I hate to admit it, but I have not been as healthy as I want to be since Tiny One was born (and during my final trimester). When I am home alone with the baby, I have to have food that I can grab quickly from the kitchen – and if I can eat it with one hand it’s even better. I have been dying to work out, since I know it gives me energy and makes me feel better in so many ways, but I was told not to do anything other than short, easy walks until I got the go-ahead at my 6 week appointment. I admit that I didn’t follow this… I started some longer walks and gentle yoga after 2 weeks, and at 5 weeks did some zumba and arm strength training. (I am not recommending ignoring your doctor or midwifes’ advice – I was just following my body and what felt right to me.) Now that I have officially received the ok for exercise at my appointment last Monday, I am putting together a “Get Healthy Plan”! I do want to lose weight and inches, but I also want to feel healthy and energetic. My plan is targeted to achieve all of these goals.
Food and Exercise Journal: I have used a food journal on and off for years. I kept one through most of pregnancy (except while I was sick and at the end). I find that just the act of writing everything down helps me make better choices. It is also motivating to look back on a really healthy day.
Prep food for healthy lunches and snacks: I quickly found that neither Tiny One nor I had the patience for me to cook a full meal. By preparing components before-hand, I can make a healthy meal or snack much faster. This week, I have some rainbow chard that I pre-chopped (my favorite fast-cooking veggie!), rinsed canned chickpeas (ideally, I would soak and cook my own beans…), and some cooked brown rice. These can be thrown in a pan with some olive oil and seasoned as I desire and it is done in less than 10 minutes! If Mr. S and I have time to cook a healthy dinner, leftovers are also a great option.
Incorporate healthy juices and smoothies: This is a great way to get more veggies in. There are so many different delicious combinations and I love to experiment.
Exercise at least 5x/week: Cardio is a priority, since it is the only thing that will help get rid of the leftover belly. I like to do a variety of exercises, including walking, the elliptical, and zumba. Abdominal work is essential for restrengthening the abs after they have been stretched in pregnancy. I will also incorporate strength training – particularly arms. I will put together a workout schedule once I build back some strength and get used to being a mom.
Yoga: I already try to do some gentle yoga poses once or twice a day. I have a mommy and baby yoga DVD by Shiva Rea, which I have done part of with Tiny One (she lasted about 10 minutes) and am excited to do more with her as she gets bigger. I am also working back up to doing my pre-pregnancy Shiva Rea DVDs.
Signed up for 5k in September: I think that having a fitness goal beyond just losing weight will help keep me motivated if (when) I plateau or am just not feeling like I am making progress. I signed up for the color run – which seems really fun and is not too intense! It is also about 9 months after Tiny One was born; I figured that was perfect since it gives me plenty of time to get back in shape and train, and gives me a long-term goal.
Lots of Water: Water is essential for breastfeeding, weight loss and general health.
Support: Mr. S knows and supports my fitness goals. This is essential, because he can take the baby for me each evening so I have time to work out. He can also help encourage me to work out and can try not to sabotage my healthy eating habits. (He never purposely sabotages them, he just doesn’t think about it…)