So, when reading this post please do the following: 1) remember I am DEFINiTELY NOT a health and wellness expert and I would never try to present myself as such, 2) remember this is simply for information and motivation, and 3) try to be kind in your judgement of this text because as a new mom you can imagine (or try to imagine) that body issues are heavy at this time!
Now, I KNOW that squeezing in time for a workout, especially with all the things going on in our lives these days (family, kids, work, pets, never-ending laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc,) can be VERY difficult. It can also contribute to your exhaustion just thinking about trying to workout! But for me, working out is a must.
I would never describe myself as a person who has a fabulous body. I never did before baby and certainly don’t feel that way after baby. But what I will say about my body is it is strong and has allowed me to do some amazing things. The thing I am most proud of is my ability to push out my 9 lb 2 oz baby boy is 12 minutes (after a very long labor)! In the delivery room, my doctor was pretty amazed and my mother said, “she worked out her whole pregnancy.” LOL!!! The importance of reflecting on that little exchange is that I don’t know if working out really helped, but I would like to think it did.
This imperfect body of mine has always been very hard earned, though. I make a constant effort to eat well and workout. This lifestyle continued before pregnancy, throughout pregnancy, and now after. While all that may have remained the same, naturally when you have a baby (and all your other remaining duties), things change a bit!
The early weeks after giving birth, I literally felt like Sponge Bob. My body was so swollen because of water retention (due to the stress of birth) that I felt like I left the hospital bigger than I was when I got there! The swelling truly just took time to surpass and waiting it out was the only option.
Regardless, soon after baby, I got moving by putting his carrier in a jogging stroller and
going for walks (we have really enjoyed the Chicco Activ3 which is compatibile with our Chicco key fit 30 infant car seat). When medically cleared to do so, my walks progressed to
run/walk combos, and then when I was really getting antsy about getting results I looked for an at home workout that was quick, intense, and provided results. I also attend a Barre class first thing on Saturday morning what it works with our schedule. If you are in the San Antonio area and you are looking for a Barre studio, I really enjoy InBalance.
Currently, the bulk of my workout is 22 Minute Hard Corps…it is short and intense! I have followed the program pretty closely and it gets me to work out 6 days a week. The max amount of time it takes for the workout if you do the optional core on the cardio days is about 33 minutes! I can honestly say it seems to be working! Side note, my husband has been a champ following the workout plan as well and has lost over 25 lbs! So, this works for everyone!
Here are some after baby things that I think would be beneficial to remember:
- Be kind to yourself and set realistic expectations.
- Pace yourself and follow medical advice.
- Be prepared for changes in bladder control! IT HAPPENS!
- Understand that your abs may feel like mush for a while (mine did and they continue to be a SERIOUS work in progress).
- If you are nursing, be prepared to feel like you have water jugs attached to your chest. Invest in a sturdy sports bra! It is a must!
- Keep it up! If you get discouraged because of slow progress, squeeze that little one(s) tight. You will quickly remember that any body struggles you may be personally dealing are worth it!
As I said, I am certainly not a fitness expert, but if this post gets one person motivated (even if it is just continued motivation for me), it has been worth the effort! As a final closer, please remember to love yourself and your body! The human body truly does some amazing things and it is always good to remember that, especially on days when we are a bit frustrated with our bodies!