4 Months Postpartum: The Body. Where I’m at, and My plan the next 6 weeks!
I’ve documented the first 3 months of the postpartum journey and been completely transparent on how I’m feeling, my fitness, and of course weight loss. Looking back at photos, I’m ahead of where I was with my other two postpartum phases at the same point in time. I know it has to do with the fact that I strength trained as long as I did while I was pregnant, my nutrition postpartum (more focused) this time around, and my consistency of strength training over the last 2.5 months.
Regardless of this, I have had some real low points during this journey already (especially around 2-3 months PP) with lack of progress and comparing myself to where I was pre-pregnancy, to other people on instagram or IRL that may be fitter than me, leaner than me, doing more than me….So much so that I’ve been trying to keep the blinders on, focus on what I’ve accomplished thus far (creating THREE beautiful boys) and remember my journey is UNIQUE to anyone else’s and its about ME, not what Susie or anyone else is doing on their instagram page.
I AM happy to say I saw some real progress this past month (finally!) and I’ve dropped another 3-lbs. This was so meaningful to me because the scale stopped moving around 6 weeks postpartum and I didn’t see movement for a good 8 weeks, even though I was working hard and saw small changes in my body composition and clothes were fitting better.
From a strength standpoint, I’ve started to ease my way into max effort squats/leg day exercises vs higher reps that I had been doing since easing my way into working out. We held off for a little bit so to not shock my nervous system. So, I’m definitely seeing strength gains in that department. Cardio wise, to be honest, I’m still struggling at times to feel good running, mainly. Also my splits are pretty crappy most of the time, but, that all takes time so I try to not let it affect me.
On average I’m getting 3 strength days and 3 cardio days. The 3 cardio days are generally 1 sprint day, 1 longer distance day (3-4 miles) and one HIIT day (sled workout for 10-15 minutes).
Would I like to be doing more? Absolutely. But at this point its all I can manage given work, kids, lack of sleep lol. I do try and WALK as much as I can. Why? Low intensity cardio is good, and its something I can do with the kids. I am a big advocate of moving more if you want your physique to change.
Nutrition has been on a whole pretty good and I’m happy with where I’m at. The most important thing at the moment is keeping my supply for nursing.
How I’m feeling
Regardless of some of the progress I’ve made, I’m still very far off where I was, and I hate it. Around 12 lbs, 2 pants sizes to be exact. A good portion of my closet doesn’t fit. I feel heavy & tired when I run. While I am definitely a confident person, I still don’t feel great about how I look & feel.
There’s been a big part of me thats been wanting more for myself postpartum and not wanting to accept the mindset of “This is just the way it is for the whole year after you have a baby”. I’ve been wanting to free myself of the stigma of “I’ll completely feel confident about myself when I stop nursing”, “I’ll get my body back after I stop breastfeeding,” or “that’ll fit next year when I’m done nursing.”
I don’t want to live like that. I want to live in the now, not for the future. I want to live my life fully and wholly, happy. NOW. Do I think I look good right now? Sure. But am I super happy with it? Not really.
What has always held me back during the year postpartum was my milk supply. Breastfeeding is so important to me and I would never jeopardize that. I’ve always held off with any strict dietary changes (macros, etc.) until I was done nursing because I’ve been too scared to play around with my food intake. And, because I nurse my babies for a long time (13 months with my first, 15 months with my second) I’ve always wondered if I could make some changes and get to where I wanted to be while still breastfeeding. Because, lets be honest…9 months of pregnancy & over a year of breastfeeding is a LONG time for your body to not be yours.
After the birth of my two older sons, I just wished I had a little bit of guidance from someone who knew what was best for my body while nursing so I could get where I wanted to be. Maybe I could do it if I had the right plan?!
A few months ago I saw 2 or 3 girls doing something called the Faster way to Fat loss program that were nursing babies similar age to mine, and still lost weight. AND….wait for it….
THEIR SUPPLY INCREASED.
