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.

~

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, Pregnancy Journey

Staying Active While Pregnant: Week 39

This picture does no justice to show how big my belly is 🙂
At least, I am still able to see my feet.

Exercising while pregnant does not have to be extensive or exhausting. Since approaching my final weeks of pregnancy, I have transitioned to strictly walking. In the mornings I challenge myself to complete 1 mile of walking between the hours of 5-7 am. I enjoy this time the most because the morning crisp air feels good and wakes me up as I prepare myself for the day ahead. I really do not enjoy the heat so I am more encouraged to workout/walking during the early morning hours. This is a great time to get moving since it is considered ‘fasted cardio.’

Around lunch time I strive to get in another mile or two. Throughout, the day I also work to meet my hourly step goal of 250+ steps between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. I easily reach my step goal of 5,000 steps by 8 am.

Honestly, since I have been walking more in the past few weeks I have been feeling my best. Prior, I was experiencing a lot of back and pelvic pressure from the additional weight from my pregnancy. However, since I have been walking and moving more the pain has eased. My muscles are nicely loosened and relaxed. The tension has completely disappeared. At 39 weeks pregnant I feel more energized than ever. This morning after getting dressed and ready I prepared myself to walk our dog Roger and I sprinted down the stairs so easily. For a moment, I had forgotten that I was pregnant and carrying a estimated 7 lb baby.

Here is a look into my morning walk:

My fitness commitment is to keep moving. I know I can’t run a marathon at this point in my journey. But by moving and staying active it will make for a easier recovery after delivery. Walking not only helps me physically but it is beneficial mentally. Walking relieves stress and we all need to breathe in some fresh often- walking is the best opportunity for this. I use my walking time to catch up on current audiobooks that I am reading. Since I am a busy mom on the go I don’t often have time to sit and read a book. Yet, I don’t use my busy schedule as an excuse- I make it a priority to read on the go through the use of audiobooks. I listen to my books while in the car driving and while walking. The saying is true that we make time for what is important to us.

I encourage you to make time for yourself and your health. Commit to your journey and the progress. Progress requires effort, so you have to be 100% in and committed to the challenge. It only takes 1-2 weeks to form a habit; start today!

FLWE ❤

Fitness Journey

Fitness Goal: Run a 5k

I have felt so helpless in the past 8 1/2 months since I have not been able to be as active as I would like. This pregnancy has also made me even more aware how important it is that I recondition myself and get back into my fit lifestyle once I am cleared after delivery at my 6 week check up.

This past weekend I made a list of my fitness goals that I am prioritizing as I prepare myself to get back out there. I am going to commit to walking 2-4 miles per day and gradually work myself back into running. I recently joined a local running club for women called, “MOMS Run This Town” (aka MRTT). Those ladies are inspiring and is just the support that I need to accomplish one of my biggest fitness goals– to run a 5K before the end of the year.

This group has chapters is various states and if you are interested you can visit the main website https://momsrunthistown.com/local-running-club/ and locate a chapter to locally join.

I am really looking forward to preparing myself for running a 5k. I have the support of my Husband Andrew who also has already began training for our first marathon. It makes it so much better when you have someone to do things together with. When I first shared with him my goal he was thrilled and wanted to do it as well.

I am writing this post to share with you my fitness goals. For those of you that know me and or have come to know me through my blog, you should then know that I am constantly encouraging my readers to set goals for themselves (health, fitness, and personal goals). In my efforts to be as trasnsparent as possible with my journey, I will be sharing with you my goals. I will continue to keep you updated on my progress while on my health and fitness journey.

FLWE ❤

Monthly Goals

New Month, New Goals: May 2019

I am welcoming the month of May with lots of positivity and love. This is the month our son will be making his debut and as I prepare I have created a few goals for the month:

  1. Read More Books (downloaded the goodreads app and challenged myself to read 100 books before the end of the year- already 8 books in)
  2. Walk a minimum of 1-2 miles per day up until delivery and will walk daily as tolerated postpartum
  3. Begin logging my meals/calories again (slightly took a break during these past few months)
  4. Check in daily in my fitness apps to ensure my activity and progress is being logged (It’s about showing up daily)
  5. Blog more about my active fitness journey as I recover and prepare to run a 5k in the coming months
  6. Be more involved in my groups (It has been difficult for me to attend meetings and events as I prepare to delivery in the coming week)
  7. Transition to reduce my carb intake (Will return to low carb diet after delivery)
  8. Complete a trail run with Hubby
  9. Increase Water Intake
  10. Be more interactive with other WP blogs

Monthly goals will be a new category on my blog. With each month I will blog about my monthly goals. I encourage everyone to write down their goals for the month. This is a great exercise to motivate you to accomplish your goals. When you write out your goals you are writing them into existence. Reflect on your written goals daily. Check each completed task off your list. It feels great to accomplish your goals.

Share below in the comments one goal you have set for this month.

FLWE ❤

Fitness Journey, Health

Health Tip Tuesday: 5 Reasons to Avoid Eating Late at Night

If you are struggling with weight loss you may be over looking an impacting factor. Ask yourself: When are you having your last meal of the day? Do you find that you are snacking after dinner?

You should have a eating window set and an established cut off time at night after your last meal. Data collected from animals and night-shift workers correlate that those who eat late suffer from what they call, “night eating syndrome“. “Studies tend to show that when food is consumed late at night — anywhere from after dinner to outside a person’s typical sleep/wake cycle — the body is more likely to store those calories as fat and gain weight rather than burn it as energy, says Kelly Allison of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders” (Allen, 2015).

Data collected suggests that overall the body processes food differently throughout the day. This can be a result of, but not limited to: digestion, body temperature, hormone levels, and physical activity (Allen, 2015).

