Monday, January 20, 2014

Post Partum Weight Loss Update & What I Would Do Differently Next Time

Every morning I get up and get on the scale. It's just what I do - I don't even think about it. I know that the number doesn't say everything but it does say something.  Something tangible. To me, anyway. And I've tried the measuring but quite frankly it's much more time-consuming then hopping on a scale each morning and I am always worried about user error! Right now, since I'm trying to lose weight, I like to see the same number or a lower number. I don't even mind seeing a slightly higher number as I know that weight fluctuates.

I had really hoped to be back to my 'new normal' by the time Beckett was 'out as long as in' - so 40 weeks. We are rounding 47 weeks (OMG - how is my baby becoming a toddler?) and I still have some work to do, but I am honestly really happy with my weight loss efforts thus far, and know what I will try to do differently next time.
January 2012; 125 at the Chick-fil-a bowl supporting Auburn
January 2013; pregnant with Beckett
Back at 128; January 2014 with the family in Colorado
As of today, I am 127. I have been holding steady at 127/128 - so excited to be in the 120's and this reminds me to keep pushing and that what I'm doing is working.
  • Typically: 120 - 125 pounds
  • May 2012 after all-inclusive week in Mexico: 128 and pregnant
  • Goal: Get back to 128, preferably 125... or lower! :)
  • February: 149 post-baby after freaky 36-pounds-in-two-weeks weight loss 
  • April, May and most of June: 148 despite workout efforts
  • June 22: Still 148 and over it. Me, Monica and Austin put together a workout plan to step it up! 
  • July 31: 143; was very happy with this 5-pound in 5 weeks weight loss 
  • August 21: 142; finally a new number; it. took. forrreeeevvveerrrr to lose that pound. 
  • September 11: 141; was excited to see another pound drop - so close to the 130's - woo! 
  • September 16: 141; started paleo (eating whole foods - meats, vegetables, fruits & fats)
  • September 25: 139; day 10 of paleo! 
  • September 29: 138 
  • October 14: 137; almost 30 days of paleo; I can officially say I lost 4 pounds during the first month of paleo
  • October 25: 133; 4 more pounds gone - I'm not kidding - it's like it's FINALLY shedding. And I have even cheated a couple times (e.g., a reese's cup from the Halloween stash; a few crackers with cheese; etc.)
  • December 8: 128; 5 more pounds gone - about a pound a week in November
  • Today and ever since December: 127 - 128 every day, and I'm okay with this! I'm still working out and I definitely took a break from Paleo over the holidays!
So, I can safely say that since June when I settled in at 148, it took a little over 5 months to lose the last 20 pounds to get to  my 'pre-pregnancy' weight: 128. 

What is Working & What I Would Do Different Next Time
  • Drinking tons of water. Really, since I have had Beckett I pretty much stick to water, wine and coffee. 
  • Getting lots of sleep. Beckett has been sleeping 12 solid hours since 7 weeks old (roughly 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.). Getting her on a schedule and being able to sleep when she sleeps has REALLY helped. In those first 7 weeks I had to MAKE myself (and Austin had to make me) sleep when she slept - this means sound machine and sleep mask. When I didn't sleep well, I skipped working out and made horrible food choices. True story.
  • Going Paleo. Next time, I would do it sooner, maybe 1 or 2 months post-partum vs. 7 months. Now that i'm getting into it and doing the legwork (mealplans, recipes, grocery lists, etc.) I think it would be easier to get back into. Note, I'm assuming that if we have another baby my pregnancy likely will not be paleo - last time I was paleo when I got pregnant and immediately switched to reverse paleo and only ate white carbs for months - eek! Then again, the main reason I went Paleo was to eat more whole foods because of Beckett... so maybe I will stay more paleo-focused. Who knows? Either way - eating fats, meats, vegetables and fruits has been good for me and my body, and the shift away from processed foods really helped me lose that 13 pounds in 14 weeks and my body just looks different - more toned/lean - like a layer of bloat is gone. (don't get me wrong - I still have work to do - but I can feel that what I'm doing is working!)
  • Group Fitness. Obviously, it's very tough to get to the gym until baby is at least 3 months old (assuming your baby is then in daycare and/or you are comfortable bringing your baby to the gym's daycare). I began taking Beckett to the Infant Room in June and it made such a difference being able to challenge myself with the gym's tough cardio and strength classes. I also took the time to talk to the instructors before or after class about my post-pregnancy body/aches/pains so they could help me find modifications for different moves so I could still participate and get a good workout but not feel guilty about not doing it exactly like them! At times it was hard - I felt out of shape and like everyone was smaller than me. But mostly I'd say screw it, I'm here and I'm trying and I just had a baby! I would use others for motivation vs. fat shaming. And honestly, I think it was great for Beckett. She gets an hour  a day to socialize with other babies, and she is much more comfortable around non-family because she spends time with different care-givers. And now we have a great pipeline for future babysitters who have known Beckett since she was 3 months old. Win-win in my book!
So what timeline would I strive for next time?
  • 4 Weeks Post Partum: Begin paleo (assuming I quit during pregnancy). Have that first sleepless month at home enjoying comfort carby foods and easy casseroles, then begin focusing more on whole foods and my Paleo comfort menus (Meatballs & Zoodles; Chicken Salad; etc.).
  • 8 Weeks Post Partum: Workout at home once the doctor gave the green light assuming my body felt ready. I would do a program like P90X or Insanity beginning at 8 weeks post-partum right after baby went down for a nap. The great thing about being at home is I wouldn't feel as guilty for not being able to do the program 'full-out' but I WOULD be challenging myself.
  • 13 + Weeks Post Partum: Begin a heavy group fitness schedule at the gym, maybe even a bootcamp at gym, just after 3 months (assuming me and baby are ready for the gym daycare!). Do 3-4 classes a week, wear HRM, push myself!
So that's that! Hopefully this timeline would enable me to lose the weight quicker than the 9+ months this took me! Then again, if it didn't, that's fine, too - I'll work hard regardless! I'll continue to post weight updates and am excited to have now been in the 120's for well over a month - eeee! And of course, it's all worth it for this girl!

Q: What do you find is the best way to lose weight?

Q: Have you ever tried Paleo? I'm genuinely happy with the results and it makes me think I can keep it up when I know it's working!

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