10 weeks ago, (6 weeks postpartum), I embarked upon a journey to regain my pre-pregnancy body. I created a private Facebook group called ‘Operation: Sexy Back’, and invited 14 ladies to join me and hold me accountable. Here’s my story…
BEFORE: 11/4/13 AFTER: 1/13/14
Weight- 164.4 157.4
Chest: 37” 34″
Waist: 37.5” 34.5″
Hips: 42” 40″
Thighs: 24” 23.5″
Program: T25 + Shakeology
When I started this journey, I could not hold a plank for 10 seconds, let alone, do a pushup on my toes. I couldn’t squat more than 4 times without my thighs burning, let alone squat jump for 30 seconds. If I was holding the baby and I dropped something, it was a joke to try to bend over and pick it up (relying on my leg strength to get me back up!). Getting off the couch, out of bed, or out of a car was still not easy. My body was foreign to me. I seriously thought if I turned my head too quickly I would pull something.
I gained 45 lbs. with my pregnancy (more than I had gained with any of my previous 3). I was afraid to start a program. I was afraid to confront my weaknesses. I was not used to being so out of shape. I kept up with walking through my pregnancy, but didn’t do any strength training. My diet was very healthy, so I knew I wouldn’t have to tackle that area with the same voracity I would have to confront exercise with.
I had a newborn at home. I couldn’t get away to the gym. Enter T25. This workout program appealed to me on so many levels. It was only a 25-minute commitment. The program started with ‘Alpha’ phase- a 5-week series of 5 different workouts on a rotating schedule designed to build a foundation of strength and endurance to prepare me for phase two- ‘Beta’. I worked out 5 days a week with Friday’s being a daily double. It came with a very clean meal plan, a schedule to follow and a resistance band (which we would use in phase 2). Not gonna lie…Week 1 was tough. Who am I kidding? Weeks 1-5 were tough. My body just didn’t DO those things anymore. The good thing is that Tania was always there, just to the right of Shaun T. (instructor) to modify the workout for me to follow along with. This kept it low impact. My joints just weren’t ready for any jumping (in the beginning). As the weeks progressed, I noticed how the things that used to frustrate me were getting easier. My body was cooperating and responding. I was able to keep up with the tempo. I was able to squat as deep, lift my knees as high, hold a plank as long as the cast in the video. It felt goooood. Until…’Beta’. Phase 2. That’s the mark of a good workout program. Just when you think you’ve nailed it, it goes and changes on you. Otherwise we’d plateau! The first time I pushed play in phase 2, I thought, ‘Dear God. He’s not fooling around.’ 5 weeks of increased intensity, new moves, resistance band work, more impact, greater range of motion. It was great. And hard all at the same time. Just what I needed. My ladies were with me every step of the way. We checked in daily with each other in our FB group to be sure we were doing the workouts, eating healthy and staying focused. Lord knows, I truly would not have been as consistent, and therefore, not as successful without their help.
In terms of my diet, each day, post-workout, I would have my Shakeology for lunch. This was sooo good after a tough workout and I felt good knowing I was getting in so many nutrients in one meal. I never miss a day of Shakeology. I truly attribute this to keeping me healthy during my pregnancy and keeping common pregnancy ailments at bay. And it was even more crucial in helping me lose the weight in my post-baby body challenge.
I am so happy that I had the courage to take ‘before’ pics, because otherwise I would not have been able to see the stark difference between then and now. That part was awful. Putting on a bikini 6 weeks post-partum is NOT recommended. However, having those pics to look back on now is so powerful.
I could not be more proud of how far I’ve come. I almost feel like I am back to my old self (in terms of athletic ability). With each of my previous pregnancies, I have lost the weight over the course of a year with a gradual return to exercise paired with breastfeeding. This time I didn’t want to wait a year. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Also, in the past, I was a ‘skinny fat’. This time, I am toned! I have definition. I have built true strength. I’m still a few pounds shy of my pre-pregnancy weight and I’m totally ok with that. My jeans are still tight, and that’s quite alright. Max is only 4 months old, after all.
Ask me about the next phase of my journey. Maybe you’ll join me? We start February 3rd.