Monday, January 24, 2011

My body after birth...

I have to admit I was pretty worried about how my body would look after a second pregnancy and had lots of body issues while pregnant this time around.  Maybe it was because the first pregnancy is so new and exciting and I looked forward to my belly expanding.  Or maybe I had body issues this pregnancy because you "show" so much faster during subsequent pregnancies - I definitely did!  I felt like I looked seven months pregnant when I was only four months into it!  Or maybe I dreaded packing on those pounds after I had finally reached my ideal body weight and composition just prior to the pregnancy.  I would love to say that I am one of those women who thinks pregnancy is "beautiful" (I do think it is beautiful on others, just not on me for some reason!) and that I felt "glowy" but the reality is that this time around I was very vain and did not like the way I looked pregnant.  Just being honest here.  No matter how many compliments I received from my husband and others, the truth is, I felt very insecure and couldn't wait to get back to my old self, and wondered if that was possible.  (The fact that I felt absolutely blessed to have a life growing inside of me goes without saying and even if I never looked the same again, it would all be worth it!) 

Well, I followed a mostly primal diet while pregnant, not only to manage my weight gain but also because I feel my best when eating like a cavewoman.  I included some Ezekiel products and oatmeal here and there which are not primal, but I felt like I needed the extra carbs to steadily gain weight.  And of course I splurged on ice cream and other treats here and there, but I never made a habit of it.  So while I am vain, I know it's important to eat healthy and gain the proper weight to support the pregnancy and breastfeeding afterward.  I *wanted* to gain at least 35 pounds to have the healthiest pregnancy possible and to ensure I had adequate reserves for breastfeeding postpartum.  So I gained 36 pounds and although my ass was larger than I wanted and I had bra fat, I was very happy with my overall weight gain.

Fastforward to today.  How do I feel about my body now?  I feel fantastic!  I want to share how I lost the weight and toned up because I myself searched the Internet to find out real life examples of how women got their figures back.  Don't get me wrong...I'm far from a Victoria's Secret Model and won't be donning a bikini any time soon.  I have lovely stretch marks and cellulite dimples that I am learning to live with.  But I think for a new mom two months postpartum, I'm doing alright.  I lost 26 of the 36 pounds in the first month.  I have lost five more in the second month so I still have five more to go.  I do not believe in cutting calories (especially with breastfeeding) or depriving yourself when you are hungry.  I would rather be healthy than thin (well, preferably both) and it's really important to me that my diet is balanced to ensure nutritious breastmilk.

I have found what works for me.  I will say it is difficult to find the time and energy to exercise and prepare nutritious meals, especially when you are nursing and practicing attachment parenting.  But if I can do it, so can others.  Here is what has worked for me:

  • following a primal diet - that means no grains and limiting dairy and sugar.
  • consistent exercise - even if it's only 10 minutes a day, consistency will pay off.
  • breastfeeding - burns up to 500 calories a day!
In my next few posts, I will detail some of my meals and snacks as well as some of my exercise routines.

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