How to get your body back after C-Section!

How to get your body back after C-Section, and Vaginal Delivery vs. C-Section
*Please note I am not saying one or the other is better.  That is up to your OB.  We all end up in C-sections for different reasons and different doctor's opinions (always looking out for the best result).  For me it was a transverse baby, a baby with scary low fluid and a third baby who came at 35 weeks.  I kinda gave up that I would have a baby the ole fashioned way.  But hey I didn't get pregnant the ole fashioned way (except #3 blessing!)
Ok, so C-Sections are scary, but they aren't bad!  For me I was in lala land trying to breastfeed my 1st baby in the recovery room…couldn't quite pull it together:)  The pain was covered up by drugs - although the drugs spoke for themselves as I fell asleep mid-sentence constantly.  But what happens afterwards - when it's time to get your body back?
For my vaginal delivery gals - I have always envied you a bit.  You are also left with a "mess", but pushing a baby out is an amazing feat!  Your muscles are affected in pretty much the same way as c-sections, so your recovery will be the same for the most part…so keep reading.
Does a C-Section cut your muscles?
A C-section is a surgical procedure so there will always be some scarring, but unlike what most women think, your doctor will not be cutting through muscle with the exception of the uterus. When a C-section is performed two sets of abdominal muscles are separated from one another but are NOT cut. A transverse (horizontal) cut—the so-called Bikini Cut C-Section—actually causes fewer complications. Since it is below your bikini line it will be far less noticeable than a longitudinal (vertical) incision.
If you had a C-section some exercises could bother your incision site, so back off until you are ready and only do exercises you are completely comfortable doing. If you feel some discomfort try saying "hut" while doing the work. And/or support your abdominal area with a pillow for more comfort. Otherwise you should be able to exercise around 6 weeks when your doctor releases you. You will just need to start out a little slower than if you had a vaginal delivery. And you may feel numbness for a few months after your procedure. Why? Your nerves were cut and will take a bit to recover.
A C-section is like having a cast on your arm. It will take longer to recover, but the good news is you can have the same end result as a vaginal delivery. As you read above, a bikini cut c-section does not cut through your muscles. The fascia is one of the 5 layers cut as your doctor goes in to get the baby. Fascia covers the muscles and acts as a sheathe to keep our waists compact. After birth your fascia will be back to 90% of its original strength within in 6 weeks, the other 10% will come back within a year. You cannot strengthen or tighten your fascia without surgery…so preventative measures are necessary...staying within the recommendedweight gain is a must!
Vaginal deliveries with midline episiotomies, especially 4th degree (1st being smallest) can create dysfunction of the pelvic floor, which also interrupts core function. Several of the tools and instruments that doctors use to assist you in giving birth, vacuums and forceps, for example, can cause PF dysfunction.
You will have to train your Pelvic Floor and Transverse Abdominis, both deep muscles of the core. Whether you have a vaginal delivery or a c-section the Pelvic Floor and the TA act as a sling to your baby. Which is why you need to train these specific muscles to get back the integrity and strength of your core before returning to traditional abdominal exercises.

Is it necessary to have a pre-workout snack?

Before getting into the knitty - gritty on pre/post-workout snacks, first we need to determine what time of day you workout.  Is the pre-workout snack necessary?  Especially if you are trying to eat well and stop snacking habits?

A pre-workout snack is not usually necessary for a good workout.  But of course that depends on the time of day you exercise.  

If  at all possible you want to exercise when you have the most energy.  This could be the difference between burning 400 calories and 600 calories:
400 calories = I went through the motions of my workout
600 calories = I killed it during that workout

You can push yourself more if you have the energy.   For intense workouts, especially when you push that anaerobic phase (anaerobic = the bur-pee you are cursing at or the point you have a hard time breathing = the good stuff that increases your fitness level), your body depends on glycogen. Carbohydrates, refuel your glycogen stores.  These carbohydrates break down into smaller sugars after eaten and are used as energy.  What is not used, is stored in the muscles as glycogen, when the muscles are full, it gets stored as fat.
 
