Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Looked Down and Saw....

Most females eat their heart out when their pregnant somehow thinking it's okay because they are pregnant. The myth of "eating for two" has us indeed eating for 2 despite it being more like eating for 1.5. Given the nausea and the obvious belly growth, there is no shame from looking bloated or bigger because hey, there's a growing human in there!

I myself tried to stay healthy. I attempted to cut out empty carbs and maintain a sense of balance through nutritional foods heavy with protein, dairy, fruit and grains. I carried around a big bottle of water everywhere I went and almonds, craisins, Kashi bars and granola bars for fear of ever getting hungry (which when pregnant, is magnified to the nth degree and feels like the world is going to end if you don't eat right when hunger strikes). However, at work, given Girl Scout cookie season trickled in right around my second trimester and the executive assistants who sit right outside my office had a variety to offer on their desks, I found myself having an average of two girl scout cookies per day. When I was at the client sit, things were no better. Gone were the EAs with their tempting Girl Scout cookies and in its place, was a desk full of Costco "busy season" snacks. Since lunch was always delayed due to meetings or the lack of decision making on our team, the proximity of the Costco snacks (think two steps away from our Conference table) often led to me indulging on peanut butter m&ms, wheat thins, red vines and fortune cookies.

To offset the unhealthy eating habits I picked up while pregnant, I tried to consistently exercise starting from the second trimester (once the nausea which kept me lying in bed surpassed) through walking, my Bar Method Pregnancy DVD, visiting the nearby gym for the elliptical machine, or walking the 100+ steps at Angel's Flight used to get to my downtown office for those days when I worked downtown. It felt good to work out and it was always amusing when I got stares from others at the gym because of my lump of posterity in my abdomen.

I knew none of the above would really prepare me for the moment I looked down and saw what was still there after the baby had made its exit into the world. I had been told by many that looking down would mean seeing yourself at about 5 months pregnant except much more flabby. I knew the stomach would not magically shrink to its pre-pregnancy form but like many, I still hoped to be an exception.

After the joy of holding my newborn had passed, after all the phone calls, e-mails and texts had been sent (technology complicated the amount of work we had to do with contacting others!), after all the photos and videos had been taken, after we had counted his fingers and toes and reveled in the pure delight of welcoming Jordan into this world, after I was all sewn and ready to be transported to the maternity room, after all the excitement had died down, I looked down and saw....a floppy stomach - smaller than my 38 weeks pregnant state, but definitely like they called it - more like my 25 week pregnant state.

Over the last two weeks, I have watched my weight drop drastically - the baby lightened my load by 10 pounds the first few days and then the shrinking uterus and water offloading had me decrease by another 10 pounds. And then, just like that, I was 15 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight until my lack of effort was thwarted with the delicious treats everyone began to bring us as they visited.

My wedding rings still don't fit. My "fat pants" are snug and I have not even tried to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes that fit "just right" at my pre-pregnancy weight and size (it would be a sad and terrifying moment). Instead, I am looking forward to my 6 week postpartum appointment and the go ahead from my doc to start working out again. I am looking forward to my bar method non-pregnancy dvds, doing exercises on my abs, doing exercises on my back, and gearing up to get back to my pre-pregnancy body. I'm not sure if it's possible, but I am sure going to try. I have asked for shape-ups or ree-tones, I have an aggressive plan to walk with Jordan up and down the hills of our neighborhood and I have all my old exercise DVDs that are now like new since it's been so long!

It's been hard to not have the ability to just get up and work out. It's been hard to know my body is still healing and I should rest before I aim to get back in shape. I can't run faster than I have strength right? Right, if only I could remember that... (Mosiah 4:20) I'm hoping that when all's done, I will be able to say, I looked down and saw... NOTHING! or a SIX PACK of abs! hahaha


Deidra Smith said...

I'm sure you've been warned, but just in case you haven't. Go for the goal of pre-pregnancy weight, but don't be surprised if you never go back to pre-pregnancy shape. I was able to lose the baby weight pretty quickly after my first, but no matter how skinny I was, my hips had still spread and those jeans that fit wonderfully before baby never did fit wonderfully after. Granted, some people have more hips than I ever did to begin with, so maybe it isn't as obvious to everyone. But, I went from being a stick to branching out a little in the hips. Anyways, just a heads up to not neccessarily use your pre-pregnancy clothes as a gauge of how well your getting fit plan is working:)

bruinjack said...

And it isn't exactly eating for 1.5. You only need 300 extra calories a day which even for women eating the recommended absolute minimum of 1200 calories a day is 1.25 times what you normally eat. You actually need to eat more calories while nursing than while pregnant.

ashleemdilsaver said...

This is such a comfoting post. Im due in early July and have thought a lot about what Ill be left with physically when the baby is out.Nice to know im not nuts or alone in theese feelings of worry after pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

Doing abdominal exercise, such ascrunches, reverse bicycles and push-ups will help you have killer abs as theabdominal fat comes off, but other exercises should be included in yourroutine as well. With that, you may in fact be able to achieve the perfect abs after some point but this is often coincidentally left out of the advertisements.