Out With the Old, In With the New Year’s Resolutions…

It’s a new year and you know what that means. Giving up something, making resolutions that you don’t keep and busy gyms across the country. This year, instead of making empty promises, I’ve decided to work on making myself happy and improving my health no matter how long it takes. It will be an ongoing resolution that I won’t feel bad about making because I’m going to work on it everyday, every year.

The first thing I’m working on is taking out all those preconceived notions from my head about how my body should look and what I should be doing to get there. Having a baby is no joke and everybody’s situations are different. Some people bounce back to their old bodies after 3 months (although I’m not sure I believe it) and others take years to get there. I need to stop comparing myself to others and do what makes me happy and what works for me.

The second thing is to take things slow and not to feel bad when I have setbacks. And by setbacks I mean taking a nap in the middle of the day instead of working out for an hour in my workout room which is now a baby storage room of bouncers and swings. It’s ok to take time out to be with your little one, right? Yes. The answer is yes and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You had a baby come out of you, you’re going to need a minute.

So what am I doing to jump start my path back to myself? Well, as mentioned in previous posts, My Fitness Pal and my FitBit are my best friends right now. I try to get my steps in whenever I can and since my baby’s sleep schedule is still a little off, wearing my FitBit while I walk him to sleep is one of the best ways to get it in. Walking and carrying a 15lb baby around is a good start. Also, it helps keep track of my water intake. It’s important as a nursing mother to drink plenty of water but sometimes I’m multitasking too much I forget to eat and drink. These apps and devices are a lifesaver. And since my workout schedule is pretty inconsistent, meal planning and making healthy dinners and snacks are key. I wasn’t happy with how slow the baby weight was coming off in the beginning but now that I’m more careful about what I’m eating, the weight is falling off little by little. I didn’t gain 75lbs overnight and unfortunately it doesn’t go away overnight either. Believe me, no matter how much you wish, it doesn’t.

Working on making yourself happier and healthier should always be an ever changing work in progress. Despite the challenges that I’ve been faced with lately being a new mom and a stay at home at that, I realized that I’m on no one’s time table but my own. In fact, I have all year. Bring it on, 2017!

 

Stay healthy,

Nola Fit Chick

XOXO

 

 

Dressing for Your Post-Partum Body

Now that a rhythm is being established between me and the little one, I’m motivated to get my body back to the way it was, or better! The hardest part is looking in the mirror and seeing this body that doesn’t look or feel the same. It’s upsetting that it’s 4 months after the baby and I can’t fit any of my pre-baby clothes and I can still wear my maternity shorts! So as my mother always says, you have to dress the body you have now. But one thing I won’t do is buy new size “whatever” jeans. Can’t do it. So like many of you out there, leggings have become my new best friend. I decided if I was going to wear them then I would invest in some. But not just any leggings: I stumbled on a brand called Blanqi (www.blanqi.com) and found their nursing leggings. They’re amazing!! They are soft, comfortable and high waisted. In fact, they go all the way up to the bottom of your bra so that you can nurse without your stomach showing. You can wear them to workout, to shop, to work or just to lay around the house with the baby!

 

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I wish I had known about them when I was pregnant because they have maternity support wear as well which I definitely could have used. I highly recommend checking their site out if you are pregnant or nursing. And what’s even better than the product is the great customer service, which to me is just as important. I had an issue with my leggings that I purchased and they sent me a replacement pair with no problem. And because the leggings will adjust to my changing body, these are perfect for pregnancy and after.

So the tops that I like the best to go over these leggings: the Piko top. I got mine from a local boutique here in New Orleans called Blink (shopblinkboutique.com, @blinkboutiques). However, these tops are nothing new. They’ve been around but until I was pregnant, I didn’t know too much about them. In the early stages, when you look more like you have a food baby instead of a few weeks pregnant, I was in search of something comfortable and loose fitting but still cute. These tops and dresses are a bamboo blend and in my opinion the most versatile item you can get for the changes your body will undergo.

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These are 2 of the trends for moms-to-be and moms on the go that work the best for me but as long as you’re comfortable, wear whatever you like!

Stay healthy,

Nola Fit Chick

XOXO

Health & Beauty Post Pregnancy

Ever since I found out I was pregnant it felt like there was a never ending list of “Can’ts”. There are so many things you can’t eat, can’t wear and can’t use. It can be daunting, but the bigger picture is you’re doing this for a much bigger purpose: your child. And it’s totally worth it. Now that I’m breastfeeding, well, the list continues. I find myself still battling the hormone changes that I felt while being pregnant, so I’m looking to more all natural alternatives. Researching on the internet, you would be surprised what’s out there. I find a lot of people are moving back into a more holistic approach to life. There are a lot of DIY and “all natural” products out there and they’re inexpensive and easy to do. They may be a little time consuming but I feel like it’s better in the long run and worth trying.

