The Mommy-tummy Movement

Postpartum body 1 - Joanna Venditti

Reflecting on this past year, I am realizing that it has been one of self-discovery. Never in a million years would I have been able to wrap mind mind around the wild year I have had. This includes being part of this exciting body-after-baby movement that has happened.

In some ways the hype has baffled me. Maybe that is just because I have always been an open book. But one thing I can say for sure, after being raw, open and honest with the world about my body’s journey, I find myself much more relaxed in my own skin.

Head to Yummy Mummy Club to read more about my thoughts on the postpartum body hype as well as my own body: Body After Baby: What’s All The Fuss About?

Restaurants, Routine Disruption And Why I’m Not Settling

After an entire week of eating well and taking care of myself, it was time to go away to a work conference. Leading up to going away, I was eating a lot of fresh, balanced meals. I was feeling satisfied, my gut was happy and my last bit of baby weight was starting to melt off.IMG_9123

I was feeling really good. My jeans were fitting better and I splurged for a few new outfits. Shopping wasn’t even that traumatizing. I was able to try on clothes and not feel discouraged.New outfits

From the moment I left on my little trip, I found I had two problems. The first was I was so busy and caught up in the excitement, that I barely took the time to eat healthy snacks or drink enough water. The second, was the pastas, lobster tails, and bacon were all there, ready to be eaten. Not being in control of preparing my own meal, put my self-control to the test. By the time breakfast lunch or dinner rolled around, I was stuffing my face.

Luckily, I mostly found myself reaching for protein and skipping the sugary carbs, but all of the food was very rich.

I did have my moments of self discipline, where I said no to a treat or dessert here and there. FYI I have a huge sweet tooth, so this was big for me.TemptationThese types of treats would typically be my downfall, but I turned my chair away and didn’t indulge!

By the end of my trip I had completely given in and found myself ordering meals that I would never eat at home. BreakfastLuckily my eyes were bigger than my stomach that morning and I only ate half of what is shown here.

Coming home, I have been relieved to find out I only gained one pound while I was away. I have gotten back into making healthy meals again, and I am slowly getting back into incorporating exercise into my daily routine.Healthy pasta salad

I am still on the journey to regain strength lost from my twin pregnancy, and tone the parts of me that are a little softer than I’d like. I have learned how to dress for my new body, and quite frankly, I love who I am right now.

But I also feel that my body deserves more. It has done so much for me. It has created these four beautiful humans and now it is time to give back to it. My tummy after four kidsI am definitely learning that for me, the hardest part to losing the baby weight and living a healthy lifestyle is not letting myself get derailed. I know the right foods to eat, and I know what exercises fit my lifestyle and help me see results.

I will not settle. I just need to continue to keep my eye on the prize, be patient with myself, and make sure my wellness journey comes from a kind place.

Mom life

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Stopping The Stress Eating Cycle

Stopping the stress eating cycle 2From close to my weight-loss goal (left) through gaining seven pounds (center) to losing six pounds.

Truth time. After rocking my healthy lifestyle like a champ at the beginning of the summer, and being within arms reach of my goal weight, I sabotaged my weigh-loss success. Stress hit in the form of my daughter going through the fretful fours, being too busy and my twin toddlers, well, being toddlers. So, true to form, I stress ate. Me stressed

This is a photo of me stressed. So hot right?

I hid, and avoided blogging about my body after babies journey. It wasn’t like I was reaching for junk food, I was just eating, and eating, and eating to comfort myself. Unfortunately, I am just barely five-foot-two, so basically a hobbit, which means if I even smell a dessert, I gain two pounds.gained weightThat smile on my face is very fake. If you ever see that smile, you know I am fake smiling at you. 

I was starting to think I should write a blog post about how it is normal for your weight to fluctuate after having babies, which it is, but that felt like I was throwing in the towel.

So, a week ago, I looked around at our home that was full of sick kids (’tis the season) feeling stressed out of my gourd. I was about to reach for a tablespoon full of peanut butter (yes, that is my vice, my sister’s too, so I can’t be that weird) and I voice in my head said “step away from the peanut butter Joanna.” So I did.

You see, I have been stuck in a vicious cycle. Our stress dies down, I get on track with eating healthy and exercising and then BOOM! Normal family stress hits and I start saying to myself “you deserve this.” Then I feel horrible physically and emotionally and get twice as stressed as I really should.

After I walked away from the peanut butter I hopped on my blog for advice, something that I actually don’t do that often. I re-read a couple of my posts that I wrote when I was in a good-place and was immediately reminded that I too, deserve to take care of myself and I don’t always have to go down with the ship.

