Breastfeeding and Exercise

So here will be MY experience.  I’m not a doctor, a lactation consultant, or any other medical professional.  I’m just a regular woman with a baby and boobs (pardon me).

Everyone asks about losing weight, breastfeeding and exercise.  No one really wants to know if it can be done.  The true question is “will it hurt my supply”, and the answer is maybe.  This “everyone” doesn’t include those who lose tons of weight by breastfeeding (many do) but the others who can not shed weight until after they wean.

You need extra calories to breastfeed so you shouldn’t diet to lose weight.  It’s good for you and your baby to eat good food and not be starving.  I count calories, but give myself 500 extra a day to accommodate breastfeeding, and don’t really worry if I go over.  I also eat any calories burned from exercise.  And that’s what this post is about.

At this point, I am doing Insanity.  I have also done TurboFire and LesMills Pump, along with some running and yoga.  These can be intense, and I started slowly and built up to the Insanity program.  I don’t think I could have handled that first for many reasons.  I find that I’m okay as long as I drink water and eat extra.  And by water, I mean a LOT of water.  I have dips in supply, but nothing that would be noticeable if I wasn’t working and pumping.  My baby always gets enough!  I’m losing weight slowly but surely.  Baby is gaining weight.  Everybody wins!

So, what exercise did you do before pregnancy (or during!)?  You can probably do it now, starting slowly and working your way up.  The important things for me have been to listen to my body, drink a lot of water, eat when hungry, and eat healthy foods.  If you feel it is too much or that your supply is taking a hit, adjust.  I’m serious on the water!  Cookies help too!

What has your experience been?  I’d love to hear your stories!

Down and up again

Today is the last day before day care starts.  Lots to do.  I need to label everything going to day care, put it all together and figure out the bottles situation.  Plus test a new bottle to make sure she’ll take it.  All things I could have been doing all along but that will make this whole thing real.

I’m not looking forward to going back to work.  I don’t go back until Friday, but tomorrow starts the transition.  The day care part I am okay with…germs, friends, time under the care of others (for Zoe, not as a relief to me), etc.  But I’d rather spend my days with her than most anything.  I’m sure I’ll get used to it and there are things I’m looking forward to (a more predictable schedule is one thing).

Anyway.  I must get to work on this, so I’ll leave you with a reminder of promotions going on right now. Turn all of the downer energy around because they are fun and who doesn’t love a sale!  All promotions also come with support and motivation from me.

Hip Hop Abs is still $19.95!


P90X and P90X2 Challenge Packs are an additional $30 off!


Shakeology is increasing in price after 4 years.  You can lock in the original price for life! Get on Chocolate, Greenberry, or Chocolate/Greenberry alternating Home Direct before April 1st, and as long as you never cancel your HD subscription, you’ll pay the original price. Plus, HD orders get free shipping.


Ultimate Reset Complete Kits and Challenge Packs are $30 off!  Detox anyone?


Workout Friday – Couch to 5K, Les Mills Pump Pump Challenge
Workout Saturday – Les Mills Pump Hardcore Abs
Plus planks each day!

All clear!

A of Friday, I’m cleared to exercise. They said to ease into it, and I don’t feel completely comfortable with some of the more ab-focused moves so that’s been okay. But I can now get a good sweat on, and good sweat I did! I have a picture to prove it. This is after Friday’s workout.


So I will start back with each day’s workouts to end my posts. I have two challenge groups that I will be running and participating in (sign up here for details on my challenges) and I’m so glad to have some friends joining me. It will make it much harder to decide to skip a workout because of a tough day learning with my baby. Accountability!

It seems that I will need to become a late evening exerciser though. This baby is not a napper so I will need to wait for bed most days. Even today with my husband home, I have had to ditch my workout twice. Only once was for the baby. So far, I’ve done 10 minutes of kickboxing and burned 140 calories, so better than nothing!

Workout Friday – Turbo Kick round 45
Workout SaturdayTurboFire Sculpt30

The number on the scale

After one week of tracking my food and trying to make healthier choices, I am down 3 lbs.  I have 29.5 lbs to go until I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight.  That sounds so tough, but I know I can do it.  And I hope to lose more after.

While scale weight is one measure of weight loss, as I get closer to my goals, I will focus less on it.  For now, I have such a large amount I want to lose that it will work for me.  I’m also still in yoga pants making it tough to see changes in how my clothes feel.  But more important to me than the number on the scale is how my clothes fit and how I feel.  Scale weight is affected by so many things – sodium, water, time of day, time of month, etc.  It isn’t reliable and it isn’t something you can directly control.  How many times do you rock your week and see a gain on the scale?  How does that make you feel?

I long ago decided not to let the number get me down.  I have quit weighing myself for periods of time, opting instead to use a pair of jeans as the measure of my success.  I would rather look and feel great than to know that the scale says I weigh x, that my BMI is y or that my clothes are size z.

