About this Blonde
Filed In: postpartum body
You know what really chaps my ass? When someone says I am SO lucky that I did not gain a ton of weight during pregnancy. Or that I am SO lucky that breastfeeding has gotten the baby weight off. While I realize genetics has a hand in how our bodies grow, change, react and adapt, I have some good genes, but mostly I WORK FOR MY BODY. And yes, my mom blessed me with a big booty, and a small waist. I used to hate my butt. Hate it. I used to loathe my itty bitty naturally skinny friends. And then I found a way to be happy, and embrace my curves. But here’s the thing, while I embrace my body whole heartedly, I also work MY ASS OFF to feel good in my body. Yes, I work my ass off to appreciate my ASS.
I swear this rant has a point, and the point is, I am not lucky. It is not a coincidence that I feel good seven months after having my second baby. I worked my ass off to feel that way. So, today I thought I would share with you the top reasons I was able to get back to my pre-baby body without luck, but with good old fashioned work ethic.
My Top Tips for Getting Your Body Back after BABY!
- I took care of myself and did not indulge while I was pregnant. Here’s the thing, I know women have cravings and this, that and the other thing, but when you eat real food, you crave the nutrients you and the babe really need. So, yes, I am being a super uber bitchy snob and this one, I did not use my pregnancy as a reason to overindulge, or say ahhhh I will lose the weight later. I just could not. I am sorry my loves, I am. I know you are preggers and you DO deserve that cookie, you do. (Read: What to Eat While You are Pregnant)
- I was patient and kind to myself. What I have learned in the past 10 years of what I consider “biohacking” my way to health is that there is no such thing as change over night. Hell, there really isn’t change over a month. It takes months and months to sustain the change you really, truly, deeply seek to SUSTAIN. So, I try to attack my diet and fitness with a kaizen like approach, small steps, small change overtime leading to big change. If you are not paying attention it seems like a drastic change occurs, but really, lots of small steps have been taken to achieve that BIG change we all seem to crave. (Read: Be Kind to Your Pregnant Body)
- I surrendered to the moments that overwhelmed me. It’s funny because a lot of my friends and family think I live in the gym. I don’t. And when I am there I workout for MAYBE 25 minutes. Maybe. And I am MAYBE there 4 times a week. MAYBE. I just do not have the time, nor the energy. And, you should NEVER force a workout. Surrender to what your body and small children need the most. Surrender. (Read: Surrender and Make Coconut Chicken)
- I moved when I was pregnant. I walked hills every single day. It kept me sane and in shape, I believe. I even created a prenatal workout program for myself, WHICH I hope to share soon! (Read: Walk and I don’t Feel Like Moving My Body At All)
- I rebuilt my body slowly, and what I believe to be smartly. When I was cleared to workout again, I went to the gym on average I would say 4 times a week, and completed 25 – 30 minute workouts. I was entirely focused on building strength from my core outwards. Meaning, I focused on building strength from the inside out, utilizing bodyweight workouts and eventually HIIT intervals and calisthenics. I chose movements that made me stabilize my core and activate the transverse abdominis muscle (I did a mini instagram blog post on this, check my feed for a plank.). Planks, ab roll outs and myoatic crunches are my jam. Let me tell you though, that first workout when I could do MAYBE one pushup from my knees was extremely humbling. I am still rebuilding strength seven months postpartum, and that is something we need to remember as new moms, our bodies went through a lot and will take time to rebuild and regain strength. That is OKAY. Don’t kill yourself on day one, week one of your postpartum workouts. This is the time you need to have the most patience and kindness for yourself. Again, surrender. (PS I do have a workout plan that is composed of the workouts I do, and I share my workouts on Instagram.)
- High quality meat, like we are talking the best most humanely raised meats as possible, if they are not possible I do not eat them. And, I eat meat maybe once or twice a week. MORE ON this topic later.
- Fermented foods every single day. Kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir and kvass Mostly from the Happy Pantry! I am convinced their beet kvass changed my life for the better. (An entire post is coming soon on THIS as well.)
- Raw dairy as much as I crave, I get mine from a food club which gets it from an Amish farm
- Veggies as much as I would like
- Fruit, not a ton but I eat what I like
- Protein pancakes, primal lactation and paleoish bacon cookies (coming soon)
Me and Teddy 6 months postpartum
That’s it. I eat real food. That is the #1 weapon. I eat foods my body can DIGEST and then use for energy and nutrients and avoids storing them as fat. For the most part. At the end of the day what matters the most in your food is quality, quantity and consistency. Do not ask me how many calories I eat in a day, because I have no clue. All I know is I eat the real food that I crave. Nothing is really out of bounds, but quality is super important to me.
