30 day challenge update and some postpartum bullshit

Remember how I was going to do Whole 30 and Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 4 for the last month? Here’s what happened.

Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 4: I’m still doing it. And I’m getting 10,000 steps almost every day.  I usually miss about one workout a week. I know deep down that these BBM workouts aren’t hard or long enough, but they’re great for getting into an every day workout habit. And I think they’ve been helping me get stronger in the pelvic floor, inner thigh, abs, and core. I couldn’t do mountain climbers (or any bouncing at all) when I started (because of pelvic floor issues) but now I can. Which is awesome. Also, I like doing them every other day, and doing both the strength and the cardio on the same day, back to back, so it feels closer to a real workout. So, that’s good.

Whole 30: Not so much. It’s been a rough few weeks. Some changes, some stresses, some challenges, and overall a pretty post partum depression-y time. So I said fuck it. I’ve been having some wine. BUT, I really did go a whole 30 days with no pop, sugar, fake sugar, or non-vegetable starches. (I count popcorn as corn, which is a vegetable. Wink.) But no pop, no protein bars, no sweetner in my coffee or lemon water, and no crap carbs…that’s not nothing, man! And I’ve felt good. Green tea in the afternoon instead of pop…less achy, more energy. Good stuff! And not hard to do.

Results? I’VE FUCKING GAINED FIVE POUNDS AND MY JEANS DON’T FIT. Yeah. I’M GAINING WEIGHT. No, it’s not muscle, I’m not an idiot. OK, I am, but not that kind of idiot. It’s belly. Flabby fatty belly. I had started to lose the baby weight, for about a second, and now I’m fucking gaining.

But there’s more to the story. I also stopped breast feeding. Which I was surprisingly ambivalent about… but I’m super glad to have my freedom back, to have my body belong only to me again, and to not have big hoots. YAY! My sweaters aren’t crop tops anymore!!! SUPER JOY TIMES.

Ah, but guess what comes with that change…A SUDDEN DEPRESSION because I’m not getting dosed with happy hormones (Oxytocin) multiple times a day anymore. I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it a million times again: being a girl is bullshit.

AND, no breastfeeding means I’m suddenly not burning an extra 500 calories a day. A SUDDEN BIG DECREASE IN METABOLISM. So fun!

So I didn’t fail. I didn’t succeed. Other shit’s going down that’s fucking my shit up and getting in the way of weight loss. I’m pissed. And I don’t know how this next phase plays out. I don’t know if your metabolism/ hormones even out or if I have to live on carrots and lacroix for the rest of my days or what.

That’s what’s up with me. A bit of chaos in the neurotransmitters and hormones. But I shall keep moving forward because winter is coming and I have to wear pants.  Wish me luck.

Advertisements

WorkOutFits for Mom Boobs.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.51.55 AM

Until my post-baby boobs return to pre-baby size, my wardrobe is highly useless to me. Seriously. Everything is cut for a different body. Boobs throw EVERYTHING off. Bless your heart if you want em, but I sure as hell don’t. All of my crewneck drapey sweaters? Nope. Any sweater that’s not a cardigan, actually? Nope. Any T-shirt at all? Nope. They’re all crop tops now. I live in tanks and cardigans, just like when I was pregnant. So until those jerks go back to normal, I have to work with the few things that DO work. Stupid mom boobs. Here are some things I’m loving:

  1. Racerback Tunics because A. Tunics, duh. and B. Big arm holes are about the only skin-baring feature that I can do right now. And C. you can layer fun sports bras with them. Cute + Coverage. Boom. Done. The grey one with the neon strip on the back is from Old Navy Active. (yes, they have some cool stuff. Maybe like one cool thing I can use per season. But still. that’s not nothing. And it costs next to nothing.) The pink one is Soffee, which is at Sports Authority and also cheap as hell.
  2. My Madewell black heart sweatshirt. It’s kind of somewhere between a sweatshirt and a sweater. So it falls instead of billows like a terry sweatshirt would. Simple, but with an uncommon twist. And the giant graphic camouflages like a boss. I like it with long leggings. (Long is key because short = more gym-ish and not OK for public.) If I were a skinny minnie, it would rule with boyfriend jeans and obnoxious pointy toed heels or something. But on me, that combo would look like Grimace in drag. In this pic I was just schlubbing around the house, but i think with a black boot and a long nicer t-shirt peeking out the bottom? Or maybe a white button-down shirt tied around the waist with my Ash high tops. I just really like the idea of a greyscale, almost goth twist on athleisure. That could be a good fall go-to. You know. Until I can actually wear pants again. Sigh. Fucking pants.

