Gains in Losses

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About a month after I gave birth, I ordered ALL my summer clothes online in a size medium, and gave myself three months maximum to fit into them all. I’m happy to report that it’s mission accomplished 🙂

Let me reverse and tell you a little bit more about my recovery (if you haven’t read the horror story which was my second delivery, please see below post entitled “4 Months Old.”)

After being released from the hospital on day four, my journey to recovery began, and it was unfortunately not seamless. Due to the amount of blood I had lost, I was prescribed iron tablets three times daily, along with the two Advil and four Tylenol I was taking for the pain – the constant soreness in which I couldn’t even sit properly. What was most uncomfortable about my recovery was the constipation – the iron pills would make me constipated, I was warned, and the only thing I had to counteract that was one stool softener I could take daily. It was six days before I had a bowel movement, and it was not a complete or “natural” one. TMI alert – it was more like a bunch of little black pebbles than something I would call a relief. Every time I would push, it would ache, and sometimes I would irritate the wound and rip the stitching a little, causing it to bleed more. One time I took a mirror and glanced at myself “down there” and was appalled at how I looked – a gaping, mutilated hole bound by stitching. I know you wonder why I would bother looking, but I just had to know.

One thing that helped with the pain was sitting in an epsom salt sitz bath three times daily, 20 minutes each time. A sitz bath is a round, plastic tub you place over the toilet that is filled with water and connected to an IV bag-like contraption with a tube and a clamp. Basically you fill the bag with hot water and move the clamp blocking the water passage to allow hot water into the bath as needed, and the excess water pours out a hole in the tub and into the toilet. Now that we are well versed in sitz bathery, I’ll get back to my recovery story.

Eventually, as the weeks passed, I was able to decrease the amount of pain killers to only 2-3 per day. And although I was told to take three iron tablets daily, I only took one and tried to eat as much iron-rich foods as possible instead, such as red meat and beans. That really helped with the constipation, and I was more “regular” about 2.5 weeks after I delivered.

At my six week post-partum appointment, I told the doc I still couldn’t sit upright properly in a chair. This concerned her, so she examined me and discovered I had some granulation on my vagina. Granulation tissue looks like polyps, and formed as a result of my stitching healing “too well” or “over-healing.” I had only a small one, and she gave me two options: either she burn it off immediately with silver nitrate, or I could take Vagifem daily suppositories (a tablet on a stick inserted into the vagina) to lubricate the area and help it to shrink on its own. I opted for the Vagifem, because I was too terrified of any more pain going on (she had warned me the silver nitrate would burn and be very uncomfortable.) She did tell me, however, that I was able to resume any form of exercise, including sexual activity.

For the next six weeks, I worked out at Goodlife four times a week, first thing in the morning. I took any and every class from Aqua Fit, Body Pump, Body Flow, Pilates Mat, Yoga, Body Step, Body Attack, and Body Combat. I prefer classes because I respond better to being told what to do, instead of leaving myself to my own devices (and laziness). At first I cut out white rice and only ate whole wheat bread with every meal. I didn’t eat sugary desserts or anything deep-fried. As you can probably guess, this didn’t last long. As the weight melted off, I started to become lackadaisical in my food choices and concentrated more on portion size: eating smaller portions of the things I actually enjoyed. This included sugary desserts because of my notorious sweet tooth, but very limited deep-fried items. To this day, I haven’t had fried chicken, and I very rarely order french fries (one exception is Swiss Chalet, because it’s just not the same without them).

A month after my previous appointment, doc told me the granulation was very small now, and I could continue with the Vagifem or she could burn it off with the silver nitrate. She told me again that it would hurt but only for a brief while, so I said, what the hell, just burn that mothaf*cka off. She applied the nitrate, and when she was finished, I exclaimed, that’s it?! I didn’t feel a thing!

At four months post-delivery, I am now 133 pounds at my lowest vs. 178 when I gave birth, and three pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. As I mentioned earlier, my summer clothes all now fit, including two dresses I bought for weddings (one already passed, and the other is in three weeks). Though I am happy with the weight loss, my skin still hasn’t returned to normal, and of course I still have pockets of fat here and there that I could do without. I started off extremely motivated, but I haven’t been back to the gym in a month. I think it’s all starting to catch up to me now. I’m constantly tired for some reason. As soon as the kids are tucked into bed/crib at night, all I want to do is go to sleep, when I have tons of steno practice I could/should be doing, as well as some home workouts I found on Hulu (which I do about three times a week if I’m lucky).

