Or How I’ll Get my Groove and my Body Back After Having Twins
I am nine months pregnant with twins, which is pregnant beyond being pregnant. My ankle bones have disappeared behind a flood of fluids and my energy capacity is limited to getting out of the house in the morning and then falling asleep two hours later. All this can, will, and must change in the next several months. I have gained 45 pounds thus far and intend to lose every single pound of it by mid-October. Here’s how I propose to do it. Stay tuned in the next few months, and feel free to join me for the ride!
Breastfeeding, and the energy I need to produce milk for 2 infants, should help me shed a bit more. Nina Planck writes in her book Real Food for Mother and Baby about the wonders of a woman’s body during nursing. The precious omega-3’s stored in a mama’s body are used to feed her baby (or babies, in my case) to help build its brain. The main storage area for these nutrients is the mother’s gluteofemoral fats—aka your butt and thighs, and so during the last trimester and the first three months of your baby’s life, all that wonderful fat gets ‘transferred’ from butt to boobs and into baby. How convenient is that! And my husband’s happy about it, too.
Diet-wise, I intend to keep up with the daily salad and lots of good, lean proteins to help keep my babies and I well-fed. I also intend to eat lots and lots of all the summer’s farmers market fresh fruits I’ve been denied with the onset of gestational diabetes.
(4- 6 weeks after delivery)
This is when I start in on the real working out. My oldest daughter and I got jump ropes in preparation for this phase. She’ll be learning how, and I intend to start out with 10-20 jumps and adding 10 more every other day or so until I get to about 50 or 60—however many I can fit in once or twice a day between keeping up with the preschooler and feeding my infant twins. And of course I’m going to have to wear a very good, supportive bra so I don’t give myself a black eye with my new inflated udders.
I’ll add to this ten crunches a day for a week, then twenty and working up to about 50 before moving on to the next phase.
(8 weeks after delivery)
At the end of September, I’ll begin teaching again, so I’ll need to be back in shape to be look like the bellydancer that I’m reporting to be. I’ll add some more cardio to the jump rope and crunch combo workout above, with at least one weekly walk and some yoga, if I can find the time. I’ll continue with the prenatal DVD for a while, simply because the likelihood of being able to leave the house and my three children to attend a class is very low. It should be enough to regain my flexibility as well as give me a moment of deep-breathing, especially if I’m not sleeping much.
(end of September)
When I start teaching again, it will add in another handy workout once a week, where I’ll get in lots of stretching, and be able to drill the basics to refresh my mind and body on what dancing is all about. But once a week will not likely put me in performance shape, so I’ll add at least one little practice dance routine to the weekly workout, which will hopefully double as an entertainment session for the babies—great visual stimulation when I dance with veils and coinbelts.
At this point, I’m hoping to be able to switch up the once or twice weekly walks to a combination run/walk. My little girls should be able to lie comfortably in the jogging stroller, and God-willing, go to sleep.
In terms of adjusting my diet, the impulse is to carbo-load and eat all the sweets I have been denied in order to keep my blood sugar down, but this of course, would be foolishness and counter-productive to the whole workout program. But as I will be eating for three (even more so, I think than when the twins are in utero) I can’t really cut back on the calories. Lunch and dinners will be high in protein to supplement my milk supply, and the salad-a-day guideline (and I mean a big, mixing-bowl-size-salad with a lowfat dressing) will be strictly enforced. As for treats, one of the best ice cream fixes, without the bloatedness and guilt is eating Nada Moo, a non-dairy coconut milk-based concoction of frozen yumminess. Other sweet delights that have been denied due to gestational diabetes are fresh fruits, and this time of year couldn’t be better for re-indulging in the bounty of the farmer’s markets —cherries, peaches and strawberries—oh my!
Is this all possible? I hope that it is, mostly. For the sake of my career, I really do need to get back in shape.
The key to this plan, I think, is to do as much as I can and to remain flexible—literally and figuratively.
Photo of myself aka Mielle the Bellydancer by Albert Iamele
For further workout adventures, read Erin’s weight loss saga and diet tips in:
Healthy Living for Mom (read them all)