Most of you know by now I believe in living a life of moderation. Yes, my goal is to be much leaner than I am now! But in my experience it’s healthier for me to take the “slow and steady” method rather than the rapid fat loss approach.
- Because today I enjoyed having a cream and jelly filled donut with my kids at the park.
- Because on Thursday night I went to a new Mexican restaurant with my husband and we drank margaritas. Actually I had two. ;)
- Because I have a three-month old, a two-year old, and a four-year old. I haven’t had an eight-hour sleep in months and won’t have one for a few months yet. Not every day is a great day for me to work out. Some days when I have a spare hour I need a nap more than I need a work out.
- Because the pressure of finding the time for a workout on specific set days is more stressful than stress-relieving for me right now.
- Most people achieve rapid fat loss through a restrictive diet. When I’ve tried this approach in the past I start obsessing about food… Or more like obsessing about the food I’m restricting. And then I binge eat. It leads to a really unhealthy pattern of eating that I’ve learned to stop through a little thing called moderation! So is rapid fat loss possible? Yes. It’s just not the right approach for me.
About a month ago I started a training program that I wasn’t ready for. Three or four days a week were supposed to be one hour strength training sessions and two days a week were supposed to be HIIT cardio sessions. Guess what I learned? Finding an hour even three times a week for a workout is next to impossible right now. I knew after the first week I would have to figure something else out.
I sometimes have an all-or-nothing attitude, which is ridiculous. When I realized I didn’t have time for this perfectly balanced training program I got a little depressed. A week went by and I did nothing. I thought “what’s the point?”
Then a light bulb went off.
What I needed to do was hit the reset button. I had taken several months off of working out and I needed to get back to basics. The plan: first make workouts habitual. Then slowly increase the duration and fine tune the training program.
I’ve been focusing on a few of the most basic and essential human movement patterns. Good form is my primary concern, then increasing resistance. And of course I’ll be continuing to work on healing my diastasis recti, which has shrunk to under a 2cm gap. I feel ready to step things up a notch with my strength training (I’ll write about my diastasis recti very soon).
So What Am I Doing?
First of all I’m making a conscious effort to move more throughout my day. I’m walking instead of driving. I’m “racing” my son on his bike when we’re out (which amounts to some serious HIIT). I’m squatting down to pick up toys. I’m deadlifting to pick up the baby. I’m carrying my children using my arm strength instead of propping them on my hips. I’m actually just trying to use my body appropriately and what it was designed for. You can’t out train a sedentary life. The small things DO add up.
Three times a week I’m alternating between these two workouts. I always have a rest day in between. Each takes about twenty to thirty minutes depending on how many circuits I do, usually four or five.
20 Lunges (with dumbbells)
15 Seated Rows (with resistance band)
30-second Side Plank (alternative: plank from knees)
15 Kettlebell Swings (hip-hinge not squat swing)
Do 4-5 sets in a circuit
Do 4-5 sets in a circuit
Simple right? It really is. Short and effective, but most importantly, this approach is helping me to form good habits and enjoy working out again. I think hitting the reset button and getting back to basic exercises is an excellent strategy for those who have taken an extended break from working out or are approaching strength training for the first time. I will update you when I change it up, which will be soon. I’m very excited to be starting training with Marianne Kane in January!
And of course because everyone enjoys a good visual, here is my progress from one month postpartum to three months postpartum. I’m feeling very happy with my “slow and steady” progress!
My current approach to how I eat is here.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a certified trainer, but I am a “trainer-in-training” studying through the NSCA. I was inspired to change my career because of my struggle to find fitness professionals knowledgable about pre and postpartum issues (not many exist!) I’m passionate about an evidence-based approach to health and fitness. I always strive to create safe and balanced workouts for myself which are the ones I share here.