Fitness Journey, Mom Life, Pregnancy Journey

Update: Exclusively Breastfeeding (EBF) & Postpartum Weight Check

This blog post is long overdue; sorry not sorry. I am enjoying these precious moments home with our little baby boy. I know all to well the truth in the saying, ‘They do not stay little for long’. It’s the bitter sweet reality of motherhood and parenting. You find out the exciting news that you are pregnant and the time seems to take forever as your body changes over the course of 9 months. Nearing the end you grow even more impatient on your little one’s arrival as the growing pains increase and the due date nears. Once they arrive you are mesmerized by their being. Yet, with each day they grow older and milestones continue. Soon they start walking and talking. Then they start running and before you know it they are ready to start school (Kindergarten).

We take for granted these moments. Time stands still for no one. I am soaking in all the cuddles I can get before our little one grows too big that I can’t cradle him in my arms. Today marks his 25th day here in this world and that also means day 25 of exclusively breastfeeding (EBF). I am here to debunk the myth that breastfeeding is easy. Yes, it is natural, but far from easy. Most women give up on breastfeeding within 21 days after delivery. I believe that breast is best and I was determined to make this work for us. Day 25 and we are successfully making it happen. Yes, it is exhausting: nurse, pump, eat, sleep, and repeat (my life story).

EBF has been the main reason why I have been M.I.A from blogging. Blogging definitely becomes pretty difficult now that I have a baby laid across my lap and chest, rather than my macbook. Always, check in with me on social media if you want to stay updated. I have been posting more on IG and Twitter. I definitely promise to work blogging back into my schedule. I have so many topics that I am excited to share with you all.

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Postpartum Weight Check:Prior to delivery, my last recorded weight on 5/8/19 was 180.6 lbs. I delivered on 5/11/19. Above you can see my progress pictures prior to and after delivery. At 6 days PP I weighed in at 166 lbs. By 12 days PP I weighed in at 161 lbs. If you look back at my initial post, Weekly Weigh-In Pregnancy Edition: https://fitlifewitherica.com/2019/02/28/wednesday-weekly-weigh-in-pregnancy-edition/ my pre-pregnancy weight was recorded at 163 lbs [documented on 8/19/18].

I am so amazed at how quickly I was able to reach my pre-pregnancy weight and even loose an additional few pounds. I definitely give credit to the fact that I am breastfeeding (burns calories). While, I am taking in an additional 500 calories daily in order to keep my supply up I am efficiently burning calories. All of this progress has been made without exercising. I really have not found the time to fit exercise back into my schedule yet. When I say ‘exercising’ I mean actual workouts and running. Right now I am just staying active by walking which is better than nothing. For those of you that know me, you know that keeping moving is a priority to me.

Tonight, I weigh in at 159.4 lbs. I am not too focused on the scale numbers. Since I am EBF I do not plan on making any drastic dieting cuts. It is important that I am consuming enough calories daily in order to maintain and support my milk supply. However, I still have fitness goals to be achieved. My goal is to become leaner and strength train. Over the course of the next few months I will be focusing more on reducing visceral fat and building muscle. I have some love handles that I would like to see gone and in order to make that happen the visceral fat has to go.

Fitness Tip:

Reduce the visceral fat prior to building muscle [muscle gains do not look good over fat]

I will continue to keep you all updated on my fitness journey and goals. Please continue to follow for updates, as well as other great content as it relates to: Motherhood, Fitness, Health, and Life.

FLWE ❤

Fitness Journey, Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday: Keep Showing Up

Welcome back to another Motivational Monday pep talk. A special welcome and hello to all of my new followers and a special thank you for those that faithfully show up each week and support my blog.

This weeks topic is about “Keep Showing Up”. This quote to the left perfectly sums up everything that I am about to touch base on. And don’t sit back, read, and act like you haven’t been there and felt that. Speaking from experience there are some days when I am feeling more motivated than others. On those other days it takes more than just reading some inspirational quotes to refuel my dedication to the process. When I say ‘process’ I am referring to living and breathing a healthier and more fit lifestyle.

Prior to my current pregnancy, there were many days that I struggled with my commitment to working out. I had to have a talk with myself. It was no way that I would continue to watch my gym membership fees deduct from my account monthly, while I only showed up twice a week if at all- some weeks. At one point I convinced myself that I would just walk in and cancel my membership. Each time I decided to make that move- something always stood in the way. I took this as a sign that God was not going to allow me to just give up on goals and my vision.

It is so easy to make excuses for yourself but when you have a support system behind you, pushing you to keep going- to keep showing up; it makes it harder to give up. I really owe it to my personal coach (my Husband Andrew). He is there supporting me on my good days when I am mentally and physically all in on my health and fitness journey and he is also there on those days when I want to take a break from working out (going through hell feels).

