Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back in the Fitness Game Again

In the past few months, I've been slowly ramping up my fitness program. Having a young child, mixed with work travel and working full-time pretty much wiped out my old 4-5 day a week exercise routine. I started working out at lunches at my company's gym and then the weather started warming up so walking outside was much more appealing. In March, I started to gently wean Ava from nursing in a respectful way. It was a slow process that just wrapped up a few weeks ago. I need to blog about her weaning story in the future. It's still very fresh and emotional for me. By not breastfeeding as much, I started to see my metabolism slow down and now my body is transitioning to a new state again. Back in the old days of exclusive nursing (before solids), I was likely burning 500-800 calories that brought me back to pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly. But I wasn't getting enough physical exercise that's healthy for my heart and body.

In May, my work travel started to slow down and with the prospect of having a more predictable work schedule I started stepping up my fitness routine. I added more frequent workouts during the week and I started run-walk intervals. I noticed my hip was sore after running, but that has gone away now.

Then about a month ago, I joined the YMCA. I've heard great things about it from my friends in town. I was so excited to get back to cycle class again. I was really into cycle back in Chicago. Check out my interview with my cycle instructor, which is awesome even 4 years later. I bought a new heart monitor because for the life of me, I couldn't find my old one. I love training with my heart monitor. Back when I was doing conditioning, my asthma symptoms were much more mild.

I look at my calendar week-by-week and look at when I carve out some time for me to workout. Now that Ava is older, leaving her at home with Aaron is easier. In the early months, I napped on the weekends with her to catch up because of the night wakings during the work week. I've talked to many of my working mom friends to ask them how they get their workouts in to their schedule to get some ideas. Some work it out with their partners to workout at night, others do the early morning, and also after their children are sleeping at night. I couldn't justify leaving Ava after a long work day separation since the evenings were our only time together. Since Ava goes to sleep later than many kids, I'm pretty much worthless after she's asleep. I've found that it works best for us if I get up at the crack of dawn to do a cycle class at 5:15am or at lunch. So I look at my week ahead and literally try to fit exercise into the mix.

Next week will be tough. I have a big work week, traveling on a day trip to Chicago on Thursday, and then we're off to a family reunion Friday - Sunday. So I worked out at the gym before lunch and came home to Aaron and Ava napping. And then I'll go to two 5:15am cycle classes at the gym. And no doubt the following week will be different.

So while I'm really careful about the foods that we eat at home, I know that fitness was a big gap. I'm feeling better and I know that in time, the results will be seen. I'm motivated by how my body is less sore and my heart rate isn't so high from jogging or intense parts of the cycle class.

Since this is my first time adjusting back to a post-nursing body, I'm really curious how my body will change over the next few months. I've heard from other moms that after they weaned their babies, they shed some more weight that held on or they gained more energy.

I've also gone back to tracking my calories using an iPhone app. So little by little, I'm hoping that it will all make a difference. I'm motivated and ready to make it happen!

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