Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Postpartum Weight Loss

I was lucky enough with my first two kiddos to not put on any extra weight.  I was right back into my pre-pregnancy jeans two weeks after they were born.  With baby number three...not so lucky.  Two weeks postpartum I felt large, I was still wearing maternity jeans, and regular jeans seemed a long ways away.  I knew I needed to do something.

Now, nearly 3 months postpartum, I have lost 12 pounds!  I am still a little heavier than I want to be, but I'm back in my jeans, I feel great, and I'm still headed the right direction.  I am by no means an expert when it comes to weight loss; some might even scoff at my attempts.  My rule is to be deliberate in my eating and exercising.  Being deliberate and aware, for me, is all it takes.  I have a few tools that I use.  I thought I might share...

First, MyFitnessPal:

I use this app on my phone to track my weight and, more importantly, my calories consumed vs. calories burned.  It is really easy to use.  You can scan UPC codes on food items, type them in and search, or create your own recipes.  Enter everything you eat in a given day and you'll know how many calories you've eaten.  Then, enter your exercise and you can see your balance at the end of the day.  Did you exercise enough?  Should you have said no to that brownie?  What can you do differently tomorrow?

Next, C25K:

I'll start off by saying that I'm not a runner.  I have never enjoyed running just to run.  But, I know that running is a great way to get active and moving and that's exactly what I needed after a somewhat inactive pregnancy.  I had heard about the "Couch to 5K" programs and downloaded this app and decided to give it a try.  And guess what?  I love it! It is a simple interval training program.  Press "Start" and you will be given cues for when to run and walk.  Each workout it approximately 30 minutes long, so it's completely doable.  When I started I scoffed at the intervals for week 1: 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking alternated for 20 minutes.  Sadly, it was challenging!  But, I have progressed to the point where I jogged for 8 minutes, walked 5, and jogged 8 this morning.  Unlike the first week, I looked at what I had to do this morning and thought there was no way I could do it.  It was tough.  I wanted to stop about halfway through the second jog, but I didn't.  I completed the run and felt really good.  The training program has been just the right for building my endurance and I burn calories while doing it!

These apps have been wonderful for me!  I run three days a week, do short workouts that target other muscle groups three days a week, and watch what I eat.  My need to cut dairy due to Ellie's sensitivity has been a struggle for me (I love milk and cheese...and cheesecake!), but it has also been a blessing.  I have found healthier, lower calorie options to replace the dairy that I would normally choose to eat.  I have been experimenting with different meals and have found some I really like (whole grain bread with hummus, guacamole, bacon, spinach, and flax seed--Yum!).  I found a fun book at the library called "The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet" by Laura Fuentes.  I thought I was getting it for my kids, but I found that it really was for me.  It has some great recipes.  Check it out!

Everyone is different.  Different weight loss needs.  Different abilities.  The trick is to find what works for you, be deliberate, and hold yourself accountable.  

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