With a little over 2 weeks left until our baby is expected to arrive, I figured it was time to start thinking about how I plan to get my body back post-baby. Wait, that’s a lie. I’ve been thinking about this for months. While I absolutely love my pregnant body, I’m ready for the challenge to get back the athletic body I worked so hard to achieve before.
I’ve never been pregnant before and I’ve really never lost a significant amount of weight before in my life, so I don’t want to give myself specific goals quite yet. I just don’t know what to expect with a new baby in the house and how I will feel after I give birth. So, for right now, I will only be sharing my general range of goals and how I plan on starting to get my body back. Eventually, I will get to more specific details, but for right now, I just want to have a general idea of how I want to begin this journey.
Begin light workouts when my body feels ready. I still need to discuss this with my doctor, but I am hoping I can at least start some light exercise before my 6-week checkup. Since I have been active throughout my pregnancy, I don’t see this being a huge issue (unless I have a C-section). And by light workouts, I’m talking walks with the stroller, some body weight exercises at home, yoga, and maybe a few short runs like I have been doing towards the end of my pregnancy. Nothing too hard since I know my body will be taking quite a beating with childbirth. I really just want to listen to my body and start when it feels ready.
After my 6-week checkup, begin a formal exercise program. I definitely want to get back into some serious running, but I don’t want to do too much too soon. So, I am planning on taking the rest of 2011 off from training for any sort of race. What’s a few more months, right? And since I still have no idea what to expect with having a child, I’m not sure I would even have time to start any type of training right away. Basically, I just want to start slowly increasing the distances on my runs without worrying about my time or speed and get back to running 5 to 6 days a week.
As far as strength training goes, I will probably start lifting heavier weights than I have been, but I don’t really have a plan for that yet. I want to eventually get back into doing circuits + plyometrics to help build my legs back up for running, but I will wait until I feel completely ready to handle that sort of impact.
Focus on being active + eating healthy – not just on losing the weight. One of my biggest accomplishments during my pregnancy was my ability to stop calorie counting. I used to record everything I put in my mouth, along with my weight for the day and exercise. After a few months of continuing to do that during my pregnancy, I realized I really didn’t need to any more because the majority of what I put in my mouth was healthy anyway and I was gaining weight pretty steadily (about a pound per week). I want to continue doing this as I lose the baby weight. I’m not saying I won’t weigh myself, because I will probably still do that (as I still do now), but I want to focus more on eating a healthy diet (which I have let slip a little during pregnancy) that can keep me fueled for running. If I feel that I am getting off track as far as my nutrition goes, I might count my calories for a few days just to make sure I am eating enough for my activity level (and for breastfeeding), but I don’t want to get caught in that mentality again.
Record my progress with pictures + measurements. I am not giving myself a goal weight or measurement because I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to what I was before. I just want to get to a place where I am happy with the way I look (although I don’t know if anything will beat the way I love my pregnant body). I plan on taking pictures for myself but haven’t decided yet on if I will post them. I will share the differences in my measurements (girth + weight) but not include the actual numbers since I know it can negatively impact some people. I am hoping these numbers will continue to motivate me to continue my active + healthy lifestyle.
Like I said, those are just my broad goals that I want to strive for – getting back into running + lifting, eating a healthy diet, and recording my progress. I will be doing a monthly update begin with a few days post-baby and then every month after. I will also be outlining more specific goals and a more specific plan on how I plan to achieve my goals.
I’m so excited to start another new journey, especially one I am so passionate about. The next few months are going to be an exciting, wild ride!