It may be Spring Break but I will not let the presence of my 2 school-age children in the house all day (and all week!) keep me from certain routines I've developed over these past couple of months of being home.
It's my sanity!I woke up at 8:00am, and there was not a sound in the house. The hubbers had already gone to work and the 5 year old and 15 year old were still asleep. This was my chance!
Quickly I changed Carlin's poopy, made him laugh a few times (mornings with him are my favorite part of the day), washed my face, brushed my teeth then quietly scooped him up to softly tread down the stairs, careful to not.. wake.... a soul.
After putting some oatmeal, a couple of eggs and my morning glass of water into my belly (all while nursing my little man, of course), I carefully placed him into his car seat with the full intention of tricking him into thinking we were going for a ride. Yes.... I said trick him. My yoga routine is 40 minutes long and on a usual school morning, he is still sleeping when I get back from taking Abigail to Pre-k and that is when I usually take the opportunity to get in a little workout. You learn all sorts of "tricks" with a baby in the house!
Now to the good news...
I am not a "vanity" type of person so this wasn't necessarily a goal of mine. Even if it were, it would be a long term goal with no real intention of focusing on making it happen this soon.
Just for giggles, after taking a quick potty break after yoga this morning, I stepped on the scale. When I was pregnant with Carlin, I gained 35 pounds with my end weight being 170.
It has been 9 weeks and I am now back down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 135! Although this wasn't something I was striving for just yet, I have to admit that it does feel good.
Here are some simple things I have done in these last 9 weeks (actually 7 weeks b/c I was recovering from a loss of a LOT of blood in the first 2) that have, apparently, played a roll in achieving this "non-goal" of mine.
One thing I will say is that the reason I did these things had little to do with losing weight and everything to do with feeling balanced, energized and centered. Pregnancy and childbirth really has a way of knocking those 3 things out of you and it was a carnal need of mine to find them again and hold on to them.
Wake up. Dress up. Show up.Besides taking Abigail to school, I don't really have anywhere to go, but it is more about the idea with this one. What I mean is, if you wake up, wash your face, brush your teeth and hair, throw on a very minimal amount of make-up and put on your best pair of yoga pants as soon as you wake up, you're much less likely to lay around all day and do nothing. This, I have learned from experience. Since I have begun doing this every morning, even on the mornings I don't have to take Abi to school, I have had no problem staying active throughout the day.
Eat often. Eat Small. Eat healthy.
This one seems like a "duh" but it really has taken some conscious effort on my part. It is important to keep your body full of calories that count and not of ones that your body will just want to throw away, especially if you are breastfeeding. My typical morning would start off with two eggs, oatmeal, a chicken breast, honey Greek yogurt (I'm addicted!) and a side of fruit, all topped off with a glass of water. I never miss eating breakfast. Eating in the morning jump starts your metabolism, energizes the body and wakes the brain, setting the bar for the rest of the day. Breakfast is followed by a mid-morning snack, which is usually fruit and more yogurt with some granola on top. Then my lunch is usually a chicken-spinach-pesto sandwich on multi-grain bread, with a few healthy snacks (yogurt, fruit, raw veggies) before eating the yummy dinner my husband comes home to cook.
This one is easy for me because every time Carlin starts feeding, my mouth gets really dry and my body screams "NEED WATER"! The cup from the hospital only lasted me a few weeks before it, inevitably, got a crack in it. But it was replaced with a reusable coffee cup. Keep something similar or that has a lid on hand that you can fill easily. I drink about 10 to 12 of these a day, pretty much every single time my little man nurses. Water is great for the skin, as well as for regulating the body, keeping it cleansed and, in turn, keeping you feeling good.
Do something. Anything. Once a day.
Once a day, do something that requires you to get up and move around for at least 20 minutes every day. Stretch it to an hour sometimes if at all possible, but don't stress it. Keep it casual and don't dwell on it too much. I find that keeping this a habit, but not a "job" or something I HAVE to make happen, takes all the pressure off so I don't feel like I failed if I don't get around to this at some point in a day. This is important because, with a new baby, there WILL be days like this! Every day I have either cleaned the house up a bit (which takes a minimum of 20 minutes), done some yoga or just went for a quick walk. The point is to try to burn some calories at least once a day instead of eating and just sitting around. I've found that it raises my energy and makes me feel good about myself, putting me in a better mood to deal with everything in my day to day.
This is something that organically happens when I clean for my "at least 20 min per day" because the only way to get me cleaning is to TURN ON SOME MUSIC!
I've always said...
"Where there's a beat, there should be a dancer" ~Amanda Autumn Nipper
(yep, I'm claiming that one)Dancing does so much more than giving a work out to more muscles than you could imagine. Music releases endorphins, making your mood transform no matter what kind of day you've had. It is a great medicine for the soul. SO GET UP AND DANCE! You'll be glad you did.
Take the stairs.I have not gone many places that have stairs, but when I do, I choose them over the elevator (as long as they are not more than 3 stories high!). Since I am usually wearing my baby (which makes for a good amount of a little extra weight on your thighs), walking up the stairs is not a problem, and is perfect to get in a little cardio and feel the burn. This is just a quick and easy way to throw in a little extra movement in your day. Lucky for me, we have stairs in our house, and there is not a day that goes by when I do not make frequent trips up and down them.
Garden.Okay, this is not something I have started but that is due to the weather, not my lack of 'want to'. Spring starts in March, but in the PacificNW, our Spring usually doesn't start until May or June. Meaning, it doesn't stop raining until then. For some reason, it has been a rather dry Spring, and as long as the weather continues this way, Gardening will soon be a part of my daily routine, as I try to reach our goal as a family to be able to grow our own veggies this year instead of having to purchase them. Gardening is a great way to workout, all while doing something that can benefit the whole family. What's better is the kids can help! Get the whole family involved!
Don't be Super Woman. Delegate. Rest.You're already Super Woman... You carried a baby for nearly a year AND gave birth. You have nothing left to prove to anyone. Don't be a martyr. Ask for help. This may not seem like a way to lose weight, but I feel that it is, just indirectly. Without the help of my awesome partner in life, my loving husband, and the help of my children (even my 5 year old), I'd probably feel overwhelmed, not being able to fully contribute my energy in all the areas of our life that keep us "afloat". While it is good to do a little housework to get the blood flowing and to burn some calories, DON'T DO IT ALL! Delegate some tasks and don't forget to rest. If you are overtired, overworked and overwhelmed, you're likely to become depressed and most likely will just lay around, wallowing in your misery. Don't be Super Woman. Ask for help. Not everything has to be on your shoulders.
Socialize.This goes right along with the idea of... If you're mood is good, you will feel good and will not find yourself laying around, adding on the pounds postpartum. Get out and talk to people! Even if it is another mom in the baby isle at the store. Or the clerk at the register. Or your friends!! Call your friends, BS with them and tell them to come see you! You're a mommy but you're still YOU. It is easy to lose sight of that after giving birth. Socializing with other adults makes you feel good inside, and as long as you feel good, you LOOK good.
Most of all, don't forget to smile. And don't take yourself so seriously! Even if you don't find yourself back to your pre-baby weight, doing all of these things will make you feel like a better YOU. And that is something that everyone around you can benefit from.
So, enjoy your baby, but don't forget about YOU.
Those are just some of my thoughts and experiences....
If you have some you'd like to add, please do! I would love to hear your thoughts!