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Monday, March 28, 2016

Body After Baby | 6 Week Progress

This Thursday marks just 6 short weeks since Jordan's been born!  In that time, we have fallen head over heels in love with her.  Who am I kidding?  I fell in love the instant I saw her for the first time!   She's been giving us big smiles lately and you would think that we've never seen a smile before the way we go ga-ga over them!  It's been challenging slowing down from my previous go-go-go lifestyle for the gentle pace of a new baby that needs constant attention, but I'm not complaining.  I mean, just look at this bundle of sweetness that I get to cuddle with all day!




I love this picture (of her, not me) below because you can get a sense of how tiny her little body is. 



Hi friends!! 


body after baby

Today I'm checking in with you to let you know what's happening with this post-pregnancy body at the almost 6-week mark.  I struggled so much physically with my first pregnancy six years ago (gaining 55 pounds and feeling so miserable) that I vowed to do pregnancy different if ever given the chance again.  I was so, so delighted and overjoyed that we got pregnant this time, and at age 40! The goal for a happy, healthy and fit pregnancy was accomplished this time and I'm really proud of how I didn't fall into the same rut a second time.  

If you've been reading my blog for long, you may know that I was preparing for a fitness bikini contest when I found out I was pregnant- surprise!! Needless to say, I was very lean and in pretty great shape (if I do say so myself) at the time.  I had a rough few weeks in my first trimester, but I continued working out an average of 3 days a week for the entirety of my pregnancy and it made a world of difference!

Although I delivered early at 37 1/2 weeks, I only gained 35 pounds this time.  My doctor recommended a weight gain of 25-35 pounds and I may have gone over if I went full-term, but I'll take that any day over 55 pounds!

6 week postpartum progress

The photo below shows a progression of pre-pregnancy, 36 weeks pregnant, and 3 weeks post-partum (without any exercise).  

Body after baby - this post honestly shares post-baby progress from a second time mom who kept working out and eating healthy throughout her pregnancy

And now, 6 weeks postpartum (with just walking), we have this progress:

Body after baby - this post honestly shares post-baby progress from a second time mom who kept working out and eating healthy throughout her pregnancy

The difference may be hard to see in pictures, but I can really tell in my clothes.  Below, at 3 weeks, I was still in maternity jeans.  At 6 weeks, I'm back in my bigger pre-pregnancy jeans.  They don't fit quite like before, and I've certainly got muffin top happening, but I don't care! At least I have clothes I can comfortably wear!

Body after baby - this post honestly shares post-baby progress from a second time mom who kept working out and eating healthy throughout her pregnancy

 exercise 

After delivery, I had some complications that left me very anemic and weak. I was advised not to workout until possibly my 6-week checkup (which is later this week, so we'll see what she says).

I was given the go-ahead to start walking at 3 weeks post-partum, so I began walking 40 minutes almost everyday.  Most of the time, I'm sitting around my house breast-feeding or cleaning or maybe running a few errands so I need to get moving.  I crave it and I feel so much better after getting outside.  I'm still breastfeeding, so I normally just walk out my front door so I don't take up time driving to the gym.  

Body after baby - this post honestly shares post-baby progress from a second time mom who kept working out and eating healthy throughout her pregnancy

The walking I'm doing wasn't even originally for the physical benefit, but just to get me moving again so I wouldn't go crazy mentally.  But, physical benefits are bound to happen if you start getting active! 


Body after baby - this post honestly shares post-baby progress from a second time mom who kept working out and eating healthy throughout her pregnancy

Moving Comfort sports bras are a life-saver for those with large chests, like this nursing mama.  They are so supportive and have closures like a regular bra with adjustable, velcro shoulder straps for a perfect fit. 

Body after baby - this post honestly shares post-baby progress from a second time mom who kept working out and eating healthy throughout her pregnancy

I'm also a huge fan of the Zella Z5 tee (now updated to the Z6).  Their pieces are such good quality, I'll never go back to the lesser-quality workout clothes I always used to wear.  It's worth spending a little more money for things that last and feel good on your body, especially if you wear them often. My Zella pieces have lasted years already and I (used to) workout several times a week.  The top below is size XS and still too small for me, I'd probably be in size Small right now.  