So, those are the behaviors that got me back to where I want to be. While I would like to add some more muscle. I continue to be kind and patient with myself. The reality is, I have two small children, two-three-ish jobs and big dreams and not enough hours in the day. So I do what I can. But, I do not negotiate on feeding my family and myself the most real foods as possible, and I get myself to move. Not everyday, and not for hours on end. I move for minutes, and in those minutes I am focused. There’s really no secret, just the desire to maintain sanity. To me sanity is a healthy thriving body. Because I have simply felt what it is like to feel shitty in my skin, so feeling really good is a matter of emotional well being.
Be good and kind to you.
x to the ohh, Whitters
So I have definitely discussed cheat meals before, some people cannot handle them, and some people, myself included, LIVE for them. I see them less as cheat meals and more like life enjoyment and balance. They are my treats, essential to me in order to stay on track, lose fat and not drive my husband insane. As I work my booty off trying to get in even better shape than I was before I got knocked up, I have embarked on a cyclical ketogenic journey, because for me and MY BODY, keto = fat loss + happiness.
My keto posts are here:
Cheat Meals + Cyclical Keto
I am doing a cyclical ketogenic diet for two reasons: One, it is wonderful for muscle gain and I have a LOT of strength to get back in this body of mine after the babe! AND two, I need to cheat. I need champagne and chocolate and the occasional quesadilla or BURRITO!
Benefits of Cyclical Keto
- Keto-adaptation means your body switches to a fat metabolism; this is called the ‘Metabolic Switch’. Increasing Lipolysis (breakdown of fat) and decreasing Lipogenesis (accumulation of body fat)
- Maximum muscle growth (muscle, in my humble opinion is the greatest fat burner and so important for your metabolism… Totes talk about this in my BOOK!)
- Mental stability and knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel
Why I love being on a cyclical ketogenic diet
I literally cannot state the mental benefits of this way of eating for myself any clearer than Peter Attia already has in regards to his own occasional consumption of sugar:
What about the behavioral side? Well, I suspect there exists a different “frequency distribution function” that describes how often I could binge like this without resuming unhealthy eating habits in the long run. If I had to guess, I think the threshold for recidivism is higher from the behavioral tipping point than it is for the physiologic one. In other words, habits matter. I can probably tolerate – physiologically – more sugar today than I can tolerate behaviorally.
For me, too, it’s not that my body cannot digest carbs, it’s that I emotionally and behaviorally cannot control myself. Even when I am not trying to put myself into ketosis, my diet is very low carb compared to the average folk.
Should you do a cyclical keto diet and/or incorporate cheat meals into your life?
Maybe. Maybe not. Cyclical keto for one takes practice. I would not recommend it if you have not already embarked upon your own standard ketogenic diet for quite sometime. But hey, do your research. These are my FAVORITE keto resources:
Dr. Peter Attia (so much science it hurts)
Reddit Keto science (Some a-holes, but also some great information)
Ruled.Me (Great articles)
The Keto App Blog (recipes)
As far as cheat meals go. Yes. Do it. But don’t think of them as cheats, think of them as enjoying life. Think of them as nothing more than a bean and cheese burrito on a Saturday afternoon, followed by 3 glasses of champagne, a wicked belly ache and sprints in the morning to shake that shit off. (Well, if you are psycho, like MOI!)
For me it works, for now. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know my diet she evolves with my hair. (Anyone remember the My Little Pony hair I had, before it was like a thing?) The big takeaway really is this: You have to give yourself a break in your diet. A reasonable break that makes you human, and apt to stick with a healthy diet for a lifetime, not a month. I feel the exact same way about fitness, the very very best workout plan you will ever find is the routine you actual stick to. You have to form habits. And then cheat on those habits when your body and soul need a break.
x to the ohhh, Whitters
Did I say cocaine? I meant jet fuel. Or, just like a crap ton of energy. I talk about keto quite a bit on instagram, but I wanted to share exactly what it feels like to be keto adapted, because it makes me want to shout from the rooftops:
BITCH I AM ALIVE AND HERE TO CONQUERRRRRRRR!!!!!
Yeah, I know that was a bit much. But seriously, keto is my jam. Not only because it burns the fat right off my body, but because the energy I get from being in this metabolic state is unreal. So let’s dig in. (BUT, remember I did a HUGE post on why KETO is amazing for fat loss, here.)
Terms to know (feel free to skip ahead if science and learning is not your shtick.)
What is a keto diet?
Keto is a way of eating which aims to induce nutritional ketosis (a metabolic state where you burn fats instead of sugar) by restricting carbohydrate intake and balancing daily amounts of fat and protein.
