Good thing babies are so darn cute! After nine months of creating this gorgeous human being we are then left looking at our self in the mirror asking,
“Who is that person staring back at me? That used to be tighter and those used to be higher.”
I always felt as if being a personal trainer made it ten times harder when entering the real world after having my gorgeous daughters. Everyone expects you to be in tip top shape at all times. Perhaps this was my own perceptions, insecurities and raging hormones. After having my first daughter in February 2011, I had convinced myself that the baby weight would just fall right off. I was a personal trainer who worked out until I was 7 months pregnant and I just knew it would fall off. Well, to my surprise, that didn’t happen. I should also mention that I was not one of those teeny tiny pregnant women. At delivery I stood 5 feet three inches tall and 175 pounds. I had gained a total of 45 pounds. I know what you are thinking, “That is a lot she had to be lying about working out.” Unfortunately, I did workout as much as my pregnant body would allow, but I still gained 45 pounds. The first 25 pounds took a couple weeks. It was great! I would wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and I instantly looked smaller. Soon enough that instant weight loose stopped and I was left with a stubborn 25 pounds that insisted on staying attached to my hips and stomach. It was time for me to start kicking my own butt.
With a newborn finding the motivation and energy is a constant struggle. Between learning how to be a mom, sleeping a couple hours a night and healing from a life changing experience, we now throw in the challenge of losing weight. Even for those of us that love to workout it is still difficult to juggle.
In my journey I found a few things that helped me on my path to lose the dreaded baby weight. Here are some tips that helped me get back to my new mommy body:
1. Redefine a workout: Pre-motherhood we are able to walk into a gym, put in our headphones and exercise until we needed to crawl out the door. There was no rush to get home and no one waiting and depending on us when we walked in the door. As mothers we have to redefine what a workout looks like. Sometimes on a lucky day we can get in an hour of exercise, uninterrupted, but realistically most days we get 30 minutes filled with interruptions, potty breaks, diaper changes, snack time, etc. Every little bit counts. Don’t over analyze or try to predict how many times you will get interrupted because you are defeating yourself before you even get started. Plan your workout knowing that there will be interruptions, take them in stride and then jump right back into your workout. Something is always better than nothing!
2. Say NO to nap time workouts: I know, most of us just starting out would tell our friends, “Just workout at nap time.” In the beginning I had this grand plan that I was going to put my daughter down for a nap and then I could get in a great hour workout. The truth was that after a couple days of this a much needed nap out weighted the motivation for a workout. Sleep to a new mother is like finding gold. If we have the opportunity to nap, take it! I never recommend to clients to workout at nap time because it is not a realistic expectation. Find another time in the day to exercise with your child, which brings us to the last and final tip.
3. Workout with your child: Whenever I tell clients to bring their children I get a very confused look. The typical response is, “Are you crazy? My child will get into everything and there is no way I will get a good workout.” As moms we have a million things to do and workout is usually squeezed into our schedule and we try and finish it ASAP. We rush, loose form and potentially can injure ourselves. When we involve our children we are not only bonding and creating memories, we are also instilling memories of a healthy active lifestyle. We are able to slow down, cherish the moment and by default get in an hour workout that was really fun.
Our little ones grow up too quickly! During pregnancy we gripe and complain about all the aches and pains and just pray that the baby hurries up. After they are here we pray for time to slow down because they grow like weeds. We have an opportunity to make lasting memories with our children. By starting to exercise with them young we not only help in their growth and development but we also create a stronger bond between mother and baby. I started working out with my oldest daughter when she was about 3 months old. Now at 3 years old she is a little mini trainer. She can do an entire hour long workout, with good form and still enough energy left to tell me I have to finish with a run. Following these few simple tips has created an undeniable bond with my little mini me. Don’t get me wrong, we still have our workout interruptions but with my redefined definition of a workout I don’t mind.
As moms we can do it all it just takes a little time to plan ahead. Don’t forget, moms sweat too!