Also, it's worth mentioning that I used to only like to workout in sports bras and tank tops.  This is the first short sleeve shirt I've found comfortable enough to workout in. Regular tee shirts are too baggy and some other shirts I've tried don't feel as good. 

Body after baby - this post honestly shares post-baby progress from a second time mom who kept working out and eating healthy throughout her pregnancy

If I get the okay to start working out again this week, I plan to start back slowly, just two days a week and keep up the walking and start incorporating jogging.  

eating 

Since coming home from the hospital, we have been so blessed to have been receiving meals from our friends three times a week.  This has been an absolute lifesaver with a new baby and the food everyone has been bringing has been really good!  We've gotten everything from homemade spaghetti and meatballs, chicken enchiladas, chicken spaghetti, and Zoe's Kitchen kababs.

People love to also bring dessert and honestly, I have been eating dessert almost everyday for the last 6 weeks!  Cookies, brownies, cake, ice cream you name it!  I've totally enjoyed that, but I'm ready to start limiting it because it's now becoming a habit to eat dessert after dinner and that can get you into an extra calorie rut real fast.   It's also hard to stop once you start.

My best advice for cutting out sweets is not to bring them into the house.  So simple and yet so hard! I've told my husband so many times, "Do not buy my ice cream when you go to the grocery store" only to change my mind later and ask him to go get some!  He's probably like, #youcrazylady! 

On the other hand, I've been so hungry lately and need to eat every few hours.  I'm going to have to start doing our meal prep again just to have large quantities of food around that I can just heat up and they're ready to go.

My typical meals for the day lately are:

1)  muscle egg + coffee
2)  protein pancake
3)  spinach salad with chicken (for iron and because I like it)
4)  whatever dinner someone brings
5)  dessert
6)  cereal

Ideally, I'd have another meal in there and cut out the dessert.  I'm aiming to start doing that for the next 6 weeks.


If I get the okay to start working out again this week, I plan to start back slowly, just two days a week and keep up the walking and maybe start incorporating jogging.  

accepting your body

A huge change that happened during this pregnancy and afterwards was that I realized I'm okay with my body in all of it's various sizes.  I feel so much more calm and patient about getting "back into shape" and I'm thankful that I don't feel like I need to rush it.  Things take time!  

  I loved getting pregnant and the tiny baby bump I had when I just started to show.  It meant a tiny life was growing inside me! 

dress | watch 

Later, I loved that big 'ole round belly (baby is growing!), even though it was getting so physically uncomfortable.


I'm okay with my soft, squishy postpartum belly that gave us our sweet girl.  


I also love how our bodies are able to provide nourishment for our babies.  I'm thankful that my body is recovering and healing well and I'm feeling pretty much back to my old self, minus the tired (and sometimes grouchy) part. 

It's amazing how quickly our bodies can shed weight after pregnancy and get back to some semblance of it's pre-pregnancy shape.  I've lost about 20 pounds so far, and still would like to lose another 10 or so.  Clothes can be good camouflage for the soft, pudgy belly hiding underneath! 

Spring fashion - two cute rompers!

body after baby tips 

All in all, 6 weeks postpartum is not that long! Most doctors will tell you that it took 9 months to put on the weight, it can take 9 more to lose it completely.  Here are some tips to consider:

- Don't rush it.  First of all, it takes about a month or so just for your uterus to shrink.  It's normal to still look pregnant for awhile after you give birth.  In the beginning, it's better to focus on your health and healing, bonding with your baby and just getting to know each other.  You may be in survival mode, doing your best to keep up with feeding/changing your baby, feeding yourself, getting a shower and possibly some sleep.

- Get moving.  When you are cleared by your doctor to start moving, do it!  Not only because you want to lose weight, but because it will be so good to get out of your house and have some time to yourself without everyone relying on you!  You will be less crabby when you get back (okay, maybe that's just me), but I did find that I was tearful and possibly becoming depressed until I started walking everyday.  Getting moving also has the added benefit of usually helping you make better food choices, so it's doubly good for you.

- Nourish your body. Definitely give yourself plenty of food throughout the day.  Don't forget to eat.  How many women I know look up from their day and realize they didn't eat! I certainly understand how you can be so busy with a newborn that you don't feel like you have time for yourself, but ladies, put your breathing mask on first!  You'll be much better able to take care of that sweet baby when you do. 

