Adventures in Post-Partum Weight Loss

Every mother’s least favorite subject — getting back your pre-baby body.  I wouldn’t trade my darling baby girl for all the fat rolls in the world, but yeah, I’d totally love to get my body back!

My pre-baby body, and my ultimate goal!

My pre-baby body, and my ultimate goal!

The first 20 pounds melted away in the first 10 days, it was great!  The baby, placenta, and all that water weight; every day I got on the scale, I was down another pound or more.   So naturally I thought it would magically keep going, right?  Not.  It came to a screeching halt 15-pounds from my pre-baby weight, and that’s where it’s been for the past 20 days.  Ignoring the advice of so many, I quickly started working out, lightly at first, and counting calories, careful to budget an extra 500 for breast-feeding.  Every few days I’d weigh in to see if it was budging yet – nope.  In fact it rebounded back up a pound.  Hmm, week 3, let’s cut a little more calories and increase my exercise intensity.  Back on the scale, and back up a pound.  Dangit!  Okay, so this is going to be harder than I thought.

So one month in and I suddenly understand what everyone was talking about.  I’m in the dreaded weight-loss plateau, probably due to trying to cut calories too early while my body was adjusting and burning like crazy for seemingly round-the-clock breastfeeding.  Taking a deep breath now, and cuddling my baby girl to remind me that it was all totally worth it.  I think I’m ready now to heed the professionals’ advice and not try to lose weight so soon.  Let my body adjust and heal.  So, I am going to give myself a 1-month vacation… a vacation from the scale and obsessing over calories.  I’ll keep eating healthy and doing increasingly intense workouts once given the green-light by my doctor this week, but let my body do it’s thing and stop obsessing.  Sigh, easier said than done.

 

Pictures are worth a thousand words so I’ll use those cute little stickers to track my own progress as well as my baby’s!

 

Oh my, is that really what I look like?

Oh my, is that really what I look like?

Note to self, be grateful for no stretch marks.

Note to self, you can lose the extra inches, but be grateful for no stretch marks!

 

I’d love to hear from more ladies who have been through the post-partum challenge!

Bundle of Baby Joy

A day after my last post, baby Caroline finally arrived, all 8 pounds, 9 ounces & 20 inches of her!

She’s our little miracle baby.

Mommy at birth

1-week

2-weeks

3-weeks turtle

 

So you can do the math, that was a month ago!  My how life has changed and been crazy busy ever since!  Coming in the next post, adventures in post-partum weight loss… or lack thereof.

 

 

The Final Countdown

Is the cheesy 80’s song by Europe playing in your head? It is mine!  It’s hard to believe I’ve survived 9+ whole months and her due date is finally here! Of course, she’s stubborn and making us wait a bit longer. Aside from being super excited to meet the crazy baby girl that’s been blowing up my stomach for so long, I’m also excited to get my body back and feel like myself again!!  There’s a lot of chatter on the baby boards about mother’s putting too much pressure on ourselves to look good quickly after baby, and possibly not getting enough calories to breast-feed.  I certainly plan to increase my calorie intake to allot plenty for milk production, but i’m most excited for the exhilaration that comes from exercise that I’ve been missing terribly for 9 months.   And that feeling of just being myself, and my body belonging to me again.

 

Anyway, so let’s see where we’re at…

 

weekly-weigh-in

Pre-pregnancy weight: 125 pounds (October, 2013)

Full-term pregnancy weight: 164 pounds (August, 2013)

 

And here’s what that looks like!   I feel a little crazy for posting pictures online in a bathing suit, but it’s so much more impactful so see the amazing transformation in our bodies as we grow another human being!

Weight gain collage

That’s a gain of 39-pounds, which is just slightly more than the 25-35 pound weight gain I was told to expect.  They say we can reasonable expect to lose 15-20 in the first week between the baby, placenta, and de-bloating.  So basically I’ll be right back where I started when I began my blog adventure 3 years ago.  I’m cool with that – if I can do it once, I can do it again!  So what’s my strategy?  First, I plan to breast-feed, and that means I need at least 500-calories a day just for that, on top of the 1,500 calories a day I’d need just to sustain myself.  It’s important I not let my calorie intake get too low or it could affect my milk supply.  So… my goal will be about 1,800 – 2,000 healthy calories per day, plus whatever extra I earn with exercise.  There are tons of great calculators and other articles online that can help you figure out what you need.  They key there was “healthy” calories.  Not calories that come from processed foods and sugar.  Lots of veggies, fruits, and proteins.  The baby needs those healthy choices as much as I do!

