having your baby. Can see you work hard and you’re definitely leading by example. Consistency is key that’s for sure!

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