Now that I’m feeling a little more like myself again AKA getting more sleep, I’m ready to commit to “getting my body back.” I’m okay with what my body looks like now it’s more about getting strength back that went missing while pregnant. I did work out quite a bit during my pregnancy not necessarily to keep from gaining weight, but because I like it. I like feeling strong so I’m looking forward to building that strength back.
Anyway, I think I’ve sort of been throwing myself back into the gym like the whole pregnancy thing never happened which maybe isn’t the best approach. During my pregnancy, I bought the book How to Exercise When You’re Expecting: For the 9 Months of Pregnancy and the 5 Months It Takes to Get Your Best Body Back. First of all, 5 months? Yikes. I’m already being impatient with my progress and it’s only been 5 weeks!
So, back to the book. I looked at it a couple times during the pregnancy but probably didn’t need it. I think the book would be very helpful for someone who’s pregnant and hasn’t worked out very much prior to the pregnancy because it does give you good guidelines and workout ideas. I think a big part of working out while pregnant though is based on how active you were before the pregnancy and also if you’re having a healthy pregnancy (how many times can I write the word “pregnancy”). So, it’s very much between you and your doctor. That being said, I think the book will be helpful for me right about now. I think it’ll help me ease back into exercise and understand how to exercise my core effectively to bring it back to life.
The past week and half I’ve exercised and it felt great! I actually went for a 30 minute jog the other day. While exercising though I started doing crunches and other ab exercises to gain that strength back. I read in the book though and on a couple other sites that doing crunches right off the bat is not the most effective way to retrain your core.
The author breaks down recovering your core strength in 4 phases:
- Phase 1- Reestablish
- Phase 2- Recover and Retrain
- Phase 3- Condition
- Phase 4- Shrink
Reestablish is the first phase which is supposed to last from weeks 0-6. Basically, this stage is about finding your core muscles again and reactivating them with simple moves. They aren’t standard exercises at all but basic moves like core activation, which is just pulling your belly button in towards your spine and holding for a count, then releasing. Kegels and pelvic floor moves are also a big part of this phase. No crunches yet!
Recover and Retrain incorporates some of the same exercises and adds a couple “standard” moves like squats, pushups, and pelvic tilts with a march.
Condition and Shrink seem very similar to me. Maybe the only difference is the amount of cardio encouraged during the shrinking phase. At this point hopefully I’ll have most of the strength back in my abs, but in order to get rid of the fat I do need to do some cardio.
So, basically my idea of hitting the gym and doing crunches and other ab exercises was maybe not the best approach. I don’t know if I’ll follow this program to a T, but I will try to retrain those muscles from the inside out.
Besides exercise, diet will definitely make a big difference. Diet has always been my downfall. Although I will say, this week (yes, only a week) has been great in the regard. I’ve been eating more vegetables and staying away from sugar. Throughout my pregnancy, I think I ate pretty well but I wasn’t overly concerned with my diet. If I wanted ice cream, I’d eat it..if I wanted York peppermint patties (which I did often) I’d eat them. So I think I developed a little bit of a sugar addiction which is hard to break!
My approach lately has been if I crave sugar, have some fruit. It’s as simple as that. If I want chocolate, go eat an apple. It’s hard but simple enough that hopefully those sugar cravings will disappear soon.
I’ve also been working on my vegetable intake. I’ve never been one to eat a ton of veggies so it’s been hard! I’m just trying to choose veggies I like (seems obvious) so I know I’ll eat them. This week I’ve been chowing down on peppers…I love raw red peppers! Ironically my husband hates them but that’s okay, I’ll eat a whole one by myself. I picked up some hummus too to add a little flavor.
So, so far (again basically only this week) I’m happy with my diet and just hope to keep it going. It’s going to be tough as we get into the holidays, but I’m going to try my hardest!
If only abs were made in the gym…sigh.
Anyway, I was going to take a picture for you guys of my bod but I kinda feel weird posting pics of myself like that on the internet. I know, I’m being shy. Maybe I still will..we’ll see. :) I’m about 10 pounds over the weight I’d like to be, but more importantly, my pants don’t fit. I think that’s the best indicator of weight loss or gain..how your clothes fit. So, hopefully mine will be back to fitting soon because I’d really like to bust out some cute fall outfits!
How do you incorporate more veggies or fruits into your diet? This question is random, but anyone have a good recipe for homemade salad dressing?