- Drink plenty of water.  After pregnancy, your body has lots of extra fluid it needs to get rid of (hence the serious night sweats!) but you need to keep hydrated especially if you're breast feeding.  

- Rest as much as you can.  This is no-brainer and so hard, right? It's like you know you need sleep, but you also want to take advantage of the time baby is asleep to get things done that you can't do while you're tied to them.  Just listen to your body and realize that most things can wait if you really do need a nap, get one while baby naps. 

- Enlist help.  All of the above are hard to achieve if you don't have help.  Most of us won't ask for help, but at least, if someone offers to help you out, take them up on it!  


what's next?

In the next 6 weeks, I'm planning to make more of an effort to eat less desserts and start working out (with weights) twice a week and also start jogging.  I'll bring you another body-after-baby update in a month or so. 

Until next time . . . 


If you have any questions, leave me a comment so I can respond to you! 




__________________

keep in touch! 






affiliate links used
Thanks to Nordstrom for partnering on this post.

44 comments:

  1. I just want to say that I love that you're sharing these pictures. I have always been naturally thin, but I had very unrealistic expectations about how quickly my body would bounce back after babies. I was shocked that my regular clothes didn't fit me at 6-8 weeks, even though I was nursing and not exercising intensely. Nobody ever shows the squishy belly, and it's great to see a healthy mom who is comfortable in her own skin, even if it's squooshier than it used to be!

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    1. I felt the same way with my first pregnancy. I still looked very pregnant after a long time. I feel like this time my body is changing much faster but that is because I worked out throughout my pregnancy and continued to eat pretty healthy. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. You are amazing for sharing this personal info. We're done having babies :-( but I know other mamas will be blessed to read your experience. You're a wonderful example to your daughter.

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    1. Thank you for that Sarah! I know it is important especially these days to be a healthy role model for our daughters.

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  3. I just had a baby three weeks ago and am looking forward to following your postpartum journey! I too need to cut out my daily sweets!! It's so hard. Thanks for the sports bra recommendation. It is so hard for me to find a supportive one that I usually have to wear two.

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    1. I think that will make the progress go faster- maybe just desserts on weekends. That usually helps me knowing I can have them, just not everyday! I used to also wear two bras, but it's hard to breathe that way! ;)

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  4. You look great! Love the picture of her sitting on your stomach. She looks so sweet.

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  5. your daughter is lovely and I am genuine envy about your body:P

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  6. You're doing great - and thanks for keeping it real :)

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  7. You look great! Thanks for sharing your journey and keeping it real. Even though my pregnancy days are done, I remember the work it took to get back to "normal". It seems like the 9 months on, 9 months off rule holds true, no matter how much I tried to speed things along. Your body goes through a lot to grow a human being!

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    1. The changes are unreal. I'm also still dealing with sweating, linea negra, and other physical changes.

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  8. Proud of you girl! You are amazing in any shape and you'll bounce back in NO time, enjoy your little lady!
    xoxo
    Kate

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    1. Thanks so much Kate. You could probably relate to what I was saying about craving exercise. Once you know how good it makes you feel and what a stress reliever it is, you WANT to do it!

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  9. Thanks for all your tips! Is muscle egg safe when pregnant? If so I'd like to start drinking it to stay away from the unhealthy choices that are tempting me. I know it's raw eggs, though, right?

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    1. I believe so because it's pasteurized egg whites.

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  10. You both are so gorgeous!!! So proud of you, mama!!

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  11. You are just glowing - especially in that last picture, mama. You look great and will have those last few pounds off in no time, I'm sure. Though - as you said - it's better to be comfortable in your skin and allow it to come off as it will instead of pressuring yourself or putting too much stress on yourself. Your body just created an amazing miracle and that in itself is pretty stinking awesome!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so happy to have her in our lives! I still sometimes can't believe she's here!

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  12. You look beautiful at every stage! I had a much, much healthier pregnancy the second time, too. But I am finding it so much harder to lose the baby weight this time. I am 37 and you are an inspiration to me. I am mall-walking for an hour several times a week. My youngest is almost 1.5 and I would love to reach my goal weight by her 2nd birthday! I have about 35 pounds to lose. I am down just over 10 pounds since I started.

