Post Baby Body – 5 Month Update

Happy 5 months to Winter and happy 28th birthday to me today!  I am working on Winter’s 5 month update that will be posted this week, but for now it’ time to get an up-to-date glance at Mommy’s postpartum progress in relation to health and fitness!

Here is how I’m looking now:

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Here is a comparison of last month versus this month:

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 And here is a look back:

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28 years old today…I can’t believe I’m just 2 years shy of 30, which is exciting!  I think 30 is a fun age to be.  Not only am I marking a new age today, we are also celebrating Winter turning 5 months old.  She is such a sweet little girl.  My baby is much less of a newborn and much more of an interactive sweet baby girl!

I’ve continued making great progress in regards to my post baby body.  At 5 months postpartum, I weigh less than I did when I got pregnant, my jeans are all fitting me better than they have in a long time, and I even am able to wear some of my size 4 jeans that haven’t been able to fit me for several years!  It feels really great to whip my body into better shape than it was when I first got pregnant.  I wasn’t happy with my pregnancy starting weight, so now I have taken control of my fitness and am getting close to my goal: getting back to my wedding weight from 2008.  I’m almost there!!

If you missed my previous “Post Baby Body” updates, you can catch up here:

2 Month Post Baby Body Update

3 Month Post Baby Body Update

4 Month Post Baby Body Update

WEIGHT LOSS

To date I’ve lost 38 pounds.  Wow!  I lost another 5 lbs since my 4 month update in February.  I’m getting so close to my goal weight!  My goal weight is my wedding weight from 6 years ago 🙂

EATING

My calories are logged every day on myfitnesspal app on my phone.  I’m eating anywhere from 2000-2200 calories per day.  Previously I had reduced my caloric intake to 1900 and I found that it was unrealistic for me.  Giving myself an extra hundred (or two or three!) calories makes me feel like I’m able to relax a little bit more.  Obviously I’ve still been able to lose weight even though I increased my calories a bit.  Breastfeeding really helps me be able to eat this much and still lose weight!!  During the first week of March, I participated in a “7 Day Clean Eating Challenge.”  During the entire week I only ate clean foods: mainly fruits, vegetables and chicken.  It was kind of fun to “clean out” my body and focus on consuming zero processed or sweetened foods for an entire week.  It was hard at some points, but overall I enjoyed the experience.  It got me to eat a lot more vegetables than I’m used to eating.  I made tons of fruit smoothies, which were absolutely delicious.  After a week of 100% only clean foods, I feel lighter, fresher, and more energetic!

WORKING OUT

I workout 5-6 days per week (usually 6).  I’m pretty much mostly running for the main source of my exercise.  We are 4 weeks out from our half marathon, and yesterday we did a 9 mile training run.  I felt GREAT on this run!  My gym days are almost nonexistent.   I am making it there barely once per week.  But the reason is because I’d much rather run outside or workout at home because it saves so much time.  When I go to the gym, I am restricted to evenings (so that Eric is home and can watch Winter) and I also waste 20-30 minutes roundtrip commuting=dumb!  So I run outside, run on my treadmill, do kickboxing DVD in my livingroom and use my stability ball for exercise.  My half marathon training has me running 3-4 times per week (2-3 shorter runs of 4-5 miles and one long run on the weekends).  The non running days are either gym (approx. 1 time per week) or a kickboxing DVD.

GOALS

I want to successfully complete my half marathon in 4 weeks from now!  I don’t know that I’ll achieve a new PR (personal record), but if I do, I would be absolutely thrilled!!

REALITY CHECK

Life isn’t going to go perfectly 100% of the time and sometimes I’m going to miss workouts.  No biggie.  We all got sick in this house recently.  When I was sick I had to take a break from running for several days to allow my body the time to rest so I could recuperate.  With my personality, it’s difficult for me to slow down and relax/take a break from fitness.  But it was good that I took a few days off.  We had to skip our long weekend training run–but honestly it was perfect timing because both weekend days that particular weekend were snowing and too cold to take a baby out.  Such is life…sometimes we need a break.

