Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mommy Get That Body Back - 9 Months Postpartum

It has officially been nine months since my twin boys were brought into this world; nine months in, and now, nine months out. Over that magical 18 months my body grew and housed two humans, I gained (and lost) a whopping 75 pounds.  The past two months I challenged myself to shed the last 10 pounds I had put on during my pregnancy.

My two month challenge consisted of eating right, logging food, counting calories, (all the while making sure I get enough calories as I am nursing) and fitting in workouts. Lucky for me, most of that is my daily life, so it wasn't incredibly challenging.  However, for these last pesky pounds I did have to kick it up a notch.  There could be no slacking. If I forgot to log my food right away I forced myself to enter everything and retrace my snacks to try and remember the thousands of things I ate (I am constantly famished). I had to accept that I am no longer going to get my hour long insane gym sessions and instead I need to treasure the bit of time I have after the boys go to bed to power clean the house or get in some weights.  If I can't fit in weights that day, I make sure to not beat myself up and remember that all that baby lifting and wearing counts too. If I am lucky enough to get in a run, I savor every second of it. If I can't get in cardio for the day, I find peace in going over my Fitbit data and knowing I walk an average of seven miles a day...that is better than nothing.

But to be completely honest, the main reason I got my body back, was I never really lost it in the first place.  I was in great shape before pregnancy, stayed active throughout my pregnancy and got right back to it after I popped out those babies. I never "let myself go" or used pregnancy as an excuse to sit around and eat junk.

If you are preparing to be a mommy, are expecting or a new mommy and are ready to get your body back, here are some tips to help you along the way...

Get fit. If you are coming off your wedding and went through that whole "crazy bride" slim down phase, then you are off to a good start. If not, no worries, you can start today. Pregnancy is the ultimate marathon and as with any long distance race, you need to prepare. Eat right, workout and take care of yourself. You are preparing your body for the greatest miracle on Earth, creating LIFE. If you have extra weight to lose, get rid of it, there is no better time then the present. Being active and eating right are lifestyle changes, if you want them to carry on through your pregnancy and beyond you need to train now. Think through your meals, make good choices and add something physical to your day.  Family walks are a great activity and something that is easily carried through into your pregnancy....GET GOING!!!

Stick with it. If you were able to create a routine for yourself, don't lose it now. Continue to do the same level of activity you did before being pregnant after checking in with your physician. As for food, being pregnant does NOT mean you should to eat whatever you want.  Does your baby want that Big Mac? Doubtful.  When women say they are eating for two they are lying, they are not eating for two.  They are eating for 1.5; yourself and a fetus.  I can guarantee that fetus doesn't need it's own Nacho Supreme, no matter how much you think they do. Being pregnant absolutely means you need to increase your calorie intake, but those calories should be filled by foods that are going to give your body and baby what they need to grow and stay healthy. Translation - vegetables, fruits, proteins such as beans and legumes and lots and lots of water. Aside from eating right, stay moving.  Walk each day, do wall push ups and planks, swim, do whatever you can to keep you body and baby energized. Not only is it good for your pregnancy, but research also suggests it will assist in an easier labor.

Breastfeed.  If you can get your baby (ies) to latch on and get eating, do it. If you are having difficulty, get support and fast. The sooner you get help, the better off you will be. There is nothing better you can give your baby than breast milk and no greater calorie burn for your body. Breastfeeding requires a TON of extra calories...easy now, drop the Doritos.  Get back to eating right and remind yourself that whatever you eat your baby eats.  I often have to do that as I am sucking down my Del Taco Iced Coffees and pounding eggy/cheesy burritos...Lastly, get moving and fast. The minute I was able to stand up after my C-section, I was taking laps around the hospital. I grabbed both basinets and was pushing my babies around the mother-baby floor. I experienced an incredibly fast recovery because I got moving straight away. My TH and I walked every day for at least 30 minutes once I got home from the hospital and I only kept going from there.  Once cleared by my doctor I was running, back to teaching conditioning classes and even got hired at the great love of my exercise life, Bike2theBeat teaching cycle again. I was determined to get my body back and wasn't wasting any time!

Despite shedding the weight, my body is much different now then it was before I had babies. I am not nearly as fit, tight or toned as I used to be, but I have accepted that it will have to come with time. I am also learning to love the extra skin I now have on my belly because it is a reminder of why that skin stretched so much in the first give my big baby boys lots of room to grow.  I am proud of my body and amazed at what it has accomplished in the last year and a half. Now, I will continue to train my body and prepare it for it's next marathon...we will just have to wait and see!

Are you ready to get your body back? Not sure where to start? Email Em to get tips/workouts and ideas today!

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