Back to Monday friends! How was your weekend? We had a big one! On Friday afternoon, we had an after school play date and Jordan got her ‘first kiss’! If that isn’t the sweetest thing ever, I don’t know what is! Friday night we celebrated my baby brother’s engagement with all our immediate family (there’s gonna be a March wedding!!!), then a birthday party on Saturday morning for one of the cutest and sassiest 4 year olds I know, and finally a couples’ date night with our wonderful friends (hi Ali-Shaun if you’re reading this!) on Saturday night, which was such a much-needed adult treat! We spent most of Sunday lazying around, but now it’s back at it with my weekly workout with my trainer. Which brings me to today’s ‘body after baby’ update and fitness post.
Bringing you back to the beginning, after I had Jordan, I wasn’t consumed with losing the baby weight like I was after my first pregnancy. I felt like I had reached a very comfortable place in my life with a healthy perspective on how our bodies change during pregnancy and I truly felt fine in my own post-pregnancy skin. I’m not saying I was in the best shape, just that I happily accepted where I was physically. Since the minute I found out I was pregnant with Jordan, I’ve just been so.very.thankful. I’m 41, so I wasn’t even sure I could get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. I don’t take it for granted for a minute.
When you have a newborn baby, there is so much other stuff to focus on and enjoy and worry about and just the basics of eating and sleeping take priority. The baby’s eating and sleeping and your own! I was happy to have friends bring meals for a long time after Jordan was born and I’d thankfully eat whatever they brought! Especially the dessert!
I started walking after about a month and got the doctor’s clearance to exercise after 6 weeks, so I did, but not that much. First of all, I was still really tired and not getting great sleep, but also with exclusive breastfeeding, it’s just hard to fit it into your day. I got a big boost in the sleep department when I transitioned Jordan to her crib and she started sleeping through the night! #praiseGod!!! I weaned her to formula at about 5 months, and I’ll share more about that soon, but the reason to transition her didn’t have to do with my health and fitness. However, because I’m not tied to those feedings anymore, I do have more opportunities to workout.
I gained 35 pounds during my pregnancy, and continued working out until I delivered, and have been 5 pounds away from my pre-pregancy weight since about 4 months.
But, during that time, I lost a lot of the muscle I used to have. When I got pregnant, I weighed 105 pounds, but was also about to compete in an NPC bikini competition. Now that I’m just over 6 months postpartum, I’ve got the itch to get back into great shape and build back up the muscle I’ve lost and put more focus on me in the physical fitness department.
Your why could be any number of things from wanting to be able to actively play with your kids instead of sitting on the couch saying, “mommy’s tired” to wanting to lose inches from your waistline to wanting to feel better about yourself, to lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, to get your zest for life back, to wake up with more energy, to challenge yourself and be better than you were yesterday, or simply to look hot! I’m not above admitting vanity plays a role. Whatever your reason, there is no judgement here and only you can authentically know why you want it. But I do encourage you to find your reason because you’ll need it when the going gets tough.
I haven’t ruled out the possibility of competing in the future, but right now, I just want a short-term, attainable goal, so I’m doing a 40-day challenge of sticking to my meal plan, with one cheat meal a week. My challenge actually works out to 39 days because on the 40th day I travel to NY for the Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker Event, but “39 Day Challenge” doesn’t really have the same ring to it!
1. Macros: 1400 calories, 35% carbs, 35% protein, 30% fat which equals 123g carbs, 123g protein, and 47g fat. Ideally, I’d actually be at 100 grams of carbs, but the calculation worked out that way on MFP (My Fitness Pal). I chose 1400 calories because I know my BMR is around 1250. Your BMR is the number of calories that reflects how much energy your body requires to support it’s vital functions if you were resting all day. You can calculate your BMR with an online calculator, but I’m not sure how accurate it will be.
I can’t tell you where your macros should be, but one way to help you find out is to use MFP to track every single thing you eat for at least 5-7 days to find your average calories consumed. You have to track it all and not diet for it to be accurate, but once you do, you can start by cutting your calories by 15-20% to lose weight. Again, I’ll get more specific about MFP and how to use it in the next post, but you can also input goals there and let it calculate for you the calories, protein, fat, carbs, etc.
2. Exercise 5 days a week. I train once a week with my trainer, but the other 4 days are up to me. I want to incorporate more strength training than cardio because running is what I had been mostly doing and I want to keep/build muscle. If you need an at-home workout, this post is for you.
3. Drink at least 64 oz water. Ever wonder where the fat goes when you ‘lose’ it? Scientists say you actually exhale the fat, but you also lose it through sweat and urine. I have been so bad about drinking enough water lately, so I made it one of my goals. I fill a 32 ounce cup twice a day, but while I’m exercising, I also drink another 24 ounces.
4. Get 8 hours of sleep. For me, that means going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 6am or 10:30pm/6:30am. You need that sleep to give your body time to rest, renew, and regenerate those muscles from your workouts!
p.s. As far as my height, I think I am actually 5′ 3/4″, so I’ve called it 5′ or 5’1 in past posts. I’m gonna get my husband to measure me again so I can be certain.
I chose 19% body fat because I know what my body looks and feels like at that percent. I remember feeling good with lots of energy at that percentage when I’ve been at it before. I was at 19.5% body fat in this picture. I don’t have a goal weight because I’m okay with weighing more through muscle. The biggest thing will be losing fat and not muscle during this challenge. That’s why I eat so much protein and strength train.
I also chose 19% body fat because it’s a realistic goal, but maybe not for 40 days. I’ll likely get back on the challenge after NY. If I do another 40 days, I’d end around November 10, and be able to spend the holidays and rest of the year in maintenance mode and then hit it hard again at the new year. At that time, I can consider if another contest is in my future for 2017. Why knows?? I’m not dying to do another contest, but I sure enjoy the challenge and seeing my body transform in that amount of time. At the end of the day, it just makes you feel strong and fulfilled to set a target goal and accomplish it.
But for now, let’s just focus on the next 40 days and see what we can accomplish in that time. Wouldn’t it be nice to head into the holidays already ahead of the game in terms of our physique and level of fitness?!
Big thank you to my friend, Leticia Carlson, for her talent in taking these fitness pics and making me laugh along the way! She got the toe touch pic on the first try- thank God! 😉