So what I’m going to do is test them out and see what works! I used to go to a dermatologist for breakouts and had a few prescription face products that worked amazingly but since being pregnant, I couldn’t use them anymore and I decided if there was even a small chance it could harm my baby or be transmitted through breast milk, I wasn’t going to chance it. There was one that both my doctor and dermatologist said was safe but I was still too nervous to try it. So that got me thinking of alternatives. I recently stumbled on an Instagram page of a girl who has tons of DIY hair, skin and makeup tutorials and I became hooked. Check her out: @farahdhukai. I’m in the process of trying out a few of her beauty regimens to see how they work for me and I’ll be chronicling my progress. My hair and nails having been growing steadily since I’m still taking prenatal vitamins but my skin is still breaking out. It could be all the craziness of my hormones and the fact that since I’m breastfeeding my cycle is inconsistent to non-existent and I’m taking birth control pills (not really because I want to but it was recommended by my doctor). Not to mention I’m not really on a regular schedule since there’s a little 3 month old that dictates everything I do now. The first thing I’m going to try is her fenugreek mask for face and hair. Fenugreek is used as an herb, spice and vegetable. It can be ingested in pill form and is great for increasing your milk supply or you can take the seeds and blend them, which is how I will be making the mask for my face. The other one is putting 100% pure carrot juice on your face to get rid of dark spots, dry skin and acne. She also sprays the juice in her hair. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out!

So what about the inside? Well, dieting is not really an option since I have to eat at least 1800 calories while breastfeeding. The hard part is making sure I limit the things I crave which are the sweets and the salty. I have to up the water intake which for me isn’t too hard because I actually like water but I also need to up the fruits and veggies because I’m still eating for 2. To make sure that I get all my veggies in even I forget to eat a salad, I’ve been drinking the V8 fusion drinks. They are a good way to get your servings of fruit and veggies while you’re on the go. My faves are the V8 Fusion Strawberry Banana and the Harvest Green Vegetable Juice. I even like to mix them together. Using My Fitness Pal which I talked about in a previous post, I track what I’m eating and use it as a guide to help me stay on the right track. I’m still drinking decaf coffee and staying away from soft drinks. I try to eat snacks of fruit and nuts and granola bars because the baby eats constantly and so must I.

Stay tuned for how I’m stepping up my workouts post-partum and the DIY beauty tricks.

 

Be Well,

Nola Fit Chick

XOXO

 

Calorie Counting and Workout Plans

Now that life is starting to fall into a routine, it’s time for me to try to get back to my pre-baby and even pre-wedding self.

My go-to for calorie counting is an old favorite: My Fitness Pal (free app on most smartphones, www.myfitnesspal.com). What I like most about it is the fact that you can scan any food item that you eat and it shows up. It takes the hassle out of trying to calculate calories and servings or searching for food online. You can also link it to different devices like your FitBit or other tracking devices.

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For keeping myself accountable daily, that award goes to my FitBit Blaze (fitbit.com). I got it for my birthday to replace my Nike Fuelbit and I love it. It keeps track of how many hours of sleep you get, which was amazing to know being a new mom and trying to figure out a sleep pattern with a newborn. It keeps track of how much water you drink, which is also useful considering I’m nursing and need to stay hydrated. And aside from tracking basic exercise, it also tracks whether or not you are walking at least 250+ steps every hour. That helps me stay active since I’m at home with the baby and it’s easy to lay down with him or sit with him for hours and not realize it.

fitbit

Ok, so I’m going to let you all in on a trade secret. 3 words. Nike Training Club (free app on most smartphones). This app is awesome and I use it a lot for my training sessions with clients as well. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to workout even if you are a “professional”. The good thing about this app is that it gives you 4 week plan if you want. Just getting back into m workout game, this is perfect for me. I can let the app do the planning and I can add or substitute as needed. The workouts are beginner, intermediate and advanced and you can do no equipment if you’re working out at home, basic dumbbells and home equipment or a gym setting. It’s foolproof with videos to help those that need it.

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With the help of these 3 I’m hopeful that it will be no time before I’m back to my old self. It’s a lot harder to bounce back after having a baby and I’m here to tell you that it takes time. It took 9+ months to gain it and it’s not going away over night without a little extra work. Stay strong if you’re struggling, because you’re not alone.

Nola Fit Chick

XOXO

 

Pre-eclampsia, Motherhood & Fitness: How I’m Managing It All

It’s been 3 months since my last post and to say a lot has happened is an understatement. On my last doctor appointment, 9 days before my due date back in August (4 days after my last post), I was told that I had pre-eclampsia and would have to go in to deliver my baby. I was shocked and terrified. I wasn’t ready! I had a nail appointment to get to! I had errands to run and the baby’s room to finish! I was so confused as to how I got pre-eclampsia. The doctors couldn’t tell me how I got it either. It happens in healthy women some of whom never have had high blood pressure such as myself. No one could tell me if I would get it again if I were to have another baby. It was all very bizarre. Well, since I had no intention of having my baby that day (and neither did my baby have any intention of arriving early) it took almost 3 days to deliver. Once I left the hospital, I had to go right back because my newborn had developed jaundice and I was in yet another hospital for another 4 days, all with pneumonia and swollen legs and feet. I was stressed beyond belief but after a couple weeks getting back to myself, I was able to finally enjoy motherhood and my new baby that I waited so long to meet.

