Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Losing the Baby Weight

I haven't used my blog in a longggg time. But I figured this would be the best place for this post as people have been asking me about different workout and weight loss programs. I thought I'd share what I've been doing.

Isabelle was born healthy and fast on December 17th. I gained 30lbs during the pregnancy, but lost 20lbs in that first month of baby (8lbs 4oz) and water weight...I swell up a lot towards the end. Once I got the go ahead to start working out again, I took measurements and pictures (which I won't post yet. lol) and got started!

In addition to the workout programs listed below, I also teach an hour long circuit training class in the park every Monday and Friday. I started with not even being able to workout along with my class since I had gotten so out of shape during my pregnancy. But I kept telling everyone else what to do and kept up the best I could. ;) Now I'm back to actually doing those workouts twice a week as well.

I started with one month, four weeks, of doing Beachbody's program, T25. I did this one first because there was no excuse to not be able to fit it in. For 5 days a week, I only had 25 minutes of exercise to get done...with no equipment and in my living room. It was perfect for winter when it's too cold to get outside, having three kids to take care of so it's hard to have to leave to go workout somewhere, plus with a new baby, we didn't have a set schedule yet. Having a workout that was exactly 25 minutes from start to finish was easy to squeeze in to the day. The times I didn't feel like working out, I would just remind myself, it's only 25 minutes. Anyone and everyone can get the workout in!

In my opinion, the only downside to the program was that home workouts are hard to get the most out of it that I should. I personally find it tough pushing myself as hard as I would at a class or with someone else doing the workout with me. But it's the most practical in my season of life right now so I gotta make it work. I will say, where I usually have a hard time finding motivation to start home workouts, I didn't have that with this program because, again, it's short and doable.

In conclusion, I lost 5 1/4 inches and 5lbs in 28 days.

I still wasn't able to fit back into my pre pregnancy clothes yet so I decided for the next 20 days to just run. I did a half marathon shortly after finding out I was pregnant with Isabelle, and then completely stopped running for the rest of the pregnancy. I had high expectations for this month of running fast some days, long distance other days, hill sprints outside my house, and doing some interval runs. None of those happened. My lower abs especially were screaming at me with every step that first week or so (I guess pregnancy really torn them apart this time around). I was panting and gasping by the time I had only run a block. But I kept it up because I love running.

(photo credits to Zach at the race we did together) 

It was hard fitting it in. Zach's schedule was that he'd leave for work at 2:30pm and be home around 3am....and sleep from then until around 10am. So I'd have to go while Zach and the kids were still in bed, but be back before the kids woke up. Most of the time, this meant I had to be out the door at 5am. Which, in February, it is dark and freezing. One morning was actually 26 degrees. I was thankful for a big "scary" looking dog like Cassie. I brought her with me on all my runs and of course she loved it.

I did about 3 miles a day for six days a week. I started off at a 12 min mile and by the end was running a 9:30 min mile. I finished off by running a 10k trail run here in town. If it wasn't so hard to fit into the day, running would easily be my preferred and only method of working out. I absolutely love it. 

At the end of just 20 days, I lost another 5lbs and 4 1/2 inches.

Now I was back to my "regular" body. Ever since having kids, my body is constantly stuck at 135lbs, 26% body fat, and a 32 inch waist. I've been plateauing here for the past three years. I may lose a couple pounds or an inch or two, but then I end up gaining it back and coming back to this spot. I feel like I've finally turned a corner mentally this time around though. I don't have a deadline I'm telling myself to lose weight by or have certain numbers stuck in my head about what body fat I need to get down to or how small my waist needs to be. I feel good when I start my day with a workout. I like eating clean, healthy food. I enjoying finding and cooking nutritiously dense food for my family. The weight will come off eventually. 

The next program I was so excited to try from Beachbody (they have sooo many good home workout dvds) was The 21 Day Fix. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit so this plan is 21 days of 30 minute workouts (yes, there are no rest days; it's 7 days a week) and learning what portion sizes should look like.

I was super excited about this because it's not just a workout program, but also an eating one. Those little containers equal different food groups. Green= veggies, Purple= fruit, Red= protein, etc etc. The book has little charts that match up where you should be eating wise and how many of each container you can have a day. You can choose how to mix and match the containers at your meals as long as everything fits in the containers and you eat all that you're supposed to. You can even have wine and chocolate as long as it fits in the allowed container! Unfortunately, even though nutrition is 80% of your results and I was really looking forward to using these containers, I wasn't able to do it with nursing. I used the chart to figure out where I should be and then added another 500 calories on for breastfeeding, but even then, it wasn't enough for Isabelle. She had been sleeping 12 hours through the night and the three days I did this nutrition plan, she was awake two or three times at night. As soon as I went back to eating how I usually do (which is still eating clean, but not counting carbs or calories), she went back to sleeping through the night. 

This program was still worth it though because I loved the workouts. Again, totally doable because they are never longer than 30 minutes! Plus these workouts included about a 2 minute warm up at the beginning and a 3 minute cool down and stretching.!!!! Every single day of this 21 day fix, I was sore. The workouts were amazing. They worked muscles I had never worked before. It's a really good balanced program too as each day is something different like cardio one day, weight lifting the next, then circuit training, pilates, yoga, and abs. My only complaint with the videos is that she would wear a bit more clothes as I have little kids running around. :

Being that I was so sore, I was excited to take measurements after 21 days. At first I was disappointed to learn I had only lost 4lbs and 1 1/4 inches. But again, I was not able to do the other half of this program which was the nutrition part and I have a hard time losing body fat beyond this point. I did see other changes though like more muscle definition in my arms, being able to hold plank for 2 minutes, muscle definition in my legs, and better flexibility. Also, where pilates and yoga had never been my thing before, the 30 minute sessions of them on this program gave me a love for those kind of workouts. They were probably my two favorite days. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. I'll probably try to run as much as I can, but I'll most likely be starting another home workout program soon. I like doing things in 20-30 day chunks and then mixing it up again. Nutrition is a huge part in all of this too, but I'll do a post about that later as this is getting really long. ;)

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