Health, Fitness & Losing Baby Weight

Finally. I know I've been promising a post on losing baby weight for the longest time, but I kept struggling to write about it for some reason. Maybe because I am not a fitness/health guru, I wasn't sure that I would really have anything worthwhile to share. But at the end of the day, I can at least share my story & my experiences. I am like most, I hate working out & only do it so I can combat my Frito/Chipotle/cupcake obsession.

While I was pregnant, I jogged & did some small circuits of pushups, lunges, etc. to try to stay in shape. Eating spoonfuls of jelly on the reg definitely didn't help my cause, but overall I gained about 26-27 lbs. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I just tried my best to get out & walk every day. My doctor told me that with all the extra poundage being carried around, you burn so many more calories, so I made sure to walk at least 30 minutes per day. Even if it was just around the mall. :)

Skirt, Grey Tank, Jean Jacket

I lost all of the weight in the first three weeks, which I think can be much attributed to breastfeeding. On the topic of breastfeeding, I know that after I had Harper the last thing I wanted to do was shovel in food after I looked like a bloated, pillow-esque-slob-kabob BUT you need those calories in order to produce milk. I spoke with so many lactation consultants & breastfeeding expert friends who had to tell me this over & over again. Good, healthy fats like eggs, avocado & peanut butter can make a world of difference in your ability to produce milk, which essentially burns those calories right off in return.

Once I was cleared to start working out again at my 5 week postpartum appointment, I started to ease back into running & jumped back into my favorite workout DVD, Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I love this workout because there are three levels, so it is perfect for a beginner & leaves room to become more advanced. With this DVD, I use Three & Five Pound Dumbbells & a Yoga Mat. For a more ab focused workout, I love Six Week Six-Pack. These workouts are SO short, you can actually watch the clock during them & always be assured that there are only a few minutes left.

Crossfit workouts are also an amazing way to get in shape & stay toned! My husband is an avid Crossfitter (is that a word?) so he makes me shortened/girl version workouts that I can do at home using just my 5 lb Kettlebell or dumbbells. If you are interested, I'd be happy to share some of the workouts on the blog.

I try to do a workout video or Crossfit routine 3-4 days per week, all at home. It isn't realistic for me to even attempt doing it daily, so I don't stress over it. And if I can't fit these in, a run or long walk with Harper in the stroller is always a good workout!
I don't have a recent pic, but this is the best I can do for before & after. The left is right around when I found out that I was pregnant, June 2011 & the right is exactly one year later in June 2012. I am posting this picture to show you that having a baby (and having a c-section) doesn't mean you can never have your old stomach (sorta) back. Update: For anyone who has asked, I used Mustela Double Action Cream to prevent stretch marks... it worked like a charm! :)

This was also obviously just my first pregnancy (I hear it gets harder the second time around).

I don't have the magic remedy for losing baby weight or staying in shape. As most of you know I drink beer, have a Frito addiction & honestly, sort of despise working out. Here are the realistic tips/rules that I can give on this topic:
1. Absolutely no soda & no fast food. I substitute ALL sugary drinks with sparkling water. Straight up carbonated water with no sugar, no sodium & no calories (also a perfect alcohol substitute when pregnant).
2. Real cardio is a must. I used to go to the gym and fuck around on the lowest speed elliptical setting & do some pathetic sit ups while trying to watch Ellen. None of this will give you the same results as running. Go outside, find the steepest hill & haul ass to the top of it.
3. Find healthy snacks that you like. I know it seems like all healthy food sucks, BUT keep trying new things & find those one or two healthy snacks that you can tolerate. I randomly discovered whole fruit bars when I was pregnant & couldn't stop eating them! Also, strawberries, a banana & a splash of skim milk with ice in the blender is an amazing low-cal smoothie that will cure a sweet tooth in a hot second. Other favorites are peeled grapes & wheat thins, apple slices & peanut butter or tuna on cucumber slices.
4. Chug that water. Funny how this always makes the list when it comes to losing weight, but I swear that it works. Before I had Harper, I got a water tumbler that I loved & could not stop filling up. I noticed a difference in days in both my skin & my body. Go out of your way to find a water bottle that you LOVE & it will instantly be easier for you to guzzle that H2O. Camelbak Bottles are my favorite!
5. Remove all possible things that will cause you to make excuses. I literally used to skip workouts because I had to change the TV from the cable box to the DVD player. One button on the remote would stop me from completing my workout. Now, I have a dedicated TV , with my weights under the dresser & I will SLEEP in my workout clothes so that I cannot make a single excuse in the morning to not workout.

Well ladies, there you have it! :) I hope this is helpful. If nothing else, inspiring or reassuring to those first time moms that are pregnant now & worried that the baby weight will never go away. It is a daunting task & different for every person, but just takes a little time to find out what will work best for you.

As my husband always says, "How do you eat an elephant?"
"One bite at a time!"


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