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