 

Next, I definitely plan to incorporate my beloved vegetable juices and nut milks, which I grew so fond of last Summer and helped me reach my all-time goal weight of 125 and I never felt or looked better in my life!  I truly believe that fruits and vegetables will heal you from the inside out, and juice (or smoothies) are a quick way to pack in lots of servings.  I saw another cool documentary recently that touched on this subject, called “Hungry for Change“.  Check it out if you need some motivation to kick the crap out of your diet!

 

Have an awesome weekend, and please touch base if you’d like to join in the post-pregnancy getting healthy again challenge!

Baby Turtle

Halfway to Baby!

At almost 23 weeks, I’m a few weeks past the half-way point with our baby GIRL!  Caroline Diane is due at the end of July…

It's a GIRL!

It’s a GIRL!

 

On the health and weight front, I’m up nearly 20 pounds, matching my heaviest weight ever.  For good reason of course, but I can’t help but be a little freaked out by seeing the scale go up.  I’m sure those of you who’ve struggled with weight your whole lives can relate to this!  Obviously dieting is out of the question, but I’m only supposed to gain 25-35 pounds, so I do need to pay attention and slow down the gain.  What’s more, I’ve read that what you eat during pregnancy can influence the what your baby will like.  Well I certainly don’t want this kid liking chocolate and candy more than veggies!  Time to get back on juice and veggie smoothies, which I’ve neglected since getting pregnant.

Exercise is much more challenging these days.  It was usually out of the question during my first trimester, as I spent much of it sick and feeling accomplished just to get out of bed and go to work for 12 hours a day.  I’m feeling better in my second trimester and have resumed daily walks, and occasionally a light jog or the elliptical machine.  Back and belly pain has slowed me down quite a bit, which is quite aggravating being a lifetime athlete to feel so limited!  It helps push me forward to think of keeping myself and my baby healthy, and selfishly, to shed the baby weight quickly post-baby.  I found a selfie that I took just before getting pregnant, when I was in the best shape of my life!  I will post it later and use it as my motivation to get my body back.  Meanwhile, I’ll continue the daily grind.

 

Ladies, for those that have been through pregnancy, I’d love to hear about your healthy journey, before and after!

Healthy & Fit… Pregnancy?

Life throws some crazy curveballs.  After 11 years of marriage and multiple reproductive issues that I won’t go into, we had assumed and accepted that kids were just not in the cards for us, and had even planned to start the adoption process soon.  Then one day, life just happens.

Do you beleive in divine intervention?  I’m not a very religious person, but do beleive in a higher power, and lately it really feels like He’s working through me.  First, there’s the move home to Nashville, and the crazy work events that led up to that point.  Our families both live in the area and were ecstatic.  Then my mother-in-law got very sick during the transition, and sadly, passed away just a week before we moved home.  She wanted so badly for her baby son to be a father, and I can’t help but think back to the bible verse that “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away” (Job 1:21).  Then my mother says she had a vision during my mother-in-laws funeral that we would have a baby within a year.  Within a month I was pregnant.

OH MY GOSH!  So… it seems my blog is shifting to healthy pregnancy!

Fit Pregnancy

Hello Juice!

Wow, has it really been 3 years?  Yes, and happy to say that I’m still going strong!  It’s been 3 long years since I committed to a healthier life, and a lot has happened in that time.  Probably the most impactful has been that we’ve moved TWICE, and now live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Our new home sweet home in Music City (Nashville)!

I’ve read that moving is one of the most stressful things a person can live through, and can cause an upheaval in routines and healthy habits alike.  I fell off the wagon during the first move, from Knoxville to Columbus, Ohio, and had to work my tail off to get back on track, but learned my lesson and had a much better outcome during the recent move.  In fact, I finally hit my lifetime goal weight, despite travelling 90% of the time, and am still losing weight without hardly trying!  How, you ask?  Read on…

First, let’s recap my year-end weigh ins.  This is a lifestyle change, afterall, so how have I done keeping it off in 3 years?

weekly-weigh-in

Starting Weight: 144 pounds (December, 2010)

1 year Weight: 135 pounds (December, 2011)

2 year Weight: 137 pounds (December, 2012) … after the first move!