These past 3 months have been challenging: getting used to breastfeeding, getting used to this new post-baby body, no sleep, feeling overwhelmed. Every time I look at his face and he smiles at me, everything that happened fades away and makes it all worthwhile.

The best part is that now that I feel back to normal and I’m not going back to work for awhile, I can workout and focus on getting my body back to it’s pre-baby condition.

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Me and my husband Travis at our wedding rehearsal a month and a half before I got pregnant

 

Sometimes I walk on the treadmill with him in my baby carrier. Sometimes we go to the park. If I really want a more intense workout (well intense for me now), my mom will watch him for me so I can take my time. Right now, I’m mostly walking at different inclines and speeds and 3 weeks ago I started to incorporate light weights and strength training. It’s still an ongoing battle because I’m still feeling really tired but I’ve gone from 2-3 hours of sleep a night to 8-9 hours (not all at once) which is making my days better. The workouts help out with my energy level for the rest of the day as well.

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Me at 6 weeks post partum. Little Travis is fast asleep!!

 

I went from being 222lbs at delivery (the most I’ve ever weighed in my whole life!) to 182lbs now. It’s been a struggle but making sure I eat enough calories to continue breastfeeding my baby as well as exercising at least 3 days a week if not more is my first step!

The above pictures are for educational purposes only! I normally would never show these but I figure it can give someone hope. 🙂 The left picture is at 6 weeks post partum and the right one was last week at 11 weeks post partum.

Let me know how you did after giving birth and what worked for you.

Stay healthy,

Nola Fit Chick

xoxo

 

 

Clothes Make the (Wo)Man During Pregnancy

As my pregnancy progresses (I’m now 38 weeks!) and living in Louisiana, the heat and humidity in the summer is getting me down. Not only am I getting bigger physically, but I’m hot, irritable and my feet are so swollen half the time they look like they’ve been bitten by a poisonous spider. I haven’t had many meltdowns, but the mood swings are prevalent. The things to remember are that I need to stay positive because I know once the baby comes, I’ll miss every kick he makes, including the ones in the middle of the night and the feeling of being part of something so miraculous.

Finding comfortable, stylish clothing is key to keeping your sanity. I didn’t think that I would feel as uncomfortable as I do being pregnant. I really thought I would be one of those really cute skinny moms with a belly. And boy do I feel stupid for thinking I was fat pre-pregnancy, because I clearly misjudged how big I could get. And yes, I know I’m not fat, I’m pregnant but it’s still hard to see those numbers on the scale inching higher and higher. Your body is constantly changing from day to day. As someone who watched her weight on a regular basis, I’ve come to the realization that I can’t let the numbers on the scale get to me. Not this time. Being healthy for my baby is the only thing that matters. So even though I’ve gotten a couple of maternity jeans (which I’ve given up on wearing now that we’re in the midst of one of the hottest Southern summers), maternity shorts and dresses, I find myself trying to focus on things that are more form fitting and comfortable because for me, the baggier the clothes the bigger I look. Comfort is key. Now a days, maternity sites are everywhere and there are lots of retailers that carry maternity sections along with non-maternity sizes. Some awesome sites that I’ve found are Pink Blush Maternity (www.pinkblushmaternity.com) which is a new one I stumbled upon and old faves like Old Navy (www.oldnavy.com) and Target (www.target.com). I’ve even found some great dresses at Destination Maternity (www.destinationmaternity.com) that have become my go-tos. Wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable and not so matronly go a long way in making you feel better about yourself. There are so many options out there for cute maternity clothes, we really have no excuse.

Here are some of my faves:

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Old Navy black and white striped midi dress

 

The ones above are from Pink Blush Maternity. Moms to be, if you like these dresses, I’m doing a giveaway!!!! Go to my Instagram and Twitter pages for more details on how you can win a $75 gift card for the amazing Pink Blush site!

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Destination Maternity racerback maxi

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Destination Maternity maxi

 

Even though I haven’t been in the mood to take pics, I wanted to show that there are really cute things out there for pregnant women to wear. You may not think so now, but one day we will look back on your pregnancy and wish you had memories of the amazing feeling of carrying your child to look back on. You may not feel your best all of the time because let’s face it, who does?  Take each day at a time and try and do something relaxing and enjoyable every day, because once the baby comes, all your time and focus will be on the new blessing that you’re now in charge of. Don’t try to overdo it and enjoy your pregnancy because it’s a beautiful thing and so are you.

Hang in there and be well!

XOXO

***Rules for giveaway on Instagram and Twitter:

You must follow @nolafitchick and @pinkblushmaternity or @shoppinkblush as well as like the photo on Instagram and tag a friend to be considered for the giftcard. Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.