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Post Pregnancy Fitness – Diary of a Gym Mum!

Follow Beth as she embarks on a very personal journey – her post pregnancy fitness plan.  Beth trained with me during her pregnancy and is now sharing the up’s and down’s of getting her body back. Keep following for diary updates.

 

Entry 1 – Call Craig:

I can’t quite believe that I’m actually a mum…I know I spent what felt like forever being pregnant and growing this tiny little human but now I’m actually a mum! Oh my goodness…I’M A BLOODY MUM!!
A few days turned in to a few weeks but it finally sunk in that I’m a mum. What to do now…? Let’s look at all the exciting things I can do with my new little boy; Monday – Rhyme Time, Wednesday – Jo Jingles, Friday – Baby Massage, sound familiar?

Wardrobe malfunction
Monday comes around, what do I wear ? I want to appear to be handling motherhood well enough to blend in but not so well that I look smug!!

After an hour or so of trying on my “normal” wardrobe, previously banished to the vacuum bags, I was forced into the decision of a nursing vest and my “fat” jeans. Feeling slightly dejected that my body hadn’t immediately bounced back to it’s previous glory on my wedding day (Logan was a honeymoon baby), I had a moan to my husband Dave who kindly reminded me that it had only been 5 weeks AND I was yet to exercise other than housework and dog walking!

Baby Brain
First week of baby related classes done, brain ever so slightly frazzled from the nursery rhymes, nappies and bottles, decision made, I need something else to focus on, just for me…call Craig and get back to the gym. Operation shift excess baby weight (and regain some grown up normality) is officially on. Next stop is M&S to purchase some bosom related scaffolding!

“I have been training Beth for over 4 years and was delighted when she decided to continue with CBPT after the birth of Logan. Training after pregnancy can be a physical and emotional challenge but with the right nutritional and training protocols every woman should be able to achieve their goals, whatever they may be” CBPT

Entry 2 – Feeling it:

Dave: “What time shall we go to the gym today?”
Me: “Once Logan has had his feed so he stays asleep while we train
Dave: “What time will that be?”

Christ…if only babies worked to a schedule like his Dad seemed to think!
After being so excited about my first session back in the gym I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a bus…my gosh I’ve missed this feeling; struggling to walk, struggling to sit, unable to move from standing to sitting, the thought of stairs made me want to cry! What a feeling though…My journey has begun!!!

Entry 3: The heat is on:

What a frustrating week, hospital appointments, check ups, first injections and a heat wave…am I going to fit in meal prep and training? Of course I did, it’s all about prioritising! For cardio I get out and walk with our little dog pack – Logan (baby) and Doug (dog) every morning and afternoon. In this heat and at my current level of fitness it feels like I’m running the marathon again!

Fail to plan – plan to fail
Dave is a massive help with meal prep, we batch cook chicken and he’ll make me a salad or cook some vegetables for me while I’m feeding Logan, this makes it easier for me to eat while he’s at work.
Now Logan is a bit more predictable I can plan my gym sessions around him. Two in the week and one at the weekend while Daddy day care is available. Since we were forecast a heatwave I planned my gym days around this but I actually quite like the extra sweat…felt like I was getting back to the former me!

Training
This week training has seemed a little easier than last week, I feel like I’m getting my flow back but by no means am I taking my foot off the gas! My summer clothes do not fit and the world is definitely not ready to see me in shorts again.

After so many months of not being able to push myself as I’d have liked to it was great to properly sweat in the gym this week. I even let out a few little grunts during my final sets, pushing myself to ‘failure’ just as Craig prescribes.

“Training to failure will ensure that you get the maximum GLUT 4 receptor activation which encourages the muscle to absorb more glucose from food and improves insulin sensitivity. It will also shock as many muscle fibres as possible which will stimulate the muscle to be better and stronger next time”. CBPT

Menus and Macros
I do love this time of year, I think you can make so many lovely salads and perk them up with various things. Last night I made Mediterranean Beef burgers with capers, sun dried tomatoes, dried herbs and lean steak mince – all whizzed up in the food processor so dead quick and easy. I weigh out my burger balls so I know I’m sticking to the macros Craig has set me. I stuffed each burger with a little feta and whacked them under the grill while I made a nice leafy salad with a squeeze of fresh lemon. I must admit I’m a bit of a geek and often look up recipes while I’m feeding Logan, basically I just think about food all day!!

“Understanding your macros is key to fat loss and muscle building. I have given Beth a bespoke daily breakdown of carbs, protein and fat; these will change as the weeks go by according to her progress and goals.”  CBPT

CBPT-Macros-Post

 

Rules Rules and more Rules!
I am finding it increasingly difficult to stay on track now I have a baby rather than when I was pregnant, I never really had cravings during pregnancy but I do now. I’m not sure if I am just being greedy or trying to convince myself I deserve more as I’m breastfeeding and burning those “extra calories”. Plus I feel the need to rebel after the rules of pregnancy and breastfeeding – no unpasteurised cheese, not too many acidic foods, avoid too much spice etc etc. I’ve never been very good at doing as I’m told so almost a year down the line I feel like I’m getting a bit sick of it.

