I mentioned in a prior post that The Hub and I decided to start tracking our meals, exercises and calories with an app. We started it a little over two weeks ago and things are looking good. So typically for a guy, The Hub shreds the pounds in no time (men are so lucky). So far he’s down about 15 pounds (way to go Honey!). Of course I knew it wouldn’t be quite that quick for me.
Going in to my pregnancy I made a lot of lifestyle changes for the better that I (as well as I’m sure others) didn’t think I would ever be able to do – I cut my chemical dependencies on nicotine and caffeine. Since that time I have gotten used to letting my body rebuild its natural routine without depending on these chemicals so it was important for me to find a natural long-term approach to getting back into shape too. And let me just say that I know it’s not for everyone and I’m in no way saying that this approach is the best for anyone. It was just the best for me. For me cutting my chemical dependencies helped me to get better in tune with my body and its natural schedule and needs and also to flush out the toxins in my system and also not transferring any of that to my daughter during pregnancy or through my breast milk. I used to binge all day on coffee and cigarettes in lieu of eating. I had horrible sleep patterns – staying up super late and then had trouble waking up in the mornings. I was tense and nervous and used smoking or drinking to calm my nerves and help me relax. Now I’m finding sleep much easier to reach at night, waking up a breeze in the mornings and relaxation just as easily attained with a glass of herbal tea or a small glass of wine instead of an entire bottle. And since I’m still breastfeeding I am not drinking a lot so I spend more time thoroughly enjoying and savoring that one vodka cranberry or glass of wine much more than binging on ten.
I knew for me getting into shape after having the baby would be a little more difficult because I had already bettered my diet during my pregnancy and after while breastfeeding. I was going to have to do more than just eat healthier. I had lost 20 pounds pretty quickly after having the baby (some of which was the baby herself). And the rest was thanks to nursing which helps you lose weight faster. But I had started my pregnancy out heavier than desired so just getting back to pre-pregnancy weight was only half of the battle. So when I hit a road block where the weight loss stopped, I knew getting active was going to be required. I had missed out on much of that crucial weight-loss time when I suffered a horrible pelvic rotation and SI injury.The other tricky thing is that I knew I couldn’t approach this as I once used to by skipping any meals or substituting them with coffee and cigarettes because it’s critical for me to be eating each meal, making them healthy meals and getting enough calories in order for my body to keep producing not only the breast milk itself but quality breast milk. So, although cutting my calories by any significant amount would surely help me lose weight faster, I knew it just wasn’t possible.
For this to work for both myself and the baby long term I knew that “slow & steady” would be the name of the game. And so far it’s been going pretty good. I’ve lost 3 inches and over 5 pounds in the past two-and-a-half weeks. I know it may seem like nothing to most of you, but it signifies a lot to me. To me this whole plan is not just some short term crash diet that ends like so many where you spend a boatload of money on a new skinny wardrobe only to find yourself packing the pounds back on in no time and then spending a whole bunch more money on new fat clothes. I need to focus on each day individually and not really set any specific “goal” other than being healthy. Once I have achieved that the rest will naturally fall into place.
I am getting a good amount of exercise in each day between doing my physical therapy / core exercises and taking care of the baby and house. We are paying attention to not only calories but also the vitamins we need to be consuming each day and the areas to avoid large amounts of each day (cholesterol, saturated fat, sodium, sugars, etc) because you begin to realize it’s not just about getting a certain number of calories every day but getting the right ones coming from the right foods. For the first time together we are focusing on the quality of what we eat as well as the quantity. I’m taking care of my body and helping it to get back to what it’s naturally designed to do.
This is a whole new lifestyle of taking care of ourselves, and maintaining good eating and exercise habits to make sure we are staying healthy so we can be a part of our daughter’s life for as long as possible and also so we can set a good example and give our daughter a healthy life too. We’ve certainly done enough damage to our bodies over the years to ask for trouble. And while we can’t guarantee that we’ll never get sick, we can do whatever is in our ability to naturally prevent it from happening and pay better attention to what we’re doing moving forward. God knows I now have something more than ever to live long for… And it’s not just about living. It’s about living well.