Category Archives: Exercise

#TransformationTuesday

I finally thought I would participate in #TransformationTuesday.  For those of you unfamiliar, every day of the week has been given a hashtag on social media so people have an excuse to post pictures of themselves.  In this instance, the objective is to post two comparative photos which show a body transformation, usually weight loss, makeover, etc.

The photo on the left is me at 39 weeks pregnant and 45 pounds heavier than ever before.  The photo on the right is today– a week shy of 9 months later.  We’ve all heard the saying “Nine months on, nine months off,” regarding the baby belly.  In my case that couldn’t have been more true.  I have literally just within the past couple weeks gotten back within range of my pre-baby size.  If any of you have read my previous post (It HAS to be hard), then you know it was tough WORK.  I have been fit and active my whole life, so I just assumed that because of my healthy lifestyle, the pounds would just melt off as soon as I popped out the baby.  Nope.  It took dedication to a workout regimen (as soon as I was physically able) and balanced eating (no dieting with breastfeeding).

The other part of the struggle was mental.  It’s a major shock to see your once smooth stomach wiggly and riddled with stretch marks.  (That was a surprise…my stretch marks weren’t visible until after delivery).  There were many days I actually avoided the mirror because I didn’t want to see my body that way– the pooch, the scar, the loose skin.  Sadly, I told myself that my body would never look the same again– it just couldn’t be possible with that much “damage.”

And maybe it won’t ever look exactly the same.  But that’s ok.  I grew a baby!!  And you know what– I’m actually proud of my body.  I sacrificed so much to bring Annabelle into the world, and I worked so hard to get back in shape.  Why wouldn’t I want to show the results of my dedication?  Why should I be ashamed that I don’t look like an 18 year old on spring break?

I’ve never done #TransformationTuesday before, but I did it today because I want to encourage others not to give up on “getting their body back.”  No, I won’t tell you that everything will snap back and be perfect again (except for you lucky few!).  BUT if you commit to putting in the time (all I can do is 30 minutes a day…so you don’t have to slave away for hours at the gym) and make YOU a priority, you can have a body that you are comfortable with, dare I say proud of!

I’m about to go walk to pick up big sis from school– we are blessed with beautiful weather this week in Texas, so maybe we will take a family walk later this afternoon.  I fit in any extra activity where I can, and I get the family involved.  Last night while I exercised, the whole family was in the room with me, cheering me on.  Literally.  (Ok it was a little distracting haha, but they meant well.)  Mom has to feel good to take good care of everyone.  You worked so hard to create, nurture, and grow these babies, so you DO deserve to spend time on yourself…even just a little.  Happy #TransformationTuesday everyone!

Fitness motivation yoga balance pose

(Yes that’s me! At one point after surgery I wondered if I would ever be able to do some of my favorite poses again!)

It HAS to be hard!

This afternoon, while in the middle of my daily workout, I grunted “ughh this is so hard!”  Lilu, always ready with words of wisdom, chimed in “but Stacey, it HAS to be hard!  Otherwise your muscles won’t get pumped!”  Dang…why does she always have to be so RIGHT?

Whoever said that breastfeeding will make the baby belly just melt away LIED.  I know for a fact because I couldn’t exercise at all for 8 weeks (heck I could barely walk) due to my stomach being sliced open, and my baby belly did not budge one inch.  So yea, breastfeeding being the miracle weight loss secret is a big lie…at least in my case.

Once I was cleared to work out, I knew I had to hit it hard…I use that term loosely, as once again I was barely walking up to this point.  After a couple weeks of light yoga and longer walks, my husband (fiance at the time) encouraged me to step it up if I wanted real results by our wedding, which was three months away.  Thanks honey.

He had purchased the P90X3 series for himself a while back and even on the “ice cream diet” he lost a ton of weight.  (Disclaimer: I am not a Beachbody coach and I am not affiliated in any way with P90X).  I thought it might be too tough for me at this point (which was discouraging after being super active my whole life prior), but I gave it a shot.  It WAS hard…REALLY hard, but I kept at it and was able to get to a place where I was comfortable (aka I looked more like a normal person and not like I had a pillow under my shirt) before the wedding.

For a while it was a challenge even finding the time to be able to work out…I needed someone else around to watch the kids or for them to both be asleep.  And that wasn’t always possible.  Sometimes I ended up not being able to get started until 11pm and I’m too exhausted by that point.  But I finally was able to find balance, and strangely it was when I involved the kids instead of trying to get away from them. (Just while I worked out…don’t worry!)

Lilu was intrigued when she saw me doing yoga (which I’ll admit that I did WAY more than any of the other routines…because it made me feel awesome).  I invited her to workout next to me and believe it or not, this pretty high-strung 6 year old has got a knack for yoga!  For Christmas Grandpa might have gotten a hint that she needed her own mat– hot pink of course– and now we are really in business!

A couple times a week we set up next to each other and pop in the P90 Yoga DVD.  We go through the entire 30 minutes, pushing ourselves a little further each time and lamenting about how Ted, quietly head-standing away in the back of the studio, is SUCH a show-off.  If Annabelle is awake from her nap, we set her up on a blanket next to us so she can do her own baby exercises (lots of rolling and grabbing the toys we’ve surrounded her with).

By making exercise a family activity, I’ve made it possible for me to get it done every day (ok, 6 days a week).  Instead of having to try to squeeze a workout in around all the chaos that is a 2 kid household, we’ve made it a fun bonding time and something we look forward to (we even got Daddy to join in last week on his new mat!)  I definitely don’t push it past 30 minutes (that’s why the P90 is so great…the workouts are super intense so you don’t need longer)…both Annabelle and Lilu’s attention spans will only go so far.

As women and moms we are constantly bombarded by pressure to drop the baby weight in record time.  Celebs are back in bikinis after three months, simply by “chasing the kids around all day”…give me a break.  Even though we know that’s a crock of sh*t, it’s still hard not to get down on ourselves.  From someone who really did (and still does) have to WORK to drop the belly, I know that anyone can do it if you put in the time and effort.  My *aha!* moment was when I stopped trying to make working out this torturous block of time I had to set aside from everyone and everything (which made me feel guilty that I was “hiding” from the kids and just logistically was difficult to get time alone) and made it something that the whole family could be a part of.

But do keep in mind that your belly was a beautiful thing just a few months ago (remember how many bump pics we took along the way!), so don’t be so critical of yourself.  And remember that it HAS to be hard if you want your muscles to get pumped!  Happy exercising!