EP 21 – Post Pregnancy Gainz

December 21, 2015 by in category Podcast tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , with 0 and 0
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Not one special guest but THREE. Straight from our own BBB fam, we have Amanda Kroeker, Sarah Shaw, and Nikkita Grimm. Here is a brief bio of each of them:

  • Amanda Kroeker – 28 years old, Wife to Anthony mother of one son, 10 years old. I had been athletic my whole life growing up. Gymnast for 12 years (this was my passion). Cheerleader for 3 years. Some volleyball, track, and softball in the mix. Being very fit before pregnancy helped me to snap back into shape very quickly, leaving the hospital after giving birth at close to my pre-pregnancy weight. Don’t hate me for that, y’all. I had some gallbladder complications later on and the doctor said were related to pregnancy and had it removed a year after. Stress and complications from that made me hit about 85 pounds at one point, but I gained the weight back. It was about 2-3 years later that I actually started working out again, running mostly, because my metabolism had slowed and I began developing that tire around the midsection. I had trouble finding what I actually liked doing to workout since my old sports were kind of out of the question, and finding when, where, and how to workout is challenging with a child. I just really fell in love with working out consistently in the past year and a half, starting in crossfit, then moving to olympic lifting, and finally to powerlifting and bodybuilding type workouts as a combo. I now weigh 30 lb more than before having a baby, but I had never done weight training before so most of it is muscle (and some happy fat), but learning to love my “new“ body is a challenge still. I did go through a stage also where I carried more fat percentage than I do now, and was able to shed most of it. Though I didn’t struggle with baby weight, my skin never fit quite the same, so weight training helps to define and put most things back where they should be. Mostly I struggle with time and energy to workout while having a child to homeschool at the same time and running business.
  • Sarah Shaw – 29 years old, wife to Chris, mom of Claire, 7, Charlotte, 6, and Caleb, 2. I also babysit kids, sometimes an extra one or two, on the crazy days 3. I was never really active growing up. Both of my parents were disabled, so they were not active and my mom felt very pressured by her mother to be thin and fit and she didn’t want me to feel that pressure. I participated in basketball for a year and soccer for a year in Jr. High but nothing really stuck. I didn’t really struggle with my weight, I was an average size. Then I turned 19, got engaged, went on hormonal birth control pills, and blew up like a balloon. I was gaining and gaining and during pregnancy I’d gain maybe 10 lbs, lose it quickly, then pack on more weight while breastfeeding. I’d start to go to the gym and quit after about a month for one reason or another. I tried fad diets and would quit after about a week. I was avoiding photos at all costs knowing how horrible I looked. After my second baby was about a year old, we moved to the Dallas area where I had no friends. I decided I needed to get into shape. I was tired of losing out on memories with my kids because of my weight. I started going to some group classes at the gym and I started making really good friends. They were really encouraging and helpful. I started doing Insanity and other home workout programs with friends on top of the classes, I did some strict diets for a couple months at a time and went from 240 lbs to 150 lbs in about a year (sounds heavy for a girl but I’m about 5’9”). I decided to start running, ended up signing up for my first 10k and I actually won 3rd place in my age group. Who knew that hiding under that out of shape girl all those years ago was someone who could run and run well! I decided to go for a half marathon and ran it 6 weeks pregnant with our third. Completely miserable, let me tell ya. So I ran until about 30 weeks pregnant, then switched to more cross training and spin workouts because it got too painful to run. I worked out up until 2 days before my cesarean. I still gained 40 lbs and I’m sitting here still up about 15-20 lbs (depending on the day) from my pre-pregnancy weight. Now I can’t imagine my life without working out. It’s challenging to find the time for myself, but I know I am a better wife and mom when I do. And this is really super long, I apologize. 🙂
  • Nikkita Grimm – 24 years old, wife to Brenton, and mom of two active boys Stefan age 3 and Aldan age 1 ½. Lover of coffee, Target, and all things Star Wars. Like Amanda I was quite fit growing up and coming out of high school I was in the best shape of my life. I walked onto the IA State college soccer team, but injured my knee in the first month and half and quit the team. After that I started going to the gym off and on. I got married about 2 years later and had both boys in less than 3 years. My pregnancies were hard and I didn’t really have time to get back into shape between them. Not taking care of myself very well left me at close to 170 lbs at the beginning of this year. I had low energy, headaches, and constant aches and pains. My lifestyle had turned me into a mom that couldn’t play with my kids the way I wanted to, and was putting undue stress on our family. Through weight training, cutting calories, eating a high fat-high protein-low carb diet, and the dreaded cardio I’m now hovering between 135 and 140 lbs. My goal weight is 125 lbs which was my weight pre babies. While I know my body will never be the same as pre babies I’m okay with that. My goal is to be healthy so I can be a great wife and mother with extra energy to be able to serve my church body.

Topic – post pregnancy – According to WebMD the average weight gain for pregnant women is between 25 to 35 pounds.

It can be broken down like this:

  • Baby: 8 pounds
  • Placenta: 2-3 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
  • Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
  • Blood supply: 4 pounds
  • Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
  • Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds
  • Total: 25-35 pounds

That all being said, what can a girl do to get those 35 lbs off?