2.5 year Weight: 132 pounds (June, 2013)

3 year (current) Weight: 124 pounds (November, 2013)

Fat Sick Nearly DeadSpring, 2012… While still striving to lose the few pounds I gained during the move, and continue my quest to be my healthiest self, I happen upon an amazing documentary about Juicing called “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead”.  If you guys haven’t seen this, you need to check it out!  I’m sure you’ve noticed that over the past couple of years, a lot of fresh juice bars are popping up (even Starbucks started one), and many of these small business owners will tell you this movie is what inspired them.  Within a few days of watching the move, I bought a $400 juicer, a cart full of produce, and started juicing.  I felt great, and it did help lose a few pounds, but wow, it’s a lot of work to buy, clean, chop, juice, and clean up!  And it only last 2 days in the fridge, so you’re going through that process constantly.  I continued to juice off and on, but my work schedule made it impossible to make it part of my daily life.

Fast forward to August, 2013… I have the amazing opportunity to not only take a better, less stressful job, but move home to Nashville where both my husband and I have family.  The catch?  My first 4 months will be spent working remotely in Atlanta.  Hmm, travel is usually a diet killer!  I was terrified of the daily food decisions, while living in hotels and eating out frequently.  My first week was a diet disaster; something had to change before it was too late.  Enter juice again.  Upon doing a little research, I discovered that Atlanta has many highly-rated juice bars, and some of them deliver!  So I signed up for a “3-day cleanse” from DTox Juice to get started.  Nothing but vegetable (& a little fruit) juice and nut milk for 3 days!  They delivered daily to my hotel, and I took them to work.  It was so easy not having to even think about food; every few hours, I just pulled out a juice.  I ended up going almost 5 days on the juice cleanse before adding back food, starting with dinner, and then snacks too, even having a few splurge meals here and there.  I continued to order juice weekly, sometimes just subbing 1-2 meals a day, or supplementing for veggies when none were available.  Three months later, not only did I maintain my weight, but it keeps falling!  Somehow I expect that each time I step on the scale, even after returning to more solid foods, I’ll rebound back to my old weight, but the scale just keeps falling.   I’m now down to 124 pounds, a full 20 pounds lighter than when I started 3 years ago… it always amazes to imagine that like 2 bowling balls!

The best part, however, has not been my own personal weight loss, it’s been the impact on others around me.  Both my husband and even my father-in-law have become juice converts, which makes me so proud!  My self-proclaimed “meatitarian” husband had a couple of traumatic life events that forced him to think about his health, and after seeing all of my success, decided juice might be the answer for him as well.  He started by sampling some of my juice, which he had so often deemed “disgusting” previously, and suddenly discovered they weren’t so bad afterall.  He even learned how to use my juicer and presses some of his own juice concoctions; picking up made-to-order juice at Juice Bar the rest of the time.

Dtox

It’s an exciting time, especially with the holidays upon us!  I’d love to hear from you… how are your healthy journeys going??  Let us know!

300 miles on a bike? Oh my!

Hello, blog world!  I’m long overdue for an update.

First up, a couple of you asked about my company’s team weight loss challenge… well my 2-person team did not win, as my partner dropped out early on and I was travelling with work so much that I missed a couple of the weigh-ins.  But alas, I did manage to drop the winter bloat and am back down to my 14-year low of 129 pounds.  So I’m feeling pretty good!  Still 4 pounds to go to my goal of 125, and my new cycling adventure is helping with that!

At the end of July, my husband and I will join hundreds of athletes, volunteers and community supporters in the 26th Annual Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour, benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.​ We’ll start our 3-day, 300-mile ride in Traverse City, MI, and snake our way across the state, ending at the Michigan International Speedway.​  This is my husband’s 4th time on this ride, and he convinced me to go this year.  The training reminds me a lot of marathon training – total dedication to several hours of long rides every weekend, plus shorter rides during the week.  I’ve had to start back on MyFitnessPal to make sure I get enough calories, which is an odd change from cutting back.  It would be so easy to eat 3,000 bad calories of burgers, fried foods, and my favorite desserts, but your body needs healthy foods to fuel peak performance!

So here’s to a great bike ride, and finally reaching my 125-pound goal weight!  I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer.

You can read more about the ride, or donate to make our wish-kid’s dream come true at:  http://wam.kintera.org/rhurst

WAM 145