One week shy of 6 months postpartum...
No doubt about it, bouncing back after pregnancy is getting tougher each time. One thing I have going for me is that I know I can do it; I know I can lose the weight and improve my overall physical fitness level because I've done it 5 times already. I'm just a little weaker, a little fluffier, a little more tired and a little busier than I've ever been before.
The good news is that I am within less than 10 pounds of my target weight. That's actually great news since I'm less than 6 months out of the gate. I am extremely eager to scrap my daily "uniform" of yoga pants and whatever else fits and is comfortable. I'm just a little shy of fitting into everything with buttons in my wardrobe... so close. I refuse to purchase a new wardrobe when I know I can lose the pounds. It's a little rough on the pride to look like such a slob but that's extra motivation to get this done... and a great exercise in humility.
I am also happy to report that my strength is improving dramatically. I have been working on my upper body strength a bit and am seeing a positive change in my ability to carry around my 20-pound cherub. I have to "rest my back" a bit less.
Physical fitness and maintenance of healthy weight is a huge struggle for women during childbearing years. Anyone else have 3 wardrobes? I have the pregnancy boxes, the postpartum boxes and the "regular" boxes all taking their place in the rotation. Many of us dream of fitting into those "regular" clothes only to be hit with the hard reality that it's tough. Then, we lose the weight and discover that we still (oddly) don't fit into them because we are a different shape altogether!
When I was first married, I was still 19 and had youth and residual athleticism on my side. I could eat my burger, fries and coleslaw and then finish what was left on my husband's plate with no ill effects. It took a while for me to adjust to my new adult, postpartum body. I knew that to lose weight I simply had to burn more calories than I consumed... but I was dismayed to discover that my body no longer needed two helpings of anything. In fact, I generally needed significantly less than I was already taking in. I went from eating two helpings to eating half of my restaurant order. I couldn't just replace unhealthy calories with healthy ones; I had to actually eat less food. Quite a bit less, in fact. I've discovered over the years that if I'm not engaged in daily rigorous exercise, my caloric needs are pretty darn low. Bummer.
My challenge right now is adjusting my habits back to that principle. The best way for me to do this is to keep my hands busy and think of food in a mostly utilitarian way. Eat only when I need it. Wait until I'm actually hungry. Stop before I want to. Eat frequent small portions. Did I mention that this is a challenge?
Exercise deserves a post in it's own right and I'll get to that another day. At this point in my life, there is little pleasure for me in my workouts because I'm tired. The only thing that keeps me going is accountability... and between the Chief, Professor and Lena, I've got a pretty good crew to push me forward. (Thanks guys!) Not that I'm doing that great. But even when I have to plod along at a snail's pace or get up after a failure, I do keep going.
My adjusted fitness goals:
~ Lose the last pounds to reach my ideal weight. I should be able to accomplish this by July or August.
~ Continue to increase strength to support my joints and back.
~ Continue to increase my overall fitness and energy to better serve the Lord through my vocation.
~ Be fit enough by Summer to play sand volleyball with the Chief.
More about my fitness journey and goals HERE.