I’m glad that I have a healthy mentality about my body.  This has not always been the case.  Years ago, I struggled with negative self-talk and basing my self worth on what the scale said.  To help my disordered mentality, I put away the scale for about 5 years and didn’t weigh myself until a year ago when I started my pregnancy.  The scale and I are now in a healthy relationship with each other, praise God!  Instead of basing my value on how much I weigh or how I look, I now put my self worth in how Christ sees me–I am a daughter of the King!  God sees me and loves me no matter what size jeans I wear, so I choose to love me regardless of that too.  If you have struggles with negative self-talk and feeling insecure about yourself and your body, I encourage you — you aren’t alone!  Though it never 100% goes away, it can get better, and I find that viewing myself through God’s eyes has been very helpful for me.

Here is a comparison looking back (wearing the same top!):

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Post Baby Body – 4 Month Update

I can’t believe Winter is 4 months old today!  It’s amazing how quickly time flies by.  In the early weeks (and months), time seemed to move a tad slower, but now that I know what I’m doing and have a solid routine down, time is flying!  It’s time for another monthly post baby body update.

At four months post-partum, I am feeling fantastic about my progress in regards to my health and fitness!  I have settled into a good fitness regime and have been training for my upcoming half marathon race for a month.  Less than two months until race day in April!  I continue to see positive changes in my body.  Running is getting easier, my clothes are fitting better, and the number on the scale continues to drop as keep faithful to my fitness and eating goals.

If you missed my previous “Post Baby Body” updates, you can catch up here:

2 Month Post Baby Body Update

3 Month Post Baby Body Update

Here is how I’m looking now:

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Here is a comparison of last month versus this month:

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 And here is a look back at 2 months, 3 months and 4 months:

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For me it is exciting to still be seeing changes in my body.  There were times I felt discouraged that I wouldn’t ever be as fit as I wanted to be again.  My discouraged days are gone because I am continually seeing my body change, shrink, tighten up and overall improve.  I don’t know why I expected to get into tip-top shape within 5 minutes of giving birth! 🙂  Now I know it’s a process that takes a little time, and I’m liking the positive changes more and more as I put in the work and time goes on.  My waist is still getting smaller — my waistbands aren’t as snug as they were (even from just a month ago!).  My abs are getting stronger.  My clothes are fitting better overall.  My legs and arms are feeling more trim.  My endurance is increasing — I can run for longer without having to stop for breaks.  My face looks thinner to me than it used to.  All good things!  I’m feeling very happy with the process and I’m not trying to expect myself to be perfect.

WEIGHT LOSS

During my pregnancy, I gained a total of 23 lbs.  After 2 months I was down those 23 lbs (exactly).  At 3 months I was down 28 lbs.  Now, at 4 months I am down 33 lbs!!  So I’ve lost another 5 lbs since last month.  I started my pregnancy at a higher weight than I’d have liked, so I have a goal in mind of where I’d like to end up weight wise.  I’m getting close to that goal, and would like to settle at that goal weight within the next 2 months (by 6 months postpartum).

EATING

I am faithful to myfitnesspal app on my phone to track my daily calories.  Because of breastfeeding, I am still successfully losing weight by eating approximately 1900 calories per day.  I would say that I usually do well at tracking my calories 6 out of 7 days per week.  At least 1 or 2 days per week I do run over my calorie limit, but I’m not too worried about that.  Some days I just feel more hungry than others — so I listen to my body and eat more.  Occasionally I do have a bowl of ice cream, but for the most part I try to limit any desserts or sweets.  I mainly eat healthy foods.  Lots of fresh produce, lean proteins, greek yogurt, protein granola bars,  etc.

WORKING OUT

I started training for my upcoming half marathon a month ago.  After 4 weeks of training, I can say that my stamina and endurance are improving!  I usually run 4 days per week and cross train at the gym 2 days per week.  My weekday runs are currently 3.5 or 4 mile distances and my weekend runs are were I do my “long distance” run.  This weekend I ran 7 miles.  Every weekend my long distance run increases by a half mile or mile.  Race day I’ll be trained and ready for 13.1 miles!  I love getting outdoors and running with my BOB stroller with the baby in tow, but on especially cold weather days, I’m grateful I can run on my treadmill.  My hubby has been so sweet to join Winter and I on our weekend long runs, and now I’ve finally convinced him to sign up for the race and run it with me!!!  This will be his first race besides doing a 5K.  I feel honored that he is training with me despite his strong dislike of running.

