It's Not Called Toddler Weight...

If your baby's first birthday has come and gone, but the weight hasn't - you've come to the right place.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Squeeze in the Exercise

Happy Tuesday!

It's really hard to fit in "me" time once you have kids.  Like, really hard.  I was guilty of this before having kids - thinking things like "Oh, come on.  How hard can it be to grab a coffee with your friends or go out once in awhile? They are just babies and kids, how hard can it really be?"

Um. Yeah.  Silly pre-kiddo me thinking those crazy thoughts!  It is really hard.  And it's because it's not just the mere fact that you have kids.  It is way bigger than that.  It's your entire life that shifts and your priorities change to ensure these precious beings become the focus.  And yes, the needs of myself and my husband take the back burner for a bit and our kids become the priority.  It's not a bad thing.  It's just the way it is for us.  I'm finding it's the case for some other parents I know also.  We don't intend for it to happen, but somehow it does. (As they have gotten older, I'd like to note we have gotten some of that time back, but are working on getting more!)

So, how do you get back on track?  How do you sneak in those well-deserved and much needed "me" moments?  And, if those "me" time moments include a focus on getting healthy, or exercise - like it is right now for me - how can it be accomplished while keeping all the other balls in the air from crashing down around you?

Well, it's not easy, but with some planning, it can be done.

During the day, it's hard to do.  I've recently re-joined a gym here in town and they have babysitting while you work out.  It's been wonderful - I get some "me" time while I work out.  It's a double win for me.  After that, it's back to taking care of the kids, squeezing in work here and there, cleaning, household tasks, feeding the kids, feeding the dog, feeding myself, activities with the kids, etc. etc. But, I look forward to that time now that it's become enjoyable and fun for me again.

However, if you don't have the luxury of joining a gym, what do you do to fit exercise in?  After I had my first child, I relied on nap time and some great work out DVDs.

But then, one day, I made an awesome discovery that I'm not sure too many know about or don't realize they have access to.  And, it's on your TV.

If you have cable and the "On-Demand" programming feature, there's a section under the free areas called Health and Wellness (note: names of these may vary depending on your cable provider).  Under that section is something called Exercise TV and it has quite a few work out choices on there - ranging from 10 minute workouts to 45 minute ones.  There's dance, cardio, strength, yoga and pilates.  They feature some popular workout trainers too - including Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and more!

Here's a few more tips:

  • If you have an iPad, tablet or a lap top computer - you can find tons and tons (and tons) of free online workouts from Shape, Fitness Magazine, Prevention and even videos on YouTube and more.
  • When it's warmer weather, grab some friends and a stroller (nothing fancy needed) and get out and hit the trails or your neighborhood for a walk.
  • I know it sounds silly, but when you're folding laundry or washing dishes or doing any of the chores around the house - add in some squats or suck your belly into your spine and contract your abs for intervals of 30 seconds. 
  • Run up and down the stairs a few times
  • When you put away the groceries, do a few bicep curls with your jarred goods or the milk jug
  • If you're on the floor with your kids, play airplane with them (safely of course and if they are old enough) by laying down on the floor with your knees bent.  Then, place the bottoms of your feet, grabbing their hands with yours and letting them fly through the air by you extending your legs in the air.  You can even make them go up and down in a leg press motion.  My kids love this and I work out my legs a bit!
Just remember, any little thing you can do can help squeeze in that exercise!

How do you fit in exercise in your day?  I would love to hear your tips and tricks, too!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hi - from the elliptical

So I'm literally on the elliptical at the gym, typing this post. Correction - I'm THAT annoying person at the gym typing on their phone. Oops.

Well, I saw the below image as I was aimlessly flipping through the pages passing the time.

At first I was drawn to the blurb about losing baby weight.

Do you do that as you read things in magazines or online - like a "woohoo they are talking to me!" moment?

Well, that just happened when I read this blurb just now.

Then I saw the stats. Then I saw Mariah. Go Mariah - not sucking it in and painting the "average" post-partum issues (except she had twins) and then my eyes scan to Victoria Beckham.


I will get there - wait - there meaning back to my healthy weight - not size 00.

But, thanks Redbook December 2011 issue for the last statistic of 38% that are "Err..I'm still working on it."

Me too!

Are you? If you are already back to your pre-baby fitness, how did you do it? If you aren't, what are you doing today to get there? (if that's your goal)

Me? I'm still on the elliptical ;) on my way!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lazy Weekend...

And, a Pinterest Pick combined!

If you have started dieting only to stop again, or you have the best intentions to eat healthy and then get derailed by temptations. Or, you find you eat healthy and work out during the week and find it's quite easy being lazy on the weekends (like me). Then, Monday comes (always too quickly), you then decide to start again only to stop somehow (again) creating a vicious cycle of starting and stopping.