A Ketogenic diet is NOT a high protein diet It is a high fat, low carb moderate protein diet.
Keto adapted means:
- You can oxidize and use both dietary and stored fat for energy. Fat is now more likely to be used for energy than stored in fat cells.
- You are not dependent on Insulin and the presence of Glucose for energy. This means that your blood sugar levels will not go up and down like a roller-coaster but will remain even. << This is MONEY. This means your body is not being fooled by Insulin, and you will likely absorb nutrients more efficiently, burn fat more efficiently and just FEEL BETTER.
- Even blood glucose and large amounts of energy resources available (pounds of fatty acids vs minimal grams of glycogen) mean no hunger and no reactive hypoglycemia! (TRUST. YOU WANT TO BURN THE FATTY ACIDS.)
- You will be able to exercise in a fasted state. (You do not need to eat before a workout, you will be just fine.)
- You will be able to go long periods without eating and still feel great, reducing your dependence on readily available processed foods. (I find I really only need like two meals a day, and a fat bomb or two.)
- You will become Leptin Sensitive again! (A high carb diet leads to resistance to the satiety hormone Leptin, causing to never experience a feeling of having eaten enough. Leptin not working correctly in your body = fat gain.)
- A ketogenic diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. Meaning, you eat bacon and your cholesterol actually improves. Yeah. I KNOW!
But, BUTT, BUTTTTT! I cannot stress enough, the quality of foods and MEAT you eat are so so important. Don’t just head to McDonald’s and ask them to lettuce wrap that shit for a month. Eat meat and dairy from HEALTHY HAPPY ANIMALS for a HEALTHY HAPPY YOU.
Nutritional Ketosis VS Ketoacidosis:
When a type 1 diabetic suffers a stressful event or fails to administer enough insulin they may suffer the pathological condition ketoacidosis. Liver cells increase metabolism of fatty acids into ketones in an attempt to supply energy to peripheral cells, which are unable to transport glucose in the absence of insulin. The resulting very high levels of blood glucose and ketone bodies lower the pH of the blood and trigger the kidneys to attempt to excrete the glucose and ketones. Osmotic diuresis of glucose will cause further removal of water and electrolytes from the blood resulting in potentially fatal dehydration, tachycardia and hypotension.
If you want to learn more about keto and really nerd yourself out, read this FAQ from the Nourished Caveman
Why I Love being Keto Adapted
Feel educated enough to move on? Great. So I just had a baby six weeks ago, started eating a keto diet two weeks ago and became fully keto adapted I would say like after a week and a half. I got myself into ketosis on day four of the new diet, but really did not start feeling the energy, the weight loss, the mental clarity until a few days ago. This is where the keto money is made. Energy + alertness. It really is difficult to explain if you’ve never been there. I have only smoked the marihoochi in my life, no other drugs, but I imagine maybe a drug would give you this enlightened state of awareness and the need to move.
I saw my good friend Gina at the gym the other day, and I think she thought I was batshit crazy. I was literally bouncing off the walls AFTER my ridiculously difficult and sweaty workout talking to her. She is also seven months pregnant, so probably could have scissor kicked me in the face for my energy. I love her.
The point is: keto makes me feel the very best. I eat well 355 days a year, give or take, but when my body is using fat for energy instead of sugar, my life just feels so good. I feel leaner (which let’s be honest, we bitches wanna feel lean), I feel like I can workout even more intensely, and I enjoy all of my food. Fat is delicious. Bacon? Butter? Greens? Repeat? Shut the fuck up. In! (Insert blonde girl hair flip emoji)
That is basically all I got for you today… make these fat bombs and eat all of the things.
Things that help me get into ketosis
Treats and this ice cream that I make!
Ketostix – I have had a lot of trouble finding these in drug stores lately, so I get them from my favorite, Amazon. PS Once you become keto adapted, the presence of ketone bodies in your urine becomes less and less, so eventually they may not work even a little bit.
x to the ohhhh,
My postpartum body and mind one year later.
If you know me at all you know how much I love my little monkey. If you are under my little wing and are one of the very few I really, really let in and see the shit ain’t nobody else wanna see… you know how much I really need to find balance in my life as a mom.
I think I am close but I am not sure if balance will ever totally exist 100% of the time.
He is the best thing that has ever happened to me, but the day he was born I did not become his mom and let go of all the other things that made me me.
Those were and are things that make me happy, prideful and strong.
The point – I am still me 1 year later as a new mom, just hopefully better. Which means I still want to sweat, look good, feel good, write, create, dream and play.
