When I was pregnant, I had a few people comment on how "it must be such a strange experience to have your body change so much" and "it must be weird to not be living in your own body" and my favourite at 37 weeks GA "you must be looking forward to getting your real body back" (ain't that the truth?!)
It's funny. When I was in the late waddling stage of pregnancy, that last comment rung so true to me. At 38 weeks, I was over the novelty of being pregnant and just wanted to meet our little man. But then out popped Nathan, and well my pre-pregnancy body did not magically re-appear... Instead I left the hospital looking and feeling like I was still 6 months pregnant. On top of that, the IV fluids that I had received during labour resulted in some pretty sexy cankles and I couldn't fit into normal shoes for about a week. Sigh.
You see, when I was pregnant, I felt that there was this amazing reason why my body was different, everchanging. I was growing this amazing little being inside and well, that was pretty special. But then I was left with the postpartum XL shell of myself that was not what I would define as my "real body".
And how do those Hollywood stars do it? I can only think of Beyonce and Posh Spice at this moment.... Rumour has it that some of these stars have a C-section and get a tummy tuck immediately after... which I hear from my Plastic Surgery resident husband and his colleagues/staff that that is a no-no. (I have to admit, the vain side of me was curious and I did inquire...)
So how am I getting my body back? (Or should I say, "in shape" as maybe my post-baby body will be a bit different than say my wedding day body...) I remember at about 37 weeks GA talking to a friend on the phone, a friend that had a 6 month old at the time. She told me that she wasn't able to go to strollercize as that was the exact time that her little one napped. A part of me thought "really? you can't change his naptime to fit your schedule?" and also "what am i in for? this baby is going to dominate my time?" I laugh now (and she is probably laughing at me as she reads this...) Yes, really and yes, of course he dominates my time, and no I can't change his naptime to fit my schedule. And what am I in for? An umbelievably, amazing adventure that although has ups and downs, I would not change for the world!
I have learned through being a mum that adaptability is key and that things take time. It took me 9 months (really just shy of 10) for my body to change to its current state, it certainly isn't going to be overnight that it changes back... The weight is coming off slowly so I am happy that we are at least going in the right direction. With breastfeeding I can't go on a crash diet as my milk supply could go down. And well, when are crash diets ever a good idea? But man do those Herbal Magic commercials look inviting sometimes ....
So I made a plan... strollercize! For about 3 weeks, we went to a drop-in strollercize class about 3x per week. I felt amazing... but then due to changing and conflicting schedules - my desire to run around a gym and sweat versus Nathan's desire to sleep, Nathan's schedule won and we had to stop that plan. :(
So now I have a goal and an adaptable plan to get me there. Not sure about other breastfeeding mums, but I often feel hungry and while juggling my son in one hand (he is in a grabbing everything stage!) sometimes I find that I'm grabbing whatever is quickest and available. Not the healthiest move SO.. I am now using the "myfitnesspal" app on my iphone to track my calories in and calories out ... I highly recommend it. You can even scan food items in if they have barcodes....
And as for exercise, I have been walking and running. This weekend I started a training program to run my first 10K. I was getting into running prior to pregnancy but then morning sickness happened and with studying for my licensing exam and trying to stay afloat in my fellowship program, I wasn't as active during pregnancy as I would have liked. So now I wake up early in the morning and run while my baby and husband are still asleep, or I run at night when my baby is asleep. Running is so convenient and it feels great! Now I'm trying to figure out a venue for my first 10K. There is a run in Edmonton over Thanksgiving weekend but to be honest with you, I want to make a trip out of it and use this run as a celebration. I'm keen on doing the Okanagan 10K over the Thanksgiving weekend as it's fairly close to where we live and hence easier for my husband's current residency schedule. So I think that is what I shall do. Celebrating with a few winery tours afterwards could be heaps of fun as well :)