Thursday, January 28, 2016

Banana Ice Cream!


You will not believe the texture of this ice cream. No pictures do it justice! It is SO THICK and almost chewy like, I love it!


2 frozen bananas
Your choice of add-ins! (peanut butter, fruit, cacao, Shakeology, etc.).  I used cacoa and peanut butter :)


Peel 2 frozen bananas, chop them up into quarters, and place with add-ins into food processor. As you blend, the bananas will become grainy and you will wonder why it's not turning into ice cream. KEEP BLENDING. Take the top off, scrape the sides, and keep going. After awhile the grains will stick together and become a smooth, creamy, ice cream delight! Use an ice cream scoop and put into a cone! The texture is perfect for that.

Sometimes breastfeeding makes you fat.

Here I am, almost 6 weeks post-partum, and I have not lost any more weight since week 4 (which is when I first weighed myself). In fact, I've been GAINING BACK all my pregnancy weight. As it stands, I weigh more now than I did 25 weeks pregnant. 

Now, people comment on how fast I've bounced back or how it's all because it's my first child...but this is false. Granted, I worked really hard so I wouldn't have much to bounce back from, so to others it may look like I have bounced back. But I am holding on to about 16 pounds that I did not have before pregnancy. That means I still have more than half my pregnancy weight on me. YIKES! I do not fit into my  normal pants and am still sporting my maternity pants. I guess I'm NOT one of those wonder-woman mommy bloggers who lose all their weight in a week post birth. Which brings me to my next point.

You may hear about how moms lose weight by breastfeeding, and while this may be true for many people, it can also be the opposite. Yes, breastfeeding can make your uterus shrink down at a rapid rate (which it did for me [plus wearing a girdle]), but for many mothers that is about all the help they get from breastfeeding. They say to eat extra calories while breastfeeding, but as with pregnancy, don't listen to that. Don't think you can eat extra unless you know your body has no stored fat and nutrients to give. I'm eating normally and working out, and I'm still gaining weight. 

Some moms cannot lose weight until they are done breastfeeding, and there are many reasons for this. A big one is that moms who breastfeed have to feed much more frequently, and therefore get less sleep because not only are they the only ones who can feed their child, but they also have to be awake much more frequently. I'm going on 6 weeks of having to feed every 2-3 hours, and I feed 30-40 minutes each time. This means I get 1 1/2-2 hours of non-feeding time in  between feeds, and during the day that is used for cleaning while my baby plays on her playmat, and then working (piano lessons, transcription, and business) during her naptime. At night that 1 1/2-2 hours is spent with 30 minutes of trying to fall back asleep led by an hour or so of sleep and then up again to my screaming baby needing food. So not only do I get about 5 hours of sleep to each day (less on some nights), but I still never made up for my 3-day sleepless labor. So spread that 72 sleepless hours over the course of the past 6 weeks and you're looking at a barely functioning body. 

Lack of sleep = slow body processes. Slow body processes equals slow metabolism, hormonal and chemical imbalances, mindless or inconsistent eating, etc... 


Despite the sleep problem, I think I also just happen to be one of those people who does NOT lose weight while breastfeeding despite eating the same (if not less than while I was pregnant) and working out. My one problem area right now is drinking water. The day of and the few days after birth I drank water like there was no tomorrow. Now, not so much. Being slightly dehydrated makes your body increase the chemicals that store belly fat, and I'm going to address the water issue to see if that helps.

Here is a picture of where I stand currently. 





Now these are my maternity pants. When I bought them at 12 weeks pregnant, they were huge. There was a gap all the way around my waist, and probably a good 2-3 inches gap in the front. Now I have to do a dance to get them on. They are tighter on me than when I was pregnant. How is this possible?!

It is hard, very hard, to get your body back after birth. I've tried working out, and sometimes I have to split my 30 minute workout into 6, 5-minute sessions because of my baby. She used to not take naps at all, and thank the Lord she is starting to now. So I'm fitting in what I can when I can, but realizing that I can't be like the rest of those mommy-bloggers out there. I don't know how they got back so fast, but that's not me. It's going to be a much longer journey for me.

I purchased my 21 day fix extreme and am starting that next week and going to do monitor my food and water intake. Here's hoping I can at least stop this weight gain cycle!


 On the bright side (the REALLY bright side!), this child below is the result of my body changes. She is totally precious and is my little gem. If I never lose those 16 pounds it still is all way worth it :)

EXTREME FITNESS. SIMPLE EATING. SERIOUS RESULTS.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

4 weeks postpartum: What it's really like, tips, and exercises to do NOW

3 weeks postpartum

2 1/2 weeks old 


Postpartum! I can see how the depression can kick in (I'm not suffering from it, but I definitely can see how people do; totally understandable). Having a new baby is fun and sleep depriving, but it hasn't changed my life all that much. I still have other kids who have schedules and places to be, so my life's schedule is the same---minus sleep.

However, my postpartum body has been a shocker. Pain, bleeding, leaking (you know what I'm talking about, moms...), along with a pelvis disorder that has made it so I feel like I can't do anything! My boobs hurt all the time and we've both suffered thrush already (ouch! Pain in the boobies x10000!), and life is just not glamorous.

That being said. Life is better. Every time Eleni screams and wakes up at night or needs my attention, I can't help but smile when I see her face. I can't believe this is my little human. I've been taking each of these moments as bonus times I get to enjoy her at her current age. She changes every day! She looks like a new person every day! It is SO crazy how fast it goes by. I enjoy every second I get to spend with her because I know it's going to be gone in a flash.


Before I get into my physical routine, here are some postpartum tips I have gathered from my short experience:


1. Nipple butter.

I did not use nipple butter the first 2-3 days and ended up having cracked, bleeding, incredibly painful nipples that scabbed over. I had to do deep lamaze breathing to get through breastfeeding her every time. DON'T RISK IT. I now put coconut oil on after every feeding.

