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Family, Pregnancy

9 Months In + 9 Months Out :: The Post-Baby Body

December 16, 2015


I had been meaning to write this post a bit sooner, closer to when Ainsley was 9 months old. She’s now almost 10 months, but the thoughts remain the same. Before having Ainsley I was really worried about the physical transformation of pregnancy and the toll it would take on my body. Having been so outspoken about our trouble having a baby, I didn’t voice many of those concerns for fear that it would sound shallow and silly in light of the gift of having a baby.

Now that Ainsley has been in this world as long as she was in my stomach, I thought I would talk a little bit about my experience with my new “mom bod.” (Is that a thing? It should be!)

1. Your body’s adaptation to pregnancy and how your body transitions after the fact is largely based on genetics, height, weight before getting pregnant and fitness level during pregnancy. Your husband’s cousin’s wife’s experience has very little (if anything) to do with your own experience. It’s best not to compare, like in all aspects of life.

2. You might look 4 months pregnant after you have your baby, and you might not. I was very prepared for a giant bump after having Ainsley (thank you, Princess Kate!) but my stomach was relatively (key word being relatively) flat.

3. Weight loss was fast, then slow, then slow and steady. Lots of weight was lost during those first few weeks. I was SO encouraged and excited and maybe a little naive and arrogant. And then at around 3 weeks postpartum the weight loss came to screetching halt. It stayed that way for weeks on end, despite my best efforts at eating healthy and going on short walks with Ainsley. Since I wasn’t ready to diet or exercise yet (for the sake of breastfeeding and recovery) I stayed the course and reminded myself time and time again that it was just a phase. I quit breastfeeding around 4 months and hoped that I would lose the rest of the baby weight, but it stayed put. Then, around 7 months postpartum I switched back to a vegetarian diet and got a little more consistent with my workouts and the rest of that pesky baby weight melted right off.

4. Buy some jeans in a size or two larger. Just do it! The first week I had Ainsley, my mom and I went to Old Navy and bought some jeans for me. I was so excited to wear real pants and needed an excuse to get out of the house, but my old jeans weren’t going to fit and I wasn’t about to wear maternity jeans. I purchased a pair of cheap boyfriend-style jeans and wore them while my body continued to change and adjust. It was such a wise decision! I didn’t feel disheartened trying to squeeze back into my old jeans and was better able to appreciate my body in its current shape and size. Sure, I still wore a lot of sweats and leggings, but having some real pants to put on that actually fit made a big difference.

5. Weight is just a number. I was a member of a new-momma group during the first 8 weeks of Ainsley’s life, and I can tell you from my experience and the experience of the other women that just because you return to “pre pregnancy weight” doesn’t mean that your body is back to where it was before baby. Going through the postpartum phase reminded me that weight is just a number, not an indicator of fitness or health. Toss that scale if you need to!

6. Your body will be different, but it can be better, too! I had a lot of people tell me, “Oh just you wait! You’ll never have a fit, lean body after having a baby!” And it was so discouraging. Sure, my body is different. Despite being as fit as I’ve ever been, some of my clothes just don’t fit the same now that I’ve had a baby, and I’m okay with that. You might need to re-examine your wardrobe and find new, flattering clothes but don’t feel like just because you’ve had a baby you’re bound to hate your body for the rest of your life.

Lastly, I want to share a few of my favorite resources for getting back in shape after baby. 
*Online Workouts! Getting to the gym with a baby is practically impossible, and I find these days I have to workout smarter and manage my time wisely. I am a huge fan of working out at home these days and have been doing the 21 Day Fix videos 4 or 5 days a week for the last few months. Check out my sister-in-law’s online boot camps if you’re interested! 

*Grab-and-Go Nutrition. I drink a smoothie almost every day for lunch. My favorite is Vega Protein & Greens, which is safe for pregnant women and nursing moms and really affordable for a high quality protein and veggie powder.

*Prenatal Vitamin. It’s key to keep taking a prenatal vitamin throughout the postpartum period, both for breastfeeding and for your own recovery. Treat your body gently and give it the nutrition it needs to recover.

Other mommas out there, what bits of advice would you have to share about the postpartum period and your mom-bod?


PS: I wrote this post about pregnancy and body image 2 days before Ainsley’s arrival! The comments are great if you’re looking for more insight into the subject.