So this is what I’ve really learned about myself and my body 1 year postpartum and these are the tips I would give to myself a year ago.
Patience is the answer and the goal.
Patience mama. Those first few months can be so tough. Is he sleeping enough? Is he eating enough? Is this poop normal? Is that enough tummy time? Why do I still have a pooch? Why do my legs feel so weak?
You are going to google questions you never would have dreamt of before child, and that’s okay. Just remember, Dr. Google is not a real person and the opinions of forum members and bloggers will not be in your bedroom at 3 in the morning when he’s crying and you have to just figure it out. Your child is different, always trust your instincts and breathe through whatever it is you think is the right way.
Your body will bounce back if you give it time and treat it right. Just walk. Walk everywhere for a while. Make it a part of your day everyday, trust me you will look forward to that routine.
It gets easier each day, each week, each month, just breathe and trust sister friend.
You have to eat well.
You already knew that. If you are breastfeeding, what you eat really matters. But again, you knew that. If you want your body back or an even better bod, you have to eat well. You have to eat foods your body can digest and use for fuel.
Eat well. Enjoy time in that kitchen, get your hubs or partner involved and cook your meals because guess what honeybear, you is gonna be spending A LOT of time at home this first year.
True story: The first two weeks after Wyn was born, hubs must have made me a BLT plus a fried egg everyday. I NEEDED THEM.
Cut out the crap.
I’ve been allergic to bullshit for a while now, but my tolerance level is officially zero.
Friendships are going to change for the better and I don’t want to say for the worse, but some will unfortunately change in ways you don’t expect. That’s okay. Sometimes people come in and go out of our lives because we needed each other in those moments and needed to do our own thing in others.
You officially have to be fiercely protective of your time with your family. Your family (you + partner + babe) come first. The rest can wait. You can be kind about this but you don’t have to apologize for putting them first. If something takes time away from them and it does not bring you happiness or income, break up with it.
Sweat with a goddam purpose.
Gone are the days when you would diddle daddle around the gym, check out this machine, check out the sauna, brave picking up the weights in the “bro’s only” section (you know, every gym has one).
You have to make the most out of the times you do get to sweat, but you have to make it a priority.
I have realized that I have consistently about 20 uninterrupted minutes to sweat at least 3 days a week. So in those let’s call it 60 total minutes a week, I kick my ass in what my old self would do in 60 minutes A DAY at the gym. I work quickly, I push hard, I don’t rest much and at the end of every workout, I want to fall down.
This honestly has not only made my workouts incredibly intense, but it allows me to really look forward to working out even more because it will be over so quickly and I FEEL my body getting better, stronger and looking mo bettah like! So kick your ass, mindfully a few days a week. NOT everyday.
You have to say what you want.
Out loud. Multiple times. Don’t hope he figures out what you mean by soooo what time will you be home? Tell him. And then when he asks if he can go golf, tell him no.
Okay, but compromise. He’s going through a lot as a new dad too. So although it’s all about you and the shit you are going through as a mom (he will never get it, he just won’t) remember that he too is adjusting. Just keep communicating and telling each other what you need.
Time is a gift. Free it up.
This is one that I still struggle with but definitely makes all the difference in the world. Like I said earlier, cut out the stuff that doesn’t serve you. And, accept help.
When someone offers to babysit, don’t shy away like ahhh no, that’s okay. Alright, what day? Friday? Perfect.
Luckily, my mom is a saint and gives me little breaks all the time ON top of granny nanny-ing a few nights a week when I work. Ask your loved ones for a few hours during the week or weekend so you can go to the gym, or like me park it at a coffee shop and get some work done.
Bonus hour – I will sometimes have Wyn’s babysitter come over just for 2-3 hours so I can get work done. Life changing. The best $30ish dollars I could ever spend.
Wake up earlier.
This is a tip from Gina. And it changed my life. You are going to be tired either way so you may as well give yourself an hour or two before the babe is awake to do whatever it is you need or want to do. I get SO much work done in the mornings while the world sleeps and there is no greater feeling than walking Wyn to the park for our morning sesh knowing I’ve already kicked some serious ass and taken names.
What you eat, he will eat.
Obviously true if you’re breastfeeding, but this becomes mindfully apparent when solids are coming into play.
There is no such thing as it’s okay if I have it and he doesn’t at least in my house. I want my son to know that we eat good foods and we enjoy treats. I just don’t want him to associate any guilt with food.
And if you have crappy “organic” junk food in your house for the babe, you will eat said junk food. Eat clean, enjoy treats together, don’t obsess over everything that he eats.
Take a breath and enjoy this year. It goes fast.
With love and best wishes!
x to the ohhh Whitters