Sound a teeny bit familiar?

Enter the Pinterest Pick below.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Seeing Green?

No, I'm not talking about being eco-friendly. (That is important, too!)

I'm talking about green drinks - specifically green smoothies and green tea.

For years, green tea has been associated with weight loss and boosting metabolism in addition to it's other health benefits.  Here is an article from Harvard Medical School from 2004 related to women's health and the benefit of green tea.

Additionally, green smoothies are all the rage, too.  And rightfully so - you can drink your way to great health in just one glass a day!  I personally try to stay away from eating the higher-sugared fruits often, like bananas and mangoes, but love mixing them into my green smoothies.  Even my 2 year old son devours these and gets quite excited when seeing me compiling the ingredients!

Here is my personal favorite:

1 medium banana
"Splash" of either orange or apple juice (organic) 1-2 ounces
5-6 ice cubes
Frozen mango chunks (you can feel free to add any fruit in that you prefer)
2-4 de-veined Kale leaves (spinach is also an excellent substitute and offers a more mild taste)
Water (as needed to thin)

Put all items in blender and whip it up into a frothy, green drink.

It will look something like this when mixed:

Image courtesy of Google image search.

Bottoms up!

The Internet is filled with great smoothie recipes - green and others.  The options are endless really.  I've even found some great ones on Pinterest :)

I had read that once you start drinking these on a regular basis, you will experience better digestive health, clearer skin, more energy and you may actually begin to crave these drinks - like, seriously want to have one now! type of craving.

I can attest that this is indeed TRUE.  I look forward to drinking them!

Do you make smoothies?  What are you favorite combinations?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pinterest Picks

I love Pinterest for many things - finding home decor ideas, recipes, DIY projects, crafts and so much more.  Really. It's quite addicting and a huge time-suck if I'm not careful :)  Luckily, I have two attention-hungry kids to snap me back to reality any moment I take a mere five minutes for myself.

Know the feeling?

Anyways, back to the point.

I love Pinterest lately for the motivation I'm finding through others. People are pinning images of health, recipes and inspiring workouts that is a daily reminder to me of why I've chosen to make this lifestyle change.

To finally say "buh-bye" to this toddler weight is going to take time, but it's a long-term change for the better.  Motivation and keeping the goal in mind is key, so if you're here with me I plan on sharing some of the best "pins" I find with you.

Here is my Pinterest Pick for today:

All I have to say is, yes. I was mad. 

Until I saw this.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If you can't beat 'em...

Yes, that old saying "If you can't beat 'em, join them."  We've all heard that used in reference to all sorts of situations.

A few months ago, feeling frustrated that (yet again) another day would go by without me exercising, I decided to pop in a work out DVD and do it with my kids in the room.

This may sound silly and ridiculous - but as any parent knows - the minute you sit down on the floor, couch, bed, chair or anywhere - if your kids are anything like mine - they plant their cute butts right next to you, on you or climb into your lap (or general vicinity).

The scenario pretty much went like this:

I started putting on my running/exercise shoes.

My three year old daughter enters the room and sees me doing this and says: "Where are you going?"
Me: "Nowhere."
Daughter: "Why are you putting on shoes?"
Me: "Because I'm going to do some exercise!"
Daughter: "Why you going to do some exercise?"
Me: "It's good to exercise - keeps you healthy and strong."
Daughter:  "Okay, Mommy. You go do exercising."  She wandered into the other room, then came back a few seconds later when she heard me putting on the TV.

Daughter promptly returns to room and continues with her line of questioning.
Daughter: "Mommy, who's that on the TV?"

Enter two year old son to the scenario.
Son: "Who 'dat, Mama?"
Me: "That's Jillian.  She's going to show me how to do exercises." (The DVD was Ripped in 30 for those who are curious)
Son: "Jill-ee-ann?"
Me: "Yes, Jillian."
Son: "Otay, Mama.  You do esserssisses."
Me: "Thanks, sweetie.  You want to do exercises, too?"
Daughter: "I do! I do!  Mommy can I do them, too? Can I?" I literally thought she was going to explode from excitement.

Here I was this entire time thinking I couldn't exercise because they were around.  My palm-to-forehead moment.

If I can't exercise without them, why not include them?


So, that's just what I did.  They hopped around, did jumping jacks, crunches and other moves with me.  Did I almost hit them in the head a few times as they paced in front of me with my 4 lb. hand-weights?  Almost.  Were they "in my way" a bit? Of course.

But, it was an amazing moment for me as a mom - why would I NOT want to exercise around my kids?
I love that they see me taking time to exercise and work out.

I couldn't believe how long I had purposely avoided this!

