8/14/18

post pregnancy fitness + health

pic c/o self.com
I always assumed that when I lost all of my baby weight, my body would look exactly how it did post pregnancy...makes sense right?! Wrong. I was lucky enough to lose the weight pretty fast. I gained somewhere between 22 and 25 lbs, and was extremely fortunate to lose it pretty much within the first month. After delivering an almost 8 lb baby, the placenta, fluids, etc. it gave me a huge head start coming home from the hospital. 

I'm not a nutrionist or trainer but I'd love to share a few things that have worked for me over the past 2.5 months. Some of it may be a fluke or some of it may have some method behind it- fully aware of that! 

1. Breastfeeding- some people say this is BS and other people swear by it. Obviously this isn't the reason I wanted to breastfeed, but I'm not, NOT happy about the perks that come with it. Every time I would breastfeed Ryen for the first month I would start to have cramping in my uterus. I asked my Dr. what was up with that, and she said that breastfeeding encourages the uterus to retract back to its original size. Breastfeeding has also been known to burn between 300 and 700 calories a day. To put this in perspective, when I jog on a treadmill for 30 minutes I burn about 150 calories.

2. Watching what I eat- for some reason, I am more careful about this now than I was during pregnancy. I know that when I was pregnant, Ryen still was connected to me and what I consumed through the umbilical chord, but having her in my arms and knowing that what I ate and drank was going directly to her through breastmilk definitely made me become more mindful. Trust me, I had my fair share of sweets post pregnancy... I had 3 vanilla long johns the morning after I gave birth, but I tried my hardest to stick to an 80:20 healthy eating plan the last couple of months. 

3. Drinking lots of water- Post delivery I was way more thirsty than normal. I started drinking a lot of water that first week, and have tried to keep it up ever since. Even my esthetician told me my skin for the first time look hydrated "from the inside". Not sure what that means, but I'll take it! 

4. Being busy- It's an understatement to say that having an infant is a full time job. It's funny because I used to think, when my baby is sleeping I can get all my work done, have time to myself to workout, etc. Rookie mistake. When Ryen is sleeping I barley have enough time to clean, do laundry, dishes (soooo many dishes with bottles and breast pump pieces),  walk my dog, etc. I then use all the extra time I can for  Shadow Social & my own blog. My friends have to text me three times to get a response some days, and that is soo unlike me. I used to have my phone glued to my hand.  I LOVE being busy, and would not trade this life in for anything in the world, but there are full days that go by that I literally don't have time to eat anything besides a breakfast bar, let alone pee. Oh, and not to mention having time to wash my hair daily or put on makeup is so 2017. 

5. Mom strength- Taking a carseat/stroller in and out of the car multiple times a day is no joke. Not to mention there are days Ryen does not let me put her down, and I must say carrying her has definitely helped me tone my arms. 

6. Walking- Wherever I go, she goes. I try to walk as much as possible to take advantage of summer in Chicago. Whether it be walking to a client to take photos, or to the grocery store, I try to avoid driving whenever I can (especially when I'm in the city). There are days when we walk up to 7 miles. For anyone that knows me, my inability to sit still has not changed since having a baby.

7. Fitness- When I do have 30 minutes to myself I love putting on headphones and going for a jog. I also try to do push ups and weights at various times of the day whenever I have a free minute. 

8. Lack of drinking- I've never been a big drinker, however when it comes to alcohol consumption I'm a go big or go home kind of girl. Even before I was pregnant there would be times that I'd go two months without having a class of wine. Some people love the taste, I just don't. I would choose having cookies and ice cream over a glass of wine any day. However, I do like the feeling of having a buzz for special occasions I do not hold back :)  (Don't worry,  I know all about pumping and dumping). I do think that not having daily glasses of wine or mixed drinks has always been a benefit to my diet. 

9. Working out during pregnancy- I didn't eat as well as I would've liked during pregnancy (will definitely try to change that the second time around), but I made sure to incorporate some sort of fitness 4-5 days a week. My husband and I would take nightly walks, and I'd also do weights, the elliptical, and the stairs every day that I could and felt up to it. The majority of my weight gain was during the third trimester due to feeling nauseous and a lack of appetite in the beginning. I was also lucky that towards the end the weather was beautiful in Chicago and I was able to incorporate walking into my daily + nightly routine naturally. 

I have a long way to go until I feel like myself again, but it is truly amazing how the female body bounces back. I will keep you guys updated on what works and doesn't work, and how long it takes me to fully get rid of this cute little kangaroo pouch I still have in my lower abdomen. (JK- it's really not that cute, so ab toning exercises would be greatly appreciated). 

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