You’re never going to find the right time to start dieting, kind of like planning to have a baby. It’s one of those things that you examine your life situation and decide, if I waited one more month, would I have regretted not being one month into my diet already? Do I bite the bullet now, find an end goal and just start working? Rip off the Band-Aid, and say go for it! What’s the worst that can happen? You slip and jump right back on? Getting your head in the game is only half the battle, it’s all about mental preparation and sometimes that in itself takes time to adjust to.
Right now, I want to challenge all of you out there who have been putting off losing those last 10lbs, struggling with the thought of changing your lifestyle, or just having a hard time in general with reaching your fitness goals. I challenge you to stick with me, a mom of 3, on a mission to lose these last 10-15lb of pregnancy weight. It’s not easy, and there are days and nights where I want to give in to the bowl of ice cream I promised my 5-year-old for finishing his dinner, give in to one of the popsicles I’m spoiling my 2-year-old with after his tonsillectomy or skip cardio because I rather get into bed at 8pm. I’m a real mom with real life mom struggles, but I don’t let these deter me from reaching my goals. There’s a difference between obsession and commitment. Obsession with fitness is not a possibility for me since I’m pretty obsessed with my kids (and hubby, won’t leave you hanging!), and I refuse to share that. Being committed is more than possible as there are many types of activities, relationships and ideas we have the ability to become committed to. Why not alter that mindset to commit ourselves to bettering our body and mind?
I don’t lie to myself, I know that jumping right back into the workout routine is not as difficult for me mentally as it may be for someone who’s brand new to the scene. I’ve been doing this for almost 15 years, consistently for almost 10 years. Notice what I said there. That’s over 5 years of “experience” in the gym until I truly became consistent and part of my lifestyle. None of this is an overnight process, for majority of people it takes time. It’s about choosing that moment to begin and refusing to give yourself a reason to quit. Find a goal and stay focused.
The best way to choose a goal is by the good old’ acronym SMART.
Specific – Clear & understandable. What, When, Where, Why & How.
Measurable – Add a number. Measure your progress with numbers and/or pictures.
Attainable – Not too high, not too low. Making your goal too hard can be discouraging and too easy can kill the motivation. Find something you feel can be achieved.
Relevant – Realistic. This is personal to you and your life. It’s all about what YOU can commit to, not someone else.
Time – End points, deadlines, whatever you want to call it. We all need to see a light at the end of the tunnel!
Now it’s YOUR time. If you’ve been waiting for a moment to make the change or get motivated, consider this your sign to start NOW. Sometimes you need a team to accomplish something great, so let’s do this together.
I began my post-partum transformation at 145b, with 15lb to my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m currently 3 weeks into my diet/weight loss training and while my weight has not budged much, I do notice and feel differences in my physique already. I do think numbers can tell you a lot, but sometimes it should not be the numbers on the scale, but possibly the numbers on a measuring tape and numbers in your clothing size. While weight loss should include some scale numbers to drop, it’s not always going to drop to the number you expect if you’re training smart and putting on healthy muscle.
With that being said, it is normal to feel frustrated when you’re not seeing the scale move, as I currently am. I have been dieting for 3 weeks now, doing 20 minutes of cardio every day for 2 weeks and my weight hasn’t really moved. Something I must remind myself is that at 10 weeks post-partum, my body and hormones are still adjusting to not being pregnant. It takes time and my body has always come to a plateau in those first couple of months no matter what I do. This is when patience really is so important because our body will get back to “normal” in time. Pregnancy is 9 months, so recovery will be just as long! However, this is not a reason to stop working towards your goal because the body will click one day and start responding. This is based off of my last 2 experiences post pregnancy.
Before I get into the specifics of what I’m doing, I just want to state that I am in no way shape or form allowing my diet and training to become priority over the love and care of my children. There are women out there (I’ve seen it on the internet) that feel the moms who are working to get back in shape/be healthy are taking away precious time from their little one. I actually wrote a blog about this and how it is possible to balance the two. Click here to read more on that.
