Personal Fitness Challenge

I've challenged myself to improve my fitness. My working plan is to stop my post-partum (ha-its over 2 years now) weight gain, improve my strength and cardio so I can easily engage in physical activity with either of my girls, and to improve my energy, sleep, and overall well being.

I've been so engaged with my story-since 20 weeks into my last pregnancy, I have been completely reliant on a steady input of nutrient dense food, leading me to learn more about the Weston A Price diet. During pregnancy and at least the first year post-partum, I would experience dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness, etc. If I deviated from my diet. (which essentially meant eating at least 6-8 times per day and I have no idea how many calories-it didn't matter since I was burning them all!). Blood work tested fine; no medical problems identified, I just kept attributing it to having a baby at 40+ years old, and then supporting a baby via breastfeeding, and burned out by lack of regular sleep.

Somewhere around 18 months I must have stabilized, although it wasn't starting to be an obvious concern until 20-22 months (postpartum). Somewhere around spring to early summer, I started to notice the scale begin to creep up and then it began to bother me. Whether its a new hormonal change, a decrease in calories required by my nursling, or whatever change that occurred, it's finally time for me to make some changes. (Edited... the end of April seems to have been worst, after travels to Paris-nothing to do with the croissants, ice cream, foie gras, fresh baked bread, cheese, wine, and time change-ha!)

I had a few false starts of intending to increase my activity level, including more walks in the neighbourhood/ a few mini runs and stair climbing (end of April/ Early May) which I didn't maintain, kept seeing my weight go up (183 lbs at end of April to 185 lbs to August), and “tried” working out again end of July/ early August to be followed by a stop-everything-bout-of-mastitis in August.

I have finally been consistent enough to share and to challenge myself more. In the past, I've had success working out at gyms, with a focus on using weights and seeing quick results. However, for a bunch of reasons (possible excuses?), I'm not there at the moment-childcare, time constraints, less confidence in my body to not crash... so instead I've taken direction from Pinterest and my general knowledge!

First: This may be an easy workout for you. I'm starting with a little challenge for myself and am adding to it week by week as I get stronger. It's high repetitions, just body weight.

Second: I'm not addressing food YET. I may decide to as I continue to feel good.

Third: My goals may not be as clear as: weight___ inches lost___. As that doesn't feel like what's going to motivate me. Right now, its as above: halt the weight gain. Feel strong and energized. Keep up with the young ones in the house.

Four: I started with legs, just because that's our biggest muscle mass and I know as that changes, it will help the rest of my metabolism.

As an FYI, I started August 17th and I weighed 185lbs. I know since then that my weight has increased AND I also feel stronger and also am noticing more muscle.

My workout:
  1. Strength (alternate days) – 20 squats. 16 lunges both sides. Core: plank (or modified) 60 seconds (I started with 3x20 sec); side plank 60 seconds (ditto); lower abdominal/ transverse (3X10 sec contractions); Low Back arm & leg extensions (either 5 repetitions 5 seconds both sides OR 12 non-sustained reps).
  2. Cardio (alternate days to strength) – 20+ minutes of what I want. I walk; bike; swim... I'll go back to the stair climbing soon.
  3. Yoga/ Stretch – as I want. It usually ends up being 20 min 2-3 times per week.
That's all! I'm currently up to 2 sets per strength workout. I sometimes add other things like a bridge for my gluteals or sun salutations, but I'm maintaining a flexibility with that. Sometimes I even combine my strength & cardio for an entire hour long workout! Craziness, I know.

The key has been to record my success at completing the exercises on my daily tracker, which I have shared here prior. At two and a half weeks into this program, I feel I'm off to a good start. This challenge is making me feel like a tortoise, but I expect slow and steady will win this race.

And yay! Improving my fitness level will mean that I'm adding energy to my bioenergy, which I suspect will help to fuel the other areas of my health and life. Keep posted for progress!

The Befores...


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