There are abs.
And Choo Choo, who has an adorable new baby and a great style blog, asked me what I did. And that was the point of this blog, after all, to document what I did, mostly so I would remember myself, but also so it might help someone else.
First, some caveats:
- I don't store a lot of body fat in my midsection. Never have. I'm at around 21% body fat now, but there's a reason it's an ab shot and not a thigh shot! Know your own body and its limitations, and celebrate what it does well!
- I don't diet. My reason is that I love food, and not in the orthorexic exercise-addicted running blogger way where I say I love food and post skeletal selfies while pretending I love to eat candy. I mean that I love to cook, and as I try to minimize the use of packaged food, figuring out how many calories I'm eating is honestly too much effort for me.
- But, for the curious, here's what I ate today. This is pretty normal for me right now, although some days you can add a cookie/muffin/more junk to this list, and some days I need a bigger afternoon snack:
- Breakfast: quinoa and oatmeal porridge topped with sliced bananas, with almond milk and a generous dollop of whole milk yogurt.
- Lunch: tofu green curry and white rice, and a clementine.
- Dinner: chicken fajita wrap, + about another two ounces sauteed chicken, plus raw veggies: broccoli, radishes, and cucumber.
- Snacks: almonds, raisins, dried cranberries, three tootsie rolls (raided office candy dish.. bad habit), 1 Lindt chocolate, yogurt with berries.
- Beverages: coffee (2 cups, with half&half), one mug green tea, water, almond milk.
- Blogging: rum & coke. Hey, it's Mardi Gras.
Alright, so here's what I did, roughly, by month.
- I kept active during pregnancy. I gained 25 pounds, and I exercised and ate well. I think this is why it's been relatively easy to bounce back.
- April: spend 21 hours laboring to deliver The Kettlebell, who had a 14" circumference head that presented asynclitic, with the help of an OB and some forceps.
- May-September: recover from some serious pelvic floor damage and laxity. I might talk more about this later, but I did Tasha's DVD religiously, and I'd recommend it highly to any woman with postpartum "down there" issues! Actually, scratch that. If you had a baby, do it. Here's the nice bonus: to fix your pelvic floor means learning about every little muscle in your core. If you strengthen those, especially your transverse abdominus, you flatten your lower abs.
- September: I start adding yoga to my core routine. I just had a baby, and I have no cash for classes. DoYogaWithMe are fabulous, free routines, and you can sort them by time and focus.
- October: I start walking. I tried to walk two-three miles at least four times a week, pushing the jogging stroller. I wore minimalist shoes to strengthen my feet and calves because I knew I wanted to start running in November, but otherwise, these were just nice walks around the neighborhood in the fall sunshine, nothing fancy. I kept up with yoga.
- November-December: I start the blog, and what I called Project #1. I started a couch to 5k program, and cross-trained with Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred videos, which you can find on YouTube, and continued with yoga.
- January: I finish the 5K program, and begin Project #2. I've stuck to it, especially the time limitations, so what you see is just the result of that effort, nothing fancy, no three-hour workouts.
- February: I discover Cassey and Blogilates, which is basically the perkiest core exercises and instructor in the world. I'm completely in love with it!
It was a long time before I started exercising seriously. I want to mention that because it really did take about six months for everything to heal to the point where I felt like my old self might be recoverable.
So, be patient, eat well, and snuggle your baby. You got this.