Body After Baby Q + A Part 1

Posted: April 21, 2011 at 8:22 am

Morning, friends!! Have you entered my giveaway yet? If you missed it, check it out!

For today’s posts, I planned a little Q + A on how I am handling my “Body After Baby” progress. You all shared so many great questions! So, I will post the first round of questions now and a second one early this evening to help you digest all my ramblings. 😉 Please remember that I am sharing from my own personal experience! Also, if working towards your own fitness/body goals, never lose sight of honoring your body and the fact you are wonderfully made!

Q: Do you count calories? If so, how many do you try to eat?
I do loosely track calories. I don’t weigh, measure, and track everything I eat by any means, but I do have a ballpark idea of how many to eat while losing weight. I try to keep each meal around 500 calories with some 200-300 calorie snacks thrown in. I counted calories for so many years, that I can usually pretty easily figure out my totals without tracking religiously. I think this works as a healthy balance to eat appropriate portions for my goals, without feeling overwhelmed or restricted.

turkeyavocadowrap3 cerealeggswpotlunch muffinmonster2black and white oats bella burger 2

As for how many I eat – on average 2300-2500 per day (usually around 2000-2200 on weekdays with closer to 3000 on weekends). This allows me to lose on average one pound or so per week. This is of course a completely personal number and not completely accurate as I don’t track things meticulously. I hesitated to share this number, but decided to because I want to show that you can (and should!) eat and can still manage weight loss. I may be nursing, but even accounting for that, I would still be consuming 1800-2000 comparatively. You do not have to severely restrict. Eat healthy, nutritious foods consistently. It works.

How many times do you aim to workout in a week?
I workout 6 days per week right now. I always make certain to get at least one full rest day each week and will also always add in extra rest as my body needs (like this week with my sore back). I do three days of running, two spin classes, and a few weight workouts each week. You can see updates of my workouts on my Fitness page too!

4 9 run

What do you do to flatten your tummy?
Planks!!! I love planks and believe they provide the best abs workout out there. I don’t do abs workouts regularly because so many other moves (running, lifting weights, kickboxing, etc) naturally work the core. I do add in planks when I can though and I believe they help me a lot.

What are some big nutritional do’s and dont’s while nursing?
My doctors advised me that I can eat normally, but to pay attention to how it affects my child as some foods (beans, chocolate, cruciferous veggies) cause discomfort to the baby. Luckily, baby B seems to have a stomach of steel now and I can eat whatever. I do focus on eating ENOUGH though. I know from experience that you have to eat and stay hydrated to produce milk. Also, certain things help production like wheat germ, flaxseeds, oats, plenty of fat, etc. My Tropical Flax bars are a good fit!

tropical flax bars 2

I notice when women leave the hospital, they still look pregnant. How long does it take for that pregnant ‘bump’ to deflate?
It varies, but the pregnant pooch certainly lasts at least 6 weeks as the uterus has not returned to normal size until then. And that area of the body stretched and went through a lot during pregnancy, so it may not ever return to fully flat. But that is 100% okay because you did one of the most amazing things out there!

  • I did not get the chance to read a single blog yesterday…so, tell me something going on with you. 🙂
  • Let me know if you have any additional questions!

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55 Comments to “Body After Baby Q + A Part 1”
  1. I just love your outlook on things! Keep it up! 😀

    I’m so excited for this weekend–celebrating with family! Do you have big Easter plans?!

    Have a great day!

  2. Great post Tina! I am with you on counting calories and that is really the best way to keep track of your intake. I used to be so hardcore with it and I am so much more relaxed now. You are right, nutrition is the key though. Same old things happen here. Just working away…ya know, life. I hope you have a great day!

  3. It’s interesting and terrifying to read the body after baby progress. Terrifying because of all the changes that your body goes through in a relatively short time frame! And it happens just at that point in your life when you’re really starting to feel connected to how your body works and how it responds to food, exercise, and environment.
    … then BAM, along comes baby and everything changes. Suddenly you can’t hold your bladder when you jump rope and your uterus is stretched out beyond repair.
    How is that NOT terrifying?

    • Tina says:

      I guess the perspective on things changed a lot for me when I got pregnant too. Those things certainly sounded terrifying before, but not so much after the whole experience of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. It’s kind of amazing!

      • It’s more than amazing, it’s mind blowing. Think of how complicated human beings are: their bodies, their brains, their nervous systems, their emotions. The fact that you can create another human being inside you in spite of all those complexities and all the things that could possibly go wrong is unbelievably mind blowing.
        It certainly trumps any human technology.

  4. Kristen says:

    I love your Body After Baby posts! I am saving them so I can look back on them after I pop my little one out in the fall! You are such an inspiration and have such balance with your eating + exercise! Thank you for contributing your Mommy + Pregnancy knowledge in the blog world!

  5. Love this post, your honesty, and your healthy approach!!!

  6. These are just getting me SOOO eager to be able to start! “Full term” in 2 weeks…due date in under 5. How crazy is that???

