When I got pregnant I was around 117 pound, at 5.1 and 38 I could stand to loose a few pounds, but overall I was happy with my body and felt comfortable in my own skin.
During my pregnancy I continued to work out, I ate fairly healthy and in part because of getting gestational diabetes didn’t gain a ton of weight. The day before giving birth I was at 145 which meant a total of 28 pounds.
For my age, I was pretty proud of myself.
I wasn’t able to breastfeed beyond the second week, but within a month had dropped down to around 122 pounds. I thought I was set.
Postpartum bodies just don’t act the same way and before long I was gradually creeping back up to 127.
Hitting that high point shocked me back into action and in the last few weeks, I’ve dropped back down to 123.
I’ve reached a postpartum weight loss plateau and can’t seem to drop below 123 pounds.
I know that I still look great. My husband still thinks I’m hot and although I’ve got a bit extra around the waist and hips I look good.
I don’t feel good, though. I just haven’t felt like I’m in shape.
It isn’t the number on the scale that is bugging me (that is just a way of keeping score), it is the feeling of constantly being tired and just not having the energy I’m used to.
On a side note – I do know that a big chunk of the problem is a lack of sleep. Sleep training hasn’t gone well around our house. You can check out my post on the most important step to baby sleep training here.
In early December I decided to do something about my poor out of shape body.
I set three simple postpartum exercise goals:
- 5-15 minutes daily stretches and minor strength training (mainly related to my stupid IT band)
- 3 days a week of moderate exercise (20-30 minutes). Some days that meant going all out on the elliptical or hitting the gym, other days it meant a 30-minute walk with Ella
- I didn’t focus on the exercise so much as just being active.
- At least once a week doing a hike of at least 2 miles. I should mention that these hikes would be with Ella in her pack. That little girl gets pretty heavy after a few miles. Carrying a 30+ pound pack is a lot of work.
- I like to joke that she got me out of shape, so she might as well help me get back into shape.
I’ve missed a few of the daily goals, but I’ve done the weekly goals for the past six weeks.
It is amazing the difference this minimal exercise has made in my life.
I set reasonable goals that worked well within my schedule. The goals were realistic, defined and articulated. I knew I needed to start small to get myself back into shape.
Post baby exercise is critical to your health but must be done in a reasonable fashion.
I accomplished something with my 8-month postpartum body. Here is my post from Instagram that says it all:
Last weekend, I carried Ella to the top of Carney Springs in the Superstition Mountains.
The Carney Spring Trail is a tough hike and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to make it to the top. My friends had plans to take turns carrying my pack or I was going to stop at the first saddle.
I made it to the top. I didn’t set speed records, but I did it. There is not better feeling in the world than setting a goal and achieving it.
The funny thing is that the number on the scale hasn’t changed. My weight is still hovering around 123 pounds.
However, I can feel the tone of my body changing.
I’m stronger, I feel more energetic and alive.
The lack of sleep isn’t affecting me as deeply.
Do I still want to lose the baby weight? Of course. But I’ve stopped focusing on the number on the scale and gotten back to focusing on my body, which is what I always did prior to having a baby.
Losing weight after pregnancy isn’t about a number on a scale. It is about the healthier lifestyle you cultivate as you work towards a goal.
It is about listening to your body and being in tune with the inner strength you develop as you work on toning and strengthening your muscles.
More than anything being in shape is about being comfortable in your own skin and happy with the person you see in the mirror every day.
It is about embracing your outer imperfections and loving the character they give you.
So stop focusing on the scale and get out and live life.
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