Category Archives: Postpartum

Diastasis Recti

I just was informed at my last doc appointment that I have diastasis recti (abs are tearing down the middle due to the pressure of growing uterus) ūüė¶ It is not that bad yet, so that’s good. ¬†I was suuuuuper bummed because I still have 3 more months to go and it will probably get worse. ¬†HOWEVER, I am happy that LOTS of research has been done on what exercises I can do WHILE pregnant AND I am so thankful for the many fit mamas who have paved the way for me. ¬†One in particular who I recently received great pointers and encouragement from is IFPA Pro Melissa Cunningham (check out her blog at: melissacunninghamifpapro.blogspot.com). I had originally contacted her for my friend who had diastasis recti with her 2nd pregnancy, so I had all this info, youtube links and tips already at my fingertips! Special thank you to you, Melissa, for your time and compassion for reaching out to someone you don’t even know!

Thankfully, running is still totally ok. I was bummed when the Physician’s Assistant told me no lifting or exercising, BUT …I am going to wait and talk to my doc (who was out of office that day) who’s husband was a bodybuilder and knows my backgroud, so she is very familiar with workouts. I am hoping she will be able to shed more light on what REALLY is ok or not ok. ¬†Like pull ups with my transverse abs activated- are those ok? I’m thinking yes. ¬†But push ups…maybe not since gravity is putting pressure on the weak connective tissue.

Informative online resources:


The Breakfast Formula and Guide

Time for a little breakfast myth busting!

Truth or Myth: Breakfast is the most important meal

Truth. Remember being told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, that is no wives’ tale. ¬†What you eat for breakfast tells your body what to expect for the remainder of the day. ¬†Piling on sugary cereals, carb-laden bagels or high-sodium fast-food for breakfast can cause your body to look for at LEAST that same amount of sugar allllll dayyyy longggg! WHAT?! YES! ¬†So be careful little mouths what you eat and make healthful, informed choices!

Truth or Myth: Skipping breakfast helps you burn fat longer

Myth. A common misconception is to skip breakfast. Your body is going through a fast while you sleep and some people want to continue that fast, but your body is actually burning through nutrients and “eating” those amazing muscles you’ve been building! ¬†Bust the fear that eating breakfast will dampen your fat-blasting efforts!

Faith Keith's breakfast rule "Protein + Complex Carb"

My general rules is “Protein + Complex Carb”, so think eggs+english muffin or greek yogurt with berries and shredded wheat or cottage cheese and rye bread or protein shake and oatmeal or¬†protein bar and sweet potato hash brown sticks (sweet potato hash brown sticks, you say? Yep! Recipe below and on http://www.faithkeith.com)

Now, Let’s Eat!

Get creative! Here are a few fun “recipes” to shake up your breakfast blues:

Power Oatmeal Pancakes
Vanilla Cupcake Oatmeal
Clean-Eating Power Protein Bars
Egg White Frittata
Oh-My-Gosh Egg-White Omelet
Sweet Potato Hash Brown sticks

Want more nitty-gritty?

Check out¬†The Better Breakfast Guide | FitnessRX for Women¬†it has your do’s and don’ts about what to eat for breakfast. ¬†It is such an excellent guideline because it breaks down the “why’s” in plain terms, so you can make more informed choices. ¬†Happy Breakfast!


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 42 REST

Day 42¬† HALF WAY THROUGH!!! ¬†Be sure to click on Day 42 to read some of Jamie Eason’s tips. ¬†She talks about journaling so you rememebr how you felt after a particular meal or workout. ¬†Documentation like this helps you make progress when you don’t have a trainer doing this for you.

Don’t stop now. If you really, really want to create lasting change, you need to stick with it for the entire 12-week program, even if you’re an advanced person.

Even though I’ve been doing this for a long time, I still start at the beginning and go through the whole program after I’ve been traveling way too much or holiday time.

I’m much better off at the end when I get through the whole program versus just thinking. “I still look OK so I’ll just start in the middle somewhere and just keep going.”

How are you feeling?! Loving this? I sure am and can’t wait to finish so I can do it all over again.


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 41 Legs

Day 41 Рthe workout, tips and daily motivator from bodybuilding.com & Jamie Eason

Variations:

These variations were like Day 34. ¬†No, as usual, these variations do NOT replace the quality you get from doing the ACTUAL exercises listed on the Trainer. ¬†These variations are being created to help those who want to make FIT happen, but need help removing one more excuse – whether that be “time”, or “can’t afford gym membership” or “no transportation” etc.

Seated Leg Curl: Swiss ball bridge. Lying on your back, put your heals on the swiss ball. Then keeping your feet in place, roll the ball towards you, lifting your pelvis towards the ceiling. The key is to get your butt all the way up so that from knee to shoulder your body is flat. I do these as single-leg bridges to intensify it OR do these as single-leg bench bridges.

Leg Extensions: I did fast body weight squats or jump squats for these. Shoulder-width stance.