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Entry 4 – Just Do it!

I woke up this morning after a night of broken sleep due to the heatwave. I had planned to train today but wasn’t sure whether it would kill or cure…only one way to find out!!

Fuelled myself a decent breakfast and a well needed black coffee, sorted my post workout protein and carbs (according to my CBPT nutritional protocol), got to the gym and it was already like an oven…I was sweating after my warm up!!!

“Breakfast is a key meal for anyone who is taking fat loss and training seriously. I always encourage clients to have a high protein and moderate fat based breakfast. This will help encourage fat loss from the outset” CBPT

Goals….
Only one thing for it, hydrate and get on with it! I’m so pleased I did, I felt so much better for the rest of the day, amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it! I just keep thinking about the dress I have bought for my mums wedding in a few weeks….

Entry 5: Milestone

First goal achieved this morning…officially back under 70kg! I’ve been waiting for this moment since I went over it during pregnancy! I’m so excited it’s motivated me to push myself even more!!!

Entry 6: Non Training day

Today is a non training day and I’m spending my time out and about with Logan so I need to be prepared.

Start off with a nice walk with my little squad, while Logan was still asleep in his carrier, I took the time to do some meal prep for the day.

I’ve prepared three meals according to my nutritional protocol set by CBPT. My second meal is chicken salad – chicken breast, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice the half a grapefruit. My snack is a pot of almonds (weighed out) and of course I have my bottle of water to keep hydrated in this lovely sunshine!!

Entry 7: Prowling = Hunger

After a few weeks easing myself back into the gym and my new program increasing the number of sets I’m doing per exercise, I added the prowler in as a finisher so I feel like I’ve earned my tea tonight!
Sun-dried tomato and Italian herb chicken breast burgers with salad and oven baked sweet potato fries.

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Entry 8: Being Inventive

Trying to be inventive with my food to create dishes I can eat with one hand while the other is busy with Logan. Today I made lettuce cups filled with chicken breast mince, a teaspoon of green pesto and various salad bits out the fridge.

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Entry 9: Shattered!

Rest day from the gym but feel shattered after a day of housework and food shopping. I was in need of something seriously tasty… Thai green vegetables with Tuna steak for tea.  Followed by my carb allowance of my favourite pop corn while we watch a film, only 50g carbs for the whole bag! YUMMY!

Entry 10: Down but not defeated.

I saw Craig today to do my callipers and although I’m going in the right direction, losing 1.6% body fat in the past four weeks, however I can’t help but feel slightly dejected that it isn’t more.

After working out a new nutritional strategy moving forward and making the decision to add in an additional training session I felt more positive about everything. Being totally honest, my nutrition has been good but occasionally I’ll be concentrating on Logan’s needs so miss one of my meals, as difficult as it may be, I know I need to try harder if I want to succeed in getting my pre-pregnancy body back.

Beth is absolutely right. Getting ‘back in shape’ post pregnancy is not an easy journey with hormones playing a major part here. For breast feeding mums the option of supplements is restricted so we look at tweaking nutrition and training to get the right balance. Beth is doing really well I have no doubt that she will continue to see results as the weeks pass. It is a marathon not a sprint” 

Research
I did some research of my own when I got home and guess I should remember that poor sleep and hormones that are yet to return to normal will be a contributing factor. I must keep reminding myself that it took 9 months to change my body and grow my little boy, unfortunately it’s not going to spring back over night…but wouldn’t it just be so much easier if it did?! Would we still get the same sense of achievement if it were that easy…..?

Onwards and upwards though, I have my next two appointments booked in with Craig and have signed up for the Frontier 8 week challenge starting at the beginning of September.

Entry 11: Head in the Game

My first session back after seeing Craig was definitely a good one! I either put more effort in than usual and got more out or I was tired after Logan decided it was a really good idea to chatter to himself between 2:00 and 3:00 this morning. Either way I felt like I pushed myself harder than I have done for a long while and it felt great…hoping I’ve turned a corner and I’m ready to go full throttle at this.

We’ve booked a last minute first family holiday to Filey. I’m really excited but can’t help feel slightly nervous about missing a few gym sessions having only just got back into the flow of the gym.  Instead of stressing about it I decided to make a plan.  I will train the morning we leave as we can’t check in until after lunchtime and then when I get back in the afternoon so realistically I’ll only miss one session.
I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself because I really want to enjoy my holiday. Dave and I are planning to do a lot of walking and exploring while we’re away and as we’ve booked a cottage we can retain control over our diet (within reason…we’re on holiday after all)!!!

“Rest, both physical and emotional, is absolutely key to success in any body transformation journey. Your body can re-charge and you often come back stronger. Downtime with family can help you feel more relaxed and curb those rises in cortisol levels that tend to hinder fat loss efforts” CBPT

Entry 12: How low can you go….

Feeling a little frustrated and down heartened with my progress, I really expected the weight to drop off after pregnancy…it’s a lot harder and progress is a lot slower than I expected (naive I know)!
I convinced myself that keeping my nutrition on track and training up until the day before I had Logan would mean that I would find it relatively straight forward to get back into shape!!! In reality I feel like I’m stalling and have got so far but not getting to where I want to be or thought I would be by now. Patience isn’t my strong point!!!

