Starting Points

Hey friends 😀 How is your afternoon going?

Things have been bueno over here- a walk with Bella, appointment, signed papers for the realtor (fingers crossed! thank you again for the house vibes!) and met with a friend to talk about postpartum eating and fitness.

We met at Starbucks, and while we chatted, I enjoyed a Venti unsweet iced passion tea with a little lemonade (try it- you’ll love it) and my favorite salt & pepper popcorn.

popcorn

So here’s the dealio:

My friend recently had a baby (who is so stinkin’ cute and gave me flirty eyes while he gurgled and I held him) and is unsure of how to get into a routine of taking care of herself again. She had a very difficult pregnancy, with an incredible reward, but one that didn’t enable her to eat the way she would like to or work out, as she was on bed rest. We talked about how it can be SO overwhelming to start from scratch –there is a ton of information out there and it’s easy to get bogged down. Too many goals at once is a fast track to burnout. So, I gave her my two main pointers for getting back on track:

1. Walk everyday.

2. Plan meals.

bella2

Walking is such a great form of cardio, especially for beginners. You can do it anywhere and as long as you’re consistent, you’ll see results. I told her to start off with 30 minutes, but if she felt like going longer, great. If not, just to make sure she got 30 minutes in, every.single.day. The thing about walking is that it’s a great starting point- it can turn into jogging/running, or help build stamina for aerobics classes like spinning/step/kickboxing/etc. The mental break is an added bonus, too.

mealplan

As far as planning meals go, I really think most people know how they *should* eat. [Ex: I know I should eat a vegetable instead of this cheeseburger, but this cheeseburger is here and it’s $0.99 so I’m just going to eat this instead] Lack of planning is what results in drive thru trips and scarfing down something because you’re hungry and ready to eat, without regard to what you’re actually eating. I’m a huge, huge advocate of meal planning because if you take a few minutes each week to plan out dinners, lunches (which can be dinner leftovers) and breakfasts (I usually rotate through a handful of staples), you’ll be GTG 😀 (For more tips on meal planning, check out *this post*)

MY OTHER VIDEOS

bfast

Do you have any advice? What do you think are important starting points??

When I got back to the casa, I made some ballz to take to work tomorrow:

ballz

(some girls at work are already hooked)

and am about to get crackalackin’ on my playlists.

Have a lovely night and I’ll see ya in the morning <3

xoxo

Gina

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79 Comments

  1. Sheena on May 11, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I’m currently getting back into the swing of fitness, though my excuse wasn’t as legit as having a baby – just general laziness! I’ve started walking and at times feel guilty that it isn’t “intense” enough to achieve my weight loss goals, even though I’ve read and heard numerous times from fitness experts that walking is one of the best forms of exercise for weight loss.

    For healthy eating, I agree that meal planning is the way to go, however being a busy person myself I know that there are times where takeout is the only option. I make a point to make a list of restaurants that have healthy options and only purchase meals from this list if the situation is that I must get takeout because there is nothing to eat at home. Examples of my favorite go-to takeout meals are Salmon and Steamed Veggies from Toojays and Panera’s Greek Salad with Chicken (dressing on the side). I know making a list like this can seem restrictive for some, but it really helps me stay on track since it is sometimes so tempting to just pick up so tasty but junky takeout.

  2. ashley on May 11, 2011 at 1:33 am

    I have a question for you about starting points since I am at one right now. For those that want to lose weight and do want to count calories to do so, is there a site , tool ot formula you recommend that you feel gives a pretty accurate caculation or number or how many calories they should be eating for weight loss?

    • Fitnessista on May 11, 2011 at 1:37 am

      livestrong has a program that’s fairly accurate, from what i’ve experienced

    • Suzanne on May 12, 2011 at 12:16 am

      http://www.sparkpeople.com is amazing as well! good luck 🙂

  3. Eimear Rose on May 11, 2011 at 2:35 am

    I’m not a professional but I’d say a B vitamin complex is a good idea if you’re trying to get back into shape post baby- B vitamins are essential for proper metabolism and low B vitamins make you lethargic and depressed so they’re great if you feel a bit ‘meh’ (depression requires a bit more than some vitamin pills of course).
    Meal planning is pretty much essential if you want to get into or stay in good shape. I always write my shopping list after eating and with my previous two receipts so I can see what I still need to use up (I cross stuff off as it’s used up). I go shopping after a meal too, and I plan the week’s meal when I get home with my receipt in hand. It means stuff gets used up and I don’t find myself starving with no idea what to make. I keep the scribbled down meal plan and the receipt in the kitchen so I know where I’m at. Always have loads of healthy snack options ready and bring them with you when you’re out and about. If you’re really hungry, small meal with protein and veggies is often better than a small snack of fruit.

