Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Baby Talk: Losing Weight & Nursing Babes.

This week should be called "Nursing Talk" really...and on that note, you've been warned.

It's no secret that I'm on a quest to get healthy/lose some weight (unless you're new here and in that case hey gurl/boi, how you doin'?). Since the day Ro-w Row Row Your Boat was born I've lost a total of 54 pounds. I'm really happy that I've been successful in losing a chunk of weight (and I rue the days I ate pizza and drank wine pre-pregancy because I'm paying for it now). I have lost every pound I gained while I carried my babe but now I'm working on losing pre-pregnancy excess weight. 

What I've learned about losing weight this time around? Trying to drop pounds while nursing a baby can be a real pain in the ass. The first couple months I was always hungry, I constantly hit plateaus, and now I have to be careful that I don't go too crazy for fear of damaging my milk supply. A couple months ago I lost 5 pounds in one week...and immediately was met with a fussy babe who was NOT getting enough of the good stuff because my supply had dipped. It's this constant dance making sure to keep my supply up while hoping to see the pounds fall off. 

In researching losing weight while nursing I've come to the conclusion that slow and steady wins the race. I've gotten past the idea that I can lose 20 pounds in a month or that I can eat 900 calories a day. 

Here are some quick tips that have worked for me in losing these 54 pounds and working toward losing the next 50:

Water, Water: All. The. Time.
 Water is my favorite. Everyone knows chugging the clear stuff is awesome for you and I am happy that I instilled this habit years ago. I try to hit at least 80 ounces a day (but strive for my weight in ounces). I'm learning to stop drinking my calories--tea instead of wine, passing on sugary OJ for a cold glass of water, etc.

Gentle Movements
 I'm not someone who has ever had a hardcore workout routine (shocking, right?). I lost 18 pounds in the month before I got pregnant with Rowan and even then I was doing a bit of time on the elliptical (how magical are those things?) and walking the track at my gym at a leisurely pace. It's just about movement with me. I would love to be someone who can train with Jillian Michaels six days a week or someone who runs miles and miles every day. Right now, that's not what works for me. I use my FitBit to track steps and aim for 10,000 a day. Down the road, I'm contemplating investing in my own elliptical since the one at my gym was a beaut and it never felt like a tough workout but blasted calories.

Choose Good Calories & Keep Track
 Firstly, stick to your own calorie count. I firmly believe different people need different calorie numbers. Pre-baby weight loss, I stuck to 1,200-1,300. Now, knowing I need a few extra, I stick to 1,800 a day. It's crazy how quickly those calories can disappear when you watch what you're eating. Sure, I can have a glass of wine with toast (ugh, I love toast) OR I can have a ton of produce with a bit of hummus. I try to fill my 1,800 calories with really high nutrient things like spirulina, tofu, bananas, almond butter, fruit, steamed veggies, and hummus. I use MyFitnessPal's app to keep track of everything and I really love it--it's easy, quick, and I love the social aspect of cheering other people on (are you using MFP? What's your username, boo?).

Eat Clean, But Not TOO Clean
 I believe in treats. There I said it. Since I am nursing, I do try to fill my daily plate with lots of greens, vegan proteins, antioxidants, and "superfoods." Buuuut, sometimes I just want a salted soft pretzel. And I have one with spicy mustard. When I totally deprive myself, I always fall off the wagon. Keeping my plate mostly clean helps keep the pounds off but I allow myself to indulge too. Rhyno and I want to watch movies with the babe and order Chinese takeout on a Saturday night? I'm not killing myself over it. I let myself have that spring roll and a Sprite and sodium-laden soy sauce....but not every day. It's all about balance.

Embrace Your Bod 
The most powerful thing I've done in losing these 54 pounds is embracing my body as is. I've suffered from disordered eating and body dysmorphia my entire life and I can finally say I'm happy with myself. Sure, I wish more of my clothing fit and I wish I wasn't so jiggly but I'm happy. My body is strong and carried a healthy baby and continues to nourish said babe. I've survived grief and the awkward ugly duckling years and loss and nights spent making bad decisions. I'm working on creating an even healthier body but it takes so much stress off to just accept the one I have, too.

What are your best tips for slow and steady weight loss?

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You look so pretty today.