Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting Back In The Saddle

Just over 11 weeks ago, my life changed forever when Little Girl was born.  I guess it would be fair to say my life actually changed back in October when I found out I was pregnant.  I knew things weren't going to be the same with her in the mix, but there was (and still is) the determination to make things work.  Here's a quick summary of what's happened over the past year or so, to bring everything up to speed:
  • In October I found out I was pregnant.  Pretty much stopped doing cardio due to slight nausea, physical discomfort, and tiredness.
  • Initially tried to continue eating clean but then threw in the towel.  Initially the idea of chicken and eggs made me sick.  Besides, isn't the point of pregnancy to eat whatever you want?
  • Continued lifting with trainer through ~Week 34.  Made modifications to my routine - lighter weights, machines instead of free weights.  Kind of frustrating, knowing what I had been able to lift before my body went through all these changes.
  • At about Week 33 there were concerns about possible Gestational Diabetes (GD) - not an official diagnosis, but apparently I was borderline enough that the doctors wanted me to monitor my blood sugar with each meal and manage my blood sugar through diet.  Say "Goodbye" to the idea of eating whatever I wanted!
  • Delivery was a scheduled induction (out of concern for baby's possible size) followed by a c-section when my body didn't cooperate with the efforts to induce labor.  And for all that the doctors were predicting Little Girl would be over 9 lbs, she weighed in at 7 lbs 10 oz.
  • Since Little Girl's arrival, I've been at home with her.  I go back to work in about 2 weeks and am slowly trying to get into a routine again.
  • Part of maternity leave has been my "making up" for the dietary restrictions at the end of my pregnancy.  There's also an element of convenient eating and trying to squeeze in a bite here and there when Little Girl would allow.
With the pregnancy, I gained about 50 lbs.  Since delivery, I've lost about half that weight and most of it was within the first week.  So my weight has been hovering in the 175-180 range.  

I know I've been eating rather poorly.  It's not all junk but there's a fair amount of junk and the portions are generally larger than they need to be.  I've thought about returning to my clean-eating plan, but I'm concerned about how a restricted diet could interfere with breastfeeding.  Of course I'm sure that potato chips and ice cream are CRUCIAL for quality breast milk!  ;)

Cardio had been relatively nonexistent but I'm building up again.  I recovered pretty well from the c-section and was able to get up and moving again rather quickly.  I started with taking LG for walks in the stroller but it's been so uncomfortably hot out that these didn't occur too often.  Childcare at the gym isn't an option until she's 3 months old.  It's been difficult to get on the elliptical at home because LG has a hard time going without cuddles or attention for the duration.  When I've gotten on the elliptical, a half-hour is enough to leave me feeling wiped out.  Yup, my endurance is pretty much gone but I'm determined to find it again.

I'm back to strength-training again, working out with my trainer once a week.  As with my endurance, there's been a significant drop in my strength.  Yes, I've stomped my feet in frustration when I haven't been able to squat the same weight that I could pre-pregnancy.  Walking lunges wear me out, though I've added the bar and have improved balance.  I'm building up my strength again and my trainer says it's getting there with gains already being made.

So where do things stand right now?  Well, I had to buy some new clothes for returning to work.  My maternity clothes were mostly too big (thankfully!) and only served to accentuate the belly that I still have.  Yup, there's still a bump only it's no longer a cute baby bump.  And because of this bump, and the other fluff that I've got going on, there's no way that I'm fitting into my pre-pregnancy pants.  So I headed over to Old Navy to get some pants.  Size 8?  Size 10?  Size 12?  Nope.  Size 14! Argh!  Did I even wear pants that size when I was at my heaviest?  I don't think so, and I weigh 10 lbs less than that right now.  Not to make excuses, but I think it's mostly to accommodate the belly more than anything else rather than overall weight distribution.  Regardless, I must admit that going shopping for non-maternity, post-pregnancy clothes is a pretty powerful motivator for getting back on track!

Basically, my body's not what it used to be.  As I told LG this afternoon, I may not like my belly but I'm happy to have it because I have her.  That doesn't mean I'm happy to keep the belly!  As I'm gearing up to return to work, I'm also gearing up to get my exercise and nutrition back on track.  I'm going to rework my meal plan so that it can accommodate my increased caloric needs while still supporting my dual efforts of losing weight and continuing to breastfeed.  My husband and I are trying to tag-team the evenings so I can have the opportunity for some baby-free exercising.  I'm pulling together my work schedule and trying to leave time for exercise, either before or after I'm at the office.  Resuming this blog is part of that.  I just hope I have something to write about, given that it feels like my life is taken over by LG!

I promise my posts are going to keep their focus on health, fitness, and nutrition.  "Tough on Fluff" isn't going to be all about Little Girl, though she's bound to work her way in here and there as she's definitely a part of my life and plays a big role in my various efforts.  Besides, how can I resist talking about this cuteness?

Here's to getting back in the saddle and reclaiming my body!