We’ve officially reached Niamh’s half-birthday! Jeff laughs at me, but I can’t believe that in this same amount of time we’ll have a one year old who is walking and talking! It sounds cliche, but time definitely flies by. I feel incredibly fortunate that she has been such an easy baby because I think it has allowed us to really slow down, not feel stressed out, and enjoy our little nugget. There really haven’t been any phases that I’ve secretly wished she would hurry up and outgrow and I’m very thankful for that!
In the last couple months, I really tried to buckle down and get my body back. Some mornings, I would row a quick 1000-4000 meters (depending on the day, how much time I had, how lazy I felt, etc.) at the house on an empty stomach, while my body was still in fat-burning mode. I would immediately follow that with a protein shake (the Stronger Faster Healthier Pure Whey) and a little something to eat. I would make sure that I was eating breakfast every day because I have a really bad habit of putting it off and getting caught up in my day. Next thing I know, it’s 2pm and I want to get in a WOD but haven’t eaten anything all day. In addition to my morning cardio on the rower, I was CrossFitting about 4x a week. Jeff and I decided to do a 12 week Hatch squat cycle at the end of February, so on the days I squat heavy I haven’t been doing a MetCon in addition to that. However, I am doing a run with weight or tabata situps to get in a little something extra and help transform my flabs back into abs!
Also at the end of February, I kicked off a Whole30. For those of you who are not familiar with a Whole30, it’s basically a really strict version of the paleo diet for 30 consecutive days. During the Whole30, I didn’t have any sugars or sugar-substitutes (no honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup) and even tried to limit my after-dinner cravings for a little something sweet and steer clear of fruit. Occasionally, I would treat myself to a little sliced apple with some almond butter for dessert, but I definitely tried to keep it from becoming a habit. I didn’t have a single beer or glass of wine for the 30 days as well. My days basically looked like: eggs and bacon for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, meat and veggies for dinner. I also completely cut out dairy, with the exception of my post-WOD or post-rowing protein shakes.
How did this little combination work out, you ask? Throughout the course of this 30 days, I shed close to 15 pounds. I am now exactly 6 pounds over what I weighed when I found out I was pregnant. My body is drastically different! My legs are back to their normal size (I no longer have thunder thighs that I have to stuff into my lululemon!) and my arms and face seem slimmer. I’m still not thrilled about my belly; it looks a little inflamed and puffy throughout my midsection and my belly button is still a little stretched out and weird looking. For those of you not in Houston, it’s already in the 70s-80s here, so I have to double down on the ab situation and get in a bathing suit ASAP!
6 Months Post-Partum
I think the biggest thing for me was finally feeling like I had met an expectation that I had set in my own mind. Being in pre-pregnancy jeans by Thanksgiving was an unrealistic goal and setting myself up for that failure just prolonged and exacerbated the frustration I was feeling. In the back of my mind, I had always set the 5 pound mark as a goal. I knew that my body would keep some “extra padding” around as long as I was breastfeeding, so I figured that being 5 pounds over my normal weight would be my “new” normal until Niamh is weaned and then I could easily drop that. I’m so happy to finally feel like I accomplished a goal I set for myself and see my body slowly resembling the body that I remember! My advice to anyone out there who is expecting/just had a baby is to work hard but set realistic expectations. If you do that, I think the 5-6 month mark is when you’ll see a big change in your body. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be one of those freaks who leaves the hospital wearing a size smaller than you wore before you got pregnant. If so, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you met your goals prior to the 6 month mark. If not, hopefully it won’t hit you quite so hard!
I’ve decided that I’m going to keep posting to this blog occasionally but I’ll transition it from CrossFit Pregnancy to raising a little CrossFit/Paleo baby. Niamh has been experimenting with purees for a little over a month now and I’ve been very particular about what I’m feeding her. I bought one of the Beaba baby food makers that steams and purees and I’ve been very happy with it so far. I really didn’t want to give her the traditional oatmeal or rice cereal because it doesn’t make sense to give her grains when there’s little to no nutritional value and a plethora of associated autoimmune issues. I have introduced dairy, but it’s got to be high-fat and strictly from grass-fed cows. Here’s a list of the foods she’s tried so far: carrots with Kerrygold butter, mashed sweet potatoes with breast milk, pears, bananas, mangoes, cantaloupe, and spinach. I just started giving her chicken (a puree of pan-seared chicken, onion, sweet potato, and apple) to introduce meat and get her an increased amount of protein and iron. I usually make a full batch of pureed food and divvy them up into individual plastic containers (I think they’re OXO Tot), then I can feed them to her in the next couple days or freeze them. I tend to give her the same food for at least three days before introducing something new so I can observe for any changes or potential allergies. It will be nice when she gets a little older and I can simply mash up a small portion of whatever we’re eating for dinner.
Two new teeth for all these new foods!
Niamh is still an amazing sleeper; she’s guaranteed to go 12-13 hours every night! Developmentally, things are right on track. She’s just figured out how to get up on all fours and rock back and forth…I think she’s going to be mobile pretty soon! The one thing that we really struggle with is naptime. If I put her in her crib in the morning, she will nap for two hours easy after her first feeding and a little playtime. However, I have been working at the gym to help Jeff out and she refuses to nap there. I can get her to squeeze in 15-30 minute catnaps if I put her in her ErgoBaby and wear her around, and she loves to sleep in the car. I definitely see the benefit of getting your baby on a schedule, but I’m trying to resist that urge so that we have a little more flexibility. Luckily, her nighttime sleep pattern stays the same regardless of the nap situation during the day.
That’s all I have for now! Be sure to check out my friend Ashley’s blog if you want more perspective on CrossFitting while pregnant. **Take note: so far, Ashley is having a super-easy pregnancy with no morning sickness or nausea! I know correlation is not causation, but I find it interesting that she’s having a very similar experience! I really nerded it up throughout my pregnancy and read everything I could on birth, breastfeeding, baby gear, cloth diapering, etc. If any of you have any questions, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll do my best to help out or recommend a decent source for more information!