  4. Marie-Sophie on May 11, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Love your walking tip,Gina !!
    I think the walking part is great for both mum and the baby – fresh air, moving, when the baby is older it can see loads of new things, you can meet up with friends for a walk … possibilities are endless! 🙂

    Foodwise, I gave a friend of mine – who also recently had a baby- the tipp to prepare batches of things when she can (while the baby is sleeping or keeping the baby with her in the kitchen while preparing) … and to prepare ziplock bags with cut-up fruit, nuts, homemade bars or cut-up vegetables!! I am in my last stressful exam period right now and just having a few cookies in the freezer, some frozen homemade bars and preparing fruit and veggies at night to just grab in the morning has saved my day food-wise SO many times!

  5. alison on May 11, 2011 at 6:48 am

    I didn’t gain a whole lot of weight with my pregnancy, but walking helped me lose it all and more. As a bonus, my baby loved taking walks, they soothed and calmed her while I was getting my exercise in.

    Also, because dinner time is ‘the witching hour’ for most kids, it’s hard to prepare a meal when your baby is melting down. The crock pot was a life saver. But also, if I wasn’t using the crock pot, I did any and all dinner prep I could earlier in the day. It’s a lot easier to think about making a healthy dinner when you have time to prepare your meal at a more peaceful time. That way, all I had to do was pop whatever I made in advance into the oven at an hour when my baby was inevitably crabby and hungry. The prep was done, the dirty dishes had already been washed, etc…. Made dinner a ton easier.

    Best of luck to your friend!

  6. kaila @ healthy helper! on May 11, 2011 at 7:42 am

    looks like you are giving your friend a great starting point to get back on track!

  7. Laura @ LauraLikesDesign on May 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Those passion teas with lemonade are SO delicious on a hot day!

  8. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun on May 11, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Those are great tips to your friend! It is so overwhelming getting back into the swing of things after a new baby. I know from experience. 😉

    I think the best thing to do is to get started as soon as possible with healthier habits. Then, it becomes routine and also I think the body doesn’t get used to the extra weight so it’s easier to lose. I believe that helped me! And not making things harder than they need to be makes it happen. Great advice!

  9. jenna on May 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

    take baby steps when getting back on track and don’t beat yourself up if things don’t goes as planned. Having a new baby in the house is very life alterning for some. Not all babies are alike so it’s hard to say if you have to eat this at this time or walk at this time. a nasty diaper and crying tantrum that last hours can throw your whole day out of whack. kids change everything. Several Small meals a day was the way to go for me. Make sure to have fresh veggies and fruit in the house. If you need help or just a breather don’t be afraid to ask for it.

    • jenna on May 11, 2011 at 8:23 am

      p.s. those passion tea lemonades are to die for! 🙂

  10. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on May 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I love the unsweetened iced passion tea from Starbs too! I agree that meal planning is key – for anyone, not just those that have recently had babies. If you can plan ahead, you’re so much more likely to follow through. I usually do my planning at the end of the week so I can shop for groceries on the weekend (after consulting the store flyers of course!) and do my meal prep on Saturday/Sunday.

  11. Nicole @ Freshn & Fit on May 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I comeletly agree, For someone getting back into a health and fitness routine, moving everyday for at least 30 minutes is key. In the beginging, I think, writting down everything you eat is helpful. You can go back and see what areas you need work on. Making little goals helps too. Like saying, “today I am going to walk 35 minutes” or “today I will choose to eat an apple instead of a bag of chips”. Those little things will add up and soon you will have a whole new outlook!

  12. Stephanie @ StephSnacks on May 11, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I really think you made a great point by saying to walk for 30 minutes. I can’t agree more–on those days where I just can’t physically bring myself to the gym, I make sure to talk a walk outside as my own mini work break. I think another important pointer for those starting out is to make a list of foods you enjoy to eat or generally find yourself eating more often than not. Then, take the list and try to understand how you can make the particular food/meal healthier, or, substitute it for something with more nutritional value.

