Momma Diaries – Get me bodied

Let’s talk about a woman’s body after baby.  Yes, the post-pregnancy body.  Let me preface this with I’m not a professional trainer or nutritionist.  This is what worked for me; however, this may not be the same case for everyone.  I’ve learned and heard what may work for you after your first or second child may not work for you after your third.  Our bodies vary from person to person and from period to period.  I do believe that maintaining a relatively healthy lifestyle (moderate activity and healthy but tasty eating) will always help, during pregnancy, after pregnancy, toddler years, and the future.

I’m proud to say that I lost all my baby weight 6 months after having Eva.  I did so by breastfeeding, moderate activity, and eating relatively healthy.

Breastfeeding:  If you’re able to, do it!  I believed my sister-in-law when she said it helped but didn’t think it would help that much.  Honestly, I was shocked by how much weight I lost when I went to my family practitioner for my annual physical, which was 6 months after birth (and by no means am I bragging).  I thought I was still carrying a couple more pounds (that baby pooch is deceiving).  But breastfeeding also left me RAVENOUS.  I was always hungry.

Eating:  I ate what I wanted but made sure I was eating healthy and was practicing portion control.  I was always hungry when I first started breastfeeding, so I always had (still do) fruits, veggies, crackers, cheese, nuts, etc. on hand to snack on.  I found myself eating 2 hours after dinner, which was probably an hour or two before bedtime, which in the dieting books is a no-no.  But I ate.  I was responsible for nursing another person and needed the nutrients to do so.  But when I did eat, I tried to make sure I was making the healthier choice and when I did indulge, it was in moderation.  And indulge I did.  Especially the sweet tooth I developed during pregnancy, but I was very mindful of my intake.  (3 -5 small bites for me usually satisfies my cravings.  Mini rant:  I absolutely cannot STAND how companies don’t have more snack packs/make smaller portions.   I really don’t need THAT much food.  I just want a small taste to satisfy my craving.  I suppose it’s the American culture.  Get more for your money.  Then end up paying for it via the waist line.)  Moderation.  Moderation.  Moderation.  Make healthier choices over bad ones.   

Moderate activity:  I thought I’d be that mom who’d bounce right back and workout after pregnancy.  I seriously laugh at the things I said I would do pre-Eva/during pregnancy.  Clearly, I was delusional.  I went to a baby boot camp class 5 weeks after having Eva and didn’t work out again 3 months after that class.  At that time, I did some cardio for about 2 weeks and then stopped.  I tried, but chose to spend time with Eva instead, especially after work.  During the first couple of months after Eva was born, we tried going on daily walks, which helped.  During this workout hiatus from birth to 8 months, I tried to make the right choice in terms of activity.  As lazy as I can be from time to time, I tried to make an effort and would choose to walk to my destination as opposed to driving (when possible and not completely lazy).

3 months after having Eva and about 5-10 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.

My purposes for working out again are both selfish and unselfish.  While I may not need to lose weight at this point, I’d like to tone my body.  I didn’t believe my cousin when she said she had lost all her pregnancy weight but everything was in different places.  Wait, WHAT?!?  Well, it’s true!  I’ve lost all this pregnancy weight but my rear has since deflated.  I’d like to say I had a decent badonkadonk (Not firm but not flabby.  And yes, I’m using that term) pre-pregnancy, but since getting pregnant and having Eva, gravity has not been my friend.  We went from fab to flab.   Arms, belly, booty, and thighs.  All the trouble zones you would expect after pregnancy.  I’m trying to work on all that right now.  Especially since I’d like to look lean for my big 3-0 this summer (told you it was selfish).  But I still haven’t figured out my regimen.  3 days of cardio, 2 days of strength?  Vice Versa?  Or cardio for 15-20 everyday and targeted strength moves everyday?  Currently, I’m doing the couch to 5k (3x a week) plus Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones DVD (1-2x a week).  There’s also P90x, Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred, Nike Training Club App, Fitness Blender, etc.  I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll be doing for sure.  It’s kind of exercise roulette right now.

But seriously, my unselfish reason for working out?  Eva.  She’s crawling everywhere (pretty fast too), pulling herself up all over the place, and getting into EVERYTHING (it’s pretty exhausting).  Soon enough, she’ll be walking and running.  I need the stamina to keep up with her and the strength to tow her around (she’s not heavy but I can definitely feel my back ache when carrying her for a period of time).  I want to be right there with her rolling around on the floor and running in the grass.  I LOVE experiencing life again through her eyes.