Holiday Pilates

November 27, 2015

Pilates 4x4 Holiday 2


My friend Robin is a pilates instructor and founder of The Balanced Life. I’ve mentioned Robin before, but it bears repeating that she has one of the most balanced, authentic voices in the fitness community.

A balanced approach to fitness during the holidays? Now that’s something I can get behind. And while I love the sweet treats and celebratory foods that come with the season, my goal come January is to feel fit and healty while also feeling like I was able to enjoy the foods I love.

Robin is launching the Pilates 4×4 Program on November 30th. Here’s a bit more about what it entails and who it’s for…

The program is for:

1. Women who are short on time
2. Busy moms who need something they can easily do from home that won’t take hours + travel time + extra showers.
3. Women who travel and need something they can easily do from their hotel room or while visiting relatives.
4. Women who don’t love going to the gym or who don’t have access to a gym on a regular basis.
5. Women who are interested in building core strength, improving flexibility, and toning from head to toe.
6. Women who need a little extra encouragement and accountability because they have trouble staying consistent with their workouts on their own.

The program will include:

– 4 (40 minute) Pilates workouts (a new one goes out each week)
– Progress Journal to stay in-tune with your body & mind during the holiday season
– A daily “cup of motivation” email to feel inspired and motivated as you start each day
– Goal-setting guide
– Workout checklist to keep you on track
– A handful of other fun bonuses!

I’m going to be participating in order to stay on track and keep myself in a healthy mindset during the holidays. What a great feeling to get through December feeling great about your body, right? If you want to join me, you have just three days to sign up for the program. Sign up or find out more HERE.


Fashion, Pregnancy

Does my body need changing? Or does my heart?

August 20, 2015

Let’s talk about body image. It’s been a topic that I haven’t talked about much post-baby, but that’s not to say that it hasn’t been on my mind plenty over the past 6 months.

Going into pregnancy I was fearful about how my body would adjust and adapt to pregnancy and the postpartum period. I’ve never had a super fast metabolism and have always had to be relatively mindful of what and how much I eat in order to keep my weight in check. But, let’s be honest, I love a little chocolate at the end of a long day or a glass of wine now and again.

Now, 6 months postpartum, I have my good days and days when I’m more critical of my body that I think makes any sense. I don’t really have a lot of extra baby weight to lose, I’m active and at my most recent physical my doctor told me everything indicates that I’m living a very healthy life. But too often I find myself falling into the perfectionist mentality where my body is concerned.

Someone told me once that the problem with “good enough” for a perfectionist is that even when it’s good, it’s never enough. And isn’t that the truth? But when I think about it, I realize that’s not the legacy I want to leave. I want good to be enough and to find satisfaction in imperfection and flaws, even if that means making peace with a little extra softness around my middle or going up a size in my favorite jeans.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating against living a healthy lifestyle or in support of unhealthy eating. Living a healthy and active life makes me feel great and is something I’m deeply committed to for so many reasons. But sometimes I catch myself sliding down a dangerous slope, one that says it’s not enough. A little voice in my head advocates against balance and moderation and pushes me toward perfection.

Becoming a mom has changed the way I want to look at my body and relate to those around me. When I point out my bodily flaws, however minor they may be, I think about little miss Ainsley doing the same thing one day. Right now, at 6 months of age, when I sit her down in front of the mirror her face breaks out in the biggest smile. She sees herself and loves what she’s looking at! If only we could all have the same reaction, right?

I want to set an example for her. I want her to be able to look in the mirror when she gets older and beam at the beautiful little girl and young woman God created.

So if you’re struggling with your self-image, maybe take a look at your heart first? I know in my case it’s an important barometer. There are plenty of reasons to pursue health and fitness, and there are also a myriad of instances when good really is enough.

Come on, ladies! I need to hear your personal stories. How have you adapted, accepted and come to peace with your postpartum body? Maybe you’re still working on it? I would love to hear in the comments below!


Family, Pregnancy

Stay Healthy, Mama

July 13, 2015

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and healthy mama® , but, as always, all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #gethealthymama

healthy mama 1


Having experienced a couple miscarriages before getting pregnant with Ainsley, I was more than a little paranoid about what I put in my body. I was constantly worried about doing something that would compromise the health of my baby and desperate for a little peace of mind when I wanted relief from morning sickness or a headache or some other pregnancy-related aliment.