So how do you properly prepare your body for working out?  AKA pre-workout snack
First Thing in the Morning: You can go on an empty stomach, half an apple, banana or one cup of juice. (BTW I do not usually recommend juice since it can be a lot of empty calories, but it is just enough to amp up your glycogen storage for a tough workout).
Late Morning: After the kids are off to school and you have had breakfast, this is probably one of the best times for your body to workout.
Lunch: Well, this is a hard one.  More than likely you will have to schedule your lunch after your workout.  Try not to add an extra snack prior to the workout.
Late Afternoon: For all you moms that fall off the bandwagon about this time of day (I used to do it!), this could be the best time for you.  Just like late morning, it is one of the best times for your body to workout.  Your lunch is settled and glycogen stores are full of energy.  It also helps get rid of that afternoon slump.
Evening: For working moms, I recommend the evening workout before you pickup your kids (if this is possible), otherwise it just might not fit in your evening schedule.  For Stay-AT-Home-Mom’s (SAHM), I recommend the workout after you get the kids to bed; it will keep you on good behavior at dinner!
*Pregnant or Breastfeeding:  Make sure you eat a snack of protein and carbohydrates within the hour.  Some great snacks for example are: apple with peanut butter, milk and a slice of bread, yogurt and almonds.


So do you need a pre-workout snack?
Since glycogen is stored in the body, you are able to workout first thing in the morning.  And since most of us are not professional triathletes, our workouts can usually sustain the stored glycogen, theoretically.  But I will say, try it out.  See what works for you, your schedule and your energy.  And yes, there will be days that you have no energy no matter what and that is because you are a mom with 30 different jobs.

Ideally a pre-workout snack is adding extra calories that you normally would not have consumed.   But on the flipside if your energy is lacking halfway through your workout it could be because you are low on fuel.  My rule = 1 piece of fruit can go a long way.

Do you need a post-workout snack?
As a female, not usually, if your goal is weight loss.  Unless it is time for your 1-2 snacks per day.

The Hottest Trend in Workouts: HIIT, Tabata & Crossfit (free workouts for moms)

The Hottest Trend in Workouts: HIIT, Tabata & Crossfit
Consider these workouts the hot buttons for the New Year.  Why?  You not only feel like you have worked out to the max, your body registers the intensity and burns more calories.  Shred mega calories in under 25 minutes!


HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
Sarah Joseph, a colleague of mine with a Masters in Exercise Science, explains it best! It’s been around for ages but has recently become more popular with exercise programs such as P90X, Insanity, and various other independent projects by fitness gurus. There is a reason why this type of training has become popular in highly motivated individuals and why you should try it too. You can Google a list of reasons why you should try HIIT training but I’m going to try to give you some info that might not seem as obvious.  READ MORE…
FREE HIIT Toning workout:

Tabata Protocol
Tabata, a style of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or HIIE (High Intensity Intermittent Exercise), is a short intense workout that burns mega calories.  It can be used to train cardio, strength, pretty much anything.  And the best part?  In 20 minutes or less you can get a complete Total Body Workout.  Tabata started out in 1996 with a Speed Skating study done by Izumi Tabata.  The research proved a large gain in V02 Max, otherwise known as your ultimate fitness ceiling.  Unlike a HIIT style workout, Tabata has a Protocol of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off.  This is repeated for a total of 4 minutes, then recovery.  These 4 minutes are considered one round.    And the rounds are manipulated to make the workout easier or harder.

FREE Tabata Cardio workout:





















CrossFit
Cross Fit can be found in gyms across the U.S.  Extremely popular due to it’s measurable way.  It can be done with or without equipment and usually different components of the workout (time, reps, exercises) are manipulated so one continues to see results and can measure their increased fitness level.  The goal is to go fast with good form.

2 Cross Fit style workouts
*WarmUp & CoolDown on your own

Workout Option 1 Rep Total = 1 min of each exercise, 3 rounds, count every rep (i.e. you did 35 screamers in minute one, start counting from 36 in minute two).  GOAL: complete more reps with each round.


Workout Option 2 AMRAP (as many reps as possible) = 12 reps of each exercise, no rest,. GOAL: perform as many rounds of the 6  exercises as you can in 15 minutes.

*If you happen to be a mesomorph body type like me, the maximum you should do the plyometrics in this workout is 2x/week. 


The Maintenance Workouts

You've completed Pretty Fierce, now what? Welcome to Pretty Fierce X, my brand new maintenance workouts in the Moms Into Fitness App for Apple, Droid and Kindle devices. If you want to continue seeing results, you've got to put in the work! I've got the plan all mapped out for you with Pretty Fierce X, Pretty Fierce XX and Pretty Fierce XXX. 




New workouts every month so you can continue to challenge yourself to be the healthiest, fiercest mom you can be! The workouts come complete with mobile calendar telling you what to do each day, making it easy. 

