Today YBC®’s Editorial Director, LG, returns to the blog for the first time since the birth of her second baby. You may remember her from this post on postpartum anxiety, or this post from her prenatal journey series. Now she’s sharing part one from a new series on her postpartum transformation. I hope you enjoy! xo Candace
I’m baaaaaack! It’s been a little over two months since giving birth to my beautiful, perfectly healthy baby boy, Nash. He was 8 pounds 4 ounces and arrived a little early, at 37 1/2 weeks. You may remember that I was ever so slightly nervous about all things labor and postpartum since I had such a rough go from with my first born. I can happily say that all went well! Compared to Teddy, this labor was relatively smooth. This recovery was much better (physically and mentally), and this time breastfeeding has been a breeze (and the night nurse two nights a week for the first month was ah-MAZE-ing!) But now my husband’s paternity leave has expired, visiting family help has departed, and life as a full-time mom of ‘two under two’ has kicked off in full swing. And it’s HARD.
Aside from just trying to survive each day, I’m focused on getting back into shape. After the birth of my first son, counting macros (which I’ve been doing for about three years) got me into the best shape of my life. Now, after a full seven weeks off from the gym and more than nine months off from an intuitive eating routine, I’m going back to what I know best, consistent macro counting and focused workouts, and I’m sharing my journey with you!
The first thing I did was reach out to James (Candace had a macro post on him here) to get a new set of macros. If you are at all interested in counting macros, he’s the best. He’s super supportive, informative and positive, and genuinely cares about your goals and progress. My caloric intake is a little precarious at the moment since I am breastfeeding. I need to keep my calories slightly higher than I normally would by about 200 calories per day (I’ll adjust accordingly as I proceed).
Next, I’m meal planning and/or using a meal delivery service (Mighty Meals in the greater DC area) for my lunches since that’s when it’s tough to prepare a wholesome meal. It’s not too pricey, and saves a ton of time that I don’t have. Having ready-to-go healthy meals is really helping me stay focused on consuming whole, nutritious ingredients instead of trying to eat something healthy on the fly.
I’m almost back to a normal workout routine. Immediately postpartum, I felt great. But with all your body goes through, most physicians recommend at least six weeks off from workouts. So I spent a full seven weeks (since my appointment was pushed back) soaking up every second with my new baby. In addition, since I am solely breastfeeding, it’s tough to be away from a newborn for even a few hours. Nash can’t go to the gym daycare until he’s three months old, so I’m barely finding time to make it there myself. Currently, I’m only hitting the gym two times per week (on weekends when my husband is home to watch the baby). I’d like to get to go in the evening when my husband returns from work but, I’M TIRED!!! I’m also not the type to workout at home. So, it is what it is right now.
Since I’m limited on time, my go-to workout right now is circuit training. I set my clock for 30 minutes and do an AMRAP of 5 exercises. Circuits are great because they are quick, efficient, and can be easily modified. Sometimes I choose exercises that focus on a particular body part, but more often than not, I do full body movements (one AMRAP example below):
3 minute row (great full body cardio)
15 GHD sit-ups (great for glute, back and hip flexor strength as well as core)
20 1 leg RDL (10 each side)
20 DB snatches (10 each side)
20 commandos (progression: full plank starting position, regression: starting position on knees)
Just a really quick note on maintaining a positive mental state that remains in perspective. I can’t lie—looking in the mirror lately, I don’t always love what I see. But I’m so thankful for what my body achieved: growing a healthy, happy human being and nourishing that tiny human each day since he came into this world. It’s amazing, and I’m grateful for my body and its capacity for strength inside and out.
It’s funny (and comment below if you can relate), a few days after birth, I felt overall fantastic (pictured right). I’d worked out my entire pregnancy, and I felt like the results showed! But as my milk came in, I increased my caloric intake for breastfeeding, and also took seven weeks off from the gym, and things started to settle. Now, I feel ‘fluffier’ all over and am concerned I may not lose everything while breastfeeding. Suffice to say this is fine because feeding my son is most important!
So, as terrifying as this is, my physique today is pictured below. I’m down from my birth weight of 173 (about a 40 pound gain) to 155. This is my starting point.
Duration: 7 weeks postpartum
Starting weight: 155
Workouts: Circuit training 2-3 times per week
Nutrition: Meal prepping and macro counting for 6 days of the week and 1 day of the week open
Goal: Lose fat and build muscle. I’d like to get to 140 or 135 pounds - not because I’m focused on a number (I rarely weigh myself), but I need to have a solid, clear end-goal to work towards. I’m 38 and a certified personal trainer, so I’m very familiar with at what weight my body’s composition is at peak performance.
Concerns: Making time to get to the gym with two under two at home. Also, if my body will shed all the extra fat stored while breastfeeding (breastfeeding being the most important aspect).
I’ll be back in a few weeks with the next update on my postpartum journey! If you have any questions or comments (or words of support!), please comment below or email me directly. If you’re interested in macros from James, you can email him directly.