GOALS

I’m still working towards my half marathon goal (maybe even a new PR!).  This month I want to continue to be faithful to my training program and not miss scheduled runs or workouts.  I’m hoping to lose another 4 pounds by next month.

REALITY CHECK

I’m really happy with the changes in my body.  Though I’m happy with myself, it’s very important for me to remind myself NOT to compare myself with others.  There are always the “flaws” in our bodies that will never fully be perfect.  We are our own worst critics.  My body type might never be the body type of another woman, so I need to remember to only compare my body with MYSELF and not with OTHERS!!  So important to continually remind myself of this!

Here is a comparison of the days after birth versus 4 months postpartum:

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Post Baby Body – 3 Month Update

Today marks 13 weeks since I gave birth to my daughter.  So it’s time for another post-baby body update!  It’s so hard to believe that tomorrow she turns 3 months old.  Seriously, where has the time gone???  With the Christmas and New Years holidays, it feels that this past month has flown by.  I feel that I have continued to make progress with my body since last month, despite letting loose for the week of Christmas.  To date, I have lost a total of 27 pounds (4 lbs lost since a month ago).

Here is how I’m looking now:

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Here is a comparison of this month versus last month:

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I’m seeing and feeling changes!!  I love it!  My waist is still not as small as pre-pregnancy, but I am definitely seeing it get smaller since last month.  I’m doing a lot of ab work, and they are feeling tighter and stronger.  My legs are also feeling smaller.  I guess it would be helpful if I got my tape measure out, so I could look at some real numbers.  Haha!  Maybe I’ll do that, but realistically I probably won’t.  I don’t need to be obsessing over all of those numbers.  My boobs are going down.  Though I’m breastfeeding, my boobs have definitely reduced in size, which I can admit I’m happy about…I’ve never been a fan of big boobs!  Overall, I feel tighter and my stamina and endurance are increasing.  I’m happy with my progress this month, and hope to see more next month!

EATING

My eating has been pretty healthy.  That is, if you exclude the entire week of Christmas where I stuffed my face with loads of Christmas treats and goodies.  😦  We travelled 18 hours on the road (each way) to Indiana, and from the moment we left until the moment we returned, my eating was far from nutritious.  I believe that set me back a little bit, but as soon as I got home, I got right back to working out and eating healthy.  I use MyFitnessPal app on my phone to track my daily calories.  In early December, I cut back from 2100 calories per day to 1950.  As of this week, I cut back to 1900 per day.  As long as I don’t dip below 1800 per day, it shouldn’t affect my milk supply.  I try to eat a lot of healthy foods, avoiding sweets and overly processed junk.

WORKING OUT

Over the week of Christmas, I only got one day of exercise in: running in the freezing cold on snow-covered back country roads.  Besides that week, my workouts have been very consistent!  I workout on Sunday through Fridays, averaging 6 workouts per week.  I hit the gym in the evenings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and run on my treadmill at home on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.  I have focused mainly on doing lots of cardio and abdominal exercises.  I am desperate to get my small waist and strong abs back!  Unfortunately I have not done tons of weight training yet, but I am limited by how much time I have at the gym since I’m on a schedule for feeding my baby.  I need to figure out how to get more weights in my workouts!

GOALS

I have successfully lost my pregnancy pounds (plus some), but I’d still like to continue to tighten up and lose more weight.  I am starting my 1/2 marathon training next week, and I have a goal to complete that race in April with a semi-decent time (maybe even a PR!).  I have a goal to complete my training program and not slack off.  I also have a goal to feel confident in a swimsuit this summer.  A short term goal is to lose another 5 pounds by 4 months postpartum.