Order the Pretty Fierce Maintenance 3 month pack for only $19.99 (retail $14.99 EACH) I'll be right there every step of the journey, join me now!

*Download code will be emailed to you within 2 days.





The Details:
Pretty Fierce X: For days 61-90 after the Pretty Fierce 60 Day Total Program.  Comes with Maintenance Calendar and 2 new workouts.  Total Body Endurance 2 (45 min) to help you sustain workouts longer and burn right through the fat.  Core Plyometrics (32 min) for a brand new challenge, from 1 leg plank walks to Plank Froggers.  *Not for Diastasis Recti.

Pretty Fierce XX: For days 91-120 after the Pretty Fierce 60 Day Total Program.  Comes with Maintenace Calendar and 3 new workouts.  Upper Body Endurance (30 min) to create long, lean arms.  Lower Body Endurance (30 min) to burn max calories and lift the glutes.  Plus the Core Carving Workout (15 min).  *Not for Diastasis Recti.

Pretty Fierce XXX: For days 121-150 after the Pretty Fierce 60 Day Total Program.  Comes with Maintenace Calendar and 3 new workouts.  3 Metabolic Conditioning Workouts, each 28 minutes.   *Not for Diastasis Recti.

*Cater to your schedule and choose from the 4 day Calendar or 5/6 day Calendar.



The 3 Day Cleanse: jumpstart weight loss!

Woke up this a.m.,
My body in complete mayhem,
swollen head to toe,
don't wanna eat stuffing no moe'

My body has a desperate plea,
please, please exercise me!
It said get rid of the chips and dips,
and please, please follow these tips!

So here we are 4 days after Thanksgiving.  And although I can proudly say I worked out 3 of the last 7 days, I cannot say I ate well, AT ALL!  Between the movie theater treats, rotel dip and Turkey dinner x 3, well I ate my way through the last few days.

Ho Hum, what the predicament.  And I refuse to gain another 5 lbs like I did last year over the Holidays (see pictures below).  In fact, did you know stats show the average weight gain between November and January is 5-7 lbs!

So if you are feeling like me, no worries I have some advice that will make your body happy with glee:)

The 3 Day Sugar Cleanse
Our body needs carbohydrates, especially to help our brain and muscles function. However, in today’s culture we are absolutely surrounded by the macronutrient in a form that can actually inhibit our weight loss goals. While carbs are necessary, and should make up 45 to 60 percent of your entire daily intake, your main source of the nutrient should be fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains. Instead, refined flour, rice, and sweets rule the roost. 

If you find yourself stuck in a carb craving mode there is a way to cleanse and reset your body. Cravings are complicated; they can be triggered by hunger but also emotions. If you find you are an emotional carb consumer, it is important to find way to deal with your emotions in a way that doesn’t send you to the pantry. However, if you feel that your sweet addiction is fueled by hunger it is most likely you are stuck in a hunger cycle. This hunger cycle is common and usually centers around sweets and refined grains.

Here is what the hunger cycle looks like.  You wake up in the morning feeling hungry but because you have to rush kids out the door and don’t have time to cook, you grab a sugary granola bar or down a quick bowl of sugary cereal. This makes you full in the moment, and meets your calorie needs but 2 hours later you are hungry. 

Why? When refined carbohydrates (the sugar and white foods are your refined carbs, do not eliminate carbohydrates all together) are digested they are converted to glucose and quickly hit the blood stream giving you an immediate spike in blood sugar (or blood glucose) which boosts energy. Your body then releases insulin to move the glucose into cells to it can do its job. However what is not immediately used is then stored in the body. This all happens pretty quickly, sometimes within a 2 hour time period, leaving you feeling hungry. When we get hungry it is one way our body cries out for energy and because our bodies are efficient it craves the most readily available source of energy… sugar. Here is where the cycle begins again.

The good news is you can stop this cycle. By eliminating all added sugars from your diet for 3 days you are giving the body time to deplete some glucose stores while also breaking the hunger cycle. The goal is to replace the normal sugary foods you would reach for with lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy foods. These foods are metabolized in the body at a much slower rate and have a considerably lower impact on your blood glucose levels.