I do take measurements.  I plan to take them when I can begin working out again, and then every 2 months or so from then on.  I have a little spreadsheet that I track the results in, but many sites have them also including My Fitness Pal and Team Beachbody (get an account through my site ).  Measurements, especially when taken over time (not daily!) are a great way to track weight loss success.  And how awesome does it feel to see those inches coming off!  A loss of 10 lbs can look so different from person to person.  But lose 10″ and you know you’re seeing your success.

So I will be tracking my weight loss in multiple ways for a full picture.

The next leg of the journey

I took a photo last week of the difference between 41 weeks and 1 week post partum. I even was wearing the same top! I lost a bit more than 20 lbs (not sure of my actual final pregnant weight) in those 8 days. I had gained over 50 lbs. My body definitely knows how to gain weight. This was with working out and tracking food. I figure that the body does what it needs to during pregnancy. I certainly had no ability to predict what would cause me to gain or lose. I did eat some things that I normally wouldn’t have but kept up healthy habits.


So as of Saturday, I am back tracking and have been slowly adding back some of the foods that I had aversions to during pregnancy. I am breastfeeding, so I’m not trying to actively lose. And I’m not yet cleared for exercise other than walking. So for now, it’s walks with the baby, tracking my calories, and recovering. And enjoying the new addition of course.

I’ve also added Shakeology, planning for daily. I missed yesterday when I grabbed a snack while out for a few hours. My go to mix is ~1cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup almond milk and water but I’ve also had it with PB2 and with peppermint extract. I feel like this addition has helped with my energy levels while getting minimal sleep. I’ll continue to update with how the Shakeology is working for me! You can find out more about Shakeology at my Beachbody site, or ask any questions in the comments!

I’m looking forward to working out soon. I plan to document my journey back to my pre-pregnancy weight here.

I also plan to update more frequently! So sorry this is only my third post in over two weeks. I’m getting better at one-handed typing and the baby is getting better at sleeping without being held (well, a little better).


Walking Around

I wrote this the other day and it disappeared into wherever it is these things go.

I’ve been doing a lot of walking for fitness.  Usually I would walk as active rest, but now I’ve been walking as a real part of my fitness…and a good way to listen to recorded conference calls.  Now that it isn’t as hot out, I love getting outside and walking around.  Especially in our little neighborhood where I can say hello to people.  We’ve been here over 3 years and don’t know a lot of our neighbors yet.

I wish that our dogs could handle a walk more than around the block.  There are a lot of great things about having older dogs.  They are calm but have bouts of playfulness and are excellent couch mates.  I love a good nap with these two.  But they can’t take the long walks. Our boxer sometimes has a lot of energy, but then spends it really quickly.  It is hard to know how far she can make it and also make it back.  The pug is short and stocky and needs the exercise, but gets tired really quickly.  I still take him for short walks, but when I’m walking for me he can’t make it.

We have also started walking to more local places.  Most of what is nearby is pizza, coffee and Red Mango so we don’t have much to choose from (except that there are four pizza places) but it’s a nice way to get out.  We’ve only done pizza twice, so don’t think I’m living off of it or anything!  I really appreciate that my husband will take these walks with me.  He is training for a half marathon and is running most days and then walking with me.  And I need to go so slow!  A lot slower than my usual speed at least.

Walking, especially with a buddy, is one of the only forms of exercise that seems possible after work, so it’s great for those days I don’t sleep well and choose more sleep over the gym (more and more frequent).  I’m looking forward to walking with the baby once she’s here.  And hoping it doesn’t snow a ton this winter so that it is actually possible!

Workout Thursday – Walking (ended up being for pizza)
Workout Friday – Moms Into Fitness Third Trimester workout
Workout Saturday – Prenatal yoga, Walking (with two recorded calls)

Turbo turbo!

Lots going on over here!  Work is busy, we visited a pediatrician, more childbirth classes, and I have spent nights both sleeping and not.  I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday already.  Or that I hit 33 weeks pregnant…


Excuse the pajama-ness of my outfit.  I work from home most days so I work out, shower and put on more comfy clothes.  It definitely saves me time!  I change if I leave the house, but with two dogs I usually have to wear an outfit at home and a new one when I leave.  I’m a dog hair magnet!

I was able to get back to working out and am feeling better.  Today I did my favorite Turbo Fire workout (Fire 45) and had lots of fun!  I am so glad I can still do Turbo workouts.  My kicks are lower, my jumps are nonexistent and I modify a lot but it is still a good time.  I have a smile on throughout the 45 minutes.  My plan for the weekend includes some more Turbo Sunday.

If you haven’t tried Turbo Jam or Turbo Fire I can’t recommend them enough!  Everyone has a soul mate workout and they are definitely mine!  My post-baby plan starts with Turbo Fire.

Workout yesterday – 20 minute elliptical, lifting
Workout today – Turbo Fire Fire 45 class

Why do I do it?

