My Post-Baby Body: Part I

For almost 9 months, I documented my pregnancy and the progression of my baby bump (aka Jackson) via my Faceook album “We’re Expecting!”  I had a wonderful pregnancy and it was fun to celebrate the changes that my body experienced because they signified a growing, healthy baby boy….

Now that he’s here, it’s time to document the baby bump in reverse…

My Body 6 Weeks Post-Baby…

The Nutrition:  I’m currently breastfeeding, so it’s important that I give my body what it needs, both for ME and my BABY. This does not mean, however, that I can throw all caution to the wind, inhale an entire basket of chips at the local Mexican restaurant (although I have done that before) or gobble up ½ a jar of natural peanut butter just because it’s a “healthy fat.”

I want to keep my metabolic potential high, and I don’t want my body using precious muscle as fuel, so cutting calories is not the answer either.

A proper balance is key.  

I’m keeping a slight caloric deficit, but my main focus is to balance my metabolic hormones. Here’s how I see it… Even when I’m breastfeeding, a baby is a REASON (to fuel my body with good quality foods) not an EXCUSE (to eat whatever on earth I want).

I’m currently eating 5 small meals throughout the day, or about one meal every 2-3 hours. This keeps my hunger balanced, gives me the energy I need to get through the day, and generally (with the help of my daily dose of fat loss friendly hot cocoa) keeps cravings at bay.

The Training:  Staying active through pregnancy was key to an enjoyable pregnancy, and also to a wonderful labor & delivery experience. Just hours after Jackson was born, Patrick and I took a walk outside of the hospital. In the last month, I’ve been walking as much as possible and was able to resume modified workouts within the first few weeks.

Training with heavy weights not only helps build muscle, but it produces fat burning hormonal changes.

These hormonal changes encourage fat burning long after the workout is over and have been key to getting back into my pre-baby jeans quickly. So I also got back to the weights as quickly as possible, and that has been an important part of to my first 6 weeks of post-baby training.

The Challenges:

  • Time- It didn’t take me long to realize that time was certainly going to be an issue. I love being able to be home all day with my sweet little man… but between diapers and feedings and burping and more diapers… I definitely don’t have time to spend hours at (or some days even get to) the gym. Some days I barely have time to shower, so quick & efficient fat burning home workouts have been vital!
  • Hormones- Prolactin is a hormone that is necessary for the production of breast milk, but also affects adipose (fatty tissue) and the body’s ability to metabolize fat. This hormone, when added to the already crazy “mommy hormonal soup” of increased Cortisol and other stress hormones) and decreased fat burning hormones (HGH and testosterone) is a recipe for increased fat storing (or at the very least, more difficult fat burning) if not kept balanced as much as possible.
  • Sleep (or lack there of)- Sleep is a huge part of fat loss, and can be a prime time to either burn or store fat. As a new mom who already has increased cortisol, long nights with little to no consistent sleep is a major issue for not only stalling fat loss, but also making me a crazy wreck the next day (poor husband). I’m still trying to figure this one out, but for now, trying to get on a schedule and to get as much rest as possible is the goal.
  • Emotional Eating- I’m tired (see above!), emotional (hello, hormones) and let’s face it… as much as I love the little guy, sometimes I’m STRESSED (and all I want is chocolate)! The other day I told Patrick that I was a “giant ball of feelings,” and as funny as that sounds, it’s actually pretty accurate. Am I crying because I’m happy or overwhelmed? Or both? I don’t know, just hand me the chocolate. And pizza. And how about some of those chips from the Mexican place…

Just as pregnancy cravings can take on a life of their own, emotional “hunger” is a fat loss adversary that needs to be recognized and warred against on a daily basis for me. When I catch myself wanting to eat at a time when I’m only emotionally hungry, I tell myself “I’m not hungry, I’m just __________,” and move on. ☺ Sometimes easier said than done, but I’m a work in progress!

Speaking of progress…. (It’s about to get REAL)….

The night I gave birth: (10 hours post-baby) 

4 Weeks Post-Baby:

6 Weeks Post-Baby: (Today!)

Stay tuned for Post-Baby Body Part II… 🙂