Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Food, Glorious Food!! Oh And Exercise.

Cara asked: I was wondering if you'd be willing to give a postpartum update about how you are feeling these days, body-wise, energy, fitness, etc.?

Kerry asked: I'm always curious to know how other twin moms manage their time, find time for themselves to shop, workout, eat right, etc. (Note: I'm going to do a time-management/schedule post later, but I included this due to the last part of her question.)

Amber asked: What do y'all eat for dinner? Curious on your meal planning during the week!

Leslie asked: If you had to choose one fast food restaurant for the rest of your life (not that you had to eat it every meal, but you could only stop at one forever) which would it be?

Before I answer any of the above (terrific) questions, I'm wondering if it is obvious who has known me and my diet the longest?  Leslie's question made my heart stop--what a terrible world it would be if there was only one choice! :)

This is not going to be an easy post to write, mostly because my answers are pathetic.  However, I said I would answer everything to the best of my ability so here we go.

I was the absolute heaviest I'd ever been when I got pregnant.  I had a high-pressure job with two busy seasons.  I sat at a desk and snacked all day long.  I went to Starbucks three times a week and ordered a white chocolate mocha with whipped cream every single time.  I didn't exercise and I didn't eat right.

Once I was pregnant things changed.  I ate better, drank a lot less caffeine, and moved around more.  As the weeks went by and I grew exponentially bigger, however, the movement slowed down dramatically.  By 38 weeks, I wanted to cry each time I had to go to the bathroom because the 15 measly steps made me lose my breath.

What little muscle I had before I was pregnant was completely gone when Jude & Sloane arrived.  But I nursed.  Two babies.  Around the clock.  I gained 40 pounds while I was pregnant and lost 43 pounds in two weeks.  Here's what they don't tell you:  Stretch marks also happen when you lose weight too quickly.  I had one stretch mark when I left the hospital.  I now have several.   I've lost another 10 pounds due to nursing, but these pounds were lost gradually and safely.

At my 6-week check-up I asked my doctor when my belly button would go back to normal--it still stuck out.  My doctor sighed and told me it would not on its own.  What?! Turns out I have an umbilical hernia, which requires surgery.  It doesn't hurt and I've decided not to have the surgery until I'm done nursing.  Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to exercise until I have the hernia repaired, which means my babies are nine months old and I have done zero crunches. 

With that being said, I have two babies who weigh around 20 pounds each.  We live in a two-story house and I only carry one baby at a time.  The nursery is upstairs.  Our bedroom is downstairs.  They play upstairs.  They eat downstairs.  They nap upstairs.  The car is downstairs.  So even though I haven't stepped foot in a gym, I DO workout--it's just my barbells are babies and my stair-stepper is actual stairs.  My friend and I also go to the park or mall every few weeks and walk a few miles.  We're determined to make that happen more often! :)

Something I think is crucial for moms who stay at home: I try my hardest to get out of the house every single day.  The change of scenery, fresh air, and exercise (pushing a stroller is exercise, people) is so good for your mind and body.  It is very obvious to both Michael and myself when I don't leave the house all day.  I'm exhausted and in a terrible mood. 
For those of you who are pregnant and planning to breastfeed, make sure you are eating well and eating often once you have the baby (babies).  I remember skipping meals because there was no time but you have to take care of yourself or you will experience rapid weight loss, which is not healthy.  And stretch marks, which are not attractive.  Now I eat three meals a day and three snacks.  Yes, one of the snacks is Oreos and milk, but it is what it is.  At least I include the milk. 

Michael and I have good weeks and bad weeks when it comes to food.  There are a few meals we love and eat often (recipes below).  There are also days when we eat waffles and call it dinner.  I've always loved to bake but I've never been much of a cook.  Add two babies to that and I'm even less of one.  My favorite afternoon snack is a banana and peanut butter.  Or a corn dog from Sonic.  :)

When I look in the mirror I barely recognize myself.  My arms and legs are small but I still have a belly.  My butt has disappeared and so have my leg muscles.  Most days I'm ok with it because my body and battle wounds are due to two healthy babies.  I'd be lying if I said the marks and scars (and belly button) never get me down.  Fortunately, I have a husband who tells me he thinks I'm pretty and that is enough.

Once I have the surgery I have full plans of getting in shape--I want to be able to keep up with Jude & Sloane and not be the mom who's sitting on the park bench (unless there are other moms at the park, then I'm totally sitting with them on the park bench).

I realize this post was not entirely encouraging.  To those of you who asked about my postpartum recovery, I want you to know that every single one of my friends who have had babies look and feel phenomenal.  They ate right and exercised.  Some nursed, some didn't, some dieted, some didn't.  I'm absolutely amazed what our bodies can do!

The entire time I've been writing this post I've been thinking about Leslie's question.  I love Chick Fila's breakfast, Raising Cane's special sauce, Whataburger's burgers, Sonic's corn dogs and Taco Bell's chalupas.   I think I would choose Sonic, only because it has the most extensive menu.  But I sure would miss the others...

Last but not least: meal-planning.  We typically discuss what we'd like to eat that week, Michael makes the grocery run, and we go from there.   Below are a few of our favorite meals, which I'd consider staples around these parts. They all consist of very few ingredients and are incredibly easy to make.  We make sure to have fruit and vegetables at all times.  We don't always eat them with our meals but they're great snacks throughout the day.  When you're in a hurry you grab whatever is close and easy.  Blueberries are close and easy.  Unfortunately, so are chips.  Moral of the story: lose the chips. 

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

Asparagus, Goat Cheese, & Lemon Pasta (Sidenote: We always add chicken or shrimp)

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili (perfect for Fall/Winter)

Taco Ring (I typically substitute chicken for the beef but both are delicious!)

Thanks for the questions!


Cara Fulkerson said...

Thank you Meredith! For what its worth, I also think you look fantastic (like your hubby). My twins are due in a few weeks and I have a 2 yr old boy. I wonder how I'll balance it all but am glad to know you've been able to nurse and get out of the house. I'll say the change in my body has been the hardest and I'm hopeful I'll return to my pre-pregnancy body like I did with my son, but who knows. Best of luck with your surgery when the time comes and continue taking good care of you little ones and yourself. It sounds like your husband is a huge support which is so important.

Aubrey said...

So fun to hear about how each woman's body finds its new normal post-partum! Your body is bound to be different after babies. It's not a bad's just different.

My experience was completely different from yours, and then I went through another (even more dramatic) body adjustment when I stopped nursing. Just when I thought I'd gotten used to myself, everything changed again! I'm going through the same process of change for the third time now, and it's always hard for me to wrap my head around.

You look PHENOMENAL! Your tiny body has sustained two new little humans for almost two years. That is truly something to be proud of!

Jenn said...

You are so right about SAHMs getting out of the house. People always ask how I handle the twins on my own while we're out and about, but I would go crazy if we didn't get out of the house.

You look great in all the pictures you post, so whatever you're doing, you're doing it right.

Our Little Miracles

Kerry said...

Thanks for answering my question! That taco ring looks amazing!!!

And whatever you're doing is clearly working because I think you look phenomenal!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...