You guys. I’m knee deep in postpartum “stuff” right now with eating and workouts.
I’m a “habit” person when it comes to eating. Nope, I don’t want to diet or follow a plan….I want to rely on habits to help me navigate my eating choices without too much mental energy invested. I was comfortably humming along this way until….
….I began dealing with my “new normal” right now. Nursing an infant. Which requires a bit more energy in the form of food. Which is a BIT TRICKY to get used to. Because the first three weeks postpartum I was HUNGRY like woah. And that’s to be expected I suppose. Recovery from birth, getting the hang of nursing. And to be honest, I didn’t stress out about when and what I was eating too much because I flippin’ just ate when I had time to eat, lol. Because we had a brand new human in our house, yo! And that is enough to worry about.
Now the past three weeks, I’ve noticed myself eating my regular meals….I typically like to eat 3-4 meals each day, it’s what works for me, buuuutttt….I’ve noticed the cravings monster rearing her ugly head like A TON during the day. And not just ONE day here and there, but most days of the week.
Yeahhhhh, something was up.
Now, you know I have a weird past with food, so I could have easily gone all nutso here and just blamed myself for being weak and having no willpower around food, and giving in to all the cravings, and then feeling guilty, and repeating this cycle over and over and over……
…….or I could approach this situation like a detective. Gather some information. Use the information to think through this issue a bit better. Be a freaking nutrition detective.
First off, shifting from food crazy mindset to detective mindset….what a huge helper. Suddenly I’ve taken away the blame game and moved towards taking action over the situation and gathering information to help me get to the root of the issue.
By using a detective mindset with this cravings issue, I’ve been able to identify that the quantity of my meals was still good, but that overall….most of the meals were a bit too small, leaving my body needing more food to feed me AND a kiddo. So it tried to get food in somehow, and that way was cravings. By approaching this like a detective, I gathered data by using a food journal to figure out what my meals were made of. And a loose estimate of HOW MUCH was in each meal. A few days of that, and suddenly I didn’t have an issue anymore because I was realizing pretty dang quickly that I needed a bit more quality food in each meal.
A few days later, I’m feeling pretty even keel about food, although I do have a swing here and there and I suppose that will be normal as I continue nursing.
Um, it’s way more sane to approach food as a detective rather than as a powerless victim, right?
So, I can also tell you I’m approaching my return to workouts as a detective as well.
Almost seven weeks postpartum, and I’m ready to begin testing the waters in a gentle fashion when it comes to workouts. I still have some “postpartum fun” to sort out yet. Today, I went for my second walk….my first one was 3 weeks postpartum, around the block, and I can tell you that was too damn much, too damn soon…as crazy as that sounds. Today, my walk was 10 minutes long and it was not at a clip of a pace. It felt right, and I made sure to log some notes on it – any pain, pressure, or weirdness? Not during or after….but, just like with strength training, it’s always good to see how I feel tomorrow. If it’s all good, I plan on keeping daily 10 minute walks for a few days, and then going to TWO 10 minute walks most days. And eventually three. Postpartum wise, it’s a bit better for your pelvic floor to walk in several short chunks than one long one.
I also plan on trying out a strength training workout here in the next few days. I’m putting together a pretty postpartum friendly plan that smartly trains my core AND minimizes pressure on pelvic floor muscles right now. I’m challenging myself to keep this to mostly bodyweight, and to spend a good deal of each workout between standing and seated/lying exercises. I’m also clearing this with my PT. And then….same as with walking, detective mindset this program, yo. Test the waters, gather info about whether each workout feels good, no pain, no pressure, no weird stuff….and rinse and repeat. Change things as necessary, based on new information, like a detective.
I could very easily tell myself I should be way further along by now and go right back in balls to the walls….buuuttttttt, if I detective mindset this shiz, I will likely be light years ahead of where I would be if I beastmode it, and 2 months down the road REALLY have postpartum shiz to deal with because I didn’t respect my body.
The point here of this post….flip how you think about stuff. It’s seriously ok to be a detective and figure out what works and what doesn’t. It’s ok to make changes. It’s ok to take this stuff super slow. Nothing has to happen overnight.
I love the quote by Dan John (at least….I think it’s from Dan John). “Success leaves clues.” Yes, a detective gathers clues. We don’t have to throw a hundred changes at something and never know what sticks. We can change one thing, and listen for a bit to see what kind of clues we get. And then we can take another action.
In my opinion….WAY more sane, and actually kind of fun!