You may have read this blog post from a few months back about how Mike and I have lost a crazy amount of weight since starting Dave Ramsey. We started last July and by fall had lost over FIFTY POUNDS with no new weight-loss program or routine…just LITERALLY budgeting! How crazy is that?! Even crazier since December is the discovery that I still have abs. I was SURE those suckers were gone. It’s a miracle. I REALLY THOUGHT THEY WERE GONE, lol!
Three c-sections later, I just hardly felt my stomach muscles. At all. I wasn’t bummed, I was fully accepting of the fact that I had three surgeries to bring my girls into the world and I may need to write off doing any sort of ab work of exercises because it was so hard to bend there. With Mike and I losing this much weight, I kind of wondered what was next as far as keeping it off and staying fit…so I continued doing yoga and running 2-3 times a week at the YMCA and hoped the answer would come to me during this routine.
It turns out…the running 2-3 times a week and the yoga was all I needed. I laughed really hard in December one day and felt my abs REALLY distinctly and it was the strangest thing…that can’t possibly be stomach muscle tightening, can it?! HAHA! It was a miracle!
The next couple of times I ran and did yoga, I started to specifically feel my stomach being stretched well and worked out…despite still not having some feeling where my scar is. It’s still sensitive there and I was sure to write it off as something I would be able to ever get back…but I was SO okay with that! I still have extra skin there from being stretched out back to back so much…and like I said…again…SO okay with all of that. The way I look doesn’t define me, but it does feel good to feel physically healthier lately. The combination of yoga and running has been golden for me. I take gentle yoga and I love it so much and I am so happy to have the daycare opportunity at the YMCA so this can happen for me. Even though I’m back to my college weight very unexpectedly (and gratefully!) the best part is that I feel so strong. I FEEL healthy. My legs aren’t as weak at the end of the day and are building muscle well, too! This is all such a welcome and unexpected blessing for someone who has been pregnant and postpartum for the last seven years.
In addition to the yoga and running a mile 2-3 times a week…other lifestyle changes I’ve made are:
1. I stopped eating ice cream most nights a week after dinner…which was SOOO my thing. I didn’t stop on purpose, we literally just stopped buying it one day and only have it occasionally sometimes but I will say I feel SO much better when I haven’t had it when I wake up the next morning! Ibotta had a coupon for Ben and Jerry’s though so we do have a tiny one in there right now. Mike was SHOCKED when I took two bites the other night and put it back. What is this self control? LOL.
2. I drink double the amount of water I used to (and I used to already drink TONS daily) – so yes, I have to pee a lot but I feel so much better! I don’t snack like I used to and it helps me become full so much more quickly instead of eating huge portions and feeling heavy and tired afterward.
3. We prep dinners and breakfasts EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY. Without fail, I spend amount 1 hour prepping and then just rotate the crockpot accordingly. We’re not even eating “the most healthy meals” but we are planning ahead of time and it’s been amazing for us!
4. I rest. I try to go to sleep before 9:30pm and get up early around 5:15 to start my day! Sleeping and resting and not running myself ragged has made a HUGE change!
If you are post c-section or postpartum and things are tough right now…hang in there. Remember that it’s not a race and you’ve done amazing work bringing a child into this world, give yourself all the credit. You are beautiful as you are. Small steps and small exercise routines may end up surprising you with the progress you make and as long as you’re moving forward, no matter how slowly…at least you are moving. Cheering you on from the Outer Banks, friends!
Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect!