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Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan

It’s been about 3.5 months since I have given birth and I thought now would be the perfect time to share what I have been up to in regards to fitness and getting back into shape ūüôā

I gave birth 28lbs heavier on March 16, 2016. I gained 20lbs in the first trimester with lack of energy and eating way more than I should; the other 8lbs came on steadily throughout the second and third trimester. I made sure to keep my weight in check by staying active and trying to make the best food choices possible.

I REALLY credit staying active during pregnancy to my ability to get back at it post pregnancy.

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Now, this doesn’t mean that I popped Rian out and got straight back on the bandwagon. I took 6 weeks to heal – my body had been through 35 hours of labor, a small tear and way more pressure down below than anything I could have imagined! I could barely walk or sit for weeks, let alone think about completing a¬†workout.

By about 2 months, I was ready to get back at it. I planned to take the first month and work on my endurance and getting back into the groove of things. I went for walks, eventually started jogging (hello baby belly flab bouncing like a bowl full of jelly!) and then really started to work on body weight exercises. Progress for me was slow at first. Walking was hard for me, but I kept pushing and eventually things got easier.

I didn’t want to jump straight to the weights for the first month. I had lost a lot of strength and flexibility while pregnant; these things won’t just come back in a flash (even though I wish they did!). So, instead, I focused on cardio and body weight. I did a lot of push-ups, planks, squats, etc – think going back to the basics ūüôā

As my endurance started to come back, I was able to incorporate some sprints and more time on the step mill. I also started getting back to lifting lighter weights and strengthening my abs. At around 2.5 months, I felt comfortable to start lifting heavier.

Now at a little over 3 months, my plan is pretty similar – build strength, continue with endurance work and keep it fun.

My ideal schedule typically looks like this (as long as Rian is doing ok):

(Side note – my husband works graveyards 6pm-6am Saturday through Monday so he spends Sunday-Tuesday sleeping most of the day. If he isn’t able to watch Rian, I usually don’t get a workout in unless my amazing mother or older sister is available to babysit.)

Sunday – workout in the afternoon if family can babysit
Monday – typically no workout
Tuesday Рmorning work out if my husband can watch Rian (he is usually tired and wants to sleep)
Wednesday – Saturday – cardio + weights

My cardio + weight sessions usually look like this:

10 minutes on the step mill or a round of sprints
40 minutes of weight work (a good mix of body weight & equipment circuits)
10-15 minutes on step mill

For me, I really want to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. This is why I try to incorporate as much cardio into my workouts as possible. My circuits are done in such a way that I keep my heart rate up while achieving my goals – better endurance and building back strength. I also try to get in one day where I run (I am unofficially training for a half marathon).

With my nutrition, I am focusing on getting in higher amounts of protein while keeping my carbs lower. I try to eat mostly complex carbs (think leafy greens, berries, etc) and have an occasional beer when I want. I live by the 80/20 rule and enjoy chocolate (or other indulgences) daily.

So there ya have it… my game plan when it comes to post pregnancy weight loss & fitness!

Some tips to remember when thinking about your own plan:

What is your goal?
How much can you realistically do?
Take time to let your body heal.
Focus on nutrition while you recover.
You just gave birth to a tiny human, cut yourself some slack!
Enjoy your workouts.
Don’t fret about having to miss one or two.

Happy planning and training!


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To My Unborn Son

To my unborn son,

When I was pregnant, I dreamt of you; your perfect smile, adorable personality, and everything we would do together. I imagined a new life full of long nights, baby cries and poopy diapers. I envisioned who you would be, what great things you would do and what would peak your interest.

I loved you from the very start. I knew we would work together in perfect harmony. You would cry and I would soothe you with my breast, new diaper, or gentle swaddle.

In the past three months, I have mourned the loss of you.

My son is not you. My son is not the perfect baby I would push around in his stroller, baby wear, or breast feed. My son is completely different. I cry with my son, I feed my son with a bottle, I cannot always soothe my son.

To my unborn son, I say goodbye to you today. I say farewell to all of my preconceived notions of who you would be, who we would be together and, instead, I say hello to my beautifully imperfect baby boy; the one who has stollen my heart.

