Well, it’s been almost 3 months since Esben arrived and although it feels like a few days, it’s only been two weeks since I started weight lifting again. Before all that, I was just counting my macros & nursing baby Esben. In his early months, his immature tummy couldn’t handle eggs, dairy, most veggies, legumes, or spicy food. For that reason I had to be super careful about what I ate if wanted to avoid a colicky baby. At about 4 weeks postpartum I realized (through progress pictures & the way my clothes fit) that I had lost too much body fat. Most people would celebrate that, but not me! I knew that if I continued down that path I risked losing my milk supply and the energy I needed to regain my muscles back. So I quickly readjusted my macros to bulk up again.
Now that Esben is no longer colicky and he’s on a consistent schedule (where I can get as much sleep as I’d like!) I can finally start pushing myself. I’m also fully recovered from all that horrible postpartum pain. I can finally say I feel like myself again.
Currently, I’m following Mike Mathew’s Thinner Leaner Stronger program with a focus on recomposition/maintenance macros. All that means is that I’m eating the correct amount of nutrition to fuel my body with consistent energy and increase my body fat slowly while I work on building more muscle. This is a year long commitment. This is not a typical 21 day or 30 day challenge. All this will take a significant amount of patience to get where I want to be. When I’ve hit my weight lifting goals, I plan to lean out to expose all the hard work I’ve invested over those months.
Right now I weigh somewhere between 117-120 lbs at 5’1”. I’m guessing my body fat is somewhere between 22-25%. I like this number because it gives me wiggle room to push myself during my workouts and not risk losing my supply. This is also why I’ve chosen not to include any cardio at all. My body loves it and responds quickly to it. So to keep my sanity, I’ve decided it’s best for me to leave it out (at least for now).
So as you can see, there are some things I have control over & some things I don’t. My plan is to do my very best at the things I can control & let go of the things I can’t. This means I will not re-eat what I think I’ve burned even if My Fitness Pal tells me I can. This means I won’t treat myself after a really good workout because I earned it. This also means I will listen closely to my body when it tells me I’m still hungry at the end of the night even when I’ve hit my macros because things happen that I have no control over. I’ll do this by adjusting eating in increments of 100 calories in the from of carbs & protein.
Here’s what I have most control over:
- What I eat that meets my macronutrient needs. I also am making sure to drink tons of water, watch my caffeine, eat lots of fiber, and get a rainbow of fruits & vegetables too!
- The progressive overload of weights during a specific time frame. (fancy talk for: I add more weight, not reps, to my workouts as I build muscle using my 1RM as m gauge) —> I will talk about this later.
- Making sure I track my measurements & take my progress pictures, so that I can tweak things if needed.
These are my unknown variables:
- Knowing how many calories I burn (and will continue to burn through out the night) after a workout.
- Knowing when Esben will go through his growth spurts.
- Knowing exactly how many calories I burn just by nursing alone.
See this postpartum thing is tricky, especially when I’m an exclusively breastfeeding mama. But it’s doable with the right nutrition, workout plan, mindset, goals, patience, and determination. It’s a long road ahead, but I’m willing to stick to it day in and day out to get the results I want.