6 Months Postpartum: the half way point

Love Life and Lollipops- 6 Months Postpartum

Postpartum recovery is truly a full year.  Flushing your body of all those crazy hormones, shrinking your pelvis back to size (well as far back as it will go...often your shape postpartum is different from preconception), losing all those lbs, replacing your nutrient stores (assuming you're working toward this...it takes major discipline) from which you pulled to pull a rabbit out of a hat (read: build a baby from scratch), meanwhile keeping the rest of your life and family in some sort of order takes major time and commitment.

For me, this round has been even more challenging than the first (with Avi of course I mean), yet even more rewarding.  There is twice as much to keep up with and even less sleep to have, but having done it once before, I have a confidence and set of skills I did not previously have.  It allows me to enjoy it a bit more and take absolutely nothing for granted.  As some of these days feel so long and challenging after coming off of only a few hours of sleep, there is a constant reminder that these days are fleeting and I should love and cherish every second of them.

That said...losing this weight has been the biggest challenge.  And while it sounds superficial, it's a bit more profound.  Here's why: between the conception period, two miscarriages (1 and 2), and the 10 long months of pregnancy, it's been a long time since I've felt like myself.  My body has been through so many changes (both physical and emotional) and so many restrictions, it's been hard to feel like my old, fun, wild self.  Having my body (at least resemble) what it once did, being able to fit into my old clothes reminds me that at some point, I'll be able to be me again once in a while, not just Mama 24 hours a day.

The cleaner I eat, the more yoga I do, this new interval training I'm doing, and Soul Cycling I've started, the quicker I see myself jump off that plateau I landed on and my size start to shrink back.

Between the last time I posted and now, my weight really did plateau.  I had a serious problem getting below the 128lb mark.  I was literally stuck there for the last two months.  But in the last week since I've started this new exercise regimen and really concentrated on not overeating (which is tough when nursing) and incorporating more raw foods with the arrival of this beautiful weather, I've lost another 2 lbs in the past week.  I'm pretty sure over the last few months of yoga I've gained a bit of muscle as I can feel myself significantly stronger.  So that's where I am 126lbs!  I definitely would like to shed a few more off my belly (and love handles;)), but I'm starting to feel happy about where I am!

But more importantly than that, I'm feeling great energy from my work outs, less bloated from the foods I'm eating, less cravings, and generally happier (regardless of the fact that the major lack of sleep continues!).

Soul Cycle kicked my butt! And I'm going back for more.

Love Life and Lollipops- Red faced from our Soul Cycle workout...was this red for hours!

I have to admit that exercise has never really been my thing.  I've always been part of the artsy crowd, not the athletic one.  In college I started yoga in college and fell in love.  And since then, that was my main form of exercise (that and walking like crazy of course).  Yoga feels fantastic to me.  It resonated with my  body and mind and is a staple in my life.  Since having Bar, my yoga classes have been helping me get toned and strong and remain sane.

The thing is, in so many books I've been reading (like Mark Hyman's UltraMetabolism and Andrew Weil's 8 Weeks to Optimum Health and John Douillard's The 3 Season Diet and others) these top holistic doctor are talking about interval training and how important it is to getting to your proper weight and maintaining optimum health.  For so so long I breezed through these parts of the books focusing only on the nutrition and lifestyle sections.  It was really a block for me and a laziness coming from a place of knowing that hard, heart-pumping, sweaty exercise was uncomfortable for me and I'd prefer not to do it.

But in my struggle to lose this last bit of baby weight, and hitting a major plateau, and being so tired from lack of sleep and maintaining my status quo and no more, I decided last week to start some interval training.  There's no reason I can't fit it in (it only takes 25 min) and I have a gym in my building and Baby Bar sleeps for a hour every morning (during which I was walking with her in the stroller...i.e. the bare minimum exercise I could do).  No excuses!

The interval training on the treadmill made me feel awesome.  I was sweaty and hot and I could totally get through it.  I was even using some of John Douillard's recommendations on breathing exercises (basic pranayama) while I ran and it felt great!  Ujai breathing and sprints?!?  What a fabulous combo.

Jump to this past Saturday when my sister-in-law, Rachel, convinced me to let her sign us both up for spinning class this week.  Jump to this afternoon: anxiety, nervousness, spinning shoes on my feet, and ready to go.  Our teacher Jolie was amazing!  She was 7 month pregnant and in waaaaay better shape than me!  She had amazing energy, dj skills to impress any amateur like myself, and had me sweating my face off (literally I was dripping down my face onto my shirt, though you couldn't tell cause I also drenched my shirt).  She was inspiring to say the least.

