Staying Fit with Baby

If you caught my last update on fitness you know that I was about 16 weeks postpartum and was not feeling great. I knew I needed to step back, let my body rest, catch up on sleep, and re-evaluate how I was fueling my days. My rest week proved to be very much-needed and beneficial. In the week following I only squeezed in a couple of short 3 mile runs and a couple of circuit workouts. The following week we were on vacation and aside from a few morning walks I did not workout or worry about what I ate at all. It’s vacation! I weighed myself the day we returned home. I had gained 5lbs. and I felt pretty awful but I was really motivated to get back at it! After a week of workouts and healthy eating I’m back to where I was prior to vacation and I’m definitely seeing the scale go down little by little!

As a reminder my goal is to continue to lose weight and tone up after having a baby. I’m trying to do so mindfully- no fad diets or crazy workouts. Life needs to be about balance these days and that means eating healthy and exercising within the limited time I have each week while still getting sleep and spending time with my family.

Workouts

Sunday: Easy Run or circuit workout. I’m trying to use the weekend to add in an extra workout. If I run I try to keep a challenging but easy pace (right now that’s a 9:30 min/mile) and tackle about 3-4 miles. For circuits I aim to go for 45 minutes with warm up and cool downs. I have the extra time so I why not?

circuit 2

Monday: This depends on what Sunday is but either a run or circuit. Same style as above. I like to get up at 4:45am to tackle this and have it done first thing. It’s great to start the week of on the right foot and it allows me to enjoy my time after work with Enzo. I find that I miss him most on Mondays so I enjoy the extra snuggles guilt-free after work. If I do a circuit during the week though I aim to keep it to 30-35 minutes. I usually set the timer on my phone and when it buzzes that’s it so I adjust the number of rounds accordingly so I can get through the whole thing in the allotted time. Pinterest, dumbbells, and a kettlebell are great for this!

Tuesday: Circuit or run. Again this depends on Sunday and Monday. I’m trying to avoid back to back circuits and back to back runs (especially back to back with the stroller) but I also need to have flexibility in my week too so it’s all a balance. Same distance (3-4 miles) or a 30-minute circuit.

Run

Wednesday: Run! I’ve deemed Wednesday to be a speed day and am pretty excited about it. The mileage is a little less on these days which is nice. As I increase the mileage for sprints I’ll likely decrease the mileage of one of my easy runs depending on how my body feels. Last week I did a mile warm-up and 10x 1min sprints with 1 min recovery and a mile cool-down. It was manageable but challenging. I think this week I’ll mix it up and go for 5x 2 min at 80-85%. I don’t go to the track because it’s not close to our house so I just keep it timed and run my usual loops.

Thusday: Rest Day! I like resting on Thursday. I’m usually pretty tired from the week and feeling burnt out so I appreciate taking this off my plate. I also like that it can be a “make up day” should I miss a workout on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Friday: Long Run. I work from home on Friday’s and my mother-in-law watches Enzo so I end up with a bit more time in the morning. I still run super early but I get plenty of time to get my miles in at a slower pace (right now 10min/mile), stretch, do abs, and do a quick arm workout before getting Enzo ready for his day with Gram, getting everyone breakfast, and grabbing a quick shower before logging in to work at 8am. Last week I ran 5 miles and I’m hoping to work my way up to 8-10 this fall. This week I have my eye on 6.

Long Run

Saturday: Rest Day! We do fun family things on Saturday so I like to just enjoy that and get some “extra” sleep.

So in all the goal is to get 2 circuit workouts in, 3 runs (1 easy, 1 speed, 1 long), and 2 rest days. For mileage I’m hoping to get to about 15 miles per week or more. That seems doable for now and as I get stronger I’ll likely add in one more run and do one strength day.

Nutrition

Smoothies:  I’ve started drinking a smoothie and a cup of coffee with skim milk for breakfast. I find that the smoothies keep me really full throughout the day and also help me to keep my sugar cravings down. I also went cold turkey on sugar in my coffee. It just didn’t make sense to start my day with a sugary beverage when I’m trying to consume less sugar. So far I feel like it’s helping me a ton!

Smoothie

Portion Control: This is a big one for me as we eat really healthy. I just eat TOO much of the good stuff. I’m starting to weigh out my foods in an effort to get my portions under control. I’m roughly following the guidelines of the PiYo diet but definitely not 100% mostly because I don’t have time in my day to figure out all the meals, servings, and serving sizes. I’m focusing on serving size of proteins, healthy fats, and fruits as those are the areas I tend to go overboard with.

Challenges

So far things seem to be going well with this new plan but there are a few challenges I’m working against.

Sleep Regression: Enzo is in a sleep regression so he’s up multiple times a night these days. Michael and I are good about taking turns getting up with him but I still find myself pretty tired. By Tuesday and Wednesday I find myself skipping the morning workout in favor of more sleep. I’m learning that I ALWAYS regret this. Most of the time I naturally wake up around 4:45 or 5am anyway and that “extra” sleep is just light sleep that doesn’t prove to be very restful. I’m better off getting up, exercising, and planning to go to bed super early since I know by best sleep is from bedtime until about 1:30am.

Changing Schedules: Along those same lines is Enzo’s ever-changing schedule. He doesn’t always nap in the stroller in anymore since the world is far more exciting than his eyelids so post-work runs often depend on where he is in terms of sleep for the day. Sometimes he goes to bed at 6 or 6:30 so it’s just not possible to run after work with him, especially when I’m getting home around 4:45. We’ve sort of shifted everything an hour too early in terms of his sleep so we’re working on getting him back to a better timed sleep schedule but as everyone knows it never works perfectly with a baby and it’s always changing! This just makes it hard to fit in a workout when I’ve missed the AM window. Usually what ends up happening is I trade a run for a 20-minute circuit, call it good and force myself back into my 4:45am workout. I’m just not a fan of running or working out later in the evening.