WorkOutFits post-baby, and what it’s like to watch your body change without your permission.

…or lack thereof, if we’re being honest here.

Here are my IG posts of workoutfits/ workout days from today back to when I was 36 month preggo.  IG = @iamaimeeschewe  Starting with today’s pic.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.19.13 PM

Today: Day 8 of Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 4 and day 1 of Whole30. More on both of those later. 

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.19.41 PM

Self-tanner fail.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.19.50 PM

Crunches and planks for all.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.20.05 PM

I finally “fit” into my favorite green tunic again. And by that I mean I can put it on, but it sure as hell doesn’t fit like a tunic should. Also I lost my UP24 fitness tracker and I am TOTALLY BUMMED ABOUT IT.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.20.10 PM

The good news is: where I live, you can throw a scarf on top of a WorkOutFit and you’ll be the best dressed lady around. That is also the bad news.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.20.18 PM

All I want for birthday is some new fresh kicks.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.20.34 PM

Sad about having no muscles anymore. I guess a year of not working out (basically) will do that to you. Babies. Jerks.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.20.42 PM

I’m pretty into my purple and black tie-dye LuluLemon Wonder Under fold-over leggings. Fold-over really just means I always wear them unfolded/up over my poppin’ fresh dough. And of course, always, Nike Frees. The black tongue and laces really make this pair.  I love them to bits.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.20.48 PM

Ah yes. This is me trying to get a feature from Fabletics on Lauren Conrad’s blog. I didn’t try very hard. Meaning I only sent in this one image. One time. But dang. Good hair day, right? Also, that is total angle trickery. Everyone looks skinny with their body cut off and from above. Try it. I do really dig that shirt though. Fabletics. Breeze top I think.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.20.55 PM

so hipstergram.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.21.03 PM

trying to psych up to get back into the swing of things. trying.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.21.14 PM

Same Fabletics top. Different color. My wardrobe choices (read: what fits) right now are very 90s/ bold colors and black/ WWF/ Punky Brewster…purples, teals, black and bleachy tie-dye…not sure what’s going on. I actually wore the same type of clothes in 8th grade: tunic, sports bra top, leggings. Weirrrrrrrrd.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.21.29 PM

See? What’d I tell you? Double black tie dye. So obnoxious. So Macho Man Randy Savage. What’s next? Zubaz?

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.21.34 PM

This is my cardio. Walking. I’m so hard core right now. Not. Can’t wait to be 100%. Srsly. 4rl.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.21.45 PM

More with the teal. Hey, lets add neon green! Those are the mom boobs. Gotta say. I’m not a fan. I was totally fine with having smaller boobs and I can’t wait for these jobbies to go away. Oooh. Look how shiny my new fitness ball is. Ooooh. Silver.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.21.52 PM

I was proud of my angles and art direction.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.22.02 PM

So this was basically my all day post-baby uniform for the summer. Joggers and some kind of a baggy but with big arm holes so you see my bra type of shirt. The top and bottom are both Athleta. The top is sold out now (summer item) but the bottoms are the Metro Slouch capris and you can get them in full length for fall. I recommend them. Comfy. Not tight but not sloppy. If you have an ass, that is.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.22.06 PM

This is me starting to work out again. And by that I mean doing my prenatal workout as my postpartum (that just means after baby, not postpartum depression) workout. Note the lack of waist and obvious tip toe leg-lengthening trick.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.22.18 PM

Going further back in time, two months after giving birth, even less-little in the middle. Also, I braided my hair one day.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.22.31 PM

angles and trickery!! I’m twice as wide when I’m facing forward.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.22.48 PM

I thought I’d be using the Ergo Baby Carrier a lot. Too bad baby hated it. He likes the Bjorn.  We’ll try this one again when he grows out of that.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.22.56 PM

This was right after my 6 weeks post-baby check up. When my doctor said I could work out again. But she also said I should go to physical therapy. So…yeah. Now it’s 6 months later and I’m basically still fixin’ to get ready to get back in shape. But that’s better than peeing myself for the rest of my life. Probably.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.23.10 PM

And this was my belly at 36 weeks. I’m so glad to be not pregnant anymore! Love the baby. But man I LOVE being NOT PREGNANT. aaaaaah. The best thing about being pregnant is appreciating not being pregnant.