Abductor Machine: I have a sports resistance band designed for the legs ‚Äď it is a really tough tubing band with straps on each end to velcro around your ankles. I strapped them to my ankles and, seated, I did the abductor motion (fully flexed = open; starting position = closed knees).

Lying Leg Curls: I did the same exercise as the Seated Leg Curl above. This worked perfectly since it was supersetted with Adductors (see below)

Adductor Machine: Lying on back, put swissball between knees and SQUEEZE.

Leg Press: Wide stance barbell squats. Drop set to failure.

Seated and Standing Calf Raises: Hold weights on knees for seated and on shoulders for standing.


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 40 Shoulders/Cardio

Woot! Lovin’ this! I’m feeling stronger for sure and I can see the difference in my body. ¬†The key, I know, was the diet. Once I re-balanced my diet change started showing up fast. Diet is 80% of your results, people! Diet true and all that hard work you’re doing will get show cased!

Day 40 tips of the day and workout.

Variations:

Smith Machine Military Press: This is hard to get the full benefit of the military press, but if you have a barbell you can come close. If you do not have a barbell, then use dumbbells. They key is to keep your grips stationary and controlled so that they are not pulling in or out as you perform the rep.

Incline Bench Front Dumbbell Delt Raises: This time I sat in the middle of the seat of my kitchen chair and leaned back till my back was against the back board (putting me in a slight incline position). (Click here to see what I did last time)

Rear Delt Cable Flyes: This time I did these as dumbbell reverse flys, but last time I did these as follows:  Seated, I put my feet on the center of my cable and executed these. I did not get enough resistance so ended up shortening the band and doing single-arm flyes. On the last set I did these standing, bent over cable flyes and liked that a bit better.


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 39 Arms/Abs/Cardio

Day 39 rolled around and I am getting more and more frustrated about working out at home! Ha! I guess I just miss the gym so much and am too used to the luxury of having all my equipment. HOWEVER, this will spur me on to get more creative.  I have been trying to do things with just basic home equipment to avoid excluding people who cannot just turn a room of their house into a mini gym.  I may purchase a Power Tower and a bench, since working out at a gym just does not work for my schedule at all, BUT I will still continue writing variations for those who do not have these tools.

Day 39

Variations:

Barbell Curl: If you don’t have a barbell, use dumbbells. The key, however, is to keep your grips stationary so that they do not pull inward or outward motion during the entire execution.

Overhead Cable Curl:¬†I am short so this worked perfectly for me ‚Äď I hooked one end of my resistance band to the stationary grip of my elliptical machine. Then I stood far enough back to get good resistance and performed single-arm overhead curls.

Cable Hammer Curls:¬†Since the LiveFit Trainer uses the rope attachment, this variation worked excellently ‚Äď I stood, with one foot, on the center of my resistance band, then with grips in hammer position, I performed the curls. Flawless!

Triceps Pushdown ‚Äď Rope Attachment:¬†I hooked my resistance band around the top of my elliptical machine. Kneeling down gave me enough resistance to perform this exercise.

Hanging Leg Raise (or roman chair): I sat at the edge of my firm leather coffee table. Starting with my heels touching the ground, my legs straight. Not bending my legs, I raised my legs till my feet were at least shoulder height. ADDED COMMENT: I am planning to get a Power Tower so I can do these and pull ups and dips.   


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 38 Legs

I love plie squats! So excited to get these today.  So excited, in fact, that I am contemplating repeating Phase 3.  For the sake of continuity I will continue with the LiveFit schedule until completion, then perhaps go back to phase 3 for more building.  The leg days have become my main energy-focus.  I go through phases Рa phase where I devote tons of attention to my shoulders, or a phase where I devote my attention to my back, etc.  I work everything as evenly as possible, but when your energy and mind is on a particular body part it makes a difference. Right now, I am going through a leg phase. (Probably because I know it is my weakest area ESPECIALLY during pregnancy because it uses the most energy)

Day 38

Variations:

Leg Extensions: Shoulder-width stance, body weight squats or jump squats for the warm up. Use dumbbells for next set of squats.

Leg Press (shoulder width stance): Shoulder width dumbbell squats OR lay on your back, loop a very taut high resistance resistant band over your feet, gripping well in both hands on either side of your waist, press.

Standing Calf Raises: Dumbbell calf raises

Donkey Calf Raises (Leg Press Calf Raise): Dumbbell calf raises OR lay on your back, loop a very taut high resistance resistant band over the balls of your shoes, gripping well in both hands on either side of your waist, calf press.


#BumpPower Diet

Hey Mamas!  Hope you have selected and purchased your workout DVD and are on the road to staying fit!  To go along with your new workouts I wanted to write a sample diet.  Diet is 80% of your fitness results and 100% important for your baby (and you!).

