Body After Baby
Since I found out I was pregnant, I have been thinking about writing this post. Nine+ months ago I imagined writing out a detailed plan of how I would lose the baby weight and get my pre-baby body back. Truth be told, I didn’t just imagine it. I sort of obsessed over it for a while. I just assumed losing the weight and getting my body back to ‘normal’ would be a huge source of stress for me.
However, as I sit here to type this post I’m surprised at my feelings towards my body after baby.
I’m not that stressed about the fact that my stomach is soft and squishy right now. In fact, if you would have seen me with that brownie sundae I wolfed down last night, you would have assumed I wasn’t stressed over my physique in the least. I’m not freaking out over that brown line that still runs down my stomach 5 weeks after giving birth (but while we’re discussing it, does that ever go away?). I’m not losing sleep over the fact that my legs don’t possess the muscle they did this time last year.
As I sit here to type this post, I’m more amazed by my body and thankful for what it has accomplished than I ever thought possible. In fact, I’m proud of my body…soft, squishy tummy and all. I’m proud that it aided in developing Atlas, the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. I’m proud that it served as a safe home for him and continues to provide him with the nutrients he needs. Today when I look in the mirror, I’m impressed by my body…not in the ‘Victoria’s Secret runway model’ sort of way (never actually been impressed with my body in that sort of way, but I assume 5% of the population has experienced that feeling)…but in the ‘I grew a really adorable little human’ sort of way.
I’m 5 weeks postpartum and I’ve lost the 30 pounds I gained during pregnancy. I actually lost those 30 pounds during the 2 weeks immediately following my pregnancy. I don’t think it was because breastfeeding burns so many calories though. I think it was because I was too exhausted and busy to eat. My maternity clothes are packed and put away and I’m back in my normal jeans. This actually makes me a little sad. I really loved pants with elastic waistbands.
All that said, my body definitely does not look the same. I’ve got some work to do. But I’m excited about the challenge of re-shaping my body. I started doing some total body exercises this week (4 workouts total) and if all goes well at the doctor next week I’ll start running again. I want to be smart about starting this new fitness journey, so even though I’m itching to run I’ve decided to wait until my doctor gives me the go ahead.
I’m not planning to workout 6 or 7 days a week because the reality is I don’t have time to wash my hair that many days a week now. Thank God for dry shampoo. My goal is to run 3-4 days a week and incorporate some circuit workouts, yoga and cross training 2-3 days a week. I’ve signed up for a half marathon in March and if I get in (its a lottery system) I will begin training for that soon. I’ve talked with Dave about getting a running coach. Now that I’ve survived child birth, I’m really curious to see how hard I can push my body when it comes to running. I’m convinced my pain threshold is different. Everything is on a scale of 1-contractions or 1-breastfeeding. I’m thinking with some proper training I could shave some serious time off my splits.
I’m more excited than ever to exercise because of the new challenges it presents and because I appreciate the effects of exercise on my mental state. A good sweat session improves my mood and helps me feel ready to tackle the day, which is priceless with a newborn around.
As far as a diet goes, I’m not on one. I’m still learning how to fit in meals with a baby, so some days all I eat is an apple and a bag of candy corn until Dave gets home from work and I get a chance to actually sit and eat something with nutritional value. Then, after Atlas goes to bed I put a hurtin’ on some Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream. I don’t plan on skipping the ice cream. Momma’s got to have her happy time. My goal moving forward is to strive to eat 3 well rounded meals a day, like I used to. Lean meats, veggies and fruit. You know…as opposed to leftover Halloween candy.
So, that’s that. My thoughts on body after baby. Do I love the way I look right now? Not really. Am I anxious to bust out a swim suit? Heavens, no! Thank the sweet Lord we’re living in the North now. But am I proud of my post baby body? You bet ya!
I’m so excited to start sharing workouts with you guys again and hopefully motivating you to reach your fitness goals, just like so many of you motivate me to reach mine!
*Note: the photos in this post are completely unrelated to the content. I just couldn’t help posting pictures of Atlas because I’m in love with his face.
**If you’re considering having a baby, I recommend having a baby around Halloween. The bags of candy truly helped me survive the first month and I also think it made my milk taste awesome, which is why Atlas ate like a champ. I haven’t confirmed this with the pediatrician, but I think this hypothesis could be legit.