I haven’t posted a ton of pics because 1. I haven’t been working out a ton and 2. I don’t fit into much. I basically have three pairs of leggings that I rotate and two big baggy black tunics. That’s what’s comfortable and flowy and makes me the least sad when I look in the mirror. Your body changes a lot when you’re pregnant, and then again after you have a baby (and are breast feeding), and then again as time goes on, and then again when you stop breast feeding. (I hope.)

During pregnancy my waist got thicker before the baby bump showed up. And my boobs got bigger and hurt like hell. I am a pear / T-Rex (little in the middle but she got much back) with a medium-small upper body, so this was not fun for me. Me no likey big booby.  And I gained some cushioning all around. But it wasn’t too incredibly grotesque. Not as freakish as it could have been. I think the baby just took up organ space before growing out toward the world. Sure fucking felt like it. But not as bad as it could have been. I mean. I was still pregnant. It was gross and weird and a total alien parasite situation. But it could have been worse. So I’m thankful for that.

I walked a fair bit, but couldn’t do much more. I had no energy and bouncing was NOT an option. I stopped running pretty early on. It just felt like my organs were going to fall out. So…nope! I guess I didn’t do enough pelvic floor work before and during pregnancy. (be warned!)

Afterward, I wore a belly wrap corset thing and a hip minimizer (highly recommend, more on those later). And after six weeks I started walking again. And I’ve done some barre workouts, but I’ve been taking it very slowly and gradually because I’m still in pelvic floor rehab. (Long story. I’ll write a thing on that soon. I’m not “injured” any more than anyone else who’s ever carried a baby, but it’s important to rehab those muscles first so you don’t pee your pants your whole life. Other countries know this. America apparently doesn’t. Probably not a coincidence that my Physical Therapists are from New Zealand and India. )

Anyway, I’m just trying to give you an idea of what happens to your shape after pregnancy, even without workout out or watching what you eat too much. (me.) My waist is getting smaller on its own/ returning back to a more “me” shape. What isn’t changing is the boobs and upper body weight. Like the fat arms and armpits and upper back and whatnot. That’s still disorienting because it’s not my natural body shape and all of my clothes fit differently/ don’t fit because of the damn boobs. Everything is a crop top all of a sudden. It’s ridiculous. But that should change soon enough, when I stop with the breast feeding. I look forward to that.

I also don’t want you to think that not working out for 6 months is normal. (Or that I just said “Fuck it, I’m a mom!” I didn’t.) You can totally work out. And I could have gotten to this point quicker if I had been more religious about doing my physical therapy.  But I wasn’t. (I will be now, though. Promise. I’m sick of this.) So it’s taking a long time to get to the point where I can do all the fun high impact/ plank/ quick movement/ boot camp/ real exercise stuff again.  And to be able to wear my ninety seven different pairs of black workout pants.

Also, I should note that I’m finally realizing how much of this shit it is out of my control. Hormones tell your body to store fat because it’s going to use it or baby stuff and baby feeding stuff. Hormones tell your body you don’t need some of that anymore. Hormones tell you to lay the fuck down because your body needs all the energy for other functions you don’t even know are happening. I never went totally nuts food-wise or workout-wise while pregnant or after. I’ve just been normal, up and down, sometimes a total pig, sometimes not -me. Watching my waist get thicker and thinner despite my intake and output has taken some pressure off and given me a little faith in my body actually maybe deciding it wants to be smaller one day and it all happening pretty naturally. Maybe. I mean. That would be cool, right? Is that how normal people think and live? Huh. Must be nice.

But I’m for sure going to get more serious about my PT and keep on working in more working out.