I say hello to the life we now live; full of sleepless nights, vomit, crying, and doctors appointments. I never dreamt of x-rays, hypoallergenic formula, GERD or milk protein intolerances.

But, today I welcome this new life.

For my son, I would do anything. I say hello to his perfect smile, adorable personality, and everything we will do together.

To my unborn son, I leave behind the image I had of you with this letter.

To Rian: I will always love you, stand by you and be your advocate. I promise to love you unconditionally in all circumstances. Our shared tears will blend together in strength and promise. I will never give up on you and I hope you will never give up on me.

To my unborn son and Rian, I love you both.


Your mother.


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Instagram is Fake

I hope you looked at the picture I posted on my social media and thought,¬†“Wow, she looks great! Did she even have a baby? She must’ve been faking”.¬† Did you? Good, because that’s what I wanted you to think. But that picture is fake (kind of).


Look below and you can see two pictures of me standing in front of a mirror with my 11 week post baby belly. I have more fat (that darn mom pooch), extra stretch marks and even more loose skin.


Now I know some other people will be saying, “PSHHHHH, don’t even girl”.¬†And to this I say, yes… while I don’t appear to have a lot of loose skin and flab, or that my belly hanging over my waist band in the second picture isn’t bad…. check this screen shot out from my workout earlier today.


You know it’s bad when your loose stomach makes you look like you’re carrying extra parts in your pants. And don’t even get me started on the bat wings…

So, this is your friendly reminder that not all posts tell the whole story and PLEASE: stop looking through your feed thinking that every picture is unattainable. Not every picture is created equal, nor do they show the whole truth.

You are beautiful. You have worth. You are not less than a picture on Instagram.

Keep having a great day <3


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Gas, Reflux and Finding Solutions

“Fed is Best” – that’s the saying I alway went by (& firmly believed in).¬†Recently, I have been tested on how much I actually believe in it.

I always knew I would breast feed my son. After six weeks of hard work (think cracked nipples, sore boobs, minor latch problems, etc.) we worked amazingly together and everything was going great…. until we determined that Rian has a severe milk protein allergy.¬†

You might have seen my posts online regarding his reflux, gas, numerous doctors appointments and even my crunchy solutions to it all. Rian was suffering from extreme gas, silent reflux with some projectile vomiting, spitting up, crying, fussiness, and straining to pass bowel movements (to name a few). I knew something wasn’t right and that this wasn’t just normal newborn behavior or colic.

I tried pumping legs, essential oils, belly massages, lip tie revision, chiropractic care, feeding and sleeping upright, probiotics, eliminating dairy and soy from my diet, the list goes on and on. We even saw a gastroenterologist who put Rian on Zantac and sent us to do a barium swallow x-ray.

After exhausting all options without much success, I finally broke down and tried formula feeding as a last resort. My plan had been to follow through with everything else first because I did not want to give up breast feeding my son. 

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I was dead set on giving my son the “most nutritious food I could”. When I realized that he was not gaining weight despite nursing around the clock, I decided it was selfish of me to not try the final avenue – formula feeding. I was given Neocate by the GI at our first appointment. Neocate is 100% hypo-allergenic and is amino acid based (all of the proteins are completely broken down). Almost immediately, Rian was smiling, sleeping better, his skin cleared up, he wasn’t as fussy and he was able to fart! I finally realized that my milk, the most nutritious food I could give him, was actually making him sick.¬†

((SIDE NOTE: we also tried Nutramigen after using Neocate for a few days because it’s more accessible and slightly cheaper – however, Rian immediately broke out into hives))

The fact that I could no longer breast feed devastated me. The week before I switched Rian to formula, I would cry right along with him – we were both miserable and exhausted. Now, I cried because my body had failed me. I was actually making my son sick and I continued to cry every time I gave him a bottle of formula.

There’s a saying that goes “breast isn’t always best” – and let me tell you, it annoyed the shit out of me every time I heard it.¬†As a new mom who was breast feeding successfully, I never wanted to think that my son would have an intolerance to my milk.