  7. Thanks for the Q/A post Tina — I’d be lying if I didn’t say that gaining weight from pregnancy kind of scares me. But I love seeing that you are losing weight in a healthy way and your body is changing! It gives me hope — and we’re not even trying to have a baby yet, but it is something I think about from time to time.

  8. Angela says:

    Great Q&A Tina! I always wondered about how long it takes for the post-baby belly deflation thing to happen too. And I LOVE planks as well! I just posted some of my favourite (crunch-less) ab exercises on my blog this morning. It’s my go-to ab workout right now and sometimes I throw a couple of planks in too to switch things up. Have a great day!

  9. great post!! I’m 4 months postpartum and nursing too. definitely need to work on my intake. I’ll eat 1500 calories one day and then the next be absolutely starving and eat 5000. time to find some middle ground! 🙂

  10. Jennifer Rahn says:

    I love that last sentence. That’s what I say to myself every time that I start to fret about my forever-gone six-pack.

  11. I’m trying to flatten my belly, seven months after delivering my son. When I sit, it looks like a huge fat roll, but it is mostly just all that stretched out skin. I don’t love it. I am trying to have the right attitude about it, but to be perfectly honest, it’s got me really down.

  12. Kara says:

    Thank you for posting this! People thought I was lying when I was eating more than my husband and losing the baby pooch. Nursing burns serious calories and I love your approach. I hate blogs of people restricting their food and nursing!

  13. I’m always so curious to hear more about pregnancy so thank you for posting this!

  14. Jess says:

    I really love your approach Tina. I can’t say it enough. So balanced and smart and healthy, with a healthy dose of fun thrown in too. Great post.

  15. Great info! I love that you eat nearly 3000 cals on the weekend…nom. Life is about enjoyment right!

  16. Love all the info- thanks!!

    I totally forgot to ask- what did you doc say about alcohol and breastfeeding? I’ve heard 1 drink and you’re fine, but anything more and you should pump and dump? So confusing!

    • Tina says:

      I usually tend to only have 1 drink when I do drink, so I always feel fine breastfeeding. I also just try to time when I drink so that I don’t drink too close to when I nurse. 🙂

  17. It’s cool to hear that planks are your number one move for abs…I’m constantly trying to figure out which moves I like and plank is definitely one of them!

  18. This is so encouraging! I am not quite there yet but I will be having babies in the next 5 years or so and I am PETRIFIED that my body is going to fall apart and never look good again 🙁 I know that is so vain and terrible of me to say but it is a true fear of mine! Hearing your story though gives me confidence that it is possible to bounce back, so thank you!

    • Tina says:

      I think the key is making yourself a priority in caring for your health and fitness as soon as possible after birth. I think a lot of times struggles come when people try to lose baby weight after their body has gotten used to the extra lbs because they didn’t focus on getting it off sooner rather than later. Totally personal conjecture though, but it makes sense.

  19. This is awesome! I love hearing about what other mamas are doing. I struggle with calorie most days but am really trying. Working out six days a week and nursing DOES take it out of me!

    I’m totally going to add more planks to my work out. They KILL me every time but I suppose that means they’re working me out. haha

  20. Parita says:

    I love your healthy mindset. I’ve heard so many new moms talk about deprevation and dieting that it’s nice to see someone achieving her goals the right way. Go you! And I love that you are proud of your body and acknowledge that its been through a lot. I don’t think women give themselves enough credit for that. Have a good one!

  21. Errign says:

    Yesterday, I went out for a run & got caught at the end in a crazy thunder/lightning/pouring rain adventure 🙂 It was actually fun & I was soaked when I got home, I had to take a picture!

    i seriously looooove that you are so balanced and have such a healthy mindset to getting back in shape post baby B! 🙂

  22. Em says:

    I always love your body after baby posts, they’re so helpful! And they get me excited about having to go through the same challenges after I have this baby. I don’t know, I’m weird like that and love a good challenge lol!

  23. I looooove these Q&As! It helps me see a glimpse of my (hopeful!) future one day and what it’ll be like to have a baby. I so love your outlook on everything, too. And I’m so glad you have an outlet to showcase that losing the baby weight can be done healthfully. You are *such* a role model!

    And you’re asking for updates?! Well, pop on over to my bloggyblog because I just posted a *huge* update on my life (it actually answers the question you were intrigued about in my last post…). I am so excited that I finally got to share the news!

  24. Great post! You’re such a wonderful healthy motivator for new moms! 🙂

    To be honest not to much is going on with me just gearing up for the half marathon next week! 🙂

  25. Your food pics look amazing! I’m a plank fan too ever since I read that they were proven to be one of the best ways to work the whole core/abs area. I also saw on Dr. Oz that they are good for preventing hernias and since I’ve had one…

  26. I think what strikes me about these posts is how calm and healthy your attitude is about the post-baby weight loss, and you emit this total confidence that you will get back to where you want to be yet you’re also feel no need to rush your body to get there.
    I hope I can embrace your attitude right now, as I just got injured during my marathon and need to focus on getting my body better, which I’m not very good at. When I’m not pushing myself physically, it’s hard for me to feel great about myself and not worry about how I will look after not exercising for a while. You inspire me to always keep in mind that I need to do what’s best for my body and treat it well, so I am going to keep you in the back of my head while I recover!