So, for the last week I have gone back to eating healthy, and exercising when I can, without over-thinking it. I have lost almost six pounds since making this decision.

Here is the hard part, keeping the momentum. So, I am going to blog every Wednesday about my wellness journey. I hope that this will help hold me accountable. I debated about calling it “weight-loss Wednesdays” but I want to be able to cover everything, including my struggles with anxiety.

Here is the best part, I am what some may call an over-sharer. In fact, there are times in conversations that Mike will shoot me a look and tap his nose, meaning “reel it in a bit with the details Joanna.” That is why blogging is such a perfect fit for me. I really don’t give AF.

So, I will share every gritty detail, every pound, every photo.

Want to join in on the conversation? I’d love to hear all about your journey in the comments below or on Facebook.

Stay tuned…

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I Have Found The Most Comfortable Bra In The World

Trying on bras at Victoria's SecretTrying on bras at Victoria’s Secret, embracing the red-light-district-esque lighting.

My boobs have been through a lot. I have breastfed four babies, including tandem nursing twins. They have grown and shrunk through three pregnancies and have ranged in size any where from a B-cup to a D-cup. Now that I am finished having babies, it was time to find the right bra.

When it comes to bras, comfort is number one. I bought my first bra near the end of elementary school. I was an early-bloomer and had to shop for support from an early age. But up until recently, I never found a bra that fit me like a glove, was flattering and really comfortable. I would always put up with a bra while at school, and then at work, later in life. Then, as soon as I walked through the door, the first thing I would do was whip off that bra, and enjoy freedom within the comfort of my home.

brasI recently made the decision to set out to find the most comfortable bra in the world. I would occasionally think I had come close, but then the nagging pinch from an underwire or crease from a strap would drive me out of my mind. That was until I found it, the Body By Victoria – Demi Bra, from Victoria’s Secret (no, this is not a sponsored post).

Body by Victoria bra

This bra has everything! It’s low cut, has light memory foam for extra support, it conforms to my curves and rounds out and perks up my boobs without making me look like a hooker. The best feature: it is made out of nylon/spandex that makes it super soft and stretchy. This bra is actually more comfortable than a sports bra! It comes in smooth nude fabrics, great for wearing under a T-shirt as well as some sexier lace designs, perfect for date night with Mike!

Tip: make sure you follow your gut when finding the right fit. I have been measured as a 34C many times in bra shops, and against my best judgement, went with that size. Sure enough I would find myself with bras that are too tight around my ribs and gaping in the boob section. I know from actually trying bras on, I am a 36B. So, this time, although I was once again told I was a 34C, I put my foot down and went with a 36B. Heaven. Pure heaven.collage bras

Even if this isn’t YOUR perfect bra, I highly recommend that you keep looking until you find a bra that fits you right. It will completely change your mood, give you more patience with your family and increase your confidence!

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I Bought My First Bikini Since Having Four Kids

Mom in a bikini 1

I had planned on doing this, and blogging about it for a few months now. I finally decided to pull the trigger. Once taking these photos I held onto them for about a week debating whether or not to post them. I spoke to Mike about it, and he said if I feel comfortable, then he doesn’t mind. I made the decision mostly for myself, as part of my journey of accepting and loving my body after having three pregnancies, (one being a twin pregnancy), and celebrating what it is today.

After having my twins one year ago, I had thrown the towel in when it came to wearing a bikini. I started to have this mentality that my body was, (although bouncing back incredibly well after having four kids), not perfect enough for a bikini. I thought I was too old at age 32 and that it would be inappropriate to be wearing a bikini at this stage in life.

But recently, I was in the presence of some incredibly beautiful mothers of all ages and all sizes while they confidently sported their bikinis. Here I was, covered up with a tankini and long flowy pants. These women were glowing, despite their stretch marks, or curves left over from having children.  I felt envious of their confidence. My entire life, I have always been inclined to cover up. Even before having children.

I have no problem wearing tight fitting clothing that doesn’t hide my curves, but I started to realize, while I was sitting among these brave women, that I really had a problem showing skin. Right then and there I decided that I would venture back into a bikini.

mom in a bikini 3

When I finally found THE bikini, I forced myself out of the comfort of the private change room and took a photo in the store… this was a BIG deal.

I have been working hard at losing all of the baby weight after giving birth to my twins, I am really happy with my body, not forgetting what it went though not too long ago. I am not quite at my fitness goal, and I am making sure I am losing the weight slowly and purposely. I don’t want to do any kind of “quick fix”. I am making a lifestyle change.

I made the decision to splurge and get a bikini now, and to stop putting it off until I reach my weight-loss goals. I want to celebrate the skin I am in.

Mom in final bikini

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