Can You Get Your Body Back After Having Twins?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I gained about 60 pounds when I was pregnant with the twins.  That's right 6-0! Sentenced to bed rest at the start of my third trimester,  I had to let go of my after dinner walks and pre-natal yoga classes. Nothing was more important to me than keeping those babies cooking for as long as possible!
After graduating college, I really took control of my life by eating healthy and working out most days. I constantly stayed current with exercise and dietary trends.  I worked hard to keep my body healthy!

But after having the girls, the task of getting back in shape when I was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted seemed daunting.

How was I going to return to a healthy weight and feel better about my body?

Finally, two years later and back at my pre-pregnancy weight (give or take a few pounds), I wanted to share what's been working for me.

*I have to admit, I was sort of nervous writing this post, I definitely don't have a "perfect" body.  But, I am having  success losing the baby weight.  I thought maybe these tips might be useful in helping others to take back their bodies:) 

In the beginning...

The first few months after the girls were born, I didn't have much time to think, let alone to think about my body. Since I was nursing, I tried to make healthy choices about the food I ate.  I would also take the girls for walks around the neighborhood. I found that a little over half of the weight I gained came off. An added bonus of nursing twins:)

At the one year mark...

I was determined to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans.  Since I wasn't nursing anymore,  I knew I had to do more than just watch what I ate and take leisurely strolls. So I decided to... 

  • Sneak in exercise Pre-pregnancy I would find myself  at the gym for an hour or two after work.  How was I ever going to find time for that?  No way! Instead, I found ways to sneak in 10-20 minutes of exercise here and there. Pop in a DVD during naptime, do some triceps dips while out at the playground, or load the girls into the jogging stroller and go for a walk/jog.  Some of my favorite quick workout DVDs were exhale core fusion 30 Day sculpt (30 20-Minute workouts day-by-day plan), the 10 Minute Solution Rapid Results Pilates, and Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 (each workout is about 35 minutes). I also downloaded the RunDouble C25K Pro app on my phone.  I liked having a scheduled planed for me (run 3 times a week for nine weeks), and the verbal reminders of when to walk and when to jog were helpful at motivating me to step up my leisurely strolls.   
  • Schedule workouts By simply writing down my workouts on the calendar, I found that I was more likely to stick with them.  I tried to do something active everyday. I wasn't running all the time or even able to spend a half hour on a DVD every day, but I figured even a 10 minute walk was better than nothing at all! I felt happy if I could squeeze in 2-3 longer workouts a week.  Of course chasing around the twins also helped keep me moving.  
  • My closet As a new stay at home mom, I didn't have the need (or the means) to spend a ton of money on a whole new wardrobe of clothes in larger sizes!  Seeing all of my pretty clothes hanging in the closet just waiting for me to lose weight was very motivating to me.  
  • Track what I eat I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on both my android phone and iPad (free on both).  I lost weight instantly, just by becoming aware of what I was putting into my mouth.   I was shocked at how much nibbling I was doing.  A leftover bite of the girls' PB sandwich here some cheddar bunnies there, it adds up quickly. The app lets you enter your goal weight and gives you suggestions on how many calories to consume based upon your activity level and desired weekly weight loss goal. You can sync the app between devices so it's easy to enter food at home or on the go.  I love the scanner feature that lets you zap a bar code and instantly enters the food into your daily chart.  You can also enter your workouts, and the more you workout the more calories are added back into your daily goal.  I have been known to squeeze in an extra 10 minutes of activity so I can add on a glass of wine at night:)  I don't track my food on the weekends.  I decided a few weeks ago to stop.  I still try to make good choices, but I don't stress if I want to enjoy a gelato with my girls or a nice dinner out.  
I remember the day I fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans! I was ecstatic! 

Now at the two year mark...

Even though I am pretty much at my pre-babies weight, my body is definitely not the same! Some parts are larger and some a little jigglier than they used to be.  But, the girls are getting older which means I am sleeping more than ever, and I finally have the energy to really take back my body!
Here are the changes I added...
  • Track my activity I love my fitbit.  I had an original one years ago, but it stopped logging activity correctly. My husband got me the new fitbit one as a mother's day gift, and I am loving it! Just attach it to your pants and it tracks your steps, floors, calories, and activity level throughout the day.  You can also sync it to the MyFitnessPal app so that it automatically inputs your calories burnt. On Monday,  I was so close to the 10,000 step mark I was walking in place after the girls went to bed just to add on steps.  Everything is displayed neatly for you to monitor on your computer, smartphone, or iPad.  You can even track your sleep!
  • Join a gym with childcare One of my struggles was finding time to workout.  The girls weren't too excited to sit in the jogging stroller for a half hour any more.  And I didn't want to lose all of naptime to workout.  So, I found a gym with a great childcare center.  Now I get an hour or two 2-3 times a week to workout alone or take group classes and the girls get to play with all of the "new" toys and teachers.  Win-win! 
  • Workout with friends Some days I don't feel like going to the gym, but knowing that I am meeting up with a friend helps me drag my butt out of the house.  I don't want to let her down by not showing up!   
  • Cut back the coffee creamer I love my coffee sweet.  But, once I started measuring and tracking my calories I realized I was adding close to a 1/4 cup of creamer. Yuck! I slowly weaned myself down one tablespoon at a time until I was using a much healthier amount. Every tablespoon I cut, I saved 35 calories. That was over 490 calories a week! 
  • Remember Slow and Steady wins the race The most important thing I learned during this whole  process was that the weight wasn't going to instantly fall off. I still have to continue to work hard and stay positive.  Building in a few incentives doesn't hurt either.  A pedicure when I've lost the next five pounds or a bubble bath after I worked out three days in a row can be just enough to keep me going! 
 I know I am far from having a perfect body, but I'll take this healthy one! 

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