Getting Fit After Giving Birth – one program at a time

Posts tagged ‘YMCA’

My weight-loss journey

Every adventure has a beginning. This is my journey with my body during and after the birth of my children.

When I got pregnant with my son, my first born, I was a recovering anorexic (which is a whole different story for another time). I can’t tell you exactly what I weighed at my smallest, but I wore a size 4 (at 5’5″), and it wasn’t healthy. I can’t even tell you how much I weighed when I first got pregnant, but I can tell you that by the end of it I had gained at LEAST 60 lbs, and was pushing a weight of 200. From the start of that first pregnancy, to the end of my third pregnancy was 3 years to the week. So, yes, I spent 3 straight years being pregnant. Then there was the nursing that comes after it, which for my last baby lasted for 17 months before she weaned herself.

So, I wasn’t eating for myself during these 4+ years. I didn’t care what I ate, didn’t really pay attention to portions. I ate what was easy, available, cheap, and whenever I was hungry (or moody, and with three children, that was more often then I care to mention). So, I stayed at 200 lbs.

Then I got tired of the extra weight. I mean, I used to look good: I was attractive, sexy, and had time to spend on myself. So, my first step was to watch what I ate. I cut the carbs in my diet. Switched to more fruits, veggies, salads, and almost completely eliminated all breads and starches. Over the next 5 months I lost 20lbs just by doing this.

That wasn’t enough for me, though. While I felt better at 180 then I did at 200, I still didn’t *feel* attractive. So, we got a family membership at the YMCA for a discount (still more expensive than a gym, but we don’t have any local gyms). I attended a morning aerobics class rather sporadically, and over the next year, while still watching my diet, I’ve managed to lose another 20 lbs.

On a good day I can weigh in at 158. Which is tremendously better than my starting point of 200. I’m not satisfied with that number though. While I feel more attractive, I’ve still got that horrid “mummy tummy” and I hate it, hate it, hate it! I don’t feel sexy!

Just recently we obtained a new member to our family in the form of a golden labradoodle, and I have taken to going running with her in the mornings. So, now I am on my way to the c25k program with a canine friend edging me along! I am getting there, surely, slowly, steadily. I just have to remind myself that it took me 4 years to get as heavy as I was, and I’m almost to my goal (aiming for 130) just 18 months later.

What are you doing to reach your goal?


6th week of YMCA excersize class in review




When a 24 hour stomach bug hits a family of 5 people, it can take several days for all of us to get over it.  Thankfully, my son didn’t get it, but me and my oldest daughter had it twice.  So this round, it took a week for us all to recover from the most debilitating stomach bug I have ever encountered.  Vomiting, Diarrhea, cramping…it was a bit rough.  So, there was a week long break from working out, and I must say that I sorely missed it!


Also a new instructor started this week.  She’s…different.  I like how she’s trying to incorporate her own moves and her own style, so that’s going to take some getting used to.  I don’t like her style: She doesn’t seem like she’s having fun.  She’s high energy, and knows what she’s doing, she’s got a good plan figured out before class starts.  A lot of it might be that she is brand new…not just a new instructor to the YMCA where I go, but she JUST got certified and this is her very first class to teach ever.  So, she’s nervous, and probably doesn’t even know her own style yet.  I’ll give her a few more weeks before making my final decision though ;-P


Monday’s HIIT was pretty easy.  I didn’t sweat through my clothes like I usually do, and there was probably just one set where I really got my heart rate up.  Like I said…new instructor…she’ll get there I’m sure.


Step on Tuesday I went in planning on only using 1 set of risers.  The new instructor only used 1 set of risers and I noticed that most of the class (whom would usually use 2 sets of risers with the old instructor) also used 1 set.  It was just interesting to note that when the instructor steps it up a notch, so do the students.