Entry 13: Breast is best – isn’t it?

Someone has replaced my sweet little boy with a grumpy little sleep thief…I think teething has started and I’m really feeling the effects. Motherhood has just got harder and I feel like I need to be Supermum sometimes to fit everything in as well as training while keeping a spring in my step and a smile on my face!!!

I’m getting towards the 8wk mark of a program so it’s getting tedious and I’m ready for a new one next week!!  I’m making a conscious effort not to live on coffee and stick to my one a day.
Not to help matters of fatigue and motivation, I feel like I’ve had a bit of a moral dilemma as well when it comes to breast feeding and getting my pre-pregnancy figure back. Prolactin produced during feeding can inhibit fat loss so selfishly I feel like throwing the towel in but  I want to carry on as I feel it’s best for Logan…sadly my summer wardrobe of old will have to remain in the vacuum bags until next year at least!

Entry 14: Groundhog Day

Starting to lose a bit of motivation, every day feels like Groundhog Day both in the gym – I can’t wait to get my new program, and at home – food generally doesn’t change and neither does Logan’s routine.
I’m in desperate need of a shake up to give me a motivation boost, especially when Logan is going through a difficult time of teething and developmental leap.

Training and eating right post pregnancy is key to helping to correct hormone imbalances. Results aren’t always seen immediately externally but internally insulin sensitivity is improving and sex hormones are being rebalanced, this is the key to unlocking fat loss barriers, these internal changes will inevitably lead to sustained results” Craig

Entry 15: new programme, new rules, new me…

I feel so much better after my session with Craig, we went through a new 3 day split program (which is a real gruel) and a carb-cycling nutrition plan (for me this is perfect because I get to change the type of food I have every third day).

I’ve made some decent progress since I started my journey post pregnancy, I’ve lost about 3.5% body fat, my fitness is getting there and I feel motivated to go for it on the Frontier 8 week challenge.

First day of my new program was tough and the following day I could really feel the effects whilst walking like John Wayne and struggling to lift Logan up, I loved it!
I couldn’t wait for my first high carb day, porridge for breakfast, apple as a snack…foods I would usually avoid, it’s the little things that make me happy!!! The first two weeks of the 8 week challenge means no cheats but I’m ready to get serious and work my wobbly arse off (literally).

Logan has decided that now is the time to turn into a sleep thief waking every 2-3 hours for a feed (he clearly wants more protein shakes to get stacked). This isn’t going to help my progress but these things are sent to test us – the joys of motherhood! Sometimes I wish I could stay in bed all day but it’s just not in my genes!!

Entry 16: A new frontier!

Well it’s the start of the Frontier 8 wk challenge, I’ve stuck to my nutritional plan like glue and smashed out my new program in the gym. Do I look super pre-mum fit yet!!!? Well no I obviously do not but I can really feel the effects! I feel so positive and motivated because I feel like I have more energy. I trained quads and chest yesterday with a battle rope finisher, feels good to stretch out this morning walking the dog. I must admit, the initial getting out of bed and picking Logan up was somewhat more strenuous than other days but that just means it’s working and my body is responding!

Entry 17: Meadowhall

Rest day yesterday so had a trip to Meadowhall to meet a friend with her baby. Great day out and some well needed/ deserved retail therapy!!

Of course we had lunch out, fortunately my friend likes Nando’s so I stuck to my nutrition plan with some chicken thighs, a side salad and serving of sweet potato (as it was my high carb day). Sadly just had a water, no wine today!

Entry 18: Stats don’t lie

I had a session with Craig to check up on my progress today and I’m pleased to say my hard work and dedication seems to be paying off!

I’m down 1.6% body fat in 2wks (which previously had taken 4 wks to loose – I clearly wasn’t being as strict as I thought but a shake up in my nutrition with carb cycling is clearly working for me). Craig has tweaked a few things in my nutrition plan and I’m ready for the next few weeks.

We had time for Craig to put me through my paces and obviously I’d been too easy on myself setting some of the weights on my program, I trained harder than I thought I could and Craig pushed me further than I would if I were training on my own. At the end of the session I was totally shattered but it felt great!

Entry 19: Jeans are on

After yesterday’s session with Craig I woke up with sore hamstrings, calves and back so it was obviously a good session! I know I should but I don’t stretch or cool down after a gym session, who has time to do that in general, let alone with a baby getting restless waiting for mummy to finish and a fabulous friend on the verge of tearing her hair out while she looks after my grumpy baby – thanks Michelle!!

This morning I felt it was time to crack out my pre-pregnancy jeans and give them a try…I’m pleased to say I can now actually get them on AND do them up, granted they are tight and I have a muffin top but at least I’ve made some progress!! Out from the vacuum bag you come after almost a year of banishment!

Thanks to Craig for your advice, Michelle for your help with Logan and Dave for your lovely cooking you’ve all been great and I appreciate it so much.

Can’t wait to get cracking and shift some more chub so I can go shopping for new clothes!

 

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