Alright, many of you have been asking me lately how I’ve been feeling with my pregnancy?
I feel great! I love feeling my baby move and I can’t wait to meet her! But the other truth is, I can’t wait to get my body back! Maybe because I’ve already been through it once and all the curiosity about pregnancy had already been answered. So this time around, I just want to speed up the process and feel myself again.
For my first pregnancy, I gained about 40 pounds. It took me about 6 months to lose it and 9 months to completely feel normal again. My diet was pretty strict in the beginning. I had only (and I mean only) chicken and ginger rice for the first month. Not at my own will, but it was a Chinese tradition that my mom insisted I follow (there is a whole other world on Chinese post-partum recovery – but I’m not gonna get into that.) As for exercises, I took bikram yoga once a week for about five months, and the rest I took walks and ran errands with my daughter in this. And, oh, nursing, that really helps!
For this pregnancy, I anticipate that I’ll be gaining about the same weight (crossing my fingers!). But you know what they say about your other pregnancies, the weight is harder to come off! This time, I don’t know if I can carve out 2 hours a week to do bikram, or commit to any schedule at all. I know adjusting to being a mother of two will take some time, and I’m sure I’ll be anxious and busy keeping up with the blog. So yea, I’m going to have NO room to breathe.
But I am determined. I want to have plans ready to help me battle those post-pregnancy pounds! And guess what, I’m very lucky to have my younger sister Christina, who is a personal trainer and runs a successful bootcamp, O2BodyFit.
She started about two years ago and ran a small little bootcamp with her partner with just 10 students. Today, she has expanded to three different locations in South San Francisco/ Daly City/ Pacifica and is inspiring hundreds of individuals everyday from all walks of life to stay healthy, positive, and keep fit. To say I’m proud of her is an understatement. She is a reminder to me that taking good care of yourself is a true way to staying happy (not shopping always).
I know what you’re thinking? Join her bootcamp, right? No way! she’s going to kick my ass! The last thing on my mind right now is doing some grilling exercises. I want to slowly ease back into an active lifestyle and then add a more regular routine in my schedule. As of now, I’m tapping into her expertise on how to help “a busy mother” lose those pregnancy weight and keep it off! I thought it would be helpful to share this with my mommy friends. Are you ready? Make sure you bookmark this!
1. Your bundle of joy is much more fun to lift than dumbbells! Tone up those legs and do some squats and lunges while carrying your baby. Lift them up for strong shapely shoulders. Strap your baby up to you as you perform chores around the house. You’ll definitely be burning more calories throughout the day.
2. Use your babies smaller dishes and bowls for portion control. The bigger the portions, the more likely you’ll overeat. Larger plates can make a serving of food appear smaller. In contrast, smaller plates can cause us to misjudge that very same quantity of food as being much larger. It’s all about moderation and control.
3. Stay hydrated and drink more cold water. Dehydration can cause your metabolism to slow down by as much as 3%! That’s about a 6-10 pound weight gain in one year. If you’re feeling tired or hungry, try to sip on some water first!
Who says water has to be boring? Try these refreshing naturally flavored water recipes:
// Sliced cucumbers & raspberries
// Sliced strawberries, cucumber and lemons with 1 packet of Stevia
// Mint leaves with strawberry slices or fresh lime wedges
// Orange slices, mango slices and 1 tsp. of Stevia
// Fresh ginger (shaved), lime wedges and 1 tsp of Stevia
4. Sprinkle some cinnamon. Cinnamon helps to maintain blood sugar levels, keeping your appetite under control. Other added benefits include lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad one), helping with digestion and speeding up that metabolism.
Next time you drink that cup of coffee, add cinnamon instead of the creamer and sugar. Sprinkle some cinnamon on that apple, or add a dash to your oatmeal. That will be sure to spice things up!
5. Plan a walking route with different terrain. Next time you’re taking a stroll with your baby and you see a hill or stairs, just remember this – To lose weight and get that pre-pregnancy body back, you must burn more calories than you eat. Get your heart pumping, tone up those legs, burn some calories and tackle those inclines!
Bonus: Add extra weight (dumbbells, books, water bottles) to your baby’s stroller for more resistance.
6. Avoid the bulging belly! Don’t do sit-ups immediately after giving birth. That’s right, NO sit-ups! During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles split and stretch. After giving birth, these muscles may not have returned to their position and will take time to work together properly. The goal here is to re-train and strengthen the core muscles first.
Focus on static stomach contractions, pelvic tilt, the bridge (lifting the pelvis off the floor), and plank exercises.
7. Dirty deck of cards? You will never look at a deck of cards the same after this! Assign each suit an exercise – example: hearts = jumping jacks, spades = squats, cloves = push ups, diamonds = bridge. Flip over the top card, and the # will represent the amount of reps to perform. (5 of spades = 5 squats). Go through all 52 cards if you can! Your body will thank you later.
8. Baby says…… Everytime your baby cries, do 20 jumping jacks. For a diaper change, do 20 squats. Whatever else your baby does a lot of, assign an exercise to that action! This might help relieve some stress and make mommy duties just a bit more fun while burning calories!
So what do you think? Any tips here you can take away? Or what about tips that had worked for you? As for me, I suggest you get one of these too. They kind of work magic. :)
Thank you so much sis for joining me here today and sharing your insights! You know I love you. :)