Post-baby workout plan. Here we go.
(Cross posted on Winging it: Healthy Beginnings for a New Family.)
Baby Lydia is now seven weeks old, which means I’m waist deep into the blur of maternity leave. “Getting up and dressed for the day” means putting on a fresh pair of yoga pants as opposed to the ones I’ve been wearing for the past ten days. Only now I’ve hit the six week mark, so the excuse not to exercise has officially expired. Today I’m going to my first yoga class, where I’ll use the yoga pants for actual yoga.
I started a three-level post-partum workout DVD a couple weeks ago, though it barely passes as exercise. In the intro, Cindy Crawford says that this is the workout she’s been doing since her son was born three months prior, and look! She looks exactly the same as she did before only with better cleavage. I hesitated to start the DVD at all, because I took this to mean that the workout would be hard as hell.
But it isn’t. The first level is 12 minutes long, very new-baby friendly, and consists mostly of stretching with a few lunges. Which means it’s refreshingly realistic, feels really good and it’s easy to stick to. It also means Cindy Crawford has some serious alien genes, or she signed a contract with Satan exchanging her soul for perpetual six-pack abs. Or that she’s ridiculously rich, hired a trainer to cook her food and make her do 10 hours of Pilates a day, and she’s totally lying out her face.
Nonetheless, I quite like the DVD, and I choose to believe that this is plenty enough to get back into the game. I did level 1 on and off for a week, then I came down with the crustiest snot-filled cold. I’m over it, but the baby, oh, Lydia, she’s become all stuffed up and snarfully and sneezes down my shirt a hundred times a day. She tries to suck on her pacifier but she can’t breathe through her nose, so she’s adapted this wide-mouthed semi-suck where the binky is hanging mostly out of her mouth except the tip, so she can mouth breathe around the pacifier, because OH the trauma if the binky falls out and isn’t replaced with utmost haste! She’s looking pretty sad and hacks like a pack-a-day smoker. But I’m better, so back on the workout-train for me.
I started level 2 of the DVD, which is 16 minutes long with a little cardio and weights, but still reasonable, and yay for that. It’s hard to get back on the wagon after such a screaming halt to all things exercise related. I don’t think I’d do it often enough to make it habitual if it involved actual sweating right now, even though I spend about 8 hours a day parked on my couch breastfeeding. Listening to my baby snort while she tries to eat and the sound of my ass widening a little more every day.
So today I’m starting post-natal yoga, and I’ve set up a few other goals for myself:
1. Eat whatever the hell I want. My lactation consultant told me to eat more to produce more milk. To which I say you got a deal, sister! Unfortunately this plan also includes eating a blorp of oatmeal every day, which I do not like no matter how good it is for me. And those raisins on top? Raisins are just humiliated grapes. So let me revise that: Eat scroatmeal every day with some ground flax mixed in (and some butter and brown sugar). And eat lots of nearly everything else, with a reasonable apple-to-cheeseburger ratio.
2. Post-natal yoga once a week.
3. Post-natal workout DVD 5 x a week. Level 2 for another week, then level 3.
4. Half hour walk on days it’s above 20 degrees, which means I might not get a walk until April.
5. Go to the gym once a week for now, then reduce the DVD workouts and increase the gym workouts.
6. Floss. That’s not necessarily exercise related, but it IS health related, and I kind of stopped during pregnancy on account of the bleeding gums it gave me. Did you know flossing can add 6.4 years to your life? According to the internet, it’s true.
I plan to join the rowing club again this spring, which both seems far away considering that winter’s really just starting its engine here in Minneapolis, and also seems really soon, as I am soft and flabby and feel like there’s no way on God’s green Earth I’ll be in shape enough to row that soon.
I’m going to check in here once a week, so please feel free to hold me accountable to The Plan. If I don’t stick to it, you have my permission to yell at me like a middle school gym teacher. Or, if it’s more your style, tell me encouraging stories about how you got back into shape after a baby, and remind me that it takes a while and it’s pretty hard and it’s okay if my old jeans are still lying folded and neglected at the bottom of my dresser drawer.