REALITY CHECK

It’s emotionally tough for me to look at some of the negative changes in my body, the main one being a bigger waist than I used to have.  I know with hard work, I can get my abs back, but in the meantime it’s a struggle for me.  Most of my jeans and pants are fitting me, but they still feel somewhat snug in the waistbands, making me feel self-conscious.  I finally broke down and bought a pair of nice jeans in a bigger size.  I will wear these and rejoice as they start to get looser and looser, but for now, it makes me feel better.

Here is a comparison of the day after birth versus 3 months postpartum:

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Post Baby Body Update – 8 weeks postpartum

The female body is an amazing thing.  Not only does it create and carry a human life, it shrinks back down after birth!  At 2 months postpartum, here is my post-baby body progress thus far…

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I was 40 weeks +2 days pregnant when I gave birth to my daughter on October 10, 2013.  I gained a total of 23 pounds during my pregnancy.  I kept my weight gain under control by eating a healthy diet combined with exercise all the way throughout the end of pregnancy.  Currently, at 2 months out, I have lost exactly 23 pounds.  Though I’m back to my pre-pregnancy starting weight, my body still has a ways to go to get it back into the fit/toned shape I’d like to be back in.  I’m still carrying extra in my midsection.  Most of my pants/jeans fit, but they still are snug in the waistband.  I know that continuing to work hard with exercise will get be back into the form I’d like to end up in.

As I mentioned, I exercised all the way until the end of pregnancy.  I went for a run on my due date!  On the day I went in labor, I did a tough workout at the gym – I did the stairclimber, Jacob’s ladder, treadmill and lifted free weights.  I really tried hard to stay in shape during pregnancy.  I knew that once I gave birth, I’d have to take a bit of a break to let my body recover and heal.  I wanted to give myself at least 2 weeks to rest.

After giving birth, I started daily walks immediately.  My doctor said that this was totally acceptable for me to be walking so long as I felt up for it.  I took Baby Winter out in the BOB stroller for these daily walks of 45-60 minutes.  I felt great!

At the 2 week postpartum mark is when I started running.  It felt WONDERFUL to have some of that extra weight off of me.  At that point, I had already shed 15 pounds.  I felt incredibly light, yet I could feel how weak my ab muscles felt as I took each step.  My tendons/ligaments in my pelvic area felt very fragile and weak too.  My pace was slow, but I just felt so great to be back to it.  Because a newborn baby consumes your entire life, I only managed to do maybe 2 or 3 runs per week and that was the extent of my exercise.  I continued walking on all of the other days.

At my 6 week check up, my doctor cleared me to exercise normally, so that’s when I made my return to the gym.  Eric and I sat down and wrote a gym schedule so that we are BOTH able to get regular gym days in.  I get to go on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and he goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  On my non-gym days, I run outside with the BOB stroller or run inside on my treadmill (depending on the weather).  My running days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

Originally when I bought my treadmill, we put it in the garage.  I found this to be very hard to stay motivated because the garage is cold and dark.  I had to stare at a blank wall while on the treadmill.  We just recently moved it into our bedroom so that I can watch TV while running on the treadmill.  This has been a smart decision because it makes me so much more motivated to stay on the treadmill for longer!  I love having a distraction while exercising!

As far as eating goes, I use an app on my phone (MyFitnessPal) to track my daily calories as well as my exercise.  I try to eat somewhere in the range of 1900-2100 calories per day.  Because I am breastfeeding, it is crucial that I don’t drop my calorie consumption too much.  If I drop much lower than 1800 per day, it would inhibit my milk supply…not worth it!  Eating around 2000 calories per day is still allowing my milk supply to stay strong as well as allowing me to lose weight.

Now, here is a look at my daily-weekly body progress:

IN LABOR…LAST PREGNANCY PIC!

Here is my last photo while I was pregnant!

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MORNING AFTER BIRTH…

This is the morning after giving birth.  I thought I looked SO SKINNY already–now I look back and realize I still looked pregnant here.

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2 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

On this day we got discharged from the hospital.  I felt really swollen.  My fingers, feet, etc were all retaining water.  But I still was amazed at how fast it felt like my tummy was going down.