Parent or not, what are you fitness tips to staying in shape?  Do you follow a certain regimen?  If so, what?  For moms, what are you doing to get your pre-pregnancy body back?

dieting on the road

I’ve been a road warrior for about 6 years now.  When I first started traveling for work I definitely took advantage of the free/company paid food and drinks.  I didn’t gain weight right away as my metabolism was somewhat quicker than normal.  But after 6 months, the pounds started to slowly pack on.  I wasn’t working out at all and was eating more than I would if I was at home and not traveling.  I gained about 10-15 pounds within a span of 9 months.  I really didn’t do much about it.  I would try to work out but lose you need to be consistent.  I was not.  I wanted to go to team dinners and happy hours, which just added to the pounds.  I’d go through workout spurts, but again not consistent enough.  At one point, the hubs and I had our version of a “Biggest Loser” (we weren’t trying to see who would lose the most but we were trying to get to our goal weight), but after a couple months and 5 to 8 pounds later, I gave up because of the amount of traveling I had to do.  Excuses, I know.  That’s the same thing the hubs said.  I was also somewhat consistent prior to the wedding but working out on the road is tough stuff.  Hotel gyms are small.  You either workout late or early depending on your work schedule.  Not fun.  But here are some helpful tips that I’ve used over the past few years to attempt to keep my weight in check while on the road.  Notice I said keep in check, not lose.  You have to be VERY committed to lose weight on the road.  Commitment that I don’t have all the time.  Please note this is what has worked for me personally to keep my weight consistent and I am sharing with you.  I do not have a nutritional degree.

  • Start your days with a well balanced breakfast.  Lots of fiber, protein, and vitamins.  Eggs, fruits, whole wheat bread, etc.  Starting the day right may help curb the snack attacks or overeating.  Mama knew what she was talking about when she said breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

  • Whether its lunch or dinner, start with a side salad.  Filling up on veggies will curb your appetite once you have have your entrée.  But make sure you don’t DOUSE your greens in dressing.  That doesn’t help.  It just adds to the calories.

  • Halfsies.  Halve your entree or sandwich (whichever) and eat half of it AND save the rest for later if you have a refrigerator and microwave.  If not, consider purchasing a combo of half salad and soup or half salad and sandwich.  I’m a fan of Panera’s You Pick Two option.

  • Don’t eat everything.  You DO NOT have to eat a three course meal at dinner.  Sure the company may be paying for it but for your waistline’s sake, you really don’t need to have appetizers, a meal, AND dessert AND a cocktail or milkshakes.  Corny but spend the money like it were your own and eat how you would if you were at home.
  • Pass on the bread & butter or chips & salsa.  These are extra carbs that will fill you up quicker and possibly not satisfy you the way you’d like.  If you really want some, have some but I’d suggest ordering a lighter entree.
  • Consider ordering from the appetizer menu for your main meal along with a side salad.  Appetizers are typically a smaller size than entrees (at most restaurants).

  • Want a variety of food?  Why not order family style with coworkers?  I’ve done this a couple of times where we ordered a variety of apps or entrees and split it amongst us all.  Very Spanish.
  • Stay somewhat active.  Take a flight of stairs up to your room (obviously do this with discretion.  I’m not telling you to walk up to the 18th floor.  But if its a 2-3 story hotel, take the stairs instead of the elevator).  Do Yoga in your room.  Bring work out dvds with you and play them on your laptop in your room.  Pack resistance bands in your suitcase.  Jog in the hotel gym, no matter how crappy, or if there is a park nearby or the hotel parking lot.  Walk laps around the hotel parking lot.  Even if its for 10 minutes, that’s 10 minutes you burned some calories and partook in some sort of exercise activity.  Something is better than nothing.

  • Sharing is caring.  Especially with dessert.  Don’t think you can’t indulge.  Definitely don’t deprive yourself.  Everything in moderation.  If you’re not that close with your coworkers or are traveling on your own, if you can order a smaller version the dessert, if available.  If not, pop in a mint or grab a small square of chocolate.  You’d be surprised how much a small bite would curb your craving.

So those are my tips for keeping the weight off when on the road and at home (if you eat out a lot). What are your tips to keep your weight in check?  I think that scoop of ice cream is okay this weekend, especially with the ridiculous heat.  Happy Friday!

Note:  Images have been linked back to original source.