After many tears and conversations with my husband and family, I decided that Rian would be exclusively bottle fed and I would stop pumping. Letting my milk dry up was an extremely hard decision. This was the last tie I had to feeding my son Рthe last bit of hope to looking into his eyes while I was able to provide him with life. Not to mention, it was extremely painful. I went through 3 days where I could not feed and burp my son. Eventually, the milk left.

I have come to a place where I am ok with formula feeding. I have cleared my room of anything breast feeding related: my pump, pillows, bras, etc. I cried when I put these items away.

Seeing Rian thrive is what helps me to cope with the fact that my idea of how I would feed my son would never be possible. I never imagined that breast feeding would be taken from me despite having such a beautiful relationship with my son while doing it.

Rian’s health is my only priority and seeing him so healthy and happy makes every sacrifice and struggle worth it. I am just happy that we were able to figure out the problem so early on. He is gaining weight like a champ now and I am so excited to keep watching him grow.


For being such a tiny human, he holds the largest part of my heart.



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My Labor Story

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The saying goes, “A mother always knows best”, right? Well, I knew¬†Mr. Rian Ford Valdez was going to make his entrance on 3/16/16. What’s even funnier, is that his nonna knew it too! The morning of the 15th, my mom put into her phone that Rian would be born on 3/16. Two mothers always know best!

I woke up on the morning of the 15th at 1:45am experiencing some mild cramping and, what I thought were, Braxton Hicks contractions. When the contractions kept coming at a pretty even interval, I started timing them. I spent all morning experience contractions that were about 4-5 minutes apart. At 11am, the contractions got to be 2-3 minutes apart. Bouncing on the swiss ball really helped me to get through the contractions without much pain. I decided to call my doctor when the contractions got to be around 1:30-2 minutes apart and they suggested I head straight to the hospital!

I got to the hospital around 12:30pm, checked in and changed into one of the fabulous gowns my mom made me. When I received my first pelvic check around 1:30pm, I was 90% effaced but only 1cm dilated. It was suggested that I walk for an hour; I did and made it to 2cm dilated while also having my cervix stretched by the nurse around 3:30pm. By 5pm I had lost my mucus plug.

At around 8:30pm, I was checked again and only at 3cm dilated. The contractions were becoming pretty unbearable. I was contracting very hard and long. My body started to give up by 12:30am; I was shaking uncontrollably, trying to breath through each contraction and focus on the end goal. In four, intense hours, I only dilated another half a cm. My body was too stressed to continue making progress. I decided to get an epidural at 1:30am after about 24 hours of active labor.

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After my epidural, my body continued to progress pretty quickly to 6cm. At 5:45am, I started a pitocin drip and at 6:30am, my water finally broke.

By 10:45am, I was completely dilated. The epidural helped me to enjoy my labor by this time. I was no longer exhausted, stressed and completely drained. By 12:10pm, I was ready to push. 10 minutes later, Rian was born!

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My beautiful baby, the boy who had been in my belly for 10 months, was finally here! I couldn’t help but lose it – I bawled my eyes out when I saw him and even more when he was placed on my chest. My perfect family of two had now become a family of three.

The elation is indescribable. 35 hours of labor, the pain, the emotion – nothing seemed to exist anymore but this beautiful human being who I would now be responsible for.

I couldn’t love someone more.

My labor was long; it was a ton of waiting around by family members and slow progression on my part.

I would do it over in a heart beat to experience the moment Rian gave his first cry and hugged my neck again.

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Rian Ford Valdez
Born on March 16, 2016
Weighing 7lb 10oz, Measuring 19.5in


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Airplane Themed Baby Shower

I had an AMAZING¬†baby shower full of love. My mom and sister’s did a great job putting everything together and I wanted to share what a beautiful day it was!

Welcome Sign

Welcome Sign




In Flight Snacks



In Flight Meals



Guest Book

Travel Advice and Wishes for the Baby

Travel Advice and Wishes for the Baby


Diaper Raffle Drop Off


Party Favors





We are so blessed!


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