Amanda: I actually gained my fat years after having a baby, but the principle for losing stays the same. Less calories in than you put out will make you lose weight. If you are nursing, be careful not to eat too little or diet too soon. You can burn about 500 calories a day by nursing alone, so consider that. I love the My Fitness Pal app. A good place to start on setting macros is 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat and adjust as you try it. Patience is of the utmost importance for any lifestyle change. Even if a new mom is not cleared to work out yet, diet is always something that can be changed.


Does it get easier as you have more kids or harder?

Nikkita: There are so many variables here its hard to say for certain. I only have 2 kids so its not that big of a deal for me to have someone watch them or to pay to put them in the gyms childcare for an hour. I would imagine that once they get a little older and have more activities it will make finding time for the gym more difficult.   


How can you keep motivated to keep those pounds off?

Amanda: Have a workout and diet buddy. It helps for it to be your husband, but sometimes another girlfriend can be more blunt without it being as sensitive a topic when you need accountability. Find a theme song for when you start to become complacent or stuck on something you want to push past. Also setting little milestones, like running an extra mile or lifting 5 more pounds can keep the motivation going. And once in awhile, treat yo’self. A new outfit or something.


Nikkita: Definitely have a workout buddy. I have a great friend that makes going to the gym even more fun. We are in it together. Also figure out your motivation for staying fit. Is your reason God honoring? If it is then staying motivated becomes that much easier.


Does it make you not want to have more kids?


Nikkita: Selfishly no, because I worked so hard to get this far and am scared of losing all this progress. However kids are such a huge blessing that I feel like I won’t ever want to stop. Ask me again after number four lol.


Amanda: Absolutely does not change my desire for more kids. Of course, I’ve only had one, so I don’t know how my body would be different after more pregnancies.


What tricks/tips do you use to help get the weight off?

Amanda: I step on the scale every morning to detect minor changes. Sometimes I care, sometimes I don’t. If you are more self conscious or this discourages you to see your weight on the scale, pay more attention to inches or clothing sizes perhaps. Also, drink a full glass of water before meals. This helps you to stay hydrated and also fills you up so your hunger isn’t as strong and tempting to overeat. And the best thing I have found to work out is to find a program and stick to it all the way through. Then start a new one. And so on.


Any fun stories about how you handled pregnancy and post pregnancy?



Can postpartum depression make losing the weight harder?

Nikkita: Absolutely, PPD makes accomplishing anything hard.


Can breastfeeding help lose weight?

Nikkita: Yes, but it’s not the same for all women, and can vary from baby to baby. Some kids eat more than others and slim their mommas right out. Others not so much lol.


Amanda: Yes, what Nikkita said. You never know because sometimes nursing can make you so hungry you overeat.


How do you stay healthy or fit when you are too tired or not able to cook?

Nikkita: A couple things I do:

  1. When I have energy to cook I try and double what I’m making and freeze the extra for later.
  2. If you have nothing ready and just can’t deal with cooking there are healthyish fast food options. My go places are Subway (get a flatbread), taco bell has a power bowl that you can customize to fit your diet, and Culvers because they have chicken with a healthier green bean side option.
  3. Never grocery shop hungry!!! I can’t emphasize this enough. If you are a stay at home mom this is imperative.  


Amanda: I have done everything from mass cooking and freezing to meal preps to meal plans and scheduling time to drop everything and cook. Everything has its season. At this time, my husband makes his own lunch meal preps so I just cook breakfast and dinner. I make enough during the beginning of the week that I can take one or two nights off cooking and we have leftovers. I almost never skip cooking breakfast though.


What’s a good timeframe to get into the gym post-pregnancy?


Nikkita: Doctors and midwives recommend waiting until at least 6 weeks post partum. I do believe this varies slightly between women as I had easy labors and could have been in the gym earlier than 6 weeks. The other huge factor is you have a newborn. If you are breastfeeding, and don’t have an in home gym this definitely makes everything more difficult. Plus it’s never easy leaving your brand new baby. Life is busy and especially overwhelming post partum. All that said if I was doing it again I would make a much bigger effort to go as soon as possible. It wouldn’t surprise me if working out helped alleviate PPD and regulate hormones on top of the other obvious health benefits.


Amanda: I second what Nikkita said and also want to add that many women have a separation of the ab muscles from pregnancy or hernias. I did not have it, but I know it is very important to follow doctor’s or midwife’s orders as far as working out and if any surgery needs to be done beforehand.


GREAT QUESTION! What is the husband’s role in all of this?

Amanda: My husband didn’t get into fitness until about a year before we were married, but I’m glad he did because he pushes me to be better all the time. He encourages me to eat well, but doesn’t judge me too hard when I have a cheat meal. He enjoys working out with me and making up workouts for us to do together. We have a home gym, so it helps us to get rid of the “I don’t want to drive to the gym” excuse, and we don’t have to find childcare, so it’s a little easier for my husband to help me be motivated because of the “close proximity” to the gym.


Nikkita: My husband is naturally thin and doesn’t have to do anything to maintain. No doubt we are that cliche couple. While he isn’t into fitness he is incredibly encouraging to me and has seen the difference it has made in our family life. When I don’t have the motivation to hit the gym he will nicely badger me until I’m out the door. I know each couple is different and some women don’t like that, but it really works for us. He’s definitely my biggest cheerleader when it comes to my health.

Some links to some helpful resources are:

Lactation cookies – http://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/02/lactation-cookies/

MyFitnessPal – https://www.myfitnesspal.com/


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