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    1. Good for you for starting walking! Everyday you have an opportunity to choose how to fuel your body and make healthy food choices. Then, slowly over time, they add up to big changes! You can do it!

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  13. Can you share what Muscle Egg coffee is? I'm currently 31 weeks and love following your journey! Thank you for sharing!!

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    1. It's actually just Muscle Egg, not muscle egg coffee. I was saying I drink both in the morning. The muscle egg is pasteurized egg whites and you can order them in different flavors- my fave is chocolate. It's like a protein drink, but I prefer this over a protein shake because it's easier to drink.

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  14. You look incredible! Thank you for the tips! I'm due in 2 weeks and cannot wait to start training again :)

    Tahana <3
    www.tahanalee.com

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    1. Congrats to you mama!! Sending you best wishes for a healthy delivery!

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  15. I find your mindful balance of making healthy choices and giving your body grace truly inspiring! My second baby is 10 months old now and losing the weight has been a STRUGGLE this time, whereas after my first it seemed to melt off fairly easily. I love your tips and transparency.

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    1. What a fun baby age! I'll be looking forward to that with Jordan. We have reverse weight-loss stories, mine was harder the first time!

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  16. You look AWESOME!!!! You are such an inspiration & totally wish your blog was around back when I had my babies ;) I LOOVE hearing what you eat...I have the exercise part down, but my eating not so much. I am a picky eater, so I LOVE the nasty junk food :( Keep your awesome posts coming!!!! :)

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    1. The eating is the most important part for me. But I LOVE my desserts, so putting them down at first is hard!

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  17. Going through this exact thing right now!
    I'm 8 weeks out...after multiple IVF sessions, miscarriages and then a pregnancy and baby, my 35 year old body is not what it used to be. I've signed up for a half marathon to run in February in hopes of jump starting everything.

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    1. What a blessing after everything you've been through especially! Kudos to you on the half! I've always admired those distance runners. Longest I've ever ran in one stretch is 6 miles.

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  18. So nice to read a refreshingly honest account of going through post-partum period. Great photos, love the realistic info

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    1. Thanks Brittany, that was my intention with this post.

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  19. Isn't it amazing that our bodies can go through such changes? I love it. I am 7 months along with my second and feeling pretty good about my shape. It's been a rough pregnancy, and I am excited for it to be over, but I am so amazed at how the body works during this time. keep it up mama!

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    1. I can relate to that! It's good to hear from another mom who's feeling good about her post-pregnancy shape!

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  20. You look fabulous... but more importantly it is so awesome that you have accepted yourself as is and are praising your body for the amazing things it can do. You made a BABY, so cute and perfect, and that definitely deserves praise! Good luck giving up the daily sweet treats... don't think I could do it... it's pretty much the only reason I run daily! :) Cheers!

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    1. I'm thinking I'll try to go for desserts on weekends only so I don't go crazy! It's a great feeling to have accepted this post-pregnancy body. Definite better than how much I hated it last time!

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  21. You crave exercise? I wish I did. I try to workout nearly every day but I don't like it. Can you write a post for those of us who don't enjoy exercise. I'd love to enjoy it.

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    1. Do you love how you feel after?! What kind of exercise do you do? I think it helps to enjoy what you're doing- running, weights, bike, yoga, Pilates, boxing, classes, so many options to try. And I enjoy listening to music so much that I think that helps.

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  22. I'm happy you have presented a more balanced perspective on weight/body/body image today. So many women struggle with this and are so hard on themselves (and each other). If you have a forum to promote healthy body image (as you do), I think you really need to take that responsibility seriously. I'm happy that you are seeing that, and being kinder to yourself. You could add to your list of tips - Love Your Body!!

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    1. Wise words Tammy. I know how it feels to feel both good and bad about yourself and the pressure to look good physically. I do understand that our self image isn't just based on outside appearance and I hope that comes across too. Treating people kindly, helping friends, taking care of husband and kids, relationship with God- it's all part of the package. The more inner work we do, the better we'll also feel.

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I read every one! I try to answer questions in the comment section since many readers are "no reply" and so everyone can benefit from the response- so please check back. :)

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