Cutting all sweets for 3 days will help curb your cravings and help jump start your weight loss. Keep in mind, this is not something you do for 3 days then go right back to what you were doing before. The purpose of the 3 day time period is to give you a goal, but you will also find that after 3 days you are much less likely to crave the food. This does not mean you can never have sweets again, but it needs to be sparingly. Allowing yourself a sweet treat 3 times per week, however if you can replace the desire with a different food such as pears, apples, or banana you will better serve your body and not start a slippery slope back to sweets-ville. Cutting carbs will help the physiological reason why you are cravings sugary foods, but you may still need to work on the emotional aspect of the food. If you do not address both aspects of your relationship with the food then it is likely you will regain all the weight once oyu allow sweets back into the diet.

Sugar Cleanse content comes from our NEW Cook Once cookbook

So cheers to the next 3 days!  You with me?!?!


December 2012 (last year)
December 2012 (last year)
January 2013
January 2013

What is the BEST time of day to workout?

So what really is the best time to work out?  I am sure you could find 441,000,000 Google Pages (this number is fo' real!) on this exact topic, but what mom has time to research and decide which of the sources is correct?

Among this subject, there is parenting advice, how to breastfeed and lose weight and how to run a business and a household.  Soooo as a founder of Mommy Coach I gotta brag for 2 sentences - we gathered 4 experts so you do not have to spend time going through millions of Google pages!  And trust me, Keri Glassman, Lara Galloway, Tammy Gold and myself have the research and expertise - and if not we will find it for you!

Every Thursday I will be posting a "Health & Fitness" Blog on blog.mommycoach.com.  Today's just happens to be "What is the best time to work out?"  So here you go...and comment here if you have an idea for a Fitness Post you would like to see in the future.

Oh and 1 more thing!  I am giving away 4 FREE 1-1 coaching sessions.  Just go to Facebook and you will see a post on my page from yesterday.  www.facebook.com/momsintofitness


The Best time of Day to Workout and Lose Weight:

Your body and your metabolism do not care!  Your body will burn the same amount of calories whether you kick start your day with a workout or snooze better because you worked out at night.

NFL  Cheer for a Cure!

Last week I found myself in a bit of a pickle.  Between filming two 12 hour days (a new Postnatal Boot Camp-YAY!), taking pictures for the new website, and performing with my daughter for Cheer for a Cure, not only was I starving, but my brain was at full capacity!  And the workouts just did not happen (minus the filming days) for the last eight days.  So we all have our weeks,  just don’t let those be consecutive weeks.


The best time of the day to workout is when you WILL workout.  For me that means making a calendar every Sunday. Two days of the week tend to be 5 a.m. workouts and two days a week tend to be 9 p.m. workouts--except for last week:)  At first my 9 p.m. workouts were not successful, meaning my mind and body turn off the minute my kids are in bed.  But I HATE 5 a.m. workouts, so it was kind of my only other option!  And I am selfish and want to workout by myself, without kids crawling all over me.

So how do you properly prepare your body for working out?

First thing in the Morning: You can go on an empty stomach, half an apple, banana or one cup of juice.  (BTW I do not usually recommend juice since it can be a lot of empty calories, but it is just enough to amp up your glycogen storage for a tough workout).

Late Morning: After the kids are off to school and you have had breakfast, this is probably one of the best times for your body to workout.

Lunch: Well, this is a hard one.  More than likely you will have to schedule your lunch after your workout.  Try not to add an extra snack prior to the workout.
Late Afternoon: For all you moms that fall off the bandwagon about this time of day (I used to do it!), this could be the best time for you.  Just like late morning, it is one of the best times for your body to workout.  Your lunch is settled and glycogen stores are full of energy.  It also helps get rid of that afternoon slump.
Evening: For working moms, I recommend the evening workout before you pickup your kids (if this is possible), otherwise it just might not fit in your evening schedule.  For Stay-AT-Home-Mom’s (SAHM), I recommend the workout after you get the kids to bed; it will keep you on good behavior at dinner!

*Pregnant or Breastfeeding:  Make sure you eat a snack of protein and carbohydrates within the hour.  Some great snacks for example are: apple with peanut butter, milk and a slice of bread, yogurt and almonds.

If that is all you want to know, carry on with your calendar planning.  OR for the science…read on.

You can push yourself more if you have the energy.  A calorie is a unit of energy and it comes in three different forms: fat, protein and carbohydrate.  For intense workouts, especially when you push that anaerobic phase (anaerobic = the burpee you are cursing at or the point you have a hard time breathing = the good stuff that increases your fitness level), your body depends on glycogen.  Carbohydrates, like I mentioned above when I was talking about energy, refuel your glycogen stores.  These carbohydrates break down into smaller sugars after eaten and are used as energy.  What is not used, is stored in the muscles as glycogen, when the muscles are full, it gets stored as fat.  