While eating late at night often prompts weight gain it can also raise your blood sugar. The spiking of blood sugar levels has been linked to raising the risks of other chronic diseases. Often, night time cravings consists of higher calorie foods/snacks (sugary or salty cravings). It is recommended to avoid late night snacking and this can be successfully done through training your not only your body but yourself. Change your mindset if you are seeking to change your current lifestyle (Allen, 2015).

5 Reasons to Avoid Eating Late at Night:

  1. Altered Hormone Function: Consuming food late at night alters your hormone function, specifically- insulin, glucagon and leptin.
  2. Increased Inflammation: Calories consumed between the hours of 7 pm and midnight have been linked to an increased C-Reactive protein, which is a indication of inflammation.
  3. Impaired Blood Sugar Regulation: Insulin produced as a result of the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day is least efficient at night. Consuming food and/or snacks that have a high-glycemic index will increase your blood sugar and impair your body’s ability to regulate your levels, resulting in increasing your risk of other chronic diseases.
  4. Increased Weight Gain: Eating late at night is linked to weight gain because the disruption of our circadian clock in our fat tissues are disrupted when consuming foods late into the night. As a result, the body is prompted to store fat rather than burn it. The body is less active at night as it attempts to slow down for the night, as triggered by our bodily clock.
  5. Elevated Triglycerides and Cholesterol: Eating outside of our circadian cycle has an impact on how our body metabolizes lipids, resulting in elevated levels.

Knowing the effects of eating late prompted a change within our family as we are all on our fitness journey. It required us to change our schedule and be consistent in our commitment. Our household enjoys dinner together each night between the hours of 5:00 – 6:00 pm. It only takes on average about two weeks to build a habit and this is a standard that we have set. We avoid eating outside of our dinner window and my husband Andrew is so strict that he will fast if he finds that eating would put him outside of our set eating window. If your schedule does not permit you to eat dinner early, adjustments will need to made to work around this. You can not use your schedule as an excuse. It is true that people find the time and dedication to do what they chose to do. If you are looking to live a more healthier lifestyle you have to want it and make the appropriate changes as needed.

Recommendations:

In the effort to minimize nighttime eating I recommend that you commit to a time window for eating. Set a time in which you will break your morning fast from the night before (breakfast= break-fast) and a time in which you will begin your fast at night (last meal of the day-dinner). If you do find that you have a hunger urge outside of your eating window replace high glycemic food/snack options with smaller and high-protein snacks (I.e. eggs, nuts, yogurt).

I encourage everyone reading this post to share your experiences in the comment section. Are you currently battling with eating late? Is weight gain a concern of yours? Is obesity effecting your health? How do you feel? Your testimony can help someone. My primary focus is to build a community around my blog but this is only possible with the help of all of my followers and readers.

Be sure to follow my Facebook page, Fit Life With Erica in order to connect with myself and others on their fitness journey.

FLWE ❤

References:

Allen, J. V. (2015, August 24). Why eating late at night may be particularly bad for you and your diet. Retrieved April 8, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/why-eating-late-at-night-may-be-particularly-bad-for-you-and-your-diet/2015/08/24/ad8b85ac-2583-11e5-b77f-eb13a215f593_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a8f4bd12bf7a

Clark, C. (2018, July 11). Is it Bad to Eat at Night? 6 Reasons to Avoid Nighttime Meals and Snacks. Retrieved April 8, 2019, from https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/is-it-bad-to-eat-at-night-6-reasons-to-avoid-nighttime-meals-and-snacks/

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 ❤

Mom Life, Pregnancy Journey

Wednesday Weekly Weigh-In: Pregnancy Edition – Week 33

Welcome week 33… another week down! Currently, 47 days to go … We are ready for you baby boy. This past weekend my mother in law helped me get everything ready in his room. Wall decals are placed, crib bedding is set, and all baby clothes are washed and put away. The carseat is out of the box and ready. Pampers are waiting on standby. I am even proud to say that I have my hospital bag packed and ready. Everything is ready except baby. But, that is ok he still has some time left to enjoy mommy’s womb (aka his womb-cave).

Don’t mind the butterfly decals. We were too tired to take down what was left over from Abby’s nursery. We will get to it sooner or later. =)
Pregnancy Problems

33 Week Milestones & Current Events:

  • Baby is the size of a pineapple
  • Measuring between 17-19 inches in length and 4 – 6 lbs in weight
  • Baby is rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look, and his skeleton is hardening
  • Baby is extremely active
  • Mommy is feeling more fatigued
  • Mommy waddle is in full effect
  • Pelvic pressure is in full effect (It feels like I have a soft ball size yoni egg just sitting in my pelvic area)
  • It is getting even more difficult for me to sleep- tossing from side to side
  • Cravings: ice, water, almond milk, whipped butter, toast, oreo cookie

For the information you all have been reading for: At 33 weeks I weigh 175.4 lbs. Slight and steady increases in my weight. Less weight gained, less that I will need to lose in order to return back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I am looking forward to get back into the swing of working out after baby. I have some real goals that I will be working to smash before the end of the year.

(Stay tuned for a blog post on my fitness goals after delivery)

Week 33 Weigh In

I had my 33 week check up yesterday and my OB/Gyn is pleased with how well baby is growing according to the last ultrasound. Baby is still head down and deeply lodged into my pelvis so he is getting himself ready and is already in position for delivery. The amniotic fluid is decreasing as we near the big day so it is very important for me to up my water intake and be sure to remain well hydrated throughout the day. My next appointment will be in two weeks and then once a week up until delivery. We are betting that he will arrive any day between April 20th-30th. I told my mother in law that he will be either her’s or Abby’s birthday present. I guess the bet is on and we will have to just wait and see.

FLWE ❤