Slept in on Wednesday, so missed weight lifting 😛


Got some new work out gloves specifically for kick boxing Thursdays, and man did it make a difference!  I really felt it in my chest muscles just a few hours later.  I really enjoy slamming my fist into that bag.  Again, picturing a possible assailant and knowing that I could use these techniques to defend myself and protect my children is motivation to really slam that punching bag.


In-laws came into town Thursday night and I wasn’t able to make it to the YMCA on Friday morning, which meant I missed HIIT.  I don’t particularly enjoy HIIT, but I know that it is super good on my system, which means that my heart misses it…I miss the work-out that my heart and lungs would get from it.


Crazy busy weekend ahead of me, and it’s good to know that I can have the energy to keep up with everything that I need to.  Overall, I am enjoying these daily workouts.  The result that it is having on my body…which as I’ve said before, isn’t my own.  That’s the purpose of working out, to be a good steward of this body that God is loaning me.  Other perks are to live longer, feel better, have more energy, and if the good LORD desires, and easier future pregnancy 🙂


5th week of YMCA excersize class in review

English: YMCA logo (international and USA)

English: YMCA logo (international and USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Monday was a holiday, the YMCA was close for celebration purposes


I was a bit upset that I had to take a riser off of my step on Tuesday.  Dealing with some congestion that meant it was difficult to breath.


Weight lifting on Wednesday wasn’t anything special.  Tried to push myself, but found that my technique was lacking a bit which meant I didn’t work what I was suppose to be working, and didn’t feel it the next day.


I was punching the bags so hard at Thursday’s kick boxing that I got and busted a blister on my knuckle.  It was really fun.  I picture a possible assailant and knowing that I will be able to defend myself if I ever need to (and protect my babies), is a comforting thought and what keeps me motivated to punch and kick as hard as I can.


Friday‘s hiit focused a LOT on the saddlebag area of the legs and buttocks…again. It was significantly easier than it has been in the past, but I think that the instructor was also taking it pretty easy on me also.


I’m not losing any more weight, and I can’t tell that I’m losing any inches (at least around my waist), so I keep telling myself that it isn’t about those things anyways.  My husband says he can tell a difference.  I have more energy, and I feel happier most days…I can tell that my depression is becoming more manageable.  I think that alone is a perk worth continuing for!


Combatting the “Mommy Tummy”

English: Abdominal muscles on a woman's belly.

English: Abdominal muscles on a woman’s belly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If you’ve ever had a kid, you probably know what I am talking about.  If you’ve experienced multiple pregnancies, then I am sure you’ve experienced what I am talking about.  That little pooch in the front of your midsection that lingers around after you’ve had a baby.  Most of the time it dissipates largely in a few months.  However, in my situation, it never had time to dissipate at all.  I gained a whopping 60 lbs when I was pregnant with my son (Before you judge me, please know that becoming pregnant with him immediately cured me from the lingering threat of anorexia).  When he was three months old, I got pregnant with his sister (We wanted them that close together, I LOVE it).  I managed to only gain 30 lbs when I was pregnant with her (I did lose 20 lbs during the first 24 weeks because I was sick as a dog!).  When she was six months old, however, I found myself pregnant once again.  So, in the three years that I spent being pregnant (Exactly, the month of conception of my oldest, three years later, was the month of birth of my youngest).


I never had time to get rid of that pooch before I had to add on to it.  Add to that the scar tissue from one c-section, and a spiderweb of stretchmarks, I felt that my poor stomach would forever look to be 4-6 months pregnant.  Also, because of the timing of my children (don’t forget the major abdominal surgery of the c-section), I suffered from TERRIBLE diastasis recti.  That is a painless separation of your abdominal muscles.  I have spent almost 8 months now working on healing the diastasis recti, and I am actually quite proud to say that I have gone from an almost four finger-width of separation to 1/2 a finger-width of separation.  The secret to THIS is planks, and lots and lots of patience!


