Postpartum is a MOTHER… but seriously, it is a crazy, emotional, exciting, fun, and little bit scary time in life. For me it has been an adventure to say the least. I feel like we do not do a great job talking about what it is like after you have a baby, the healing that your body goes through is rough and no one told me about that, the emotional roller coaster that comes out of no where, the fun of having this wonderful little human around, and the new dynamic that brings to life are just not discussed in great detail. It took a little time to get back into the swing of my fitness and nutrition and to really settle into my new life as a mom. I want to share 5 tips with you that have helped me regain my footing with my health and fitness, get on the road to healing my body, and dropping the pregnancy weight.
5 Tips to help you get on track and stay on track with your health and fitness postpartum.
1. Realize that you may not be starting over but you are starting from a new spot. —
I couldn’t do what I once could but I could do something. I know that after I had my daughter I was expecting to get right back to working out and just pick up where I left off. I thought that maybe I would have to take it easy for a very little while but that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I. Was. Wrong. I had to take a good amount of time off to recover and heal then take it slow when I was able to get back after it. There were moves I could not do and things that were very easy for me prior to having my baby that were not an option for me. It took time to get back to being able to work out and a few months to really be able to step it up. I had to check my ego and appreciate that I could work out, that I had a healthy baby and a healthy delivery and focus on making progress. Every day was about SMALL WINS and I celebrated EVERY SINGLE ONE.
2. Be kind to yourself but challenge yourself, and listen to your body. —
I also knew that there was a big difference between being kind to myself/taking things slow and making sure that I was challenging myself. I sometimes have a tendency to push myself too hard so I even went to a local physical therapist that specialized in postpartum care to check my abdomen and make sure that I was doing the correct amount of work to keep my pelvic floor strong and check for diastisis recti. Each time I worked out, I made sure to listen to my body and not over do it. After all, I know that if I got hurt then I would not be able to get back to my peak performance and most of all not actively enjoy the time with my daughter. It was all about finding the line between challenging myself and staying safe.
3. Stay focused on proper nutrition while you heal up. —
No matter what we can do physically we can control what we put in our mouths. I made sure to always be on point with what I was eating, not starving myself but eating good whole nutritious foods in the proper amounts. I eat clean 95% of the time. This does not mean that I do not eat delicious food, this means that I stay away from sugar and processed foods. This makes me feel good, keeps my energy up, and has helped me change my body composition. I also know that sugar spikes my anxiety and gives me mood swings so I steered clear of it during this sensitive time. Emotions were high and I didn’t need to be adding food that would make it worse.
4. Get your workout in ASAP during the day. Make it a nonnegotiable every day. —
I have been fortunate enough to be in the test group of a new program where you are supposed to start each day with your workout. I was not always a big fan of working out in the morning but since we had a child it has been a necessity for us to get it in first thing. When our daughter wakes up we feed her and then head out to the gym to get our workout in while she is full and happy. This may sound obvious but with a kid, it is vital that I maximize the time that I have to do tasks, whether it is work or working out. I know moms who are up before their kids to get their workouts done and some who go straight from work before they go home to get theirs in. It has to be a priority and it has to get done. Working out helps with mood, energy levels, and for me my confidence and feelings of productivity. It is a necessity in my life so I make it a nonnegotiable and wherever I can fit it in I do. I can’t pour from an empty cup, so taking care of me first is key!
5. Get the support and accountability that you need. From your family, your partner, a Coach, friends, or an online community. —
Accountability is key. I have the support of my husband and my SET YOUR SOUL ON FIRE COMMUNITY. They know my goals, they know what is important to me and they have the permission to keep me on track if they see me slipping. It is so hard to make a lifestyle change alone, especially with all of the new stresses and hormones of new motherhood. It is vital to have a crew and a community supporting you in your lifestyle change and it is even better if you can some people to do it with you. When I see ladies in my community getting it done, it makes me cut the excuses and get it done too. That’s how accountability works! Some times you’re the leader and other times you need motivating too! We feed off each other. We make each other better. Surround yourself with moms who push you, challenge you and are raising the bar, making you feel like a warrior not a victim.
6. Bonus: take lots of pictures/measurements and celebrate the effort and the journey (it takes time to make progress but that doesn’t mean you should stop). —
It has been my experience that the scale has not moved much but my body looks completely different. I was 180lbs the day I gave birth, I lost 20lbs initially and the scale hasn’t budged since. In the 5 months I’ve been on this journey, the scale hasn’t moved AT ALL but my body has obviously changed a lot! If I had not taken a lot of pictures and was just relying on the scale then I would be bummed about my progress because we rarely see the changes in ourselves. Please take stock in how far you’ve come every day and don’t be hard on yourself. Being a mom is hard enough, no need to add in the unneeded pressure of “bouncing back.” You are better now than you’ve ever been, be proud of all you’re accomplishing every day because being a mom is the best job anyone can have.