I think I may have been a little ambitious to begin blogging on June 1. My husband, who controls digital content for businesses for a living, made me promise that I wouldn’t start a blog and then just let it die a slow and painful death. “No way! I totally have time.” My due date was June 7th, so I really don’t think I knew what would be in store for me five days later. 🙂
On June 6th we were blessed with our second child, Arlo Cruz Parkinson.
It’s not that parenting two children has completely taken over my life. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it has its challenges. But, every time I have found a minute because Arlo is napping, I’ve wanted to soak up bit of snuggles that I can. This time only happens for a short while, so I want to savor every minute!
My maternity leave is now 9 weeks in and I am only slightly terrified of leaving Arlo to work my normal 8 hour days. Not because we don’t have great care for him. We pretty much hit the jackpot when we found our nanny, Caylee, about two years ago. She comes to the house before my husband leaves for work and then plays and cares for Takeo until I get home in the early afternoon. Takeo adores her. Like I said above, this time is so sweet in a baby’s life. And, I feel like I’m going to have some serious FOMO while at work.
The great part of this is… I love my job. I’m so glad that I can say that without having to grit my teeth. Seriously… the actual work itself, the people, the organization. I love it all. There is one part I’m fearful of, though – the workouts. I can’t lie. Getting paid to workout is a pretty great gig. I’m forced to stay in shape. Literally, I don’t have a choice. I can’t be in my office like… ‘You know what? I’m just not feeling it today.’ I’d have a good number of people banging on my door because they came in for a workout and I’m the one to lead them.
So, during these 9 weeks, I have had that hanging over my head and I didn’t want to just sit back and wait to go back to work to start getting into shape. Let me preface this with… everything that I have done has been doctor approved. If you are postpartum, get some advice from your doctor before jumping into to anything.
First of all, I 100% believe that exercise is not what makes or breaks your body. It’s nutrition. I have to give a ton of credit to my colleague and friend, Liz, for the tips I’m about to share. First of all, I didn’t follow a diet. I don’t believe in diets. I think that we often shoot ourselves in the foot when we start to go down that path, because we may follow it for a while, we get off track and then we throw in the towel and go back to what we were eating beforehand. If you change your eating plan, ask yourself – ‘can I live on this for the rest of my life?’ If the answer is no, I suggest finding something else that works for you. Don’t completely omit foods. I’m sorry, but the one donut you ate for breakfast will not, in fact, make you gain the 50 pounds you think it will. One choice and one day, even, does not constitute someone going up 3 sizes in jeans. It’s a series of choices. So, take one at a time.
Alright, I’m off of my soapbox. I work with Liz for a lot of the weight loss programs that we do at my workplace. One of the challenges that I have put forth for my myself (and my husband – choice was his.. it wasn’t forced :)) was the 5/5/50 challenge.
- Once I felt up to it, I started exercising 5 days a week. This could be any activity for 30 minutes.
- I ate 5 servings of fruits/vegetables a day. This was 5 servings total. Typically, this meant that I had some fruit with my breakfast, a salad for lunch, some type of fruit or vegetable as a snack (apple, banana, carrots, etc), and at least one serving of vegetables for dinner.
- I drank 50% of my body weight in ounces of water every day.
This challenge wasn’t completely out of my comfort zone, but it took planning. I found myself fuller due to the amount of water I was intaking. And, I didn’t have time to consume any sugary drinks because of it. I really only had my coffee in the morning and sometimes a tonic water if I needed a little bubbly. The fruits and vegetables really made me feel full through the day as well. I didn’t find myself searching for snacks. Side note – if you have Pinterest, follow me. I found some of the best salad recipes. I didn’t dread lunch, but looked forward to it. They were rocking meals. Seriously. And, in terms of the fruits & vegetables/water – I did this 6 days out of the week. I wanted to ensure that if I had a bad day during the week or knew I was going somewhere on the weekend that I didn’t beat myself over the head for not following this regimen.
Where did I begin with exercising? Well, I started off slow… very slow. I began at two weeks postpartum. However, it was almost painful to go as light as I did. Since pregnancy does a number on your core, I wanted to avoid any exercise that would tax that part of my body. Any type of jumping or running was out. So, I decided that cycling was best. For those that haven’t done spinning before, this likely won’t be a great place to start. I only say that because the bike seat can be worse than the workout itself! I worked out about 3-4 days a week and included Body Flow (yoga), RPM, and Body Pump into my regimen. If you haven’t tried Les Mills classes yet.. do it. I did all of these with their suggested ‘SMART START’ programming. For the most part, this means that you only do about 4 tracks equalling to 25-30 minutes of exercise. It’s a great place to begin. And, Les Mills has a great online program so that you can grab these workouts on your smart device, computer or smart tv.
But, the best part of this whole thing was… it wasn’t limiting. If I wanted cake – I ate it.
To date, I have lost about 25 pounds of pregnancy weight and I have about 8 more pounds to go. I’m not putting a date on when, because I know it will come. I’ll continue to let my body lead the way and tell me what I need to do.