And at least for a little while longer I’ll still be in tunics and leggings town. Hope you like purple tie dye and Punky Brewster…

 

Fabletics Breezy Top

FABLETICS = subscription-ish fitness fashion company associated with Kate Hudson’s little ass. You join, and every month you have to buy or skip. They show you outfits based on your shape/style preferences. If that’s your thing, fine. I prefer to shop by piece. But you can do that too.

I have ordered four things from them, but I’m only talking about the Breezy Tank today because it’s my favorite. IMG_5343

This top is cotton-ish, thin, and super-drapey on one side. It’s a long tunic length and asymmetrical.  The left side is longer, has a bigger arm hole, and has more fabric that kind of drapes under the waist. I totally dig it because I like the big-armhole-shows-a-sports-bra thing but I can’t rock too much exposure because I’m not little in the middle right now. (And I have much back.)

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender_1FullSizeRender_2

The quality is good, especially for the price. The draping is great. If you get it big enough it won’t be too clingy. (I’m getting better at buying for the size I am, not the size I think I should be…two tricks to that: 1. Telling myself this is a temporary state of affairs and 2. telling myself that I prefer a drapey fit, so I have to size up. You know. For style reasons.)

I’m not sure if it would be flattering on all body types, but I’m stoked for anything drapey and flowy in a new shape. I keep on buying baggy tanks on repeat and it’s getting silly. So FUCK YEAH for the Breezy Tank. Thanks, Kate Hudson’s sort of company!

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Calia by Carrie Underwood

Hey, Aimee, have you heard of Calia by Carrie Underwood?

Yes, of course I have! I pretend-shop for all the workout clothes all the time. Duh. But I haven’t written about it yet because 1. I’ve been busy with the newborn and 2. I checked it out a while back and my take was “Eh. It’s ok. But I’ve seen it all before.” However, it is sort of a big deal: it’s lovely-ish fitness stuff that’s more affordable than Lulu and very accessible. So OK. Fine, Carrie Underwood. Here you go.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.09.56 PM

Get it, girl.

Calia by Carrie is a fitness apparel line by Carrie Underwood for Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dick’s is like Sports Authority but nicer. Carrie Underwood is known for American Idol, songs about Jesus and slashing tires, big blonde hair, lots of eye makeup, and really great legs.60553794cd84a631a91fc7988c66827a carrie_underwood2 carrie-underwood-300

She’s a vegetarian and often a vegan. She works out a lot. She tours a lot. (See legs.)  She married some hockey player and just had a baby around the same time I did. And yes, of course, she’s already rocking a mini dress. (LEGS.)

carrie-underwood-cmt-awards

Post-Baby Carrie

But she’s a celebrity and I’m not, so let’s not compare because I don’t have a staff or a tour or mini dresses to get back into. But lets do be happy that her waist looks (a teeny bit) thicker, as it should, and lets feel better about ourselves (me) that our (my) midsection is still thick four months after baby because 1. I haven’t been able to work out and 2. even Miss Carrie, who can and does, still has it. SWEET!! But lets also give much respect to the legs. THE LEGS. Bless your Barbie-worshiping, singing about Jesus driving metaphorical cars-heart. THE LEGS! Well done, woman.

She built those legs.  She did the “soft teen turns into tiny, ripped, mini-dress rocking super-star” transformation thing that happens a lot with Idol Alumnae (Katharine McPhee, Jennifer Hudson), so I say she is qualified to venture into fitness fashion. And everyone knows country = money, so congratulations, Dick’s Sporting Goods, for jumping on that obvious money train. (Darius Rucker, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Republicans, etc. etc. etc.)

Calia by Carrie Underwood lives here caliastudio.com and the Dick’s site is here. I have no problem with her #staythepath / work in working out / the gym is where you are-type messaging. Totally authentic to what she does, having to train while touring and all. The ads look nice and the pink wash matches the color pallette of the line. Oh wait, I’m not supposed to be a Creative Director right now, I’m supposed to be a fashion blogger. Sorry, I’m both. Once a MadWoman always a MadWoman.

