Apr 182016
 

I stopped counting my calories when Logan was born. I had other priorities at the time and honestly I just needed a break. Plus, my schedule was all over the place. I wasn’t really eating meals, or preparing food for myself. I just ate whatever people put in front of me, gratefully! It was a nice break mentally. I focused on eating enough food to not feel starving all the time (which was hard–I think Logan would go through growth spurts because I’d have days where I just could not eat enough food to feel satisfied!).

But a little over three weeks later and it was time to get back into a routine. After the fog of the early days cleared and Michael went back to work, I was starting to feel more myself again and I could also see myself getting into some bad habits. I needed structure again. As much as I could get, anyways.

So I started counting my calories again. In some ways it was kind of a bummer to be back to doing it after a nice little break; but overall it was also comforting and familiar to be sort of “back to normal.”

I also talked to my midwife about doing some light exercise again. I didn’t really want to wait until my 6 week postpartum appointment because honestly at 3 weeks I was feeling a lot better. She said no swimming yet (which I kind of guessed) but said I could do some light, easy exercise like the elliptical, walking, and yoga. She said if I started having postpartum symptoms come back then I needed to take a break or back off. Fair enough! I was going to listen to my body and see how I felt.

I need to get rid of some of the bad habits I let slide back into my life. Drinking diet soda is one of them. I did really well and pretty much gave it up for my entire pregnancy. It wasn’t like I drank a ton before I got pregnant but I was starting to get into the bad habit of having one every day. And honestly diet soda doesn’t make me feel great and makes me crave sweets. I started drinking it again recently and found that I was back to drinking it every day, craving soda and also eating more junk food as a result. No more! Back to sparkling water.

Also, when I was pregnant I craved orange juice like mad. Like had I not reigned it in and controlled myself I could have drank an entire gallon in two days. Now? That craving for orange juice has diminished so I’ve stopped buying it. While I enjoyed drinking it, I don’t need the calories.

I’m trying to make better choices with my food, especially my snacks. Some days it’s hard, especially if Logan is fussy and I can’t put him down to fix something. I need quick and easy food that can be eaten one-handed. I’m trying to get back to focusing on fruit and protein for snacks instead of convenient stuff like protein bars and granola bars.

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I do pretty well with breakfast. Most days Michael helps out and makes me breakfast before he leaves for work. Days he can’t I have oatmeal or I try and make my own eggs. Some days when Logan is super fussy it’s plain Greek Yogurt with fruit gulped down!

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I intend on blogging my weight loss efforts in the future, but right now losing weight isn’t really on my mind. I have days where I feel really good about my body–even though I am 20 pounds over what I was a year ago–and then there are days where I just don’t feel like myself. I miss being active. I’m kind of going stir crazy in the house and would like to get off the couch. Some days it just isn’t happening (like the other day when Logan decided he was not going to nap at all and was fussy and cranky and nothing would soothe him but me cuddling him on the couch).

This won’t become a “mommy blog” per se, but this blog has always kind of been more about just my life and balancing fitness and eating healthy with indulging and living life like a normal person. My intent going forward is to blog about that–balancing life with a newborn, trying to find time to work out and to lose the baby weight– but that isn’t my priority right now. The first step for now is getting back to being accountable (counting my calories) and getting off the couch and back in the gym (when I can).

So I’m counting calories — CHECK!

Now the fitness part!

After the doctor gave me the green light to give it a try, I decided to go to the gym and try out the elliptical. I have to admit, it was kind of hard! After nearly a month off, I definitely felt out of shape. I was winded walking up the stairs (much like I was when I was pregnant), I was slow and had to keep the resistance down but I was able to do it and that felt great!!

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None of my clothes fit really well right now (I think I need to buy some new workout clothes–especially a new sports bra), but I got out there and did about 2.8 miles on the elliptical, around 35 minutes total and then called it good. I was starting to get tired and I suddenly felt REALLY HUNGRY. Like starving. So I headed home and called my first time back a success! (And then took a nap!)

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The next day was really gorgeous out! We planned on going for an urban “hike” in a park but shit went sideways and we never got to do that. 🙁 Everything kind of went wrong (including our garage door breaking) so instead I took Logan for a long walk around the neighborhood. It was something!

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We ended up walking a little bit further than planned but it felt nice to move and be outside in the sunshine and warm weather. Plus, our neighborhood is really hilly so that burned some calories.

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Since our family hike was kind of a bust, we decided to go to a nearby park for a picnic lunch to try and salvage the day. Michael got us a sandwich from Subway and then we took a little walk around the park. It sort of made up for the catastrophes of the morning!

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Sunday Michael went for a run while I fed the baby and then pumped and then I got to go to the gym for a quickie elliptical workout. It was MUCH easier this time around. I don’t know if I got my stamina back already or if having a decent night of sleep did the trick but it was a good workout.

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After that my cousin and a friend came over to make us brunch! It was so sweet of them! They brought all the ingredients and made us chilaquiles, which I’d never heard of before but might be my new favorite breakfast. It was absolutely delicious!

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And of course, mimosas. 😀 I’m not sure how many calories was in brunch, probably a lot, but it was worth it and I enjoyed every bite and it satisfied my insane hunger that I’ve been having lately.

