My Fitness Journey (Before and After Pregnancy)

My fitness journey is not complete. I don’t think it’ll ever be complete if I want to live a healthy lifestyle. I don’t even really know where to start this. Hmmm.. so I think I felt the most “fit” when I was a senior in high school. I was (am) 5’1 and some change and in high school, I weighed around 105 lbs. At the end of my junior year, I miraculously made the Poms squad without prior dance experience. I secretly think they thought I was a freshman with potential – yay for looking younger! 😉 Anyway, because I was in Poms senior year, I felt like that was the fittest I ever was, we worked out a lot and for the first and last time ever (so far), I had some abs definition haha. My arms were also pretty toned – yay for doing those arms clinics.

College/Grad School

College was different. I didn’t live on campus since I lived nearby. There was definitely a lot of walking, but as far as working out, I wasn’t consistent. I’d go to the gym for maybe a month or two, then not go for months, then go again for a month or two. That cycle went through my whole undergrad. I was also eating whatever I wanted. But when I felt gross, I would crash diet for a month or so until I got back to the weight I wanted, and then would do the whole cycle again. My weight at the end of college was 110 lbs. I guess not a bad weight gain. Yay for good metabolism if that’s even a thing.

In grad school, I worked out a lot less. I would go to the gym in spurts (but not equaling months), then drop off for a long time. I just couldn’t find the rhythm. Then I got engaged during my last year, and that’s when I went a little more consistently. Nothing like a pending nuptial to get someone like me to go to the gym. Went to the gym 2-3 times a week and ate a little healthier. On my wedding day, I weighed 112 lbs.

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Married Life

Ok, so here’s the deal… like I had no set goal after the wedding as far as fitness went. I totally pigged out at our honeymoon and my weight steadily increased. What kept me from going above 120 lbs was the fact that I didn’t want my family and in-laws talking about me behind my back. That, and I was also self-conscious. I refused to buy anything larger than a size 4 at the store.  So I would squeeze into my stretched out size 2 jeans or buy a size 4 and feel slightly guilty for doing so. Please don’t judge… this was my own self loathing… size 4 is fine. It was where my mindset was at the time. I didn’t want to go above that for some reason.

For exercise, I told myself that as a PT, I was on my feet every day working on people. That was exercise enough for me. I would walk or jog on the treadmill once in a while, but again, not consistently.  If there was an event that I had to go on, I would workout and not eat a lot a week or so before the event so I could fit into the dress I wanted to wear. That was pretty much the cycle of my fitness journey then. Before I had my babies, my base weight was 120 lbs.

During and After Pregnancy

When we got pregnant, the first thing I felt, other than being ecstatic about the baby, was relief. I was relieved that for the first time in my life, I wouldn’t have to worry about gaining weight. I knew I still had to be healthy, but if I put on a couple of pounds, I didn’t feel so down on myself. The only exercising I did was walk around the neighborhood with my husband. That’s. About. It. At 41.5 weeks pregnant, I was 160 lbs.

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After my first child, I did not work out for like a year. I was way too exhausted and I didn’t even think about working out at that time. After a year, I went to the gym for a month or so (like 1-2 times a week), and then felt like life was too busy and stopped going. Before my second child, my base weight was 127 lbs.

During my second pregnancy, I felt awful. I was nauseous all the time, and I didn’t want to eat anything. I was also afraid of the swelling that I had during the first pregnancy that I walked a lot during my second pregnancy. At 39.5 weeks pregnant, I was 152 lbs.

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Diastasis Recti

After my second child, I also didn’t work out right away. I found out I had diastasis – recti since both of my babies were on the large side. Click here if you want to know more about diastasis recti. Basically, it’s when the bands connecting your abs muscles rips down the middle and therefore causes your abs to separate, giving you a pooch or a bulge in the middle of your stomach. Yayyyyy pregnancy!

Six months later, I bought a fitbit and tried to just walk 10,000 steps 2-3 days a week. Then I bought an iWatch but I mainly used it for trying to find my phone – don’t lie.. you do that ;-). Thanksgiving 2017 I weighed 130 lbs.

Turning Point

At the beginning of November 2017, I felt sluggish and was feeling pretty down on myself. My primary care physician stated that for a person with an Asian descent with my height, I was basically obese. Great thing to hear from your pcp. I was always tired and I couldn’t stop eating junk food. My favorites were Pirate’s Booty, Sour Belts, and CHOCOLATES. I am convinced that chocolate is addicting because man… I must. have. chocolates.

Since I felt so crappy, I decided I needed to make a life change. I would need to be more consistent with exercising and I would need to curb my junk food intake. But first, I will feast during Thanksgiving… AND I must eat all the junk food in the house. Ha! No, I was not going to throw them away! Hello! I mean I was desperate to get healthy, but not THAT desperate. Give me my booty! Pirate’s booty that is!

