I wish I could say that I had a real concrete plan put together for how I am going to “get my body back” after baby. But, as corny or cliche as it sounds, getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight is sort of the least of my worries. In fact, I’ve pretty much put the thought of it on the back burner until now simply because I’ve been so much more concerned about remembering how to care for a newborn while trying to stay sane with a rambunctious 3 year old running around the house. So, yeah, getting back into my jeans isn’t exactly my top priority right now.
In addition, I know that I’ve been incredibly active my entire pregnancy. I’ve been able to run 10-25 miles per week throughout my pregnancy and I’ve actually eaten fairly healthy throughout the last 9 or 10 months. Of the almost 30 pounds that I’ve gained, most of it has been in my belly, which is a drastic difference from my pregnancy with MacKenna, where I gained weight not only in my belly, but my legs, hips, arms, and face as well. And while the weight came off sloooooooooowly (it took me about 9 months to get back down to my pre-pregnancy/fighting weight), it eventually got there with a little effort on my part. And by not completely obsessing over it day in and day out.
So, while I don’t exactly have something set in stone for what I’m going to do to get the weight off, I do have some things that I am planning on putting in to play to gradually get back to the size I started at before I was pregnant. (And I’ll admit, I look at those pictures now and wonder how I could EVER thought I had a tummy or was even remotely fat. Great reminder through this journey…)
Goal #1: RUN! I think the thing I am looking forward to the most about not being pregnant (besides, of course, having a new baby to hold every day) is that I get to start training again. What for? I haven’t exactly figured that out yet. I would love to say my 2015 race schedule is all set, but with a C-section, I’m just not sure how long it will take me to recover and feel good enough to actually start training for real again.
I plan on definitely taking the first 2 weeks off from any physical activity, as I know I need time to recover and we will be adjusting to life as a family of 4. But, after that, I am hoping to at least go to the gym for a little while a few days a week, depending on how I feel. Who knows… I could be running at the beginning of January, or it might be mid-February before I feel well enough to run again. I hope to God it doesn’t take that long, but I know that I really am going to have to listen to my body.
All that said, I do plan on going back to the way I had been training before I got pregnant, which was using Greg McMillan’s “You (Only Faster)” training plans to get myself back in to training and racing. I’ll be doing most of my runs by time instead of distance, especially in the beginning, and then eventually adding in some hills, repeats, and tempo runs to really get back to my race pace. I definitely have missed running fast and being somewhat comfortable while running, especially recently!
Goal #2: Eat better. While I did eat fairly well this pregnancy, I know there is definitely room for improvement in my diet. I’ve really been lacking on fruits and vegetables lately, and I really need to do a better job of getting some protein at every meal. But, I refuse to deprive myself of things that I love, like ice cream, M&M’s, and pizza. Plus, I’ve been saving up on pumpkin beer since September, and cannot wait to have my first sip once we are home from the hospital. I’m a big believer in everything in moderation, so I am planning on living by the 80/20 rule, making 80% of my meals healthy, good-for-you foods, and giving myself a little leeway with that 20% of foods I can’t live without.
Goal #3: Get strong. Just like the other two goals, I really have no real plan for this. I tend to get bored easily with my strength training, and the only thing that has really stuck for me is CrossFit. I just like how fast the workouts are and how much it pushes me out of my comfort zone. But, I have also been dying to try out my T25 DVDs that I got way back in August and just have been too pregnant to do comfortably. Plus, they will be a great way to workout at home while the kiddos sleep (or at least while MacKenna naps – Moose can hang out during those 25 minutes every day). I just really miss pushing my body to it’s limits and am ready to feel like I can lift more than a few pounds at a time. So, I will probably do a little of everything, which is perfectly OK. My body will probably enjoy having it mixed up a little bit. Or at least my mind will…
I am trying to go in to this with an open mind, with no real weight goals or time frame in mind. I just want to be active and set a good example for my babies. Really, I will need working out more for my sanity than for anything else. Do I think it’ll only take a week to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans? Oh, heck no! Would I love to be back in them by the end of January? Of course! But, I know that weight loss takes time and effort and it might be this time next year before I’m back at my pre-pregnancy weight. However, I intend to get there at some point!