Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

Nine Months on, Nine Months off

Friday, August 28th, 2015

IMG_8051So your babe has reached that wonderful milestone: she’s been out of the womb for as long as she was in it. If your pregnancies are anything like mine, you’re probably enjoying her a lot more on the outside. At this stage, she’s a lot more likely to be able to entertain herself long enough for you to get a shower in, which also allows some time to do another thing that may have been put on the back burner:

The scan.

You know, the body scan. The undressing in front of the bathroom mirror and assessing all of your parts. Assessing what has gone down since the last scan. What things are jiggling more. What areas need shaving, toning, plucking, or sucking. What looks better if you stand this way, hunch that way, and man, remember when your boobs used to be up here? Nine months on, nine months off, you’ve heard before, and with this milestone, is your body measuring up?

According to any grocery store magazine stand, you should be able to have a baby and get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans as soon as you deliver the placenta. And for some women, that is absolutely true, and that’s great.

For some women, those jeans are forever a symbol of pre-mommyhood, and that’s also great. Because with the pressure on post-partum women to look like they’ve never partum’ed at all, we lose focus on what’s true: Your body did an amazing thing, and it continues to do amazing things.

Such truth is hard to remember in a culture where women are often valued as ornaments rather than as creatures of action. In a barrage of the “shoulds,” where you are burdened with what you should look like, should weigh, should fit into, repeat to yourself: I am enough. I deserve health and happiness, and that doesn’t look like one specific thing. I am a mom, and I am also a person. My value is not determined by a number or a reflection. I am enough.

Not only will your precious babes benefit from your example of self-love, and in turn learn to give themselves permission to love and accept themselves in spite of any number or reflection, you too will benefit from learning how to love and accept yourself. And you deserve those benefits—no matter what you look like.

Keighty Brigman is terrible at crafting, throwing birthday parties, and making sure there isn’t food on her face. Allegedly, her four children manage to love her anyway. 

Get Fit While Babywearing

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Finding time to work out with a baby can be challenging–especially when you have a fussy baby who insists on being held. If babywearing is the only way your little one will let you go hands-free, you’ll be happy to learn that actually get a great workout while doing just that!

All you need is a baby carrier, a few hand weights, a resistance band, about 20 minutes and a little bit of space. Shoot for 20 reps of each exercise and repeat each series three times. Always start with a light warm-up; maybe some yoga stretches before putting your baby in a carrier, or a quick walk around the block. Keep your baby entertained by singing, talking or playing music.

Click each link for a video to the exercise.

1A. Squats. Start with your feet hip-width apart, and with your weight in the heels squat down just past parallel. You can gradually increase the intensity by adding some hand weights.

1B. Tricep  dips. Use a bench, chair or sofa to hold onto for dips. Start with shallow dips and over time make them deeper and move your legs further away until you find the perfect resistance.

2A. Lunges. Focus on long strides between lunges and pushing off with your back leg so you engage muscles in both legs at the same time. Do 20 reps on each side before going on to the next exercise.

2B. Bicep Curls. Use a couple of hand weights, soup cans, or bottles of water to give you some resistance. Make sure to lower your arms all the way down until you feel your triceps engaging at the bottom. Pause for just a second before bringing them back up. If your weights aren’t heavy enough to feel a burn after 20 reps, either increase weight or keep going until you feel a burn.

3A. Leg swings. If you have a resistance band, put it around your legs. Start with your legs hip-width apart and with a slight bend in the knees. Push your leg out to the side one side at a time. If you don’t have resistance bands, simply swing your leg as far you can with control so you feel a burn in your thighs.

3B. Overhead press. Use your weights and start with your arms down by your side. Do a bicep curl up and then continue to into a press above your head. Repeat the same motion on the way down. This movement will give you a great bang for your buck since it engages biceps, triceps and shoulders.

As you begin to feel comfortable with the routine, you can start to play around with different exercises and intensity. Remember to alternate an upper body exercise with a lower body exercise–this will allow the muscles to recover for a few minutes while you continue to burn calories. Don’t forget to cool down and stretch after your workout and take a day of rest between sessions.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.