I have run into potential obstacles that have caused me to alter schedules, work around it or just cancel training sessions all together. For instance, my 2-year-old had to get his tonsils out earlier this week and we had to stay overnight in the hospital. I cleared out my entire week in preparation of his recovery and did not think I would get in any time to train. However, I did prepare meals and take them with me to the hospital. The diet, which is very important for weight loss, does not have to be sacrificed. Let’s be real, we have to eat anyways. Truthfully, as a mom I find it easier to pre-prepare meals anyways just to not lose our mind. I stayed on track, did not even give the gym a second thought and when I saw how well he was doing, I snuck in my workout while he napped. What I did was PREPARE. I went into the week with expectations that I would not get to train and kept my focus on the diet portion. That made the week a win-win for all of us. I spent every waking hour with my little one recovering (who happens to be a rock star with pain) and quickly got in a workout when I could.
Diet is important to keep in mind that you don’t want to cut calories too soon. Typically, it’s better to start off with some sort of base number. Unless you have been consistently logging everything you eat, you can’t assume how many calories you’ve been taking in. Therefore, it’s not safe to assume that you should automatically start at 1000 calories. Begin with a solid number that you feel comfortable taking calories away from. If you start at 1200 and have to take calories away once you hit a plateau, you’re going to start running on lower calories than I’d assume anyone would like. The same applies for cardio. Preferably you’ll want to start off with little to no cardio so you can see what kind of changes you can make with minimal amount. Cardio would be the other adjustment to make once you hit a plateau.
I am currently taking in 1600 calories, and it’s hard for me to even finish some of them! Everyone has different methods of dieting that works for them as far as food sources. Some require the ability to eat what they want as long as it “fits their macros”. I personally enjoy eating whole food sources that don’t require a guessing game and constant logging. As a mom of three, I just don’t got time for that! Rather than picking apart the macros of a pizza and hoping I’m getting what I’m calculating, I prefer to get my protein from meats, eggs, fish, etc. and my carbs from rice, potatoes, oatmeal, cream of rice. Fats will be from oils, nuts, avocado or red meat. Whether I write down the meals for myself or someone else creates a diet for me, having it on paper to visually know what I’ll be eating keeps the guessing out of it and preparation easier.
Cardio began with no cardio at all and added in 20 minutes of steady state cardio daily after the first week. Steady state meaning the same intensity throughout the 20 minutes. After two weeks of doing this, I increased the intensity within the 20 minutes to alternating levels (HIIT). So, I am not adding more time, just making my body burn more calories within those 20 minutes! Think of it as a “sprint”, even if you’re not actually sprinting. On the elliptical (we have one at the house) I will speed up very fast for 30-40 seconds and recover to normal pace for 60-90 seconds.
Supplements include the standard multivitamin, omega 3 & various vitamins for immune support.
On heavier days, my pre-workout of choice is 1/2 scoop of Total War 30 minutes before my workout or Double Tap fat burner.
If I don’t take a pre-workout, I will sip Breach Ballistic during my workout for aminos plus the energy.
Post workout I always take 1 scoop of Isotope protein powder (mixed with water). I will also take Isotope if I am on the run or don’t have my meat prepped and need a protein source for a meal.
Before bed I take 2 caps of Silencer, a stimulant-free fat burner, to maximize my fat burning while I sleep!
Training has included a 5-day weight training split, training each body part on its own, legs and back trained twice a week. Throughout the series I will document my workouts whether it be via writing or video. Video documentation will be a mix of instructional and entertainment for motivational purposes. To start this off, I will list off a typical back workout which will be shortly followed with the video version of this. Right now, we are focusing on higher volume meaning high reps. I’ve typically stayed in the 6-15 rep range but I am now being pushed to go to as many as 30+ reps. Getting out of your comfort zone is the first step to change and this is definitely out of mine! The main point to drive home from my workouts lately is when you begin to feel that uncomfortable burn where you want to stop, do another 10 reps.
Seated Machine Row
Lying Back Pull Down’s
Bent Over Dumbbell Row
Straight Arm Pull Down
Straight Bar Cable Bicep Curl
I have begun my transformation strong. If anything, it’s been a great beginning to get me mentally back in the swing of things. After taking a couple months off towards the end of the pregnancy and post birth, I was getting comfortable not working out for the first time in almost 10 years. Literally forcing myself back into the gym for my own sanity was my only option. That first workout sucked. But every workout would get easier and easier, mentally and physically. With a newborn on one arm, a 2 and 5-year-old on the other, I am gaining back not only my strength but my confidence as a mom, wife and woman in fitness.