Meal 1: 3 egg whites and 1 yolk scramble with spinach and bell peppers. 1 slice of whole grain toast (sugar free jelly, or a little PB, or spray butter on top)

Meal 2:  Turkey, sprouts, avocado, tomato, 1 slice turkey bacon in a pita pocket with mustard or non creamy dressing

Meal 3: Grilled chicken on romaine or spinach salad with unlimited veggie toppings.  Non-creamy dressing.  I actually LOVE lemon juice as a dressing or a vinegar and olive oil combo using apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar.

Meal 4: Cottage cheese with sliced berries  OR Greek yogurt cup and sugar free chocolate pudding cup (separate or mixed)

Meal 5: White fish and steamed veggies or homemade turkey soup with loads of veggies (green beans, peas, bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, corn, tomatoes)

Meal 6: if still hungry go for a protein shake or if  you have the munchies try some crunchy vegetables like celery, cucumber or zucchini (sometimes I make them bite size pieces so I can pop them in my mouth like popcorn :))

Additional Notes:

  • Always be sure you are drinking tons of water. It is a current medical recommendation to drink 2.2 liters of water daily. ¬†I am sure you have heard of the “8 by 8” rule (eight 8-ounce glasses of water), which is easy to remember and is pretty close to the recommended 2.2 liters.
  • Prenatal vitamins – both before and AFTER giving birth.
  • If you are lifting weights it is recommended to take a calcium supplement as well, though you should check with your doctor first.
  • Vitamin C – your body is doing a lot these days, so our immune system can be lowered. ¬†Taking extra vitamin C can help boost your immune system. I love the chewables – they’re like sweet tarts!

Prenatal & Postpartum DVD Challenge! #Bumppower

This one is for my pregnant and post-baby ladies out there!  I am challenging you to a DVD challenge! Are you up for joining?

The Challenge:

  • Get a DVD.¬†Pick a Prenatal or postpartum¬†workout program on DVD (Amazon makes it easy to look at all the options out there. Most are only $10!). Try to aim high and get one that will meet your physical abilities and challenge you (I don’t mean “kill you” ūüôā – I just mean, that if you are capable of doing more than prenatal yoga, but not enough to do cardio dance party, then maybe to weight lifting or prenatal pilates).
    .
  • Mark your calendar.¬†
    • Do this workout DVD program for at least 30 days (choose your time period)
    • Aim to rest no more than 1-2 days every week. The best thing is to plan when you will rest, so you can look forward to it AND you will not just rest on a day when you really should be working out
      .
  • Write an article! Once your 30 or so days are up I want to hear from you about
    • what your thoughts were on that DVD program,
    • your activity level before pregnancy,
    • how your body responded to the DVD program,
    • how it affected your pregnancy or post-baby body and
    • any tips or comments you would like to share with the pregnant community!.
      You never know how encouraging your experience can be for another woman, so don’t keep it to yourself!

Be sure to tell me that you are joining in on the challenge and the DVD you chose! Also, if you’re blogging about your DVD challenge or on twitter I’d love to follow you and bring us together on the e-community!

Check back every Friday for the month of May and June for #BumpPower progress checker!

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Twitter hashtag: #Bumppower 

Tweet with me: @thefaithkeith


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 37 Chest/Abs/Cardio

I have come to REALLY enjoy chest day! Shoulders and back have always been my favs and Leg days I dreaded (and therefore I push harder and do twice as often), but chest day I seemed to¬†sub-conscientiously¬†down play. No more, peeps!! Pushups, pushups, yeah, yeah, yeah!! ūüėõ

Day 37

Variations:

These variations are just like day 30.  I did not get more creative, but I did feel more fluid in these exercises now that I was accustomed to the make-shift variations.  For pushups I did 3 sets of 15 reps for Close Hand position and then another 3 sets of 15 reps for Wide Hand position. Boom baby!

Wide-Grip Barbell Bench Press: If you do not have a barbell. Hold dumbbells so that your grips are wide and be sure that, as you come up, you do not close the grip and bring your hands together. Keep your hands apart as you lower and then maintain the width as you press. This way you get close to the benefit of the barbell (dumbbells really give you something different, so we have to try to replicate by watching our form closely)

Cable Crossover: This was fun. I simply hooked my resistant band to the stationary handle of my elliptical machine and did cross over one arm at a time. To keep up the intensity I did not rest during this exercise, I merely went back and forth between the 2 arms.

Smith Machine Incline Bench Press: I used my ironing board this time. Leaned it against my couch. This actually worked pretty well because it was narrow enough for me to get a full range of motion with my arms. If you do this on the floor or your coffee table, the flat surface stops your elbows so you kind of get a rest (which is not good).

Knee/Hip Raise On Parallel Bars: I sat at the edge of my firm leather coffee table. Starting with my heels touching the ground, my legs in a slightly bent position. Not bending my legs any further, I raised my knees till my feet were nearly shoulder height.

Cable Crunch: I hooked my resistance band around the top of my elliptical to perform this exercise. It was so high that I got a really good resistance from it!


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