I guess I’m trying not to be too hard on myself given the energy expended keeping up with two youngin’s all day, along with my other motherly/wifely duties. Once Dani is back to school in September, I think I’ll be able to return to the gym, and my studies, on a full-time basis again. One can only be optimistic.

🙂

Weigh Back…

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I often struggle with what once was. “I once had” this.  I “once did” that. But more niggling than ever, I “once wore” that size.

The year before I had my daughter, I was 29 years old and in the best shape of my life. Granted, I weighed the most I ever had, yet I was toned and super fit. I ran my first (5K) race ever in 25 minutes flat without even training.  I worked out 4-5 days every week and ate healthy food (no desserts). And I wore a crop top or sports bra to work out (in a coed gym- brave!).
**side story!
Once upon a time on a Dominican beach, I was sunbathing topless and my companion had gone out on the sand for a run, leaving me alone in my half-naked glory. I was partially snoozing when a shadow blocked my sun and two locals stood in front of me with a gigantic snake (a python? all I know is it was a Britney-Slave-4-U-huge-ass-mthafka) and a camera. They were insisting I get up and take a picture with the snake – yes, the souvenir photo that gets put up on a very public wall that you can order at the photo desk.
I looked around for my companion (then long gone), covered my (then quite modest) chest with my hands and sternly said no, at LEAST three times.  Get the fk outta here!
So back to the story at hand.  I went back to the gym 4 months after having my baby. Less than halfway through my first Pump class, I got extremely dizzy and nearly passed out. It must’ve shown since the instructor took a moment to come by and ask if I was okay – embarrassing!  I skipped a few tracks and managed to finish the class, but I was sore for the next two weeks.  I was scared to return and when I did, I was just miserable to see such a slow, jiggly shape staring back at me in the mirror. But being as stubborn and determined as I am, I went daily, working my way up to two classes each morning, 5 days a week. Before 3 months’ time, I was back at pre-pregnancy weight.
I managed to keep up my workout regime all summer, until I returned to my full- and part-time jobs. Then I just couldn’t find the time or motivation. I tried to go before work a few times, but that meant getting up at 5 am after finishing work close to midnight the night before. As you can imagine, that didn’t last.
I’m on March Break now and as I type this, I should be getting dressed for my workout (I had pledged to attend every day this week). We’ll see if that happens.  I’m extra tired (I guess staying up til 3 am watching Prison Break didn’t help).
That last paragraph was written on Tuesday morning, and it’s now almost 11:30 pm Thursday. I haven’t been to the gym all week.  As my hubby reassures me, the new-ish introduction of studying has taken precedence over my workouts, and that is nothing to feel terrible about (which of course I do).  It never used to matter if I was tired, ragging, irritated – I ALWAYS made it to the gym.  Now, I have to put it on the back burner and give myself some time to physically, and most importantly, mentally, rest.
I can’t wait too long because, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m running a 10K race in May.  In June, a Spartan obstacle race.  And just yesterday, a co-worker approached hubby and I to form a work team to attempt the CN Tower climb in April.  I’ve referred to myself as crazy before, and I suppose I am, because I’m intrigued by the idea and I’d like to participate.  If not for charity, the street meat vendor in front of the Rogers Centre that I used to frequent when my company was situated there.  He owned this amazing three-nipple-like mayonnaise squeeze bottle and had bacon bits.  I digress.
Now I impose upon myself a new challenge which I call 3-4-5:  3 inches, 4 pounds, in 5 months.  The 3 inches I’d ideally lose around my spare-tire of a waist and 4 pounds self-explanatory, well in time for my trip to Europe in 5 months.
I generally find that in the summer, frequent outdoor runs, more sweating, and smile-inducing sunshine help to keep the weight off.  I’m disappointed in myself for slacking, but spring is around the corner and up open the many possibilities of outdoor activity.
Wish me luck.  Until the birds are chirping, however, I’m going to be eating Golden Oreo Cakesters, cashew- and toffee-swirl ice cream, and other sugary, highly caloric yummies.  I’m only human.