Battling the Baby Bulge

My own fight to lose the final five

So now I get it–this is how it feels to be THIS close to pre-baby body. It seems like my body had more snap-backness after the first baby…this go-round I feel the pain of so many of my clients. I fit into my old clothes, but my shape is just not yet my own.

If it’s true that breastfeeding is making me hold on to that last bit of saggy skin, I’m willing to put up with it for the next year. But I’m not thoroughly convinced that’s all it is. So… even though I live by the words “everything in moderation,” I’m going to do an experiment: I’m cutting out wine for two weeks. It’s the one vice I have that I believe may in fact be a culprit in this battle, so I want to see if there’s a noticeable difference.

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Recipe for Kale & “Sausage”

Here’s one of our favorite fast and hearty weeknight meals.

We love us some kale in this house, and what a powerhouse of a food it is. It’s got tons of Vitamin A, plenty of C, fiber, protein, iron, calcium…and it works perfectly in this dinner Mike and I make about once a week.

Kale & “Sausage”

  • 2 vegetarian sausage links (such as Tofurky Italian Sausage), sliced (like coins)
  • 1 small-to-medium-size onion
  • 1 large bunch of kale, rinsed, pulled from stem, and torn into pieces
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T olive oil
  • (Optional: We serve this over brown rice.)

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Thinly slice onion and add it to the oil with about 1/4c water. Cover and let onion cook, stirring frequently. When onion is transparent but not browned, add sausage. Allow sausage to heat through, then add kale. Cover skillet to allow kale to wilt a bit–just a minute or two. Sprinkle red pepper flakes to taste, then salt and pepper. Serve over brown rice. Yum!

#2: What would you give up in your diet if you had to pick one thing?

Could you give up dairy?

Are you up for the challenge? Could you give up dairy? I’ve started to read up on Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet. It’s “kind” to your body, to animals, and to the earth. I can’t find anything wrong with that so far. I’m already a pesce-vegetarian, so it doesn’t seem like a huge leap to cut out the other animal products, but I didn’t set out to be a vegan, so I’m not sure about all this. I like being able to find things to eat on any menu without having to ask for special treatment. And I don’t want to give up dairy, really. I just want to see if it’s true that I’ll feel lighter and have clearer skin and more energy… Sounds like it could be worth a try.

The good news: Mike’s into doing it with me. Whew! That will for sure make it easier. We’ve decided to try it for two weeks. Our babysitter is vegan; she says it will be easy. They make it all dairy-free now if you want it—we just have to get used to the taste and texture. So we’re cleaning house now. This is a home where every single person has our own special yogurt, including the baby. So we’re eating up the Greek yogurt (oh, how I shall miss you!), the snack cheese, the plain yogurt for cooking, the (already cage-free, vegetarian-fed) eggs…

As I get more into the book and the ugly truth behind why I’m trying this out, I’ll write about it. For now, I am interested because of how a dairy-free lifestyle supposedly makes you look and feel. (My life with two kids could certainly use a boost in the energy department!) I’ll let you know when we say “go”!

Who has time to cook?

Being healthy means more than exercising–it’s about eating well, too.

If you really want your plans for your body to succeed, you have to consider every angle. So even if you’ve finally found a way to exercise two, three or six times a week, you still can’t ignore your diet. That includes dinner, parents! Stolen bites of the kids’ mac ‘n’ cheese do not count as dinner.

Mike and I love to cook–that helps. We love the grown-up time, when we can chat and chop and finally catch up on each other’s days. It was hard to keep up the cooking when we had Arabella, but we did it. So now that there are two kids, we are determined not to lose that nutrient-rich part of our day (“nutrients” being home-cooked food AND that grown-up non-TV time!). Our meals may be a little less glamorous than they used to be, but I promise–it is possible to make something more nutritious (and more glamorous) than cheese quesadillas and still get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour.

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What SHAPE is your parachute?

Let’s start by just getting it out on the table, not trying to get too deep. What holds you back from making the commitment to putting foot to treadmill five to six days a week? I know some of you could make this interesting, but I said let’s not get too deep yet. (If you want to psychoanalyze, do it while you’re on the elliptical.) For most of you, there are basic, boring, over-explained reasons that fitness is lacking in your life. It’s the time thing. Energy. Priorities. They’re real reasons, I know. They’re just not flying with me anymore.

I’m pretty sure many of you wish you could hire someone to exercise foryou…and I understand. I do–really. It’s true that I love to exercise and that it’s wormed its way into my priority list over the years. But I’m busy, too, and I know that doing sit-ups while watching the evening news isn’t for everyone.

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