My Postpartum Fitness Journey- Week 1
I love being a Mom.
I loved it before and I love it now.
Having a teenager, a 4th grader and now a newborn in the mix makes it all the more exciting having all of the different ages and phases.
I could get into all the reasons why I love Mommin' but for this post and blog series I promised I would track my journey back to pre-baby fitness, so I'll focus on that for now ;)
Posting this pic makes me nervous and takes a bit of balls & humility I think, just because sometimes people don't "get" it. I mean, the baby is here! My body should look just like it did before right?!
Here's a glimpse into the reality of that statement.
Are you still pregnant bro?
Ugh maaaaan! Be patient Mamas, it takes time for everything on the inside as well as the outside to shrink and get back to pre-baby expectations, along with some changes that will be permanent (hello stretch marks) that you may be blessed with forever. Give yourself some grace (talking to myself here) and let nature take it's course as your uterus and even shoe size slowly contract and shrink back to their original size.
Personally, I'm trying to figure out where to go from here in the nutrition and fitness realm. Thankfully my body is craving wholesome, nutritious foods. The last phase of pregnancy and the week post-delivery was filled with quick grab and go meals and LOTS of sweets and treats courtesy of baby Lillian's many visitors (so yum, #noragrets, gimme all the cupcakes) but my body is literally saying mercy and wanting wholesome food and no longer craving artificial, sugary, processed carbs like it was.
I've been breastfeeding exclusively since she was brought into this world, and hearing how I need an extra 500 calories a day to keep up with milk supply and personal energy needs. The tough part is that I don't have a baseline really of how many calories per day I was, and am currently, consuming. So I've just been kind of winging it, eating when I'm hungry and making sure to get in adequate protein, fats, carbs, as well as calcium and other vitamins & minerals. I'm also shooting for a water goal of 120 oz per day. She's gained a healthy amount of weight so far, so something must be going right! I'm going to start to track my nutrition to start to get a better handle on what I'm consuming and what my body may need.
I won't get into labor and delivery details (it was a smooth, quick delivery with no complications) but post-delivery I was bleeding far heavier than usual and it took almost 2 days for the blood to let up to a level that doc was comfortable with (TMI errr no?). The amount lost was enough for him to give me the option for a blood transfusion which I ended up declining, opting to just take the natural route of upping my iron and letting my body regenerate the blood naturally. I know the transfusion would have been completely safe, but there's just something about pumping someone else's blood into my body that gave me the heeby jeebies. So to counteract the anemia and get my blood levels back up I'm taking iron supplements and making sure to have iron-rich foods everyday such as eggs, spinach, red meat, broccoli and seeds. I'm still taking my prenatal vitamins along with the iron supplementation, and my daily protein coffee and smoothies with protein and collagen, but that's it for supplementation right now. Once my blood levels get back to where they're supposed to be, that should help immensely with my energy levels as well. #tired
Physically, I feel great but I've also been struggling pretty bad with a jacked-up back. It started about a week before I had Lillian, I figured from the excess weight I was carrying in the front. I thought that once she arrived it would get better but instead it's gotten progressively worse. When I try and walk or put pressure on my left leg, there are sharp shooting pains into my lower back that are making everyday tasks like walking and going up and down the stairs extremely painful. I was being stubborn for a few days thinking the issue would just mitigate itself, but with friendly nudges from my husband (would you just call the damn chiropractor, it hurts watching you) I finally caved and made an appointment. I mean, let's face it, the sooner I can get this taken care of the better it will be for everyone. I'm already tired of hobbling around like a crotchety old lady and I'll end up getting booty sores from the amount of time I'm spending in the recliner and bed! Long story short, X-rays showed scoliosis of my lower spine being curved instead of straight, sciatica causing the shooting pains & my pelvis is tilted way forward which is throwing my alignment completely off. Apparently there's also a ligament that connects your uterus and lower back that's tight and pinching nerves in my lower back that we need to work through.
Well this should be fun.
My immediate, short-term goal we went over is just being able to walk pain free. I'd like to walk and carry my beautiful baby without wincing in pain. Then we talked about my longer, 3-6 month goals of wanting to run again pain-free get back into my Tough Mudders and obstacle course racing...where the chiropractor proceeded to give me the look of "oh, you're one of those...no wonder you're all messed up."
I just consider it job security for him.
He will fix me up and I'll be sure to get it jolted and jagged again for him with my lifestyle I'm sure! Just here to keep ya in business doc. I do what I can.
Weight-wise, I'm not a person who uses the scale, ever really. That's a relatively new thing though as I used to be obsessed with it. That's a whole different part of my earlier story I won't get into right now either. BUT, I was weighed at the doctor the day of my delivery and officially gained 48 lbs this pregnancy.
That's a big baby aye?
They weighed me at the chiropractor and I was 10 lbs down from that, so I guess I would have 38 lbs to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight. I take that 100% with a grain of salt though, because I've worn a size 12 and a size 6 and weighed the SAME at both clothing sizes...it's all about muscle vs fat content so I will be going over how my clothes fit and feel more than anything. I don't have a scale in the house so I don't have a goal weight set or anything like that. As I start getting back into a fitness routine I'll focus on building lean muscle which will help melt the fat away.
I know I'm not supposed to workout for 6 weeks, but I am going to start to integrate a 10 minute postpartum yoga flow into my morning routine. My hope is to start to feel less stiff and help loosen up my back as well. A good stretch every morning can help with circulation and is an overall refreshing start to the day.
So, that's my update for now at week 1, stay tuned to see week 2 progress!