Tag Archives: counting calories

Body after baby: 6+ months

Well friends, it’s been over 6 months since I gave birth. By bean’s birth date, I had gained about 27-29 lbs and never really felt ‘big.’ I quite liked my preggers belly and didn’t notice the expansion of my thighs (or didn’t care).

I heard of the miracles of breastfeeding and was convinced I’d be one of the lucky ones to melt off the pounds with ease. I imagined being close to my pre-preg weight (of about 118/119lbs) by 3 months or s,o and by 6 months be a lean-mean-fighting machine..not really, but you know what I’m getting at.

And where am I at after 6 months, 11 personal training sessions, and a renewed gym membership?

July 2012_thumb[2]

Still about 6 lbs over my desired weight (116-118lbs). 1” over my “normal” thigh circumference. 3” over my “normal” waist circumference. And about 5-7% above my “normal” body fat percentage. (And yes I quoted “normal” because I realize that the body I have now, may be my new normal). Hurumph.

The trainer was able to drop me 4lbs (note: if you’ve been keeping track or following, the pounds gained/lost may seem inconsistent mostly because I’ve been using multiple scales as reference starting/ending points; the gym’s scale said I lost 4 lbs). She also skimmed 3+ % of body fat and reduced my waist and leg size by 1” each. And she definitely improved my strength, muscle tone, and my overall body image.

That all being said, I’m still ticked that I’m not losing more. Sure to some, it’s wah, wah, poor girl weighs 120-something, but for me, this weight is NOT my normal. I feel sluggish. I have pockets of fat that didn’t exist before. I can’t fit in majority of my clothes. And I don’t feel like sugarcoating my disappointment. I’m upset. Period.

So what gives?

I go to Spin 2x per week. I do yoga 1-2 times per week (mini sessions, like 15-20 min). I have been seeing the personal trainer 1-2x per week. And I do cardio 3-4x per week on top of all that for about 40 min followed by ab work, burpees, mountain climbers, dips, or the like.

As for calorie intake, on the days I work out, it’s about 1600. Days I only do yoga, I (try to) keep it closer to 1300. The weekends are about 2000 cals each day (err, including Friday since I don’t work on Fridays). I’ve upped my protein to about 50+ grams (not a lot for most, but quite a bit for me).

And still little to no weight loss. Is it hormones?

I asked my doctor and you know what she did? She gave me numbers to obesity (/weight management) hotlines. Huh? Gee thanks!

I spoke with my trainer last Monday and she suggests that I reduce my sugar intake. Hmm, she may be on to something. I posted this on twitter and these were just a few of the responses: Winking smile

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Yeah 10g is ridiculous and not do-able for the lifestyle I want, but I *can* cut it back. I took a look at my normal sugar intake and I’m above 50g a day…heck my weekend large non-fat vanilla latte has 54g of sugar (<—yes you read that right). I seriously had no idea. Ugh. This cannot be a 3-4x per week indulgence. This is 1x per week tops and maybe with half the pumps of vanilla syrup.

I refuse to jump on the artificial sweetener bandwagon (because let’s face it, many people think Splenda is a perfectly good substitute) because I don’t like the taste or the chemical make up. Instead I’d rather reduce the amount of real sugars (lower fruit intake, increase veggie intake, reduce processed foods, increase protein, etc).

I’m going to see if I can reduce to <10g *added* sugar per day and see if that makes any difference. Or I was thinking of doing 30g of total sugars per day (that includes lactose, fructose, etc).

Last week I managed several days with less than 30 total grams of sugar (including all my fruits and dairy) and felt great! Okay that’s a lie, in the morning I was cranky and had a headache, but by the end of the day I was feeling much better.

Will this work? Let’s hope so. I feel like I’m making a change that I can keep up with, which is important to me. Anything drastic and I know I will jump ship. So this sugar-total may increase a bit as I find what’s right for me, but the goal is to be far more aware of the unnecessary sugars I’m consuming.

Bean needs a healthy, happy mamma so I’m going to do what it takes!

Tally up your sugar count for the day and share – you may be surprised!!!

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4 weeks postpartum update

Ugh.

In a word that’s how I feel. 

Not about life.  That I feel pretty good about.

My postpartum body progress gets a big fat ugh. 

Nearly 2 weeks ago, I wrote how I was going to get back on track and going to rein in the eats and become more active.  Well I have become more active – in fact, I actually went to the gym (at my complex) on Monday for the first time in 5 weeks! Open-mouthed smile  20 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes of light weights and abs was an easy way to get back into things.  It felt ah-maz-ing.  But that has not been enough.  Nor has my longer walks with the dog. 

Why?

Because I’m eating like a fat kid.  The lack of structure in my days, revolving door of houseguests, and Birthday treats (my birthday was yesterday) has really impinged my healthy eating. 

But hey, I own it.  I’m facing up to it.  I’ve been eating crap.  And too much of it.  I did hit the desired 2100 cals/day a few times, but more often than not, I was pushing 3000 I’m sure.

So with that being said, what measurements have changed since a week and a half ago? 

None.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada. 

I am the same weight and measurements.  And it’s my fault.  (But I’d also like to silently blame those that say if you’re breastfeeding you scorch calories and can’t eat enough…not true my friends).

Admittedly getting on the scale on Monday pretty much ruined my day.  Believe me, the gift of being a Mom is far superior than weight loss, but in that moment, that number owned me.  Rather than round out my pity party with binge eating, I vowed to get back on track then and there.

