Becoming pregnant and having a baby were by far the biggest blessings of my life. However, the process of being pregnant, having a child and then bouncing back physically has been one of the most difficult processes I can remember.
When I became pregnant in October 2008, it took only a few months until I would walk by a mirror and literally not recognize (or like very much!) what I saw looking back. I had been in great shape prior to getting pregnant as we were readying for our wedding and got pregnant the weekend after. I went from feeling strong and confident about the shape I was in to, as a pregnant mama, feeling bloated, exhausted, and by the end, huge. I put on a total of 40 pounds during my pregnancy. I lost control over what I ate and didn’t exercise except walking and yoga because whenever I tried to, it didn’t feel right because my body got too hot making me feel it was unsafe for the baby, so I gave up on it. Yoga helped relieve tension in my body so I stuck with that.
It took me until my daughter turned 19 months old to really tackle losing the baby pounds. As soon as she was born I lost 20 of the 40 pounds, and while I was breastfeeding, I lost another 7 over the first year of her life. So many of my friends became stick skinny when they were breastfeeding, but not me. Even when that phase of care was finished, I felt overweight. When all was said and done I had 13 pounds to lose. For the first 18 months of my daughter’s life, I had to heal from birth-related back and hip problems, found it hard to discipline myself with the lack of sleep and the effort I was putting in to starting a new business. And the hormonal changes I experienced left me asking, “What’s the point? I’m now a mom and I don’t really have time to be out in the world in this fit, sexy, confident way anymore…”
Even though I knew this wasn’t really me talking, the hormonal-biological forces were so strong in that direction, it took me a lot longer than I would have expected to lose the weight.
I finally committed and took it on at the end of January 2011. Nine weeks later, I am 13 pounds lighter, thanks to a no carb, no dairy, no sugar weight loss program I embarked on called Ideal Protein. It has changed my life and given me back my confidence and my desire to be out in the world again, taking pleasure physically and liking what I see reflected back in the mirror.
Before having a baby, I stayed in shape by doing really hard exercise – I ran a marathon, two half marathons, could spend a couple hours exercising at a stretch of time. Now that I have had a baby, I don’t have that kind of time to spare most days, and more importantly, my body has really demanded that I be more gentle on it. I have learned the importance of focusing my efforts using nutrition and it has paid off.
I do still exercise for the emotional, physical, cognitive and disease-fighting benefits, but you’re more likely to find me in a pilates, aqua aerobics or weight training class these days. These exercises go easier on my joints, keep my lean tissue percentage where I want it to be, and strengthen my core which really needs it after having a child.
I plan to get pregnant one more time and will chronicle in this fitness/wellness section of my blog how it goes. My strategies for eating and exercising will be totally different. I will continue to limit carbs, focus on lean proteins and leafy greens, and continue light weight training even when I’m pregnant as that type of exercise does not increase body temperature in the same way that high intensity cardio does.
With the shape I’ve gotten back into and all I’ve learned about optimal nutrition, I believe I can go through my pregnancy putting on a limited amount of weight (goal: 20 pounds max) and losing all of it when the baby is born.
If you are struggling with body or weight issues postpartum, give me a call to talk about a coaching program that is tailored to your needs. I will support you in designing a program for a gentle return to the body you want to live in. In addition to my coaching, I have nutritionists, personal trainers, boot camp instructors, pilates instructors in my network who can also become part of your getting-back-in-shape team.
If you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, I can also work with you to tailor a coaching program around wellness and fitness to last throughout your pregnancy and will keep you motivated as you work on your goals.
I also have access to amazing chiropractors, acupuncturists, herbalists, physical therapists, intuitive healers who can help you heal after your child’s birth if you are experiencing pain or injury that needs care.
Don’t wait – start your journey to health and wellness and to your most fit self today!
All the Best,