Since Harper’s birth I’ve been extremely hard on myself. To be the perfect mom, to lose the baby weight, to balance my job, daughter, husband, social life… ect. It’s not easy! Hollywood and moms on social media portray postpartum so differently than what it is actually like.
I was always fairly athletic, always active. I got very into running about five years ago and two years ago I ran my first half marathon. When I became pregnant all of my dreams had finally come true. My anxiety spiked and I did everything I could to keep myself healthy, except working out. I went from running 20 miles a week to basically going from my couch to my desk and back as the extent of my exercise for the day. I throughly enjoyed being pregnant and gave in to all of my cravings (I wanted all the carbs and chocolate). I gained 45 lbs.
I had a rough delivery and even harder recovery. I shed the first 25 lbs just from giving birth but I no longer fit in my clothes and I immediately started beating myself up.
“How do these girls I follow get back in their jeans to leave the hospital after giving birth?”
“Gisele was back in a bikini and modeling for vogue TWO MONTHS after giving birth to her second child.”
“My mom always returned to her 00 jeans after each of her 5 c-sections.”
For me, it was not as easy.
I enjoyed a long vacation with my new family weeks 6-8 postpartum. When I returned home I swore to myself I would get myself slowly back into shape. I took it slow and steady. I started a program by Moms Into Fitness. Her Postnatal Slim Down program was exactly what I needed to get back into working out little by little.
I started seeing progress right away and eventually started BBG, a program I’m working through right now.
After 7 months postpartum I’m finally fitting comfortably into all of my old jeans and back down to my prepregnancy weight. But my body will never be the same. My stomach might never be as flat as it once would, the stretch marks around my belly button will never fully fade. I have ab separation I’m still working to close, pelvic floor problems I’m trying to correct – but I love and appreciate myself even more for it. Giving birth to my daughter made me realize how strong I truly am. I’d do it a million times over if I got babies as sweet as my girl.
Below are some of my tips for any mom who is trying to get back into shape post baby – I know how tough it is!
- Start your day before your kids wake up. Mommas – you need that time for yourself. Every morning I’m up between 5-5:30 AM. I bang out my workout and then hop on the treadmill for a mile or two while I watch my shows. Have my coffee, shower, and by the time Harper wakes up around 7-7:30 AM we can have breakfast and hang out and I can enjoy our time together. I go off to work knowing that I not only already did something for myself before I start my work day, but I got to spend time with my baby girl. It is truly what gets me centered and helps me lead a productive day.
- Meal Prep. It is especially hard not to get take out now that I come home and all I want to do is spent as much time with Harper as I can before she goes to sleep. Over the last few weeks we’ve been taking time on Sundays and meal prepping for the week. We shop at Costco so much of what we buy is in bulk. We make quinoa, fresh humus, salad, protein packed pasta, grilled veggies, egg bites and put them in tupperware that we take out and use to make meals through the week. It creates a lot less stress and no thinking when it comes time to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Walk. My job requires that I sit at a desk from 9-5:30. 99% of the time I even eat lunch while I work. I’ve made it a point since I got back from maternity leave to use my lunch break to walk every day. As long as it’s not in the tempature isn’t in teens, it’s not raining, or snowing, I like to get some fresh air and get my steps every day.
- Which leads me to my next suggestion – Use a fitness tracker. I have an Apple Watch that records all of my daily activity. When I workout I use the exercise app built it. It also records my Move (calories burned every day – with a goal set), Exercise (need to hit 30 minutes a day to close the ring) – and Stand Goal (of 12 a day). Having these goals keeps me motivated. It’s a great feeling to close a ring, and an amazing feeling to close all 3. You also get awards for accomplishments as time goes on. Chris has one too and we compete against each other daily. These fun little awards keep me accountable.
- Balance. I don’t count every calorie. I let myself slip often, I don’t deprive myself. I do my best to make healthy choices, but I’m not perfect. Chris and I let ourselves have one cheat day a week where we’ll cook a fancy pasta dish, have pizza, or get take out from our favorite Indian restaurant. If I’m having a tough day I’ll come home and have a glass of wine. My balance is that if I worked out that day I feel better about myself for it. It’s all about moderation.
My most important goal is to focus on being healthy for myself and my daughter. Working out is what helps me best clear my head. I’ve become addicted to the feeling I get when I’m finished a workout.
I hope my tips help you ladies! Feel free to email or comment any questions you might have.