Hi, all. You might remember how my homie, Becky and I did a couple side by sides about our pregnancies. (See them here, here and here). We decided to re-visit the concept for just one more blog post – postpartum style! The format is a little different, but the idea is still the same. Enjoy two totally different takes on fitness after baby.
Here’s Gallant’s side of the story (aka … Becky)
I must start by confessing that the delay in this post is 100%, totally, and completely on me. Apparently having a 6-month old that likes to move it and groove it does not allow me to meet deadlines – Yikes! My apologies, Molly. Thankfully, us mama’s are in this together and I *think* you understand 😉
Now, let’s jump right into my postpartum food and fitness journey.
On May 14th, I popped out a kid. It wasn’t quite that easy – or quick for that matter, but I was no longer pregnant and became responsible for another human mid-May. Talk about a game changer! I’m thankful that Dean was a relatively “easy” newborn (don’t ask me about his demeanor now that we are 6 months in…) – He slept a lot, learned to breastfeed right away, and was happy almost all of the time. I am prefacing my postpartum experience with this little tidbit to put it into perspective for y’all. Had he proven to be more difficult at the beginning or had I experienced a tough labor, things may have been slightly different.
I didn’t really change up my eating habits too month going from my pregnant to my postpartum self. Besides wine… I added in quite a bit of wine and beer (per my lactation consultant’s advice) 😉 I still ate mostly healthy and I made sure to keep my caloric intake somewhat high to support milk production.
Around the 3-month mark, my husband (for moral support) and I completed a clean eating challenge where I focused on putting whole, good-for-me foods into my body in an attempt to lose the last 10 pounds of my baby weight. I was thankfully successful and back in my pre-baby jeans before the 4-month mark. Try not to compare here – I am definitely one of those women who loses weight while breastfeeding so it was relatively easy for me to kick that baby weight.
I’ve become a bit more lax in my eating since then and have definitely put on a few pounds but that’s motherhood, right? You eat when you can and try to keep it mostly healthy to set a good example for your kids. I plan on getting myself back on track post-holidays along with 90% of the US of A 😉
Alright, now that we have covered my eats, let’s chat fitness.
Since I had to take a break from running while knocked up, I was REALLY looking forward to fitting in a few miles with my newly postpartum self. I listened to my doctor and waited until my 6-week postpartum appointment before lacing up the ol’ sneakers. To be honest I was expecting a tragic experience (based on others’ comments) for my first postpartum run but it was actually quite pleasant! I went in with realistic expectations – HELLO, I had just taken a 6-month running break and grew a human – and was so happy to finally be running again.
While I waited for the 6-week mark to run, I did start practicing BODYPUMP at home (minus the lunge and squats tracks), 2 weeks after Dean was born. I kept the weights light and stopped if anything felt “off” or uncomfortable. There were also a lot of walks with the pup and the baby to help me pass the time while the hubs was at work.
I returned to teaching on weekends and nights at the gym at 7 weeks postpartum and then during the days once Dean was 3 months old <– I had to wait until he could attend the gym’s daycare before I headed back during the day. (As a side note, it was really difficult for me to leave him at daycare – even just for an hour – the first few weeks. I was worried the entire time but the women in the center LOVE babies and he was well taken care of each time.) In addition to teaching BODYPUMP, I took on a few Spinning classes as well. I love teaching both classes and try to get to the gym daily – whether or not I am teaching – as it gives me alone time which is much appreciated these days!
I am extremely thankful for an “easy” pregnancy, birth experience, and postpartum time period. I think my current lack of sleep and super mama-attached baby are my current payback for such easy experiences 😉
Onto Goofus (that’s me, Molly)
Like Becky, I had a relatively uncomplicated, stress free birth (it was just loooooooong). My recovery was pretty quick and painless, but one thing was different: my headspace. I was battling a VERY unfortunate addiction to sugar postpartum after all the “treats” I had allowed myself prior to Ella’s birth. I tried so many different things to get myself out of the sugar slump, but to be 100% honest, I really didn’t kick it until recently (see my post about going sugarless in September here
). Other than that thorn in my side, I ate VERY well – lots of veggies and lean protein. I didn’t really even have any alcohol until pretty recently because I found it negatively affecting my milk supply (crazy how everyone is so different!).
On the fitness side, my efforts have been sporadic at best. I’ve posted about how I tried to fitness in as a work from home mom – lots of walks/runs, keeping resistance bands and dumbbells in the living room for spare, available moments. Most of the more hard core fitness
I was able to do came when Dan could watch the Little Monster for a little bit, mostly on weekends. I haven’t been back in a gym in AGES. I got a FitBit for my birthday and love getting up to my 10,000 step count each day. See how this paragraph is all over the place? That’s how my workouts have been too. Longer runs/walks have been a little harder lately as mobile Ella does NOT care for being in her stroller too much at any one time. And now that she’s sleeping through the night, I really should get up before her or work out after she goes to bed, but at this point, it’s a simple problem of motivation.
I’m in a bit of an odd spot. Like Becky, breastfeeding DID help me lose weight, especially in the beginning. But now, it’s actually doing the opposite. Lots of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit, save for the skinniest jeans. But I’m also pretty sure that the nursing hormones are holding on to that last bit of fat in case there’s a famine and I need to keep feeding my babe. Though I’m sure my lack of muscle tone is not helping the situation any either.
The moral of MY story is that I am definitely in awe of Becky (and tell her that all the time) and I plan to hop back on the horse SOON and with a vengeance, but I’m just not there yet. And that’s kind of OK with me, for right now. And when it’s not? I’ll change!