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3 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

This was our first full day at home and I started going for my 45-60 minute daily walks at this point to get my body moving.

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4 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

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6 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

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 8 DAYS POSTPARTUM….

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 10 DAYS POSTPARTUM….

I remember that I felt like a million bucks by this point.  It felt incredible to be losing weight and watching the number on the scale rapidly dropping.  My swollen days were far behind me.  I wanted to start exercising, but I promised myself I’d take at least 2 weeks off.

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12 DAYS POSTPARTUM…

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2 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

This is when I went on my first run!  I was hoping to start working out and running 5 days per week, but that didn’t happen.  I was lucky to get in 2-3 runs per week and that’s about it.  Though I did keep up with my daily walks on the days I didn’t run.  I had lost 15 pounds by this point.

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3 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

I still was only scraping by with daily walks and 2-3 runs per week, but the pounds were still coming off.

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5 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

Walking daily and 2-3 runs per week was the name of the game.  My weight loss really staggered, but I was down about 19 pounds at this point.

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6 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

We traveled to Florida to see my husband’s work project launch into space.  I wore a maternity swimsuit because I was too self conscious to put on any of my regular bikinis.  Not only did I still feel that my tummy had a ways to go, but My boobs didn’t fit into a single one of my swimsuit tops!  They looked like porn star boobs.  I guess breastfeeding will do that 🙂

As soon as I returned from Florida, I made my return to the gym.  It felt great to get in other types of exercise besides just running.  I like using the Arc Trainer machine and other cardio machines that the gym has.  I also started lifting weights and doing ab exercises.

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7 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

With my return to the gym, combined with running (4-6 days per week of exercise, depending on the week), I noticed the scale got moving again.  I was hovering right around my pre-pregnancy weight, though my body was still NOT even close to what it used to be.  My waistbands in my jeans are still tight.

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8 WEEKS POSTPARTUM…

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2 MONTHS POSTPARTUM…

At 2 months postpartum, I have been working out at the gym 3 times per week and running 3 times per week.  It feels great to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I’d like to continue working hard to get my body back.  I know that with more time and hard work, I’ll reach my goals.  I started my pregnancy at a higher weight than I’d have liked, so I want to lose a number of pounds in addition to toning up.  I hope to be back in rockin’ shape by the 6 month mark.  In fact, at the 6 month mark I am signed up to run a half marathon (in April).  I will start formally training for the race in January.

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Winter’s First 10 Days

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Today Winter is 10 days old.

It’s hard to believe that 10 days have already passed.  Having a newborn baby is quite the lifestyle change, let me tell ya!  Eric, Winter and I are working on getting our routine down.  Slowly but surely.  Since coming home from the hospital a week ago, we have gone to the pediatrician for her first doctor visit, had a newborn photography shoot, gone to church twice, gone to our couples Bible study, taken many walks (which is my current amount of daily exercise — walking only for the time being), and spent much time with Grandpa and Grandma!  My parents arrived on Tuesday night and it has been just wonderful having them here to help.  My parents raised all 8 kids in my family, and Winter is their 10th grandchild, so they really are experts in baby care/parenting.

Here is a look back at what Winter has been up to for the past week:

NEWBORN PHOTOS.  We had Winter’s newborn photography shoot when she was 6 days old.  It was so fun to see her in all different cute headbands, scarves, etc.  I can’t WAIT to see how the photos turned out.  Our photographer sent us these 2 photos as a short preview.

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A preview of Winter’s newborn session!  I can’t wait to see all of the photos and how they turned out!  They are seriously going to be the most adorable photos ever!

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Adorable.

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Mommy and Winter pre-photoshoot.  She was the perfect little model!

GRANDPA AND GRANDMA.  My parents are here in Colorado to help with the baby.  It is SO WONDERFUL to have them here.  Winter is my parents’ 10th grandchild, but only their 2nd granddaughter.  My mom has been cooking meals and taking care of us while here — it’s so nice!  She has also helped with breastfeeding and in general taking care of Winter.  I appreciate my mom and dad so much!

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Winter meeting Grandma in the airport.