I’m a researcher by nature so I did a lot of scouring on the internet for healthy, safe ways to navigate the less-than-glamorous sides of being pregnant. My doctor was a good resource, as well as a few reputable baby- and pregnancy-related websites and books, but most of the products I found still came with a disclaimer for pregnant or nursing women.

Toward the end of my pregnancy I discovered that Target has a section devoted to pre- and postnatal care filled with healthy mama® products that are safe for nursing moms and moms-to-be. I wish I would have found the section sooner rather than at the end of my pregnancy!

During pregnancy and the postpartum period, my two greatest complaints were nausea (specifically the first trimester but also a bit toward the end of pregnancy) and headaches. I’ve always had headaches, but the postpartum headaches I experienced? They were horrible! I found a few little changes during the course of my pregnancy and after Ainsley arrived really helped…

healthy mama 2

healthy mama 3

healthy mama 4


*I found that making sure I was getting plenty of iron in my diet was key! Since meat and veggies didn’t sound all that great to me during the first trimester, I was seriously lacking in iron. And some of the research I did also said that you start to experience the unpleasant effects of low iron around 18/19 weeks, which was exactly when I started getting really bad headaches!
*Hydration was also key to keeping the headaches (especially during the postpartum period) at bay. I kept a giant water bottle with me at all times and couldn’t get enough ice water with extra ice!
*When water and vitamins weren’t cutting it, I found that the cure-all was usually a cup of coffee (coffee in moderation is totally safe!) and a little bit of acetominophin, like that found in the healthy mama® Shake that Ache! pain reliever, was enough to keep the headaches at bay most of the time.


*I only experienced a mild case of nausea starting around 12 weeks and lasting until around week 19, but it was enough to keep me snacking on carbs 90% of the time. My go-to remedies were salty kettle-style potato chips, lemonade and sparkling water.
*A lot of research talks about the benefits of consuming B vitamins to calm the nausea. I’m guessing that’s why healthy mama® included B vitamins and electrolytes in their Boost it Up! Protein Energy Drink. Although I wasn’t experiencing nausea when I tried this drink, I loved it anyway! And it’s a great caffeine-free energy alternative that’s safe for pregnant and nursing moms.

I am so bummed that I didn’t discover these products sooner. But I have a feeling that if we’re blessed to have another kiddo down the road, I’ll be using that section at Target as my go-to resource while pregnant and nursing.


Fashion, Uncategorized

Wearing Pink with Skechers

October 15, 2014

Sketchers Shoes (1)

My family, like a lot of families, has been touched deeply by cancer. I don’t think I’ve ever really mentioned it on this site, but when I was in middle school I lost my grandmother to bone cancer and a few years later my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Thankfully, my dad is many years post-surgery and cancer-free. Skin cancer also runs in my family and I have an aunt who had breast cancer, and all there really is to say on the topic is that cancer sucks.

Any time I can partner with a company to talk about cancer awareness, I jump at the chance. So when Skechers asked if I would be willing to partner with them to raise awareness about breast cancer in the month of October I said “yes” without hesitation. They sent me a pair of their Skechers Performance GOwalk 2 Flash shoes to work out in and share my motivations for staying healthy and active.

Honestly, before this campaign I wasn’t even aware that Skechers had a performance line of shoes for working out, but I was blown away by how comfortable and cute the shoes are. The weather was beautiful yesterday, so I took full advantage after work and went on a long walk in my new kicks.

Sketchers Shoes (3)

Since becoming pregnant, my workouts have changed quite a bit. I’ve been focusing more on staying active in the form of walking, Pilates and exercise videos geared toward pregnancy. That’s not to say that being active isn’t still extremely important to me! In fact, I think eating healthfully and staying fit is even more important now that I’m doing everything for me and our little one. When I’m lacking motivation, it’s easy to remind myself that I’m doing this not just to look good but to do good for my baby. If that isn’t enough motivation, I’m not really sure what is!

Sketchers Shoes (2)

PS: If you’re looking for a great shoe (seriously!) that benefits an amazing cause, I would highly recommend the GOwalk shoe from Skechers.With a few workouts in them under my belt, I can honestly say that I was super impressed by the comfort and quality.


Thank you to Skechers for supporting today’s post! The shoes were provided to me free of charge, but opinions are strictly my own. 

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