  27. Caitlin says:

    “But that is 100% okay because you did one of the most amazing things out there!”

    I may need you to remind me of that if/when the time comes! But I think YOU are amazing and you look so great!

    I’m off to do planks now, what a great tip!

  28. I really want to focus my eventual health coaching certification on women who are trying to conceive, pregnant, and trying to get back into pre-pregnancy shape, so I love reading your journey. It’s so important for people to realize that part of losing weight IS eating, especially when you are breast feeding.

  29. Lisa says:

    Were you able to exercise during your whole pregnancy?

    Planks are hard for me to do because no matter how much I do I don’t see any difference.

    • Tina says:

      I was with the exception of about 6 weeks before I reached full term. I would get false labor contractions after working out and was told to hold off. Once I reached full term, if workouts caused contractions it was a good thing.

  30. Whatever you are doin after baby is working well!!

    I love that I always know that you will do things in a healthy way! I don’t have to worry about you 🙂

    What’s up with me? Well, I did a wonderful blog swap with Jasmine at Eat Move Write on settling–or not settling.

    and I ate lots of good food with good friends!

  31. lindsay says:

    Oh you are lucky, baby B has no tummy issues! I have so many friends with kiddos allergic to caesin, corn, etc.
    I have to say, you are such an inspiration to us all. No matter if we’ve had babies or not.
    No blog reading? You probably needed that time away!

  32. I have enjoyed reading about your healthy approach to both pregnancy and now post-pregnancy!

  33. emma says:

    I just love your blog! It’s such a positive place to visit 🙂

  34. I loved this post. I am so glad you are advocating for women to EAT to lose weight! Interesting concept, huh? 🙂 Thanks for being YOU! I calorie counted for a long time too, so I too don’t even need to track anything. I just know. 🙂

    You HAVEto go read my post from yesterday. I started volunteering somewhere very neat. Pleeeease do it for me.

  35. love your post body after baby answers!!!

  36. Michelle says:

    Oh my goodness loved this post! I am a nursing mom right now as well trying to lose a few pounds, so this was fun to read. I love how positive you are as well here! It is refreshing to read:)

  37. LG says:

    You are right about “not having to severely restrict”. It’s totally true. I’m not nursing but I eat 1900-2100 calories/day with maybe one 2400 day a week. Exercise for 1/2 hour 5 times per week…sometimes the Shred, sometimes walking, weight training or running. I’m 30 years old and I’ve been able to maintain a weight of 130lbs at 5 ft 7 since high school. Hopefully it’s ok to post these stats…I just want to encourage anyone out there that getting enough is important and that insane dieting/excercising isn’t needed to maintain a good weight.

    You are a great role-model – thanks for your honesty and open-ness!

    • Tina says:

      Completely cool to post that info because, like you mentioned, the idea of actually eating enough and not killing ourselves in the gym needs to get out there!

  38. jobo says:

    LOVE your attitude towards all of this. Can’t stress that enough. You are doing fantastic. As for me and my bloggy world? Fun convos with my sisters make for a fun post 😉

  39. I love how you are eating such a good amount (and quality of food)- shows we don’t need to eat 1200 calories to lose weight or tone up.

  40. I love planks as well! I am the worst at counting calories but I do know generally what I am eating everyday. I don’t keep perfect track but who can?!?!

  41. Ela says:

    I didn’t get any reading time yesterday either! Great shares, thanks for your upbeat and positive message.

    We’ve got spring here and I’m revving up for garden season. Also maybe getting my own kitchen, converting our little side room into a kitchen!

  42. RunEatRepeat says:

    I think you look gorgeous with your post-workout glow!

  43. […] Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginTime for Part Two of the Body After Baby Q + A! Check out part one where I discuss things like calorie counting, the baby pooch, and more. Now, more of your fabulous […]

  44. Shayla says:

    Thank you so very much for answering these questions Tina!! I love how you show that you can eat a healthy amount of calories and food and still lose weight!! Absolutely no deprivation and that is so awesome to see. You’re so inspiring, and great job!! Can’t wait to read part 2! 🙂

  45. I really enjoyed this post, Tina! The weight gain that accompanies pregnancy definitely scares me, but your outlook and anecdotes are testament to the fact that it’s about so much more than the number on the scale. It’s about HEALTH and creating new life. That’s truly awesome.

    I’m really glad you chose to share your meal/calorie stats. I restricted for years, and struggled to maintain a weight I was comfortable with. Now I eat about 2200 calories/day (sometimes more), and maintain. Plus, my energy levels are much higher!

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