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Grandpa and Winter.

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Winter wearing her “Nuts about Grandma” shirt!

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Getting to know each other.

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PEDIATRICIAN APPOINTMENT.  At 6 days old, Winter went to the doctor for her first appointment after the hospital.  Our pediatrician’s office has really fun decorations in the office.  We were put in the arctic room, which is perfect for our little Winter girl!  The doctor said they might just have to always reserve that room for Winter’s appointments.  Winter is doing SO GREAT that she has already gotten taller (she is now 19 inches, up from 18.5) and regained and surpassed her birth weight!!  The pediatrician thought that was just incredible considering they hope that babies reach their birthweight by 2 weeks old.  At her appointment she was already 7 lbs 7 oz, and she left the hospital just days before at 7 lbs even (birth weight was 7 lbs 2.5 oz).  This little gal is a GREAT eater.  Seriously, a champion at breastfeeding!

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My mom and Eric with Winter at the doctor appointment.

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Mommy and Winter at her first check-up at 6 days old.

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Fun wintery room!

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SNOW DAY!  In Colorado we get fluke weather days.  We woke up to snow on the ground one day this week!  Snow in October is not unheard of.  In fact, the snowfall we got this week wasn’t our first snow of the season!  It was fun to go out walking on Winter’s first snow day!

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Winter’s first snowy day!

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Family picture on our snow day walk.

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WALKING.  For any of you that have followed my pregnancy, you know just how important fitness is to me.  I decided that once the baby was born, I was going to take a short break from “formal exercise” for a few weeks to allow my body proper rest for healing.  The doctor said that walking doesn’t count and is completely fine to do, so I have been taking long walks every single day.  It’s very important for me to get out in the fresh air and get some exercise.  I’m looking forward to getting back to “real exercise” soon…but for now walking has been such a great time.  Our daily walks are a fun boding time….and plus we just love our BOB stroller!

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Walking around the lake by our house.

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Family walk.

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On our walk one evening.

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WINTER’S NURSERY. We are having Winter sleep in our bedroom in a bassinet for the first few months, but we are still getting use of the nursery.  We always change her diapers in there, and sometimes I go in the nursery to breastfeed in the glider rocking chair.

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Winter has yet to use her crib, but we placed her in the crib to snap a photo of her!

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My mom helped finish the nursery by sewing the final touches on the pillows.  I still hadn’t sewed up the stuffing holes:)  Thanks Mom!

MY HUSBAND IS NOW THE WORLD’S GREATEST DADDY.  Eric is the best.  I seriously couldn’t ask for a better husband and father.  He loves Winter so much and he is perfect with her.  I think I love him now more than I ever have:)

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Naptime on the couch.

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On a walk with Winter.

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MORE PHOTOS OF MY BABY!  And now I just have several more photos of our sweet little Winnie girl.  We just love her so much.  She is an angel baby.  She rarely cries or fusses.  She eats like clockwork every 3 hours.  She is a rockstar at breastfeeding.  And she is just so beautiful.

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10 Pregnancy Health Goals

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For the majority of this pregnancy to date I have felt that I try to “stay healthy” as a whole.  Faithfully I exercise 6 days per week and I generally “eat healthy” for the most part.  I am happy with my exercise performance, but I feel that my eating habits have slowly gone downhill and I would like to revisit what my health and eating goals look like.

My goal is to keep my pregnancy weight gain at a slower pace.  It’s mentally tough to watch those numbers on the scale go up to a weight I have never seen before.  My goal for pregnancy weight gain is to cap off at around 30 lbs gained (plus or minus).  At the beginning of my pregnancy, my doctor informed me that healthy weight gain for pregnancy should fall in the range of 25-35 pounds.  30 pounds puts me right in the middle.  By eating healthier, it will help me achieve that weight goal, as well as eat more nutritious foods to help my baby’s growth, instead of eating junk that has no nutritional value for my growing baby.