  13. evan on May 11, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Walking is an amazing way to stay fit- and it’s an activity you can do for life! Great advice.

    Also, focusing on foods that satisfy you is important. I know that I’ve gotten caught up in the “eat less meat…eat less fat…eat more fruit…eat this at this time, etc” rules that some people like to use for weight loss, but at the end of the day, knowing what satisfies your body and going for it is the best way to lose weight without feeling like you’re torturing yourself. In my opinion, there’s no one size fits all mentality to finding eating habits that work.

    Great post! 🙂

  14. Mandy on May 11, 2011 at 8:44 am

    When I was preggers, I worked out daily and stayed very healthy. Throughout my last trimester I continued to walk 3 miles each day. HOWEVER…after my sweet baby was born even a 10 minute walk left me exhausted. I really had to build up my stamina. Each day I walked a little further, but it was very very hard. Childbirth and nursing took a lot out of me and I lost a great deal of strength (and weight). But…I did get my strength back eventually. Once I stopped nursing it seemed my body finally decided to fully recover. That said, I am still a big supporter of nursing.

  15. Kara on May 11, 2011 at 9:00 am

    My biggest piece of advice for your friend is to invest in a good stroller. I use the crap out of my BOB stroller and if she’s ever going to run, that’s the only way to go.

    Also, learn to be flexible with work out times. Sure, I’m a morning exerciser, but sometimes I don’t get a chance to go out for a run with the baby until later in the day, so flexibility in key.

  16. tasha on May 11, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I’d love, love to find more info on post-partum fitness and what’s a realistic expectation of shape & weight change. :/ I delivered twins 7.5 weeks ago (after 5 weeks on strict bedrest and 5 weeks of c-section recovery), and I’m crazily upset that I haven’t dropped all the weight yet. (I know, I know.) I’d really love to find info on how the hormonal changes affect metabolism and muscle strength as well — perhaps I’d be less discouraged about not moving the scale in the last 3 weeks.
    What a good friend you are to discuss and encourage your new momma friend! 🙂

  17. Stephanie Summers on May 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Lots of great suggestions! I would like to suggest just getting outside every day for 10-15 minutes. There is something about being outside – even if you are only sitting – that is therapeutic. I agree that walking is ideal, but give yourself permission to just sit outside if that is all that you can do that day. I believe the fresh air and change of scenery is helpful – plus you can soak in some Vitamin D. I’m not recommending sun bathing for hours without sun protection. Of course, you have to watch how much sun exposure you and your baby receive.

  18. LisaG on May 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I had two children and both times lost my weight fairly quickly. I think some of it had to do with nursing and feeding myself healthy foods because I knew I needed it for strength and nourishment for the baby. I would take naps during the day when the babies slept. Also when they were a few months old I would take them out in the baby jogger stollers. I would let my family babysit so I could get out of the house to shop, exercise , whatever. I like to grill some healthy meat and veggies on sunday nights. That way the next few nights you only need to make sides; like salads, rice, bread, etc. You can also do workout dvd’s at home.

  19. Debbie on May 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    After each pregnancy, I got the go ahead to start exercising after 6 weeks. I joined a 6 week all women bootcamp so I could get back into my work clothes before my maternity leave was over 🙂 It was intense but they let me go at my own pace and being in the group (and paying for it) helped to motivate me to show up and push myself further. It was outside and although I felt a little guilty, it was nice to be outside hanging with adults for an hour a night. It just helped me to get back in the swing of things and feel more myself physically and mentally. Your body has been through a lot in 9 months…and the lack of sleep the first few myou just have to take your time and not worry about getting back in shape quickly. Good luck!

  20. Czabrina on May 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I was on bedrest for the last three months of my first pregnancy. I didn’t gain a lot of extra weight but definately noticed a loss of muscle strength. I was lucky enough that my baby loved to go on walks with me. I previously was a runner and was able to get back into it pretty quickly. The most important thing is to listen to your body and take it slowly and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re tired, sleep when the baby sleeps. Enjoy your new little one, you will regain your fitness and your strength but those early years go by soooo quickly…my little baby is now almost 6, the time sure flies.

  21. Amy on May 12, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I am not a mommy, but could imagine the difficulty with getting back into a routine. That being said, tell your friend to keep a balance — finding her health but enjoying her time as a new mommy too =)

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