I couldn't come close to doing all the moves.  There is a lot of choreography and strength work combined and I'm far from the most coordinated as many of you know.  That said, I made it through the whole class and never stopped moving.  It incorporated abs, upper body, weights, sprints, resistance work, full full body.

Everyone said I'd be addicted.  Not sure if I'm addicted...yet...but I'm definitely up for the challenge.  Soul Cycle, here I come!  Baby weight, here you go!


Love Life and Lollipops- Nursing while Yogaing

I know I haven't written a postpartum post in a while.  Promise I will soon.  This postpartum phase, which truly lasts a year, is challenging to say the least.  Each time you think you've got it figured out, something major changes and you've got new puzzles to solve.  That said, on the days where you feel like you may have just got it figured out, there is no better feeling than enjoying these early days, weeks, months of your new life with a new baby and a new you.

For me, around 3 months things started to get more and more challenging for me.  The deep fatigue set in, Avital began to act out more, Bar was still up all night and nursing all day, and Richie began to feel neglected as well.  I was being stretched way too thin in way too many directions and it was weighing on my health and sanity.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I was in a dark place, but things were certainly grey.  It was tough to see the light at the end and I was getting a little sad about everything, feeling fuzzy and unfocused.  Luckily, on one of these rare, but amazing warm winter days we've been blessed with this season, I had a moment of clarity and decided that I needed more yoga in my life.  I figured it would give me more me time, more flexibility, more openness, more good stuff all around.

I signed up for a handful of mommy and baby classes and made it a point not to miss a class.  I was waaaaaaaay out of shape and tight in all the wrong places so my practice was nothing short of ugly.  Nonetheless, I dragged my tush to yoga three days a week and did some dvd's on my off days.

At the playspace where I was practicing (Frolic), there was a prenatal class that they scheduled which no one was showing up for.  To my luck, they offered it to me as a mommy and baby and I happened upon Flo Cabre-Andrews!  It was an uh-mazing practice.  Exactly the right amount of push and pull so to speak and I knew I needed more.  I attended a couple weeks of that class before I approached her to do some privates.  She was happy to oblige and in no time at all I was up to three practices a week with her!

She teaches me an anusara style yoga which resonates deeply with my body.  On days when I'm feeling fatigued, it leaves me feeling energized.  On days when I'm feeling good, it leaves me appropriately fatigued;)

Most importantly, Flo and anusara have left me motivated, inspired, open, stronger than ever before, humbled, and most most importantly: sane.  The work we've been doing has helped me be a better mom, wife, friend, person!  It's helped me slow down and take the time to think and breathe.  It's given my physical strength to carry the baby and set her down with more steadiness and stability.  It's given me the mental strength to do the incredibly arduous work it takes to be a mom and wife.

I am infinitely grateful to both Flo and yoga for lending me the tools I need to be the best me I can be in this oh so testing time in my life.


Yoga Life

Love Life and Lollipops- Uktanasana by the Shore

Yoga is so important for healthy living. One of the best perks here at the Rock House Hotel is the 8a yoga offered by the pool (overlooking the ocean) every morning.  It’s so beautiful looking out onto the water and it definitely makes those utkatasanas much easier to stay in just a bit longer;).

I do my best to get a little bit of yoga into each of my days.  Most days that means I pull out my mat to do 10-15 minutes on my bedroom floor concentrating on whichever poses will relieve whichever achy muscles I have that day (i.e. sore lower back from sleeping with Avi all night or achy right arm and shoulder for choosing to carry her instead of lugging the stroller or for that matter achy upper back for lugging a stroller into and out of a cab when all she really wants to do is walk).

We do mommy and baby yoga on Mondays and I always love our Mondays for this.  Starting the day with a true practice is such a phenomenal, invigorating, energizing way to get through the day’s struggles.

This morning Richie and I got up super early to the sound of the waves crashing in the caves beneath us.  I peeled myself out of bed and washed up, made us some iced green tea, each had a bit of computer time to feel caught up, and off we were to yoga overlooking the Caribbean ocean.  The only thing missing from this extraordinary day is our little munchkin, but I expect she is having a fantabulous time of her own with my parents in Connecticut (a vacation of her own).