I posted last week about reasons to workout when pregnant and I touched on some of the benefits I think I have noticed.  But I didn’t give reasons for why I make it such a priority and talk about it so much.

I have been exercising for years.  It is my stress release, my fun and has become an easy way to add to my health.  I wont lie and say it was always easy, but over time it has gone from something I should do to something I do to help my weight loss to something I do because I enjoy it.  Now I relate it to showering as something I know I’ll just do and it is a lot easier to find where it will fit in my schedule!  How often do you just not shower because you don’t have time?  Never?  You make time.

So when I found out that I was pregnant, I didn’t question if I wanted to continue to workout.  From taking the group fitness instructor certification exam, I had learned a lot about modifications for pregnancy and I can also pull from the experiences of my friends.  I knew what was presented as the benefits and they sound like great reasons.  Mostly, having that information added to my own reasons.

I still exercise for my stress release.  I still find it fun, at least the workouts I do!  And now it is an easy way to add to not just my health, but my baby’s also.  I still used “easy” there, and while it hasn’t been difficult, it has been more of a challenge.

I now need to exercise in the morning.  If I wait until later in the day, I usually end up not working out or getting in something lighter than planned.  Sometimes though, I have to choose sleep over exercise.  Some days I don’t make it through my planned workout.  It is much more important to listen to cues that I just don’t have it that day when there is a teeny human depending on me listening also.   The same workouts are more difficult, and it is sometimes tough to find variety in the workouts I like.

It is so worth the extra difficulty though!  I can’t imagine my pregnancy without the exercise.

Workout yesterday – Moms Into Fitness 3rd Trimester workout
Workout today – Prenatal yoga class and a long walk while listening to a podcast

My Fitness Pal

I mentioned my streak on My Fitness Pal (MFP) the other day. I thought I should talk a little more about the website/app, especially as their latest app update has fixed my major issue with using the app instead of the website.

I started tracking my food on MFP in April of 2011. At that point, I had been writing my food on paper, eating clean about 90% of the time. But I knew deep down that I needed more structure. Eating clean can be easy, and many people do well with it alone. But I like food in volume. I needed better portion control! So when I got home from a cruise, I started tracking online.

Like anything new, it takes a while to get used to. But MFP has such a huge database that it was fairly easy. And I love being able to scan my food with the app. You can also copy meals from that meal time for any previous day that week, which is super helpful if you eat the same thing most days. They show a list of your most added foods and your recently added foods on the website to make it easy to find these. On the app, you used to only be able to see recent foods from that meal time but the new update lets you also look at all recent foods.

I was able to add and rename meal times also. They start you with four (I think) but I have six (titled meals 1-6, but this can be changed also). I like that better than looking at everything I ate from 4 or 5am to noon in one “meal”! Making a recipe is easy to do, as is seeing the breakdown of your day by different categories. There are the usual calories, fat, protein, carbs and sodium but it will also show others and you can adjust the breakdown you want to aim for if you’d like.

There is also an exercise feature, which logs your workouts and adjusts your calories for the day accordingly. One issue I have is that adding any workouts in their “strength training” section does not change your calorie goal. I know not everyone is like this, but if I’m going to lift heavy, I need to adjust. I enter all workouts under the “cardiovascular” section.

Each day, when you complete your food diary, they tell you that if every day were like that day, you would weigh X lbs in Y weeks. Pretty nifty!

I’ve continued logging my food during pregnancy because I know myself and I would go overboard without some accountability. I don’t always stay within their calorie goal (I changed it from wanting to lose weight to maintenance), but I know that the act of writing it down…even virtually…is better than not. Most days I’m under slightly.

And to finish it out, a picture to mark 32 weeks (yesterday). This was on our way to Breastfeeding class.


Workout yesterday – 20 minutes ellitical, lifting
Workout today – 20 minute prenatal yoga (free at YogaDownload)

Benefits of exercise during pregnancy

I had a conversation last week about exercising while pregnant…should you do it?  Why?  I learned a lot about it while studying for my group fitness certification but am by no means an expert.  Of course, if your doctor tells you not to or gives you limits, listen to those.   But if your husband, family, friends, etc tell you not to, here is some reading to educate yourself on reasons to exercise!

Benefits for mom –

ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynocologists) search – they have a lot of information to download
Everyday Health

Some guidelines

Benefits for baby?

I can’t compare my current pregnancy with anything else, but I do think it has gone fairly smoothly.  Of course I have had a decrease in energy, some nausea, and some discomforts but my main issues have been related to allergies.  I have issues with those when not pregnant.  I definitely think that exercise has helped me.

Today, I tried a prenatal yoga at a studio.  I had a great time and wish I had found this class earlier!  It was nice to workout with a bunch of other pregnant women.  I bought an 8 class package, and if I don’t make it to 8 classes can use it on other classes.  I look forward to going back next Saturday.

Workout today – Prenatal Yoga