I was intrigued. I kept thinking about it, week after week. And finally, I pulled the trigger and thought- if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But at least I’ve tried.
So, I’ll be starting the Faster Way to Fat loss Program tomorrow. I’ll explain everything briefly about what the program is, and I’ll be sharing my results with all of you throughout the process!
Faster Way To Fat Loss
What is the Faster Way to Fat Loss Program?
The FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6-week online fitness program. The program was created by Amanda Tress, and it helps you learn to fuel your body effectively and maintain energy throughout the day while you naturally burn fat. It’s basically a strategic program that combines intermittent fasting, carb cycling, macro counting, and strategically paired workouts so that you are working smarter, not harder. If you have no idea what those words mean, I’ll answer them in the Q&A below!
Can you do this when breastfeeding?
Yes. Basically what you alter for being a breastfeeding mom is the lower carb days (you don’t go below 100 g net carbs, regular program is 50) and you don’t need to do the low macro day. You can choose to do either one of those, but I think to start I won’t.
What made me feel so confident was seeing other mom’s do it with no issue with their supply, and the fact that my coach is a Labor & Delivery nurse (medically qualified & educated), who also did FWTFL while nursing and was successful. There are no supplements, drinks, etc. to take doing this and you are just eating plain, natural food that God has created for us to eat!
What is Intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is when you limit yourself to a shorter window of eating through out the day, thus being in a “fasted” state for more of the day. Specifically, having only an 8 hour period in which you eat and a 16 hour period where you don’t eat. For example, eating only between 12pm-8pm and not eating, or “fasting,” from 8pm-12pm. To note: I’ve always been a big proponent of eating breakfast, and this might not be something I do longer term, but I’m willing to try it (after looking at results and doing some research) to get myself where I want to be.
What are macros & why do I need to count them?
Macronutrients (or macros) are the molecules our bodies need to grow and be active. We use these molecules as energy to do work on a cellular, tissue, organ, and organismal level. This energy helps us break down nutrients, repair damaged cells, grow new cells, and more. Macronutrients are broken down into three basic categories: carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
I have tracked my macros when I leaned out after my first 2 babies so I AM familiar with this and using my fitness pal, but its still been a learning curve for me during this past weeks “prep week.”
What is carb cycling?
We not only track our macros in FWTFL, but we also cycle our carbs and fats. This may sound a little overwhelming, but it’s actually a very simple practice of varying our carbohydrate intake each week to maximize the body’s ability to burn fat.
I found this to be very beneficial leaning out in the past, so I’m excited to start this up again. I mean, hello, who doesn’t want a high carb day and still lose fat?!! YES.
Other Random Tidbits about the program:
-You have a “prep” week the week before you actually start the program. So, technically the program is 7 weeks. This prep week is super beneficial so you don’t get overwhelmed. They supply videos, and a ton of information on how to do everything over the course of the week for the next 6 weeks. You have time to ask questions, familiarize yourself with everything, and try things out!
-There’s a huge support system (and accountability!) with other people that are in the program with you and access to your coach via a private Facebook group!
-They do supply workouts with FWTFL, but you can continue your own if you want. Also, you can ONLY focus on nutrition if you don’t want to do the workouts.
-It is a completely flexible program, meaning that they don’t tell you that you can’t have treats, or carbs, etc. If it fits in your macros…you’re good.
-Yes, You can have coffee during your fast!
-I mentioned above I’m a huge proponent of breakfast. I used this past week to practice fasting and eating in the 8 hour window. I had no issues with my supply and there were times I felt a little hungry, but I was fine! I’ll keep you all updated with this!
Here we go!
I start the program officially tomorrow morning, so I’ll be checking in on instagram with y’all, as well as blog posts (Maybe I’ll do a 3 week update when I’m halfway through). I know everyone will have a ton of questions about the program! I’m happy to be your guinea pig to give you all a lowdown if the program really works!
Hope y’all have a great day!