Fitness is a topic at the top of most resolution lists for a new year, and I bet by now most of us have already abandoned it? =)
Well, let me raise it again, in the hopes of helping you stick with it.
“Getting back into shape”… I have so many problems with that statement
#1 – I wasn’t really in shape before my pregnancy (I was just underweight), so I don’t have a shape to get back to. I have a jean size that I want to get back to =) But I’ve learned – various shapes can have the same sizes ;)
#2 – the topic of my shape was an area of dark dark depression for me in the post partum world. Finally I reached the conclusion that – I don’t have to return to my “former” body. It is ok. My body is different now, and it will forever be different. Just like I will always be a mom from now on, certain things in my body will just have to stay like this. Oh well. I don’t get paid the big bucks to be on the cover of a magazine.
#3 – A c-section greatly thwarted my fitness plans. Of course I was all about – oh, after I have this baby, I’m gonna be super fit, I’m going to own it, yeah yeah yeah… I’m going to do a separate post on this topic (the post c-section/post partum abs) stay tuned.
#4 – Pregnancy and motherhood is a hormone driven process, and many of us respond very differently to these hormones. I realized that when I saw some pre-preg pics of my mom friends who are absolutely beautiful now, and I was surprised because – they barely look like their old selves. I don’t know if I would have made the connection that they were the same person. And then there are moms that make it seem like – nothing happened. They just went and picked up this precious baby while out for their morning jog/bagel and coffee..
So – conclusion – everyone is different. Figure out something that you are comfortable with. Feel healthy, and check with your doctor before you go after those hard-core goals.
Now, about the motivation part. For a long while, doing ANYTHING for myself was difficult for me because even now I sometimes feel like – it’s selfish. I’m living for this little person now, and he doesn’t care how much I weigh, etc. My counter argument is always “a happy mom is a better mom” and that I have to be a good example. But with the limited number of hours in the day, and the never-ending sleep deficit I was dragging around – I couldn’t even imagine having some kind of work out routine.
So, I went to you guys, I asked moms that I knew were making an accent on fitness, and were still managing to be fantastic moms – how they do it. So here are their answers, hopefully they’ll help someone take charge and commit a little more to this whole “being fit” business.
1) Suggested work out times: nap times, or in the evening after the babe is in bed. For the more hard core – early in the morning, before the baby wakes up.
2) Suggested work out ideas: if you have someone (like dad) to leave baby with – you can go do pretty much whatever you want. So that’s easy. But if you don’t, you can still shed some inches and pounds and build some muscle:
- running with your jogging stroller
- do a Baby Bootcamp class
- there is a multitude of workouts with baby on youtube – where you get to interact with baby, have fun, and develop him/her physically as well. I think these are great because – the increasing weight of the baby accommodates your growing muscle ensuring a steady level of challenge for your workouts (does that make sense?). Stuff like – squats while holding your baby, tossing them up in the air, etc. You do that already, why not do a couple more reps? ;)
3) Suggestions for staying motivated:
“I set small achievable goals, and one big super goal. Whenever I don’t want to run my scheduled run, I put Ironman documentary on and get on the treadmill. I keep reminding myself that everything is possible, if you just stop feeling pitty for yourself. 80 year olds finish Ironman, people in wheel chairs, cancer survivors, horrible car crash survivors, former convicts and drug addicts, mothers with a lot of children (and no nanny)… they all do it because they put their mind to it and manage their time wisely. I highly recommend watching Ironman Kona movies, they are very inspirational. you can find them on youtube, full length for free” – yes, this mom runs marathons, can you tell? =) And following her on instagram has been a constant inspiration for me!
One mom’s husband buys her fun workout gear because he enjoys supporting the healthy habits of his wife, so – nudge, nudge, wink wink sir ;)
And another mom said this: ” I have 3 reasons to stay motivated:
a) I have a closet full of clothes that I love and that don’t fit! And I refuse to buy a whole new wardrobe. I do not feel well in my post-baby body and want to come back in shape. I did not gain that much weight during pregnancy, but breastfeeding had the opposite effect on me than it does for most moms and now I am 20 pounds heavier than I was before. Thanks, hormones!
b) When I don’t work out for whatever reason (guests, traveling, sick baby..) I feel more tired and start to slip – eating worse, getting lazy. And it gets hard to whip myself back to our usual routine. SO I try to keep up and don’t stop. Then I feel great, no matter what the scale says.
c) Through my bootcamp classes I met an amazing community of moms, all living in the area, and we keep each other motivated – we support each other in class, we keep in touch after class sharing healthy recipes and advice. Sometimes we get special challenges and home workouts from our instructors which give a fun extra push to our motivation. ”
So, bottom line – get the hubs excited about it, and get a buddy (or a few) because when it’s fun – you are more likely to stick with it! It doesn’t have to be just all about you, sweating away in silence for an hour.
And as for your stomach going away and getting back to pre-preggo shape (which is a question I’ve received recently) – it depends on too many factors for me to tell you when that will happen. It depends on your level of dedication, on how your skin handled the pregnancy, how big you got, what shape you were in before, if you’re breastfeeding or not, etc. Personally, I really don’t get why they don’t just do a tummy tuck anytime they do a c-section (also, why don’t they give you implants when they cut your boobs off in the name of cancer? Or at least make that an option, insurance should SO cover that!!!)
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