Throughout my young life I have never worried much about my weight. However, I was never the 'skinny girl', and like most adolescent woman I was self-conscious about my body - a sad reality of our image obsessed culture. Even though I was never the skinniest, I have always been able to maintain a healthy weight without an exorbitant amount of effort. Now I am conscious of my weight, of course, but I am also focusing on being healthy and fit. Before I became pregnant I was heavier than I wanted to be... I was hitting the gym and watching my diet, but I really wasn't putting a concerted effort into cutting down. Then I got pregnant and stopped worrying about my weight entirely. The circumstances surrounding my pregnancy made it a stressful one. The first trimester of my pregnancy I actually lost around 10lbs. It was not until into the second trimester that I really started to gain weight and I gained more than I probably should have. Even though I put on more weight than I wanted during my pregnancy, I was still healthy and gave birth to a big, healthy baby boy.
Now, post pregnancy, I am more focused on getting in shape than I ever have been. I am two pounds shy of my pre-pregnancy weight with a goal to lose an additional 10-15lbs. I lost the majority of my pregnancy weight quickly and easily because I exclusively breastfed my son for 6 months (now he has begun solid foods as well). Being young certainly helped a lot too. The natural response your body has to pregnancy, and the necessary weight fluctuation, is truly amazing.
Last week I started a diet and I feel great! I am doing my own 'revised' version of Dr. Mark Hyman's Ultrametabolism Diet. My personal revisions come from my need to increase my protein intake while I am nursing. I am not eating any processed sugar or white carbs and for the most part I am not eating any dairy. In the morning I make myself a rice powder protein shake as instructed in the Ultrametabolism Diet. These shakes fill you up and they are tasty. At lunch and dinner I have lean meats, such as chicken and fish, along with 1/4 cup of brown rice or quinoa and as many vegetables as I want. Throughout the entire day I make sure to always be drinking water. To make sure I am drinking enough, I have started filling up a pitcher with 8 glasses of water in the morning and finishing it be the end of the day.
In addition to the diet I am working out at least 5 times a week, even if it is only for 30 minutes. The escape to the gym is so nice as a new mom. I look forward to my time at the gym not only because it feels great to work out, but because it is an hour (or more) a day that I have to focus solely on myself. I'm sure other mama's out there can be a testament to how refreshing this time can be. The gym not only exercises my body, but it's good for my mind. I think it makes me a better mother.
Since beginning this diet/workout routine 6 days ago, I have already lost 5 lbs! I find myself feeling more energized and having less cravings. I encourage you all to try out the Ultrametabolism diet or something like it, and please don't be shy to ask me any questions you may have!
Sweet potatoes are one of the super foods full of antioxidants, and they are tasty too! Just ask Jamesie.