Since glycogen is stored in the body, you are able to workout first thing in the morning.  And since most of us are not professional triathletes, our workouts can usually sustain the stored glycogen, theoretically.  But I will say, try it out.  See what works for you, your schedule and your energy.  And yes, there will be days that you have no energy no matter what and that is because you are a mom with 30 different jobs.

I had big plans...

I think she is trying to tell say "put me to bed!"
My big plans for today included a new Blog Post, errands with 2 kids (instead of 3) in tow and an endless work list.  Well I got 1 errand done then ended up at the Pediatrician with 1 respiratory infection and 1 ear infection.  Funny, just how it seemed I was getting into a routine with school starting, my routine is anything but routine.  Tis' the job of a mom:)

What I have in common with Kate Middleton & Kim K


Kate Middleton, Kim Kardashian and me all have that post-baby belly!  We all have it, and expectations set forth by the media are R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S.

Kate, what great class you have, you are a true princess.  And Kim K, I am sorry the media tore you apart, shame on them.

Your uterus shrinks about a finger’s width every day. In five to six weeks, your uterus will return to pre-pregnancy size. That means in that time it will from the size of a watermelon to the size of an orange. Pretty impressive, right? Your body is remarkably adaptable and your recovery to pre-pregnancy hormone levels, uterus size, etc. is postpartum miracle and your core muscles are just as adaptable.  Your body is a machine in the several weeks following birth.  But you do need to help that miracle along.

So what can you do?

A woman should not begin exercise until she has permission from her OB to begin exercise, which is usually during the postpartum checkup at 4 or 6 weeks postpartum.  Whether childbirth was through vaginal delivery or c-section exercise can be resumed gradually.  Although a c-section may take a little longer to recover, considering it is a major surgery.  But you can get your stomach back since c-sections do not cut through the muscles like the once did (doctors now perform bikini cut incisions).
 
While in the 4-6 week postpartum period a mom can do some inner core movements to activate her core muscles.  Moves that include the pelvic floor and transverse abdmoninis muscle, like pelvic tilts, kegels and transverse activation.  Check out some pelvic floor moves here.
 
If a mom gained the recommended amount of weight (which was set forward by the Institute of Medicine in 2009) she can get her body back by the 5/6 months mark.  At 6 weeks a mom’s body is back to “normal”, and mom is left with loose muscles and loose skin.  

Bouncing back to her former self is possible.  But mom has to be consistent in both exercise and nutrition.  A mom is asked to gain 15-35 lbs over the course of 9 months and that is a significant amount of weight to lose.  The good news is 7-8 lbs will go when the baby is born and over the course of the next 6 weeks a few more pounds.  But the rest is up to mom!  So I suggest when mom gets the green light at 6 weeks it is time to be consistent, work out at least 4x/week.  The good news is with all the new research on exercise you can burn a significant amount of calories in 20-30 minutes.  The first months should focus on re-training the core muscles, progressive workout routines (specific to the postnatal body) and making it part of the new daily life.  Then around 12 weeks mom should be able to get back to her pre-pregnancy routine.

Expectations of having your body back any time before the 6 month mark are quite unreasonable.  As moms we have a lot to juggle!

Summer Days

I have been MIA for 6 weeks, and I have no idea what to write about.   So I will tell you about my summer!

Swim Team and eating out
That's what June was all about
Laundry, dishes, TV days
It was nice to get out of a routine craze

Spent 2 weeks on vacation in the sun
Gosh this summer has been fun
Loved laying out on the beach
With sunscreen and Pringles in my reach


For 2 weeks now we have been back
And my workout schedule needed a smack
Sweating through a 90 degree run
by myself, no triple stroller, is much more fun


Summer is already halfway through
I have slacked on my workouts too
Getting up at 5am I hate
But it conquers the "should I workout tonight?" debate

4th of July, where does time go?
Harper turned 2 and cries every time I tell her no
Learning time was replaced by rest time
But for summer I don't think that's a crime

School starts in 4 weeks
By then my lazy summer schedule will need its tweaks
2 mornings with all 3 at school
Time to think about #4?  Hmm...time to myself might be cool

Don't get me wrong, summer has been the best
But there are several days my kids whine about the simplicity of getting dressed

Stress is about 20% of my day
And at 8pm I am saying hooray

A hot summer run = 3 cranky kids!