My 10 Pregnancy Health Goals:

1. Drink lots of water. When I say lots, my goal is to be drinking at least 10 glasses (or approximately 5 nalgene water bottles) each day.  The more hydrated I can stay, the healthier baby and I will be.  When you become dehydrated, sometimes you can mistake dehydration for hunger. Rather than grabbing for a snack, I want to try to always go for a drink of water first to see whether it’s really hunger or if it’s thirst.

1water2. Eliminate sweets (for a while). So far this week I have eliminated sweets completely since I was eating ice cream, cookies or other dessert/sweets on a daily basis for a period of time.   Now, I want to completely eliminate sweets to get those cravings under control.  Once I feel ready, I would like to change this goal to eating a dessert/sweet one to two times per week (max).  An example of this would be: eating an ice cream cone on a Monday night and having a brownie for dessert on Saturday night with dinner.  For now (the next week or two weeks), I am making a goal to eat zero sweets.2sweets

3. Don’t count calories – rather focus on healthy foods & portion control.  If I count calories I already know I’m going to drive myself crazy.  This is not the time to count calories since I am pregnant.  I know that I only need to consume an extra 300 calories per day due to pregnancy, but I haven’t counted calories in years.  I’m not about to start. But, with that being said, I want to choose HEALTHY foods to eat my calories with, instead of non-healthy foods.  I want to consume reasonable sized portions.

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4. Avoid processed foods – eat mainly whole or natural foods.  I’m trying to avoid things like crackers, chips, etc, but find that okay snacks are things like: fruit, string cheese, greek yogurt, granola bar, hard boiled egg, natural dried fruit, almonds or veggies.

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5. Consume a lot of fibrous foods. IE fruits and vegetables.  I already eat a lot of fruit, but I want to try to make it a point to eat vegetables with dinner every night.

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6. Eat healthy snacks and don’t allow my sugar to drop.  A mistake I’ve been known to make to save calories is to try to limit my food intake and get in a bad mood because my blood sugar drops.  This makes me an angry person who yells at people for no reason.  I want to make sure I am regularly consuming healthy snacks to avoid this pitfall.  Snacks could be: string cheese, fruit, granola bar, almonds, yogurt, etc.

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7. Eat fruit or greek yogurt in place of dessert. I do like the idea of “having dessert” at night.  The past few days after dinner, instead of going for actual dessert, I have been eating a fruit flavored greek yogurt to satisfy my sweet craving.  Another option could be to chop up some strawberries and eat those from a bowl or something like that.

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8. Continue with 5-6 days per week of exercise.  Currently my typical exercise routine includes 3 gym days and 3 outdoor running days.  The running on some days is starting to be at the gym in the air conditioning rather than outdoors.   Maintaining 6 (or 5) days per week is my goal.  I want to continue doing 30-60 minutes per day of exercise throughout the remainder of the pregnancy.  Ideally I like to complete at least 40 minutes of cardio (40 minutes for 40 weeks!)  On non-running days, I usually find myself doing the elliptical trainer, the rowing machine or the bike.  Plus some weight training.

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9. Don’t stress if I’m not perfect. If and when I slip up, don’t beat myself up about it. Just move on.  I cannot expect myself to make perfect choices 100% of the time.  I am a human, after all.  But if I do make a mistake, I don’t want to let the mistake spiral out of control—I want to move on and continue with healthier choices.

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10. Allow myself one “free meal” per week. Right now I’m not going to do this quite yet since I’m trying to stabilize myself after eating less than perfectly.  But I want to note that I think it’s realistic for me to have one meal per week where I’m not overly worried if the meal is healthy or not. This will be saved for more special occasions such as: going out to eat for dinner with my husband or going to a barbeque at a friend’s house.

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With these guidelines, I hope that I will be able to keep my pregnancy weight gain in check and have an overall healthier pregnancy.  I also realize that it will allow the transition of post-natal weight loss much easier if I am eating in a healthful way NOW, rather than eating terribly and then having to fix my diet after the baby is born.

Note/Disclaimer: These are simply MY THOUGHTS and opinions for my personal pregnancy health.  I am not a registered dietitian or an MD.  These are simply how I plan to stay healthy for the remainder of my pregnancy.  Thanks for reading.