2. Dress in nice clothes.

Yes, immediately. I cannot express enough how gross your body is going to feel, and I strongly believe that this can be a factor in postpartum depression. Put on makeup! Wear a normal, cute outfit, at least when you go out. Do your hair when you have time! Eat healthy good foods, but don't go super crazy. Eat to feel good (like REALLY feel good, not feel good in one moment and then hate yourself later). Do not let this stage in your life make you give up on yourself. Once you let yourself go, it's easier to let yourself go in other areas (marriage, weight, etc.).

3. Wear a girdle, spanx, or corset.

Support your stomach! Not only does wearing a girdle help you shrink your uterus, it helps support your stomach muscles so they can heal properly.

4. The contractions won't last forever.

When I was breastfeeding for those first few days, I got horrible contractions. After my incredibly long latent labor, I felt traumatized to the point that I started crying when these new contractions (to shrink the uterus) happened. I was worried that they wouldn't ever end, just like my labor seemed to never end. THEY WILL. Even after feeding I would still feel them and would have to cope the same way I did during labor. This is a short phase! A day or two for me and it was NOT every time I fed.

5. Do pelvic floor exercises IMMEDIATELY upon birth.

This is no joke. I was horrified when I had my first #1 and #2 and discovered I couldn't shut down either of those at will. Doing kegels and pelvic floor exercises will help you heal! It is no joke. Take care of your lady parts. Also, do not think you can jump into an exercise program 4-6 weeks postpartum without having built up your pelvic floor first. If you want to exercise ASAP, you need to be doing this immediately after birth. Strengthening your pelvic floor should be your priority. The exercises may seem so small, but they will help strengthen your core AND lower pooch. Please do not try to take on any exercise before building up your pelvic floor.

6. DRINK WATER.

Drink water like you never have before. It will help your body function better, produce milk, eliminate excess fluids, and make you feel so much better. Also, if you are like me, you will sweat pounds of fluids every night in bed. It's super gross. You're going to have to change your sheets A LOT. This is your body's way of eliminating that fluid retention you have. Also anther reason to drink more water.

7.. Say yes to help.

Yes when your mom wants to hold the baby. Yes when your friend wants to make you dinner. Ask your husband to watch the baby so you can have a bath. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I am notorious for wanting to feel like wonder woman, so I ALWAYS feel guilty for saying yes or for asking for help. My first two years of marriage I had an incredibly hard time asking my husband for help with the kids. I wanted to do it all and be amazing. It wasn't healthy and was too much pressure on myself to the point that I was somewhat resentful. Don't think you're not amazing because you ask for help or say yes. Take care of yourself so you can take care of everyone else with a better attitude.

8. Focus on the positive.

Those moments where you are awakened every 10 minutes through the night or have a colicky baby in your arms with other children running around you needing help with homework or getting to school....breathe. This stage in life is short. Be comforted by the fact that you get to be there for your infant. Look at his/her face and focus on the fact that it will change rapidly every day as a baby and be thankful you get to soak it in so much.

9. Make humor your best friend.

This is my MAIN piece of advice! I am soooooo ridiculous right now. I say the silliest things to the baby when she's screaming ("I will not negotiate with terrorists" being my main middle of the night line) and say it all cute style so I make myself laugh. Be the funniest person you know. Putting humor into tiring situations gives an extra energy boost and takes the negative feel away from the situation. Poop explosions, changing clothes, bath time, etc... make light of it all. There's nothing sillier/better than making yourself laugh through those times.





And on to exercise....

Week One:

Alright, so I overdid it a couple of days my first week postpartum. I tried walking on the treadmill, which was ridiculous. I did squats, which wasnt all that bad. And I did pushups, which was probably the most appropriate. But what I didn't do as much were my pelvic floor exercises. I did kegels every day, but the only other exercises I should've done that first week were more pelvic floor exercises. I hurt myself walking because my pelvic floor was too weak and I had pubic symphysis. I was trying to jump in too fast. So at the end of week one I focused more on just pelvic exercises.

Week two:

Week two I continued with pelvic floor exercises and stretching, but also added in doing a 2 minute bridge, 1 min plank on my knees, 100 pushups, and 100 tricep dips every day. Before you gasp, I started out with wall pushups. Then I did counter pushups. Then I did modified knee pushups. I slowly built myself up and didn't want to put too much strain on my abs yet.

Week three:

I did the same routine as above, but started taking my knees off the floor for my planks. I also did as many pushups as I could normally, and then dropped to my knees to finish out my set.

Week four:

I started PiYo this week. I did my pelvic floor exercises for warmup, and did my 100 pushups/tricep dips on upper body days, and then 2 min bridge and 1 min plank on lower body days. I took all lunges and warrior series easy because my hips and pubic symphysis were not quite healed completely, but they definitely had gotten soooo much better! I feel like I could walk on the treadmill if I wanted. I felt really great doing PiYo and have no regrets easing into that program.



My plan is to continue doing PiYo and extra exercises (as listed above, maybe incline walking added) until 6 weeks postpartum. After that I'm going to start a more intense exercise routine (21 day fix starting Feb, follow the challenge pack link to get yours on sale this month and join me in my journey!) to shed these last 12 pounds I'm hanging on to! My goal is to lose 8 pounds (actually my first goal is 5 lbs..), since I'm breastfeeding and not sleeping I feel like I shouldn't stress myself to get right back to my most fit weight. But I definitely am confident that 8 pounds will just come off with a moderate exercise routine and maybe a bit more sleep (fingers crossed for that!).


Get your 21 day fix challenge pack here (on sale for only two more weeks!) and email/message me to join our accountability group!:

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Bath time was rough... ;)