Andrew has taught me that my actions and how I apply myself is all my choice. Making that decision to show up each day no matter what; in ways both small and big is important and crucial to your success. As long as you show up, you are making progress. Keep showing up! Whether your accomplishments and milestones are small or big, there is always tomorrow to do better- to be better!

Self Reflection:

Do you have an accountability partner?

How often have you recently struggled with showing up daily for yourself? Did it cause you to derail from your fitness journey? If so, what did you do to get back on track?

If you do not have an accountability parter. I highly recommend that you find one. It is so much fun and honestly better when we are working together to achieve our goals. Accountability is what will keep you on track. You can make excuses for yourself but those same excuses are not going to be accepted by your accountability partner. Save the excuses! We are in this for the win! Each day you have endless opportunities ahead of you. Wake up to a fresh start and make the best of each day.

FLWE ❤

Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday: Consistency

Monday Pep Talk:

I hope everyone had a positive Monday and great start to a new week. Monday’s mean new week- new goals. As a reminder, “You don’t have to be extreme, just consistent”. Each step taken daily on your fitness journey will put you a step closer to achieving your goals. However, lack of consistency will result in your own setback. If you are feeling like you are not seeing the results you hoped to achieve, reevaluate your consistency. You can not commit yourself to a part time lifestyle change- it is a daily commitment.

Self Reflection Questions:

  • What actions am I taking daily to remain consistent?
  • Am I achieving what I set out to do?
  • Is a cheat day worth it?
  • Am I consuming foods filled with nutrients?
  • How do I feel?
  • Do I feel proud of myself and my results?

As always I encourage you to share your answers in the comment section. In order to be an inspiration to others, you must be transparent with not only others but yourself as well.

FLWE ❤

Fitness Journey

Build Good Fitness Habits: What is the Optimal Amount of Exercise per week?

As you start out on your fitness journey you may be unsure of exactly where to start when it comes to exercising. You may wonder how often you should be exercising, to what extent, and what type of workout you should be doing.

The answers to these type of questions differ from person to person. Which means you need to assess your personal fitness goals and ability in order to build good fitness habits custom for you.

Cardio vs Strength Training

If you are seeking to improve your cardiovascular health it is recommended that you select exercises that include cardio. Examples include: cycling, swimming, walking, and jogging. These cardio exercises will assist in building your endurance.

If you are seeking to build muscle it is recommended that you focus on strength training. Strength training can be done with the use of your own body weight and/or the use of free weights.

How often should you work out each week?

The answer to this question depends on your activity level. If you are not moderately active, working out at a minimum of one day a week may be sufficient enough to notice some results. However, if you are active it may require working out multiple days per week in order to challenge your body enough to maintain and/or make progress.

If you are a beginner I recommend that you start out slow; workout one day a week for a minimum of 30 min and build your momentum. Each week increasing your time and then you can work up to adding an additional day of training (2-3 days per week).

For more experienced individuals looking to workout and balance both cardio and strength training; working out five days per week is sufficient in maintaining active. However, it is encouraged to incorporate at least two rest days.

Always consider your schedule and have reasonable expectations for yourself. If 4 days per week is more ideal, then be realistic. Reconsider your goals. If your goal is to add muscle, then replace a cardio day for strength training. If your goal is to increase endurance, replace a strength training day with cardio. You have the ability and control over your workout schedule; make adjustments as needed. Keeping realistic expectations, will keep you on target for success. Ultimately, unrealistic goals will lead to failure.

Cardio (2-3 Times per Week)

Benefits: Cardio encourages good circulation and blood flow. Cardio also assists with your recovery, while improving your endurance.

Exercise Options: outdoor jogging, elliptical, treadmill, stair stepper, cycling, row machine, etc.

Goal: Reach and maintain your targeted heart rate (fat burning zone)

Strength Training (2-3 Times per Week)

Benefits: Strengthens joints and bones (more muscle = higher metabolic rate)

Exercise Options: squats, lunges, bicep curls, overhead presses, etc. (strength train with body weight or assisted/free weights)

Goal: Body shaping, gain muscle, weight loss, improve flexibility

Rest Day- Recovery (2 Times per Week)

The importance of having rest days is allowing your body to recover and rebuild. By doing so you are allowing yourself to reset and refresh, which contributes greatly to your success in building good fitness habits.

I am encouraging you to start building good fitness habits today. It all starts with getting active. Share below in the comments some fitness habits that you have incorporated into your routine. What does your daily/weekly workouts consist of? What keeps you motivated to keep moving? I would love to hear from you.

FLWE ❤