Since having Amalia, this has been my most requested blog post by far. People ask me on a daily basis how I “lost the weight”. To be clear, I’m still not at my pre-baby weight and don’t expect to lose it all until I’m done nursing, which is completely fine by me.
I’m also pretty sure my body shape is forever changed, but instead of trying to emulate the celebrities of the world who look like 12 year old girls 6 months after giving birth, I see my post-partum body as the place that built my beautiful baby, and I’m proud of what it did to do that. (Note: So sorry to anyone I offended with this comment. I didn’t mean to body shame anyone! I meant it as I will never look like that kind of body, not that there is anything wrong with that kind of body. I hope you all understand.)
I gained 29 pounds while pregnant, right in the middle of the range that my doctor had hoped for (25-35 pounds based on my height and weight). The baby and the placenta made up about 15 of those pounds, so I had about 14 to lose after that. In the first six weeks, I naturally lost four or five more just from breastfeeding… but I was constantly starving for carbs and sugar in those first weeks as I started producing milk.
I actually hate it when people assure me that the baby weight “flies off” when you nurse. My last 10 pounds or so wouldn’t budge. While making milk burns about 500 calories a day, it also makes you starving! I knew that working out and eating healthier calories was going to be the only way I would see any real change.
I cut back on my processed sugar intake and swapped out simple carbs (pasta, bread) for more complex ones (quinoa, brown rice, farro) when I could. I wasn’t crazy about it… Just tried to make healthier decisions.
As soon as my doctor gave me the go-ahead to workout, I also started the plan below. Literally I went from that doctor’s appointment straight to a workout!
I still have about eight pounds to go, but I’m feeling strong, healthy, and good about my workouts. This month, I’m committed to making healthier decisions, and after only a few days, those decisions are starting to pay off.
So without further ado, here is my current workout plan:
High Intensity Weight Training
Once a week, I workout with my trainer, Madison. She works for my husband, and the kind of training they do is different than most personal trainers. It’s super-slow high intensity weight lifting mixed in with short bursts of high intensity cardio (such as sprinting on a stationary bike on the highest level which, by the way, is no joke).
I’d love to make it to her twice a week, but as a new mom, it’s hard to justify leaving the baby for the 20 minute drive there, the 30 minute workout, and the 20 minute drive back two times.
Although trainers can be expensive (it pays off to be married to one sometimes!) they can push you much harder than if you do the work on your own, and you see results much quicker.
I have also been using the Sweat app, following BBG resistance workouts. I do Kayla’s arm/ab day and leg day and home every week, then replace her full body day with Madison’s workout. If you don’t have a trainer, you could easily just do BBG on it’s own. Read Rachel’s post about her BBG journey here if you haven’t already.
I love BBG because the workouts are 28 minutes long, and can be done from your home with only weights, a bench (I use a chair), a jump rope, and a yoga mat. I can do it while Amalia naps. Even though they’re only 28 minutes, they’re really hard! I end up sweating every single time. After leg day, I can barely walk!
But it’s not scary, and the 12 week program builds you up from easier workouts to harder ones. I highly recommend testing the app out for a week (for free), then if you like it, springing for the $20/month. It’s a lot cheaper than a gym membership and, in my opinion, gives you better results.
I actually look forward to my BBG workouts. I pump my favorite music and think of it as “me” time!
Low Intensity Cardio
It still hurts my boobs too much to run, but there are still four days every week where I’m not working out and if I don’t move my body, I start to go crazy. Usually on those days I try to get out for a hike or at the very least, go for a nice walk with the baby and the dog. It can be as short as 20 minutes, as long as I move. I don’t usually sweat during these, it’s more about lightly raising my heart rate and getting my blood flowing.
I probably should include yoga in this mix but, to be completely honest, I hate doing yoga. Because I live a more holistic life, I used to pretend to like it because I felt like I had to but I just don’t! And now I know that if your exercise routine is something you dread, it will never happen.
And that’s it! In summary, I do a real “workout” three days a week, then try to walk, hike, or move my body in some way every other day. I might share before and after photos at some point, but I don’t feel like I’m quite ready for that yet.
I’d love to hear other mama’s post-partum workout routines and what actually worked for you!