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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?