- Exercise & Fitness
P90X While Breastfeeding
When I got pregnant with my first child, I was in the best shape of my life. I was in the military, I went to the gym nearly every day, and I was feeling pretty good about myself. Soon after finding out I was pregnant, I was out of it. Morning sickness kept me from doing much other than the essentials, and the more time went by, the less motivated I was to get back to the gym.
Fast forward 3 years, my second child was 6 months old. I was looking in the mirror, and wasn't happy with what I saw. I was nearly 20lbs heavier then when I got pregnant with my first, I had no energy, and none of my old clothes fit. I had been considering P90X after my first child was born, but wasn't sure if it was compatible with breastfeeding. Now 6 months postpartum, and feeling utterly fed up with myself, I just decided to go for it! After 90 days I've lost those 20lbs, and I feel great! I have more energy, and all of my day-to-day activities just seem easier.
What is P90X?
P90X is a high intensity, high impact workout routine. It is extreme. Many are familiar with their infomercials on late at night. It uses the premise of muscle confusion to help avoid plateaus and get it's users a more toned and leaner look in less than 2 hours a day. In addition to strength training, there is a variety of cardiovascular workouts incorporated into the program. Some of these workouts such as Yoga X and Kenpo X may seem awkward at first, but they will get easier as you progress, and the results are worth it. The creator of P90X, Tony Horton, does a great job of motivating users through his enthusiasm, and "do your best" attitude. As he says in the program, "your best is always enough," and it's true!
One of the beautiful things about P90X is that you can do it in the privacy of your own home with only a small amount of equipment. At the very least you will need some resistance bands, for the strength training days, but other than that, everything else is optional. Other things you may want to have include: free weights, a pullup bar, a yoga block, and a yoga mat. Other than that all you have to do is "Bring It!"
The Meal Plan
Ah, the meal plan. Due to the fact that I was breastfeeding, I decided that it would be best for me to skip the meal plan, and made sure to eat a diet of minimal processed foods. The key to this, is doing most of your shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store. Easy enough, right? I prepared the bulk of my meals at home, so I would be able to easily monitor what I was putting into my body. It's important to remember that the average breastfeeding mother needs 1800-2200 calories a day to maintain her supply, but you might want to even increase that a little if you're doing vigorous exercise. If you're feeling hungry, eat! Just make it a healthy snack like fruits or veggies. I'm not suggesting not to use the meal plan, there are some great recipes in there, and it's tailored specifically around the workout for optimum results. What I am saying is, if you eat a healthy, whole foods diet, you will still get results, and possibly curb any anxiety about taking on such an intense program while breastfeeding.
Things To Remember
- As I mentioned before, the average breastfeeding mother needs 1800-2200 calories a day to maintain her supply. It is important to make sure you are getting AT LEAST that while doing a high intensity workout program such as P90X.
- It is not recommended to lose more than 1-1.5lbs a week while breastfeeding. This means that you should only expect to lose a maximum of 20lbs in one round of P90X while breastfeeding.
- DRINK WATER! I can't emphasize how important this last one is! Make sure you're drinking plenty of water throughout the day! On top of the extra water you're losing producing breast milk, you WILL be sweating... A LOT! So drink up!
NO EXCUSES! The only way you are going to see results from P90X is to commit to it! If you have a minor setback, KEEP GOING! If you need to work out but your kids want your attention, find a way to incorporate them into the workout. Suggest they do it with you! Use them as weights! Just keep going, and I promise you, you will look better and feel better too!