So now, when I tell them I'm going to do exercises, they are actually my biggest supporters!

It's highly motivating to hear my daughter or son ask me "Are we doing exercises today?" or "Mom, can we go to the gym?"

How do you say no to that?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My story

As far back as I can remember, I've never been considered overweight.  On the flip side, I've never been considered skinny.  I was just an average kid/teenager/young adult weight-wise.

I participated in dance classes as a young child, played youth sports (was one of three girls that played on the team) and continued to play soccer throughout High School at the Junior Varsity and Varsity levels.  My mom packed my lunch every day from pre-school right up until the day I graduated High School.  She cooked dinner every week night and we ate out.  She was (and remains to be) an excellent cook - always incorporating vegetables, lean proteins, fruits and grains.

I continued working out in the campus gym, played intramural volleyball and walked a lot (to the bar!) and all over campus.  I pretty much ate what I wanted and stayed active.  I did gain the "sophomore 15" when I had moved onto campus after commuting my first year, but then lost it after realizing it crept up.

I think it would be safe to say that exercise has always been a part of my life.

When I first met my husband, we played tennis, hiked and were pretty active.  When we moved in together in June 2005 to our first apartment, we worked out in the mornings and weekends at the complex gym.  For our second apartment, we purchased a treadmill.  Again, we stayed active and I began to diet for our upcoming wedding.  With a combination of South Beach Diet and doing pilates and cardio - I looked rockin' for our wedding.

Well, at least I thought I looked rockin'. :)

Fast forward to 2007 - just nearly a year later, we found out we were expecting our first baby!  We were over the moon thrilled and excited.  However, I gained wayyyyy too much weight over the course of my pregnancy.  I'm pretty much I set myself up for the inevitable during the first trimester when I gained a ton of weight too fast because all I wanted to drink was milk.  My milk consumption went up 500% from having milk in only cereal to drinking 3 glasses a day!  However, I tried to continue to be healthy for myself and our baby and tried to maintain a healthy diet and took walks with the dog each day.  In the back of my mind was always my weight that I tried to keep from rising and rising.

However, the "damage" was done and I gained more than the recommended pregnancy weight by doctors and experts everywhere.  I decided to shake it off and figured after the baby was born, my decision to breastfeed would get my pre-baby body back in no time, flat!

Then, finally, we met our baby girl via emergency C-Section and life was forever changed.

And, so was my body.

By the time she was 8 months, my return to moderate exercise, combined with diet and the benefit of breastfeeding - I was within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight in early 2009.  I was thrilled to fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes and it was just in time for our trip to Florida!

However, when we got down to Florida, trying on a pair of capri pants that fit just before we went as I was going through and packing, I found them to be a bit snug and hard to close. Whaaaat?  They JUST fit a few days ago - how are they not fitting.  Later in the week, after realizing I was "late", I suspected I might be pregnant again.

After sending the hubster in a somewhat panic to the drugstore, he shortly returned with two digital pregnancy tests.  Both of which turned up "not pregnant".  However, you and I both know a woman knows her body.  The Monday upon our return home, I tested again with a non-digital test - the one that promises to provide you with an accurate answer even before your missed period!  To my already-knowing "surprise", I was indeed pregnant again.  We were very excited - although unsure how 2 under the age of 2 would go.

As many of you know (or if you'd care to know), taking care of a baby and being pregnant is exhausting - especially in the first trimester.  However, I didn't let that stop me.  I continued to work from home part-time while staying home with our daughter.  We joined a mommy group, went on daily walks and continued to go out and about.

As I entered my second and third trimesters, my weight creeped up again and of course, life happens.  We sold our condo and bought a new home and moved in the summer of 2009.  Moving, being pregnant, taking care of a now very active toddler and working from home was very stressful and I did the very best I could to ensure I was taking care of myself and everyone else.

I entered the hospital in early December 2009 for my repeat Cesarean Section at the highest weight I had been - EVER.

Like most white lies we tell ourselves, I confessed to myself: "It's okay, I'll lose it all again in no time."

The months passed and even though I could not have been happier with our family, I was frustrated and down about myself.  Despite my weight loss with my first child, I found myself not losing weight as I had hoped as easily the second time around.  I breastfed again but found myself hungry, tired and turning to not always great food choices.  I decided to safely diet while breastfeeding to help lose weight, but nothing I tried worked.  My body didn't respond to the ways I used to lose weight pre-pregnancy.  My ever-faithful South Beach (Phase 2 for breastfeeding) didn't even help.  I tried and tried...and tried.

Needless to say I'm here today still stuck at the same weight as I was about 9 months post-partum with baby number 2.

Two years later, I'm here.  I still have the weight to lose - and that's right folks - you guessed it.

It's not called toddler weight.