It’s been almost 11 months since having West and I feel stronger than ever! I had both of my boys back-to-back so it has been nice to give my bod more time to recover and get stronger. Today I’m talking about my relationship with food and working out, what I did to lose the baby weight and my overall outlook on maintaining a healthy weight/mindset.
In my experience, losing weight and feeling good in my body has always taken discipline and time. A day at a time. It does not happen overnight, I don’t follow a specific “diet” and I listen to my body.
In my teens and early 20’s I really struggled with my weight, always being 20-30 pounds heavier than I currently am. I was THE cardio queen and counted EVERY SINGLE calorie. Eventually I ended up loosing the weight however food and working out literally controlled my life. Sound familiar? Through my journey I’ve realized it’s not about the way I look in the mirror, the size clothing I put on or the number on the scale. How I actually FEEL and my mental health is the most important.
So what made me make a change? My gut didn’t feel great and my overall energy was OK. At 28 I decided to try a Paleo-ish type of eating. I eliminated grains, dairy and legumes for a few months. I felt way better which inevitably led me down a path of creating a healthy relationship with food through education and cooking. Finding foods that were clean, nutritious and worked with my body was key.
8 years later I’ve discovered what my body needs to feel its best. This mean eating clean 95% of the time and staying active. I am no longer restrictive, follow a specific diet or run my body into the ground with constant cardio. I think it’s important to have moments to enjoy certain foods (i.e. pizza and french fries) and allow your body time to rest. I’m about balance not deprivation.
I wanted to give y’all the background because after having both babies, losing the weight wasn’t “hard”. It took a commitment to myself and consistency throughout the weeks. In about 9 months, I was back to my healthy weight with a little bit of extra saggy skin on the tum 🙂 ALL part of it! I had no crazy workout schedule or crash diet. I took it a day at a time, gave myself grace when I was exhausted and each month I would see a little bit of progress.
My goal was to be active at least 5 days a week, mix and matching different workouts. I would carve out 30 minutes to an hour and communicate with Luke that this was my time. When the baby napped in the morning, it was go time! I found it was helpful to have Luke watch the monitor so I wasn’t distracted. I did almost all of my activity AT HOME! No fancy gyms or classes necessary. If that’s your thing, do it, however it is possible to stay active at home. In my case it was a Covid world + having a newborn, so home was much more convenient.
When I started my weight loss journey after West I thought about my goals. Not just losing weight but what I wanted to achieve. For me it was strength in my legs and abs, especially because my boys are SO big and heavy. This dictated the type of workouts I wanted to focus on. As I mentioned above I used to do a lot of cardio – like an hour a day. Now I do it a few times a week and really focus on strengthening moves. I always tell people to do what they enjoy. Don’t waste your time miserable!
Below is a look at what I do in a typical week – I mix and match different classes/activities depending on how much time I have. I move my body at least 5 days a week and give myself the other days to REST. It’s so important to allow yourself days of recovery!
2 pilates and/or barre classes (30-60 min) – great for postpartum to strengthen the abs and specifically pelvic floor
2 full body strength classes (45-60min) – I use the Peloton app and love
3 cardio sessions (60min) – this means long walks with the kids, a hike or a Peloton ride
I eat clean, nutritious foods. That means vegetables, some fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats. I typically don’t eat grains, legumes, very little dairy and stay away from sugar and processed foods. If you head over to my EATS section on the blog and check out my recipes, you will get a good feel for how I cook/eat. Through the years I’ve found a deep love for cooking. I find joy in taking classic dishes and putting my healthy twist on them. Since having Ford, who eats a ton, I’ve been able to get into creating dishes for kiddos too!
Healthy living tip: meal planning! I do this every Sunday for the week and go to the store ONCE. This saves me time AND ensures that I will cook healthy meals for myself and the fam. It’s going to change your life!
I’ve intermittent fasted in the past but I have come to realize it doesn’t work for me. We eat dinner as a family around 6PM and I find my body needs something around 8AM the next morning. Typically something with healthy fats to get my brain and energy going! I tend to eat smaller amounts throughout the day a cook a bigger meal for dinner. Over the years I’ve become much more in tune with my body and it’s SO cool to pay attention.
Below is a typical day of eating – dinner is the meal I switch up the most.
7AM coffee w/ oat milk and athletic greens
8AM one slice of gf Bread SRSLY sourdough with avocado, olive oil, everything seasoning, sea salt and lemon zest
4PM R.E.E.D. bar
6PM mediterranean salad with salmon or chicken – recipe here