I also needed motivation… something that will make me want to keep working out. After a bit of thinking I came up with one.  Every Christmas, we have a huge family reunion and being a filipino – well, Filipina to be exact – came with a certain… what shall I call it… curse? Every time there’s a family gathering, filipinas will always be subjected to the comment “tumataba ka na yata!” which translates to “you may be getting fatter!” Doesn’t matter if you’ve been the same weight year after year, you will not escape that comment. Who knows, maybe it’s a term of endearment? Whatever it is, I made it my goal to not receive that comment.

BeachBody App

None of the things I mention on this blog are sponsors by the way. I am not trying to sell anything. I am just letting you know my journey.

This app was pretty cool because it is full of a variety of programs you can choose from. Yoga, P90x, 21 Day Fix/Extreme, Hip Hop Abs, etc. There’s enough to keep you occupied if you get bored with a program you’re using. I mainly did Total Body Cardio workouts because I felt like I got the most workout from there. So 21 Day Fix/Extreme and Hip Hop Abs were my daily routines. Each workout from the 21 Day series are around 30 minutes and Hip Hop abs would be around 40-50 minutes. I would choose one per day. I would also make it a goal to walk 10,000 steps everyday.

The hardest part for me was the first week. I could barely finish the 30 minute workouts but I mastered walking 10,000 steps by walking on the treadmill while watching TV. I just kept thinking of the phrase “tumataba ka yata” when I don’t feel like working out and it was enough to get me off that couch.

After two weeks, the workouts got easier for me. I also found that I was able to push myself a little harder and sweating more and more as I kept going. I felt that I had more energy during the day and I wasn’t sluggish in the afternoon when I usually would be.

By the time Christmas came, I weighed in at 123 lbs. I fit into my size 4 pants comfortably, and I know for a fact that my chipmunk cheeks looked smaller. I went to reunion confident and proud. And no, I did not get that dreaded comment at Christmas! Woohoo!! I got that comment a month later at another family reunion… when I was 121 lbs.  Ha! Oh well.. what can I do?

Present Time

These days, I don’t work out every day. But I try to work out 3-4 times a week. It’s harder to workout everyday while blogging as well. But this way, I feel like I’m working out my body and my brain. I started to get bored of the Beachbody App a little so I went ahead and tried out Orange Theory. Click here to see my review on Orange Theory. I loved it and now I go twice a week. I then try to do my own workouts twice a week as well outside of orange theory.

My weight fluctuates between 122-126 lbs depending on the time of the month. I still care about my weight but for once I actually feel more confident in my own skin. Yes, there are days when I feel frumpy. There are days when I feel my clothes are getting tighter again. But because I feel like I’ve created some sort of habit in working out, I feel mostly ok. I say “ok” because I haven’t met my ultimate goals – toned arms muscles, and as flat a stomach as I can get with diastasis recti. But I’m happy to be where I am right now. And that, I think, is what is most important when it comes to my fitness journey.

Here’s my progress so far. On the top is myself in October 2017. On the bottom, May 2018. I tried to smile the same way… ha! Yes, I’m wearing makeup in the second picture, but you can’t hide them cheeks.

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My fitness journey continues…

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

20 comments

  1. I love reading about others’ fitness journies! I am currently on my postpartum excursion. It’s amazing to see how our bodies change over the years, with kids and marriage.

    1. Thanks for reading!! And good luck on your postpartum excursion! Can’t wait to hear about it if you write something on it 🙂

  2. wow! 3-4x a week. thats amazing!!! strong! you should do videos so I can hear your voice 🙂

    1. Lol I don’t think the world is ready for that! 😝 Thanks for reading!! 💕💕

    1. Thanks for reading and good luck with your journey! If you need some motivation or encouragement I’m doing motivation Mondays on my instagram. No need to follow. Just a good way to encourage others to keep going 🙂 you can do it!

  3. Totally right there with you. It’s so hard to be consistent when life is twirling you all around. Glad you found your happy place!

  4. Great post! I have diastis recti too it’s so hard to find time/justify a workout when I have free time and the house is a mess or I’m exhausted etc. I really need to work on this!

    1. Thanks for reading! Diastasis Recti sucks! Good luck with your journey!! You can do it!!

  5. Chocolate IS addictive!! XP Thanks for sharing! I feel like the other moms I see in my neighborhood who have babies the same age as mine all look so much more trim and put together than me…it’s pretty discouraging! But everyone’s journey is different I guess! Do you do workouts specifically tailored to your diastasis recti?

    1. I did start out trying to target diastasis recti! Mainly engaging core work with other light exercises helped such as tightening the core while doing light squats or lunges. It helped tremendously to get me started. And yes! Everyone’s journey is so different! You do you mama! Just keep moving! If you’d like some motivation, I do motivation Mondays on my Instagram. No need to follow but if you’re interested, have a look sometime 🙂 my handle is simplefficientmama :). Good luck with your journey!! You can do it!!

  6. This is so inspirational!! It’s so hard to get back on track after having babies. Thanks for the motivation and inspiration.

  7. Thanks for sharing. Hope this post will get me work out more. It has been a year since I had my baby and it is time to get back in shape.

  8. Congratulations on getting back to your fitness journey! It definitely gets harder with kids and family demands, but it’s important that we make time for our health and wellness!

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