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We sat outside on the deck in the glorious sunny, warm weather and enjoyed the light breeze while we ate brunch. It was kind of the perfect day. After they left Michael and I took Logan and Bella for a 1.55 mile walk in the sunshine. Then I was pretty much pooped for the rest of the day!

This coming week I plan I going to yoga again (looking forward to that!), another gym session and if weather permits, a few walks with the dog and baby!

 

Feb 022016
 

Not all workouts need to be an hour long. Sometimes you just don’t have the time. Sometimes life gets crazy and you don’t have time to drive to the gym, change your clothes, get in the pool and swim…but you want to do SOMETHING. There are definitely ways to get in a workout without having to sacrifice a ton of time.

This post is about a few things you can do when you only have 30 minutes to get your sweat on!

Kettlebells

Kettlebells are by far the #1 option when you need a good work out with a giant calorie burn in a very short period of time. If you don’t want to pay for a gym membership, or won’t have the opportunity to GO to a gym, owning a few kettlebells of various weights can make getting fit at home easy. Trust me! Michael has invested in about 6 different kettlebells and his workouts at home are either running, kettlebells or biking to work. He’s been working really hard the last few months preparing for our little guy’s arrival by getting fit and his kettlebell workouts rarely last longer than 30 minutes. It’s doable.

I definitely miss going to the Warrior Room. It was a cool community and a fantastic workout. I am looking forward to returning after the baby is here! Here are a few posts that included some kettlebell workouts you can try:

Warrior Room Part 2

Two Classes

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I definitely recommend taking a class or two somewhere, or hiring a personal trainer, to teach you the proper form. There’s a bit of a learning curve but once you get the form down, you can do it on your own and you don’t need a class. You can find videos online for different routines and it’s easy to do it at home by yourself.

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Using kettlebells is pretty easy and it’s such a good calorie burn! Trust me when I say you’ll burn those calories in 30 minutes.

Battle Ropes

Battle Ropes are FUN and hard. So hard. Your shoulders will burn. You will burn so many calories. You’ll be drenched in sweat and it really doesn’t take more than a few minutes to get to that point! What I love about doing this exercise is that it’s fun and different.

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There’s a podcast I listen to that was pretty eye-opening when it came to fitness. Joe Rogan’s podcast is really diverse–he talks about everything. Psychedelics, politics, feminism, sports, comedy, history…But fitness is a big part of it. I remember one episode where he described something called “functional strength” and he said he preferred that kind of workout to your typical weight lifting routine. Basically, doing something “functional” like flipping giant tires, pulling and pushing heavy loads, and doing things like the Battle Ropes made him stronger in a more functional way. Instead of being a big meat head with no neck, his muscles WORKED for him, instead of being “pretty.”

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An article I read, Getting Outside the Box: The Definition of Functional Strength, says:

Functional strength is the strength that gets us through life and daily survival. Manual labor typically involved walking, running, pushing, pulling, and grasping.”

I really liked the idea of that and then I got the exposure when I was going to the Warrior Room. They had battle ropes and giant tires and it was SO hard and challenging but I noticed immediate differences in my strength levels and core strength after only a few weeks of doing functional exercises like this! I am a big fan! And these types of workouts don’t take a big chunk of your time.

 

Body Weight Exercises

Similar to the above functional exercises you can do. These don’t require equipment. These are simple things that can get your heart pumping, burn a lot of calories and you can do them in your living room if you need to!

Squat Jumps

We did squat jumps a lot at the Warrior Room and they ALWAYS got me. I loved doing them because I saw results, but dang I’d be sore. It didn’t take much to get my heart pounding. This is a great thing to do when you are short on time.

 

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Burpees and Mountain Climbers 

Like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with burpees. They are efficient and effective but damn they kind of suck! 🙂 burpee

Mountain Climbers:

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An example:

Sometimes if I had limited time and needed to get in and get out in terms of the gym, I would do something like this:

quick warm up

jumping jacks

push-ups

squat jumps

squats

burpees

mountain climbers

Effective calorie burn without taking a long time.

Running

Running is a really efficient way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Obviously you should have a base of some running before just going outside and doing an epic 5 miles. That would hurt. So if you are already a runner, or a sometimes runner, running is a GREAT way to get in a workout when you only have 3o minutes.

When I used to run at lunch time at work I had 1 hour. That meant I had to change, run, then take a quickie shower, get dressed and be back at my desk within that hour. It was definitely a challenge, but a good one. One of the things I miss most about doing that was having my evenings free. Instead of my work day being really long and not getting home until after 7pm because of gym time, I got off work and had my evening free to do things with friends, go out for happy hour, basically enjoy some downtime! Plus, it got me out of the office, improved my mood and broke up the long day.

Repost: Why I Run the Waterfront

What a Great Workout!

Finding a Workout Buddy

I got pretty good at running during my lunch hour. I got good at changing quickly, then I’d run for about 40-45 minutes, and it would take me 10 minutes to shower and get dressed, grab my food and be back at my desk.

If you only have 30 minutes to workout, go for a run. Sprints and intervals would be your best bet for maximum calorie burn, but just running works too.

I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think once I am back running after the baby is here and after maternity leave is done, I will try and go back to running during my lunch hour. I don’t foresee a ton of extra time in my future to go to the gym after work and some things are going to have to change. I think running during my lunch hour might be the best way to do that!

What are your favorite ways to workout in the shortest amount of time?