Tuesday, May 1, 2012

guest post: baby weight

My dear friend A wrote an inspiring story about her journey to lose weight after having her second son. I couldn't help but share her words with my readers and hope that when I have children, I can be just like her. Thank you, A.

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We’ve all seen them, celebrities in a bikini with a rocking body mere months after having a baby. We discuss them over lunch, roll our eyes and enviably say “well, sure you can do that if you have someone to stay up with the baby all night, have a personal chef and trainer”. I’ve said it, you’ve probably said it. It’s true…mostly.

As I was hugely pregnant around Christmastime, I saw a photo of Jessica Alba on the beach 5 months post-partum looking like she’s never given birth. Seriously? I was tipping the scales looming near the 40 pound mark over my pre-pregnancy weight. It took me a year after having my first child to get my body back. This photo now had me thinking mean thoughts about a woman I do not even know. Something was nagging me about this judgment. Yes, she has help. But, she still has to do the work just like everyone else. Eat right, exercise. The playing field may not be completely fair, but I was going to try and play.

  
Hospital/Home: After birth weight: 149 lbs (I’m 5’4”).

I had my beautiful boy and immediately began being mindful of what went in my body. I made sure to get out of bed, walk the halls, and sit in a chair. Then, after a few days at home, I started walking. After major abdominal surgery (I had a cesarean-section) is not the time to be a hero. I certainly didn’t want to hurt myself. So, I walked the neighborhood and set up little goals.  Today and tomorrow I’d tell myself to walk to a certain spot, after that I’d make myself walk further, etc. Next, I added the recumbent bike. I did the “ride in the park” setting which is just that, a ride in the park with only small moments of challenge. The point is, try and get moving every day, no matter how many times you got up with the baby the night before!

Figure 1. Left: 2/3/2012 (after son's birth); right: 4/10/2012 (present). 27 pounds lost.

Home (2 weeks to 6 weeks): Week 2, post-birth weight: 133 lbs; Week 6: 122 lbs.

If you have had a C-section you know that you don’t get clearance from the doctor to workout until 6 weeks. So I kept at it with the walks and/or the bike. I love to lift weights, but I knew I couldn’t really lift until 6 weeks. So I decided I would start my workout routine but just modify a lot and lift really light weights, ~ 3-5 pounds. I did a version of P90X during this time, modifying a lot. This is where not having a babysitter was challenging. The baby would cry, interrupting my workout. My heart rate comes down when I am having to stop and change a diaper, put a pacifier back in, etc. My advice would be to at least start a workout and see how far you can get before they wake up. Sometimes you get through it, sometimes you don’t. As Tony (Horton of P90X) would say “do your best, forget the rest.”


Get Serious (Weeks 6 - present): Week 6: 122 lbs; Week 11: 114 lbs

Ok. Now it’s time to get serious. The doctor’s given clearance for me to workout. I changed to a hybrid P90X and Brazilian butt lift. Now I have a baby with reflux (commonly called colic). I am getting little to no sleep and I’m back working a few days a week. I am a cardiovascular sonographer so I sit on my bottom almost all day there. The baby will not sleep long enough for me to get in the workout I really want and I have another little boy that I need to give attention. What’s a mom to do? Sometimes I take the boys up to the playground. I run to and from the playground. While my oldest plays, I do lunges and squats holding the baby (he’s a good weight for that), pushups and pull-ups (monkey bars). Now that my youngest is starting to take a longer afternoon nap I sometimes try and workout then. Most of the time, I still find working out early in the day is best. It gives me energy throughout the day and then I TRY to nap or use that time to prep meals.

 Figure 2. Left: 2/3/2012 (after son's birth); right: 4/10/2012 (present). 27 pounds lost.

Present:  April 10th is 12 weeks post-partum. I weigh 113 pounds.

I have changed my workout (again) because I’ve hit a plateau. I am now doing Chalene Extreme (CE)/Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) hybrid. This is lifting HEAVY weights (with CE) and  doing some serious butt sculpting with BBL. I still have 5/7 pounds to get back where I was before pregnancy. Even when I do get back to my pre-pregnancy weight I probably won’t look the same as before kids. Every mother knows this, the weight just sits differently. I just wanted, especially all you moms, to know that we can do it!

Yes, a mother’s body will never be the same as before, but we can keep our bodies and minds strong by moving and eating right. I’m not perfect, I LOVE French fries. My weight has fluctuated over the years and I will probably fall off and get back on many times. It’s not just about vanity (although it goes a long way), my husband and boys deserve me being the best mom and woman I can be.

Athletes care about improving their games, not how they look in their climbing gear. -Tony Horton

(images 1, 2)

9 comments:

  1. yay! so glad to read a guest post by a dear friend on another dear friend's blog! i'm so impressed with your work ethic. i have no excuses for not getting my butt to yoga tonight!

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  2. Thanks for showing us what dedication can do! I can only imagine that it's a major challenge for new mothers to lose weight while getting used to life with a baby, but you're doing a great job balancing your health and your new role. Great guest post!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Faith. I agree that she is a winner whe it comes to dedication and balance. I can only hope to do the same one day (far far from now...)

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  3. This was great! Congratulations on working to achieve a healthy balance between working, being a mom, getting your body on track, and everything else in between. I loved it - kudos!

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  4. Lovely post! Some really nice shots of the before and after, can really see a change.
    I've just started my baby weight loss :) please read.


    http://photogirl23.wordpress.com

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