Having a baby changes your body in all sorts of ways. This is something I obviously knew before I got pregnant, but was a whole different ball game once I actually was pregnant. I’ve been through many different phases with my body throughout pregnancy; it is an ever-changing relationship. In the beginning of my pregnancy, it was hard to accept that my body was growing. I was just talking about this with my brother the other day; last summer while I was on the beach I was very newly pregnant — i.e. in the “is she pregnant, or just gaining weight?” phase. It’s crazy because it is SUCH an exciting time — the new feeling of WOW I’m going to have a baby! — that you don’t want any negative thoughts to creep in at all. During this time, it was also a little tough to accept I was going to have a whole new body for 40 weeks.The thought of putting on 30+ pounds scared me. But don’t worry, I went above and beyond that! I gained around 50 pounds.
After the phase of “is she pregnant, or just gaining weight?” came the actual bump, and I must say I loved this phase! The bump is fun. Embrace the bump. Rejoice in wearing pants with stretchy tops and eating lots without worrying about your stomach showing (because it’s obviously going to show anyway! And in a cute way). Even though I did love my baby bump, there were days when I wondered how I looked — I gained a decent amount of weight, and even though the bump is great, gaining weight in my arms, thighs, and face wasn’t as great. It was all part of my process (which is fine!), but towards the end of my pregnancy I was ready to do away with that part of pregnancy. Now that my beautiful Maggie is here and I am no longer pregnant, I am going through a whole new phase with my body. This is also a confusing phase. I call it the “I am amazed by my body but also don’t want to look pregnant anymore” phase. I truly am amazed by the human body; I grew this awesome (and I mean awesome in every true sense of the word) human in my body. I pushed her down my body, and out into the world. She looked into my eyes minutes after she was born. My body gives Maggie the food and nourishment she needs to survive. It’s all so cool. I am so thankful for this body which gave life to my daughter.
Now, while I am in total awe of my body, at two months postpartum, I am ready to slowly start dropping some of the weight I gained throughout my pregnancy, and hopefully eventually toning back up. I gained a lot while pregnant with Maggie, so the thought of dropping a ton of weight intimidates me. Over the past two weeks when I thought about it, I would feel overwhelmed. Where will I start? Can I really do this? Will I fail and be at this weight forever? I decided a few things.
1. It took 40 weeks to put this weight on. It’s going to take a while to take it off. Accept that. Be okay with that. Move on.
2. I am a competitive person by nature (even if I am only competing with myself), so I decided to start my journey with a challenge.
3. Blogging helps me stay accountable. Once I put something online, I’m like, “OK I HAVE to do it now. I can’t lie to the people!” So, I am going to blog about this thirty day challenge.
4. I will not let myself get overwhelmed. I am going to take this journey step by step. If I just follow the rules I have set, I know I will see results by the end of the month, which will then hopefully give me motivation to keep going into May with another challenge. That’s the mentality I have, and hope to continue to have. Also, no bending the rules whatsoever!
5. The most important reason for doing this challenge is that I want to be healthy. I let myself enjoy many, many treats while pregnant, and even during these two months after having Maggie. While I was pregnant, I didn’t want to worry about whether it was okay to have ice cream every night or not. I wanted to indulge. I knew what I would be faced with after I gave birth, and I was okay with that at the time. But now it’s time to have a more healthy diet and attitude (think more vegetables and fruits and less five slices of pizza binges, or whole box of Girl Scout cookie snacks).
So, the challenge is to go gluten-free, dairy-free, and to exercise for at least thirty minutes a day. This means exercise of any kind! Walking, running, weights, yoga, etc. Pinterest has been super helpful in organizing my ideas for this challenge. Check out my gluten-free, dairy-free, 30-min exercise board here: http://www.pinterest.com/thedailycraic/gluten-free-dairy-free-30min-of-exercise-a-day-apr/. This is not going to be easy. (I LOVE cheese, so that will be the hardest part of this, I think). However, I just want to challenge myself to try this out and see where it gets me by the end of the month. It’s an experiment.
I started the challenge yesterday, April 1st, and it will go all the way until the end of April. At that point, I will evaluate how I’m doing, and I may decide to start a new challenge. The goal of this April challenge for me, is to get back in the saddle — to kick start my healthier lifestyle. Wish me luck!
Day one went pretty well. Maggie and I went on a walk with my sister Megan and my nephews Declan and Brian. We were walking for about an hour and fifteen minutes; it was so nice out! Hopefully now with the weather getting nicer Maggie and I will be able to go on a walk everyday.
For breakfast I had two hard boiled eggs and an avocado. Lunch was a salad and a bowl of strawberries and grapes. My snack was a Lara bar (the pecan pie flavor is SO delicious) http://www.larabar.com/. And dinner was banana bread pancakes (my picture looks disgusting, but they were actually good). I found the recipe on Pinterest: http://www.dailybitesblog.com/2013/03/19/5-ingredient-banana-bread-pancakes/. I was still hungry after eating my pancakes so I decided to roast some red potatoes. They were great and satisfied my hunger. Throughout the day I also had some coffee (with coconut milk creamer instead of half and half), as well as Mother’s Milk tea http://traditionalmedicinals.com/products/mothers-milk/ (really good, and helps my milk supply).
On two different notes:
Yesterday Maggie was officially two months!
And today is Autism Awareness Day http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/world-autism-awareness-day. Take time today to learn a little more about Autism. Or hug someone with Autism. I know I will.
Here are Maggie and I lighting the world blue.