The Clothes

Calia Tops are $30-50-ish. Sweaters are more like $80. Every single piece is something you can find somewhere else: rouched tanks, cocoon cardigans, batwing sweaters, etc. You know, basic, sort of pretty stuff. Which is why I got that meh feeling back when I first checked it out. It’s nothing innovative. It’s nothing new. It’s just a “you gotta have one of each of these kind of pieces because they sell” kind of a thing. Which is exactly appropriate. I guess. But if I had the opportunity to create a line, I’d want to try and introduce at least one iconic piece that had something interesting or different or risky going on. (Like Stella McCartney for adidas, with the chest straps.) She probably couldn’t, even if she wanted to. Big business. Blah blah blah. But that’s how I feel about it. It’s perfectly safe.

Bottoms are $40ish for shorts, $65ish for tights and capris, and they’re so boring they just put me to sleep scrolling through them. Except these. These are kind of interesting. And props for the proportions and flattering seam-lines and wide waist band (good for muffin tops).

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.08.47 AM

Calia by Carrie Essential Tight Fit Printed Capris $65

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.09.13 AM

Calia by Carrie Essential Tight Fit Printed Capris $65

Also, there’s just so much heather grey. I love grey. More than people. But heather grey is the worst color for workout pants because it’s super bump-showy and sweat-showy.

There are also some bras, accessories and panties. The balconette bra is interesting, and the accessories are pretty enough. They’re just not necessary. Does Carrie Underwood need to make a yoga mat and a yoga block and a head band (nay, 5 different kinds of headbands) AND underpants? If I have my branding hat on, I say just do a few new things instead of doing everything. Even if everything is great, it’s too much to absorb right off the bat.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.18.04 AM

Calia by Carrie Inner Power Heathered Balconette Bra $41

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.17.57 AM

Calia by Carrie Inner Power Heathered Balconette Bra $41

That being said, I kind of like the fruit infusion water bottle and would totally try the toeless grip socks for Dailey Method, despite the creepy mannequin foot model. Dailey Method socks always slip off of me. Aaaaand I have tingers. Toeless socks are worth a shot. And shit, two pairs for $10 is great. Imma order some of those right now. Carrie wins again.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.22.04 AM

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.22.48 AM Calia by Carrie Fruit Infusion Water Bottle $30 and No-Toe No-Heel Grip Bottom Socks $10 for 2 pairs (!)

Ain’t nobody got time for errrthin’.

I’ve go a month until a family wedding. Ugh. That means I have to PUT ON CLOTHES. No. Not just clothes. A DRESS. Like, that shows my LEGS. *shudder*

I’ve got a two-month old. Which means I have a total of zero to two hours of free time a day, which includes feeding myself and showering. So. I do not have time to work out. But that’s unacceptable. So. I’m trying to figure out how to combine taking care of the kid and taking care of myself.

I’ve started to do BABY PLANKS which is just doing planks or push ups over his face while he’s on his little activity mat. It works. I line the yoga mat up next to his and we both get a little 5-10 minute session out of it.

I also am trying to use a pre/post-natal workout DVD I bought. It’s divided into segments so when he’s chilling I press play and squeeze a body part in. I’ve done this a total of once. Today. I’m starting this today. I think it will work. It has to. I have to do something.

More on that DVD later. But here’s how I dealt with having a choice between “working out” or drying my hair, today. Two french braids into a side braid when my hair was wet. GOOD ENOUGH!! Ain’t Nobody Got Time For everything, right?

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 10.05.25 AM

Instagrams.

1. Hey look! It’s not yoga pants and sweatshirt!  I mean. Technically, stretch pants are yoga pants and neither of those are pants, but nowadays…they pass. Anyway: a shirt with buttons WAS WORN. And I went OUT OF THE HOUSE. High five, me.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 1.35.35 PM

2. Introducing the hottest new strength training equipment: The Ergo Baby carrier. Add resistance to new-mom activities like eating ham straight from the package and trying to finish one damn email! Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 1.35.44 PM

 

3. Not working out. Being excited about technically being able to workout.

This is me in the home gym soon after the doctor gave me the go ahead to do any kind of workout I want/can. Right now that means ten minutes of leg lifts and planks when I can sneak them in because naps > reps for a while. But still. Good news.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 1.35.23 PM