(This is part two of "losing the mama weight", check out the first post here.)
Now for the real meat of my Mama Weight battle. The road to losing it. And I will say, it was not easy. For me, at least.
For everyone else - celebs, every mama blog I followed, other moms I ran into - it seemed to be so easy. The weight appeared to just fall off. They posted pics of themselves looking like they had looked pre-preggo just a few months after giving birth. Bitches. Kidding...well kind of. :)
For me, though, it was tough. I carried over my late-pregnancy bad eating habits after I had little man (remember the cupcakes, Oreos and pudding pies?) It took me a looong time to get used to the new sleep routine, or lack thereof. I didn't breastfeed. I had no energy. I wore sweatpants every day. It was tough.
Then I got the green light to work out from my doctor and I got somewhat serious about it. I was still on leave and stole every chance I could to fit in some type of exercise. Logging a few minutes on the treadmill. Popping in the Tracy Anderson Post-Pregnancy DVD. Taking advantage of the abnormally nice January weather (here) and walking whenever I could. Then my maternity leave ended and I was back to working full-time+ again. My workouts went on the back burner.
Over the next couple of months I struggled to get back to a consistent routine. Food-wise, I was logging so many hours that I would just throw whatever I could into my mouth when my stomach started growling. I drank loads of caffeine to stay awake through the day. I guess you could say I was in a rut (here) and traveling for work and for fun definitely wasn't helping (here).
In late May, I decided I needed to get serious about getting back to working out and eating better...our family Vegas trip was looming in front of me and I couldn't be the beached whale (you know what I mean) among all of my thin and trim sister-in-laws. I did pretty well. I started eating smaller portions, made healthier choices and logged a lot of miles running outside. I felt better about myself than I had in a while, though I knew I hadn't gotten back to where I wanted to be.
After our Vegas trip, I slipped again (seriously, is it annoying you how many times I fell off the wagon? Me too!) I always found something more important to do than work out. I kept telling myself I would start eating better on Monday...this happened every Sunday night.
After going back and forth for a couple months, I finally just took the plunge and signed myself up for the Omaha Half Marathon (here)...a month prior to the race. I have to say this was the most important move I had made on my road to getting back to myself. One, it pushed me to run, run, run...otherwise I would've made a damn fool of myself. And two, it gave me back the confidence I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. Not only the race, but get back to being healthy. I still can't believe I ran 13 miles at one time...and actually finished better than I thought I would (here). That was definitely not something I thought I could or would do within a year after having a baby.
The half in September helped me jump start what I can only call the final leg of my road back to my pre-preggo self. I felt really good about myself and decided that while I was feeling good about my work out plan, I needed to get to a place where I felt good about my eating habits.
I completely dissected what I ate regularly and sought out healthy alternatives. I started packing my lunch for work so I wouldn't be tempted to grab something quick from our cafes of buffets. I decreased my portions. I increased my water intake. I made substitutions - instead of chips or crackers for a midday snack, I brought a baggie full of carrots. I made sure to have a Kind bar in my bag in case I got hungry. I cut toast out of my breakfast (subbed with two hard-boiled eggs each morning) and bread out of my lunch (and instead have lunch meat with a piece of cheese). I eat more fruit...thanks to my boy, Cruz. He eats so much of it that I always have fresh fruit around the house and I force myself to incorporate it into my snacks or with my meals. I guess I just started making better choices.
It was these things that helped me get to a place I was comfortable with. By mid-November I was five pounds down from my pre-preggo weight. (Don't forget, though, my pre-preggo weight wasn't anything to write home about). I felt good in my clothes. I had energy.
Don't get me wrong, I still fall of the wagon. The holidays hit me like a tornado - cookies, candy, huge meals - I was all over it. I miss workouts often. I love wine a bit too much. I often blame work for my fails. I still eat the fatty foods I love. I don't deny myself my favorite meals. I just do more in moderation.
Fifteen months after giving birth to my first child, I'm finally in a place where I feel good about myself. I'm eating better than I ever have, while still allowing myself to indulge every now and again. I'm trying new workouts. I feel better about myself.
If I can sign off with anything - or better yet remind myself when it comes this time again after our next kiddo - its don't beat yourself up or stress about it. As they say, it took nine months for your body to change and grow like it did, it definitely should take nine months (or 15, but who's counting) for it to get back to where it was. Take your time and do things right. It's not only about working out, but about eating better and being cognizant of what you are putting into your body. Thanks for listening. This was important for me to write for myself.