Timing and Variety: I’d also love to get to a barre class or a yoga class occasionally. This is hard because during the week I’d basically need to go to the 7:30 or 8pm class and I don’t like working out that late (see sleep regression above). It’s impossible to go in the morning because they don’t offer 5am class which is basically what I’d need to attend. So that leaves the weekend. Maybe once the fall comes and we are home a bit more on the weekend  I’ll have time for this but for right now it’s just not going to happen.

It’s all an evolving process in terms of schedule so I try to do my best each day and keep moving forward. Food is definitely the easiest to be consistent with as fitting in workouts can be hit or miss. Exercise is often the first to come off my plate during the week and that’s just a reality. I can usually guarantee myself 3 workouts a week and consider anything more than that a major win!

How did you fit in health and fitness postpartum?

 

Motherhood

On March 26, 2016 we welcomed Enzo Michael into the world! If you follow me on Instagram you likely saw my announcement followed by tons and tons of baby picture posts. I thought a lot about blogging during the past 4 months but I never posted. I really wanted to spend my maternity leave focused on Enzo and enjoying that time together. I’m really happy I did and that I did not take a moment of that time for granted. I also wanted to spend some time thinking about whether or not I wanted to keep blogging, and how or if Enzo fit into that. Ultimately, I just needed to take some time to be a new mom and see where it would lead me.

The past 4 months have been nothing short of extraordinary. Michael and I are blessed with an incredibly sweet, loving boy who likes to sleep and dislikes crying. He fills our home with laughter, smiles, and more love and joy than I ever imagined. He’s certainly made my world feel complete. It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses however, we have had our challenges. Our biggest challenge was with breastfeeding and after a lot of thought I want to post about our experience but more on that another day. I’m also going to share our birth story. I feel it’s important to share those stories because neither experience was one I had ever really anticipated or heard other moms experiencing. I have since learned that both aren’t all that uncommon, just maybe not discussed as much.  Michael and I have learned a lot as new parents through trial and error, reading (so much reading), advice from friends and family, and our intuition. Enzo has experienced quite a lot in his short 4 months with us. We are trying so hard to take advantage of the portable stage. He’s been to the beach a few times, to many parties and BBQ’s, to NY to visit my family, restaurants, the movies, to Maine and Rhode Island, Boston, the Boston Marathon, and so much more. We’ve had a blast and continue to have a blast as a family of 3.

 

I’m not going to post much about Enzo here. You won’t see monthly posts about him and I won’t be sharing his measurements or milestones. You will probably catch glimpses of him as he fits into our family life, and as I share experiences about stroller running.  I do post baby pictures on Instagram and share some of our day to day life there so be sure to follow me if that’s of interest. LiveRunLoveYoga has always been about my experiences living a healthy life and that’s what it will continue to be.

I’ve found motherhood to be an incredibly rewarding and exciting experience. It took some time to adjust at first but now we’re in our groove and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Postpartum can be a really challenging time. As soon as I gave birth I was eager to loose the baby weight. I gained exactly 40 pounds from the day I conceived to the day I delivered. Much of that was water and the baby. About a week after birth I was down about 20 pounds with 20 pounds left to loose. I didn’t focus on losing baby weight until I was cleared for exercise and I happily ate all the comfort food that was brought and prepared for us because I was exhausted and trying to keep a tiny human alive. At about 4 weeks postpartum I started to clean up my diet and was counting the days until I could run again. I started running and doing circuit workouts at exactly 6 weeks postpartum. I’ve lost another 10 pounds since I started exercising and have 12 pounds to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and 18 pounds to my goal weight. I’m almost back in all my normal clothes but some of skirts and pants are still a bit too tight for my liking. I’ve found it MUCH harder to accept my new body than I thought. My thighs now rub together (hello chaffing), and I have a few stretch marks to remind me that my body grew a human. I’m currently experiencing postpartum hair-loss and as many moms can tell you that’s not fun. It’s also summer in New England and that doesn’t make it any easier. I bought myself a tankini I really like and feel confident in but I have been eyeing my bikini. I told myself that I will wear my bikini to the beach before summer is over because I think it will be a good lesson for me in self-acceptance. Breastfeeding didn’t work for us so I haven’t had the ability to burn extra calories from that. I’m losing weight the good old fashioned way…diet and exercise.

40 Weeks Pregnant

One of my favorite things I’ve been doing is stroller running. It’s HARD, so HARD but I love being out there doing something I love with my little boy. He sits in his carseat attached to the BOB and chit chats and smiles at me the whole time. He thinks its hysterical when I get out of breath running uphill and always gives me a good chuckle (thanks for the support Enzo). I’ve found there isn’t a lot out there in terms of postpartum running, and even more so stroller running so I really want to share what our experience has been. What works for me, what doesn’t. I’ve also become a circuit lover and want to share some of my favorite workouts.

I’m back at work now days and I like to think that we’re doing our best and our best is pretty good. I’m learning that things don’t need to be done perfectly to be done. Perfection is impossible when you are doing a million things in one day. My house isn’t the cleanest, my workouts aren’t always the best,  and usually one of us is exhausted but we always sit down for a healthy dinner together, have lots of smiles, enjoy time as a family, and Michael and I somehow manage to spend a little time together. We probably have a little too much ice cream than I really need but hey, we’ve earned it and it’s summer. Parenthood isn’t easy but it’s so worth it!

What have you been up to since March?