It was fairly easy during the day and I stuck to eats like I would as if it were a work day, but the night was much harder…luckily a glass of vino was able to satiate me (for the most part).  The evening workout also was key.  And so was a nice 4 mile walk yesterday.

Here’s a pic of me at 2.5 weeks and 4 weeks post partum:

Jan 4 2012 sideJan 24 2012

It appears that my tummy is getting flatter and my face is thinning a bit, but I’m still aiming for more.

Let’s hope I can keep this time around I can keep my word…

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2+ weeks postpartum

Hey hey friends, how was your weekend?

The days are blending together for me, but the weekends are still nice because it means people are around to play with me (and the lil man!). 

Jan 13 2012Jan 14 2012

We spent Saturday cheering for the 49ers and their incredible last minute win.  Such a good game.  And thanks to our friends Dan and Kate who came over equipped with groceries to cook us a meal.  Awesome!

I mentioned last Friday that it’s time to kick my bootie into gear after having Sawyer.  I’ve been semi-cleared by the doctor to be somewhat active and with that means reining in the horrendous eating.  Yes I can still indulge, but no more binge eating.

Though I realize I’m only 19 days postpartum, I’m feeling a little down about my body.  Again, this is my feeling.  And the reason for it is because I have assumed that I could eat whatever I want and breastfeeding would just melt the pounds off.  So not true.  I should know better than to assume there is an easy fix.  It takes discipline and hard work. 

My good friend Laury just wrote a fabulous post about Body Image After Baby and I really resonate with what she wrote.  Check it out!

So, now what? 

Now I resume my healthier lifestyle and get moving more.  This will mean long(er) walks using the Bjorn or the stroller and reduced snacking with more balanced meals.  I’ve already noticed that eating is tough with the soybean since he tends to want to eat when I do, so I just wolf down my food.  I think I can eat a few bites, feed him, and then nuke my meal when he’s done so I’m not scarfing it down and reaching for a snack immediately after.

I also mentioned last week that I’ll be tracking calories.  For me, this helps me account for all my eats.  Because breastfeeding is estimated to burn approximately 500 additional calories per day, I am going to target 2100 calories for my daily intake.  If I find myself starving or low on energy, I will increase the calorie take accordingly.  And per usual, I will have more calories on the weekend cuz that’s how I roll Winking smile

Alrighty, so here are the stats as of January 16, 2012, 19 days postpartum:

  • Weight: +13 pounds
  • Ribcage: 30”
  • Waist (bellybutton): 32”
  • Hips: 35.5”
  • Right Bicep: 11”
  • Left Bicep: 10”
  • Right Thigh: 21”
  • Left Thigh: 22”
    (all measurements at widest part)

And wow, I feel very vulnerable right now.  Ugh.  But by putting out the honest numbers, I know I will work that much harder to see them come down – in a healthy, maintainable way.

Here are two photos I took on Friday, 16 days postpartum (casual clothes for sitting at home with Sawyer all day):

Jan 13 2012 1Jan 13 2012 2

If you have any good at-home (mild) workouts, please send me a link or offer suggestions.

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Why the scale is my friend

I weigh myself at least 4x’s per week.  This may not be normal or even “approved of” in the  ‘Healthy Living ‘blogworld, but it works for me.

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Let me preface by saying, I do understand why many of you shun the scale.  So much so that you’ve ceremoniously dumped yours in the trash.  I get it. 

I also get that the scale can have unnecessary power of your mental state.  If you are down a few pounds, elation fills you; if you’re up a few pounds, you may chastise yourself and feel like crap the entire day. 

I can also appreciate that the scale is not the best measure of health, fitness, or physical appearance.  Other metrics should be considered, light measurement tapes, body fat percentages, how your clothes fit, your ability to exercise.

But for me, the scale is what keeps me in check.  You see, I like to eat.  A lot.  And while I do also track my calories (another no-no in some people’s eyes), the scale provides me instant feedback as to how my body is reacting to my food intake combined with workouts. 

The first 2-3 years of undergrad, I did not own a scale.  And I gained weight.  A lot – for me, anyway.  You can read more about that here.  Of course I had those other metrics telling me I was gaining weight – like having to buy larger and larger sizes of my clothes.  But this wasn’t enough apparently.  I was in denial that I could be gaining that much.I don't know smile  I also was well aware that clothing sizes are not uniform.  It was easier to go to a store where I could still fit in their size 4 versus another where I was now a size 8.  The scale would have told me that I was up 15-20lbs though. 

It wasn’t until my Senior year of undergrad that I started weighing myself regularly.  Seeing the drop in pounds was motivation and proof that my healthier eating and more active lifestyle was working. 

The scale is my guide.  It doesn’t control me.  It doesn’t make or break my day.  It provides just one metric in the cacophony of feedback of my health status. 

When I am up a pound or two, I can often pinpoint that it was the extra slice of deep dish pizza or that giant burrito I annihilated.  It reminds me to eat slightly less indulgently that day and maybe do an extra 10 minutes of cardio.  If I’m down a pound, I’ll add that extra scoop of ice cream or go to town on some chips and salsa with my hubby.  It all balances out.

So, for me, the scale is my friend not foe.  And I’m good with that.

What are your thoughts on the scale?

If you don’t use one, what metrics do you use to gauge your health/fitness, etc?

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