There is a number of goals I put together for me to reach, before going back to work after 4 months of maternity leave…a major one is to lose 80% of the baby weights (with a stretch goal of 90%) and to regain the fitness level I used to have, I am happy to say I DID IT! With a lot of dedication, hard work, family and helper support. A quick flashback of my first pregnancy (gained 50; lost 50), so I have the faith I could do it the second time around.
Friends & families surrounding me are constantly working on to weights loss. Besides looking good, it boosts confidence, and it is so GREAT when you feel lean and healthy again — I limited myself to purchase only 10 pieces of bigger size garments, as my transition wardrobe for all occasions, so I don’t continue to fall into the trap of buying bigger size clothing. It feel SO GOOD to zip up my old jeans!
Setting a realistic goal is important, and I had the opportunity to try out different fitness programs in virtual space & around Chi-town, and set up a plan that I could stick with, and later transition to the busy work days. Here it is:
Read Tim Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Body”: A ground breaking body experiment book, it started with the statement I couldn’t agree more — most of the modern people are struggling with two things: Weight Loss AND Too Many Emails in the Inbox…I listened to the audible book at my week 4 postpartum recovery to set up the fitness plan AND I read the actual book again at week 15, right before getting back to work, to prolong the fitness routine.
12 weeks Hardcore Plan: Combination of spinning, interval, yoga, streaming workout and personal training sessions, 6 days a week (sometimes I workout twice a day), 1 day either rest or stretch workout, I always plan my workout schedule a week in advance, to co-exist with all the other family activities and commitments.
8 weeks Transition Plan: Spinning, streaming workout, and one personal training session per week as a “check in”. In the age of social media, in-person influence is augmented.
Maintenance Plan: Streaming workout would be my daily go-to, as I could jump in anytime for my odd working schedule (A lot of time I start my day around 6pm to catch up with London, and 2–4pm is usually my “break” as Mexico City is in siesta). Plus, two swimming sessions a week alongside with Maia’s swimming lessons, I would do my 30 mins lap swimming at evening, my goal is simple — to pedal faster when I get back to the 2017 Chicago Triathlon after a decade of break.
Here are the programs I do and studios I like (as a busy mom, I only use studios that are less than 1 mile away from home or work, I believe if it is not convenient, it won’t get done):
Studio Three: I joined the 3 months postpartum unlimited package, I’ve logged 60 classes! It is a great to workout at this new, state of art center which is 10 mins walking distance from home. Studio Three has spinning room, interval workout room and the best yoga studio in town — I’ve been to at least 100 yoga studios around the world, I have to say, this is one of the most beautiful indoor yoga studios, although nothing could compare with Samahita in Koh Samui (with my Ashtanga teacher Paul) where you practice facing Indian Ocean. Did I also mention Studio Three have all the celebrity teachers who are inspiring and make you want to look like them, or a simple pleasure just to look at them.
My favorite are Antonia D for spinning and Dominika H’s hot flow.
Soul Cycle: I logged a 10 classes package, it is a national chain, and I love the energy of this place. Very different than Pelotan Bike at Studio Three (which is like video game has all the precise digital measuring your effort). Soul Cycle is the place to bring you back where you started, just pure efforts on riding, so no digital and fancy bike, but you have the highest energy and celebrity cyclist instructor in town for 45 mins.
Pure Barre: It is a core and ballet inspired exercise, as the nature of the workout, almost 100% of the class is women only. I like it is low impact so everyone could do it and regardless the fitness level, YOU are the only factor to make the workout easy or hard, as there are many modifications. I had two Barre classes every week through out my pregnancy when I couldn’t do intense workout due to the complications. And the class targets to tone all the trouble areas most of the women are concerned about. Another upside is although you feel sore all over, you won’t sweat like a pig after the class.
Yoga Now: The owner and founder is an Ashtanga practitioner, so the studio provides traditional practices every day, both Mysore and led-class. I’ve done most of the classes, although I don’t go often now as I have a very specific goal I need to achieve in a short period of time, but Yoga Now is my backbone for zen-seeking practice. I have been popping in and out for yoga classes at Yoga Now for 15 years.
Beachbody: I successfully lost 50 pounds of baby weight from the first pregnancy, and when I went back to work at week 10, I started to stream PX90 3, it was very effective and Tony Horton speaks to me well (in my view he is the most gender neutral celebrity coach and his methods speak to majority), I tried bunch of workout streaming programs between now and then to spice things up, otherwise, some of their jokes are getting old….my new go-to is 21 Days Fix Extreme. In addition, I workout with my beach body coach- Kasia, in person at home and through her virtual accountability group. It is hard to find a personal trainer who could work with you, provide flexibility, motivate you and speak the same language, I am lucky to have found Kasia, BTW, who is also my dental hygienist