When I was pregnant, I craved candy, fruity candy like Starbursts so that’s what I ate a lot of. There really was no self control available. I gained about 35-40 lbs from a starting point that was higher than I wanted it to be. My plan was to breastfeed my new baby and was confident that the extra 500 calories a day would be all the extra help I needed to shed the baby weight. I had it in my head 9 months on, 9 months off, no problem. And some of that weight was the baby and all that extra stuff that comes with them right? True, but not 40 lbs worth. When things were all said and done, I was about 20 lbs. over my pre-pregnancy weight. Yikes!
I went back to work and fell into a maintain rut. I wasn’t gaining weight but it wasn’t coming off either. I ate when I was hungry, did my best to eat well, walked when I could, but with sleep deprivation and the stresses of a newborn, taking care of me wasn’t a priority. At one point I decided I wasn’t going to worry about it until after I was done breastfeeding. I breastfed O until he was about 11 1/2 months old, roughly the middle of January this year. I made a late New Year’s resolution that I wanted to spend the next year claiming by body back after it had been hijacked by my baby.
I’m getting back on track and basically starting at zero. I’m motivated and ready to commit to something. I chose an eating plan, started the couch to 5k program, found some Pilates videos I liked on YouTube and so far I’m down about 8.5 lbs. My mental health has improved as well. I’m getting out of the house, I’m making plans to be with other people, I’m talking to my husband more, I’m more engaged with my son, in general I’m just more animated instead of feeling like I’m experiencing life from inside a bubble.
To achieve results, I’m not doing anything fancy, no shakes or pills or meals out of a box. I’m eating less food that is higher quality and I’m working out 4-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes each. It sounds simple, but making good choices and finding time is a struggle, I know it is for everyone. I made a decision to make this is a priority, I included my husband in on it so he could support and encourage me. Even still, it isn’t always easy and I have to plan a little. I maximize nap times, only focusing on things that are difficult/impossible to do with a one year old on my hip-like running on a treadmill. I get creative with my time, working out late at night after work when O is already asleep. I include O when I can. He ‘helps’ me cook and we talk about what I’m doing or I push him in the jogger when we go running. One way or another it works and my juggling act is worth it.
My planning extends to eating. I’m following the Mayo Clinic Diet. Learn more about it here or buy the book here to get started. You count servings not calories using the food pyramid that is adjusted to your weight and goals. Big thing for me was to cut out sugar completely. It was really really hard to do but the first week I lost 4 lbs and after that I was on board. I’ve been doing it for about 3 weeks and continue to decrease each week. My clothes have already started to fit a little better. I’m not perfect but I keep to the plan as much as I can.
But eating is only half the battle, weight loss success for me also relies on increased movement. I really love Pilates. You don’t need any equipment really and it’s effective. I can feel the next day that I worked out. And there are a ton of free videos on YouTube to pick from. Bonus is you can do them anywhere. I’ve been able to do a Pilates video while O plays in our living room. He drives his cars on my head while I’m doing it, but I’m doing it. Additionally, I’ve been following a Couch to 5k app that I got free in the app store. There are a bunch out there but they are all very similar. It lays out an easy to follow plan that gradually increases your running time. It really does start from the beginning too. That first week was more walking than running and just for a minute or 90 seconds at a time. It doesn’t tell you how fast to run, you just have to run. I’m finishing up week 5 right now and I ran 20 minutes straight without walking and felt great. I also got a neat baby bike seat for O that I’m super excited to get installed and use. He loves riding in his stroller so I’m hoping he will also love this.
Slowly but surely I will take back my body. I know it’s not going to be the same and I’m okay with that. I just want to feel more at home in it. I’ll post again with my progress. I’m only just getting started.