Working out at the YMCA this past month and working on other areas of my body as well as aerobic excersizing now means that for the first time in almost 5 years, I can accomplish a sit-up.  No more crunches for me!  I’ve still got quite a ways to go to get my stomach back in shape, but I now believe that the idea that your body wont ever be the same after having a baby is just an excuse to not even try (and an excuse to hold off on having children to begin with).  I am still nursing my baby (who will be 18 months old next month), and while I am suspecting some saggy breasts (especially after having 1-2 nursing children for 4 years straight), I know that they don’t have to be saggy forever.  And the added bonus is, by getting rid of my mommy tummy in this way, I am actually in better shape than I was before my mommy tummy even developed!  And I can be more proud of it too, because I’ve actually had to work for it!




Establishing a new routine

English: YMCA logo (international and USA)

English: YMCA logo (international and USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When you decide to do something new on a regular basis it can be an adjustment.  I certainly think about when school starts back in the fall, or even when school lets out for the summer…it takes a few days, or even a few weeks to adjust to the new schedule and to establish new routines to get you going.  While this takes time for adults and older children, it may take longer for smaller children.


I didn’t even think about these ideas when we first joined the YMCA with the plan of going every weekday morning to work-out.  I knew it was going to be an adjustment for my body as far as the exercise was concerned, but I didn’t think about the adjustment on my routines, schedules, or even on how my children would handle it.


Before we started doing this, my husband and I would stay up late at night, 1 or 2 in the morning.  The children would wake up before us (having gone to bed at 7:30pm), and play around, often making a mess or getting into some big trouble, before him and I would finally get up at 9:00am.  As a side note, my husband has the blessing of being able to set his own working hours, so it was plausible for him to be able to leave the house late, but that also means that he gets home a bit later.  It isn’t like our morning routine was working for us in the first place, but it was one that our bodies had naturally set in order.


Now the kids go to bed a bit later (around 8:30, sometimes 9:00), my husband and I are in bed much sooner, 10:30, 11:00 at the latest.  The alarm goes off at 6:45am, but my body is usually starting it’s wake-up process at 6:30am, and I get after the first ringing of the alarm.  If one of our children has joined us in bed during the night, he or she will wake up with me, and get breakfast ready for everyone else.  It has taken us two weeks to figure out the right pace to move at, and how to get everyone fed, dressed, pottyed, and out the door before 8:00am.  There were some mornings when we moved too slowly at first and then had to kick it in high gear the last ten minutes.  Which resulted in cranky children and stressed parents.  It has also taken about 2 weeks for my children to get used to the idea of going to the child care facilities at the YMCA.  There are still some rough days thrown in there, but now I’ve learned that it takes about 2 weeks for me and my family to adjust to a new routine and schedule.




Back after a long time

It has been almost a year since my last post.  Lots has happened in my fitness regime.  Not so much in the exercise department as it is very difficult for me to squeeze in the time (hey, I still have three small children, a house, a husband, and a crochet-business to run).  Plus with only one vehicle it is difficult for me to get away from the kids for any length of time.


However I have managed to lose about 20 lbs.  Took me about 4 months to do it.  I did it by going low-carb. Basically, I didn’t eat any breads or dairy.  Lots of water.  It truly is amazing to be able to fit into normal sized clothing again.  I am now in the normal and healthy weight range for my height (the heavy end of it, but I’m still in it!).  I still do low carb, but my weight loss has plateued, which means it’s time to add something else to this lifestyle change.


I have also managed to lose about an inch and a half from my belly in the past month just by doing plank excersizes.  Which from my research is the best way to heal diastasis recti (this is a separation of the abdominal muscles, usually occurring in women who have recently been pregnant, after being pregnant for 3 years (with a total of 9 months break between my three children), I had a gap that was four fingers wide.  Six months of hard work with these muscles has left the gap just half of a finger wide!).


Tonight, I have plans to get a membership at my local YMCA,



Health (Photo credit: Tax Credits)


and I am hoping that by doing the classes there, I can continue to get my body into shape.  I am back, and I am eager to be kept accountable for this work 🙂




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