I always thought that I would be my strongest self PRE-baby. Call me crazy, but my visions of life post-baby included so much to rebuild and a lot of work ahead.
Say bye to all of that hard work!
If you remember my journey before, you know that I was the epitome of a crash-dieter. It took me almost 10 years for me to get my sh** together and realize what the formula was for me to not only lose weight but to find my grove as a fitness professional myself. A selfish part of me thought to myself [when I found out I was pregnant], “Bye bye, hard work I’ve put in over the past 5 years.” So much for celebrating my little miracle, right? I had to get my mind right and take the focus off of me and shift it towards doing what my body was created for. I would have no idea that I had a lot more growth left in my soul that would blossom after being thrown into life as a new mom.
Time is precious, so you make the most of that sh**
If you’re a first-time mom like me, you were probably thinking “What the f*** just happened to my life?!” as you were thrown into sleepless nights and feeling like you were stripped of any sense of self you had left after pregnancy. It’s like you hit a wall of EVERYTHING AT ONCE without having any training manual or crash course to guide you through it. I was a good patient, listening to my doctor to wait for the go-ahead on my post-baby fitness routine. Even still, I felt like I had a long way to go without any real idea of how the pieces would all go back together with even more on my plate than I had before. Every free second I had, I had to find a way to use it!
Me first, period.
Living life post-baby, I had to realize was that I CAME FIRST. I gave myself permission to get my life together, as I like to jokingly say, before taking on each day. I was always a morning person, but 2-3 hour stints of sleep shifted any sense of routine that I had left in me. I gave myself permission to do my best and use the little time I had between the craziness to get my wiggles out. Exercise and workouts weren’t always about the external changes I wanted; they were a way for me to keep my sanity. [I discuss my journey with Postpartum depression HERE.] Whether it was waking up early or using nap times, I squeezed in workouts with and without the little one. We may have done a walk one day or I may have been able to fit in an entire 30-minute session; whatever I could take I made peace with it. As K got to be around 4-5 months, she showed me she was also into routines and we shifted to a sleeping schedule for her. I knew what time she would wake up in the morning and what her nap times were. So, I put pen to paper and made a workout schedule I was able to shift as needed but that I never gave up on. I put myself and my time up there in priorities I had to take care of within the day.
Trust the process.
From the moment you’re granted permission to workout post-baby, your body is still adjusting to life as a mother! Not only is your sleep all off, but you have to now think about letting your bones and your overall body structure get back to a place where it’s ready to work! Slow and steady is the pace, but most of us don’t want to wait! We don’t have time for that! We want that ever-elusive post-baby body Instagram picture that gets every like in the universe! That’s not reality, though, friends. What is reality is knowing that it can take up to 12 months for your joints to feel somewhat back to normal. What’s reality is allowing hormones to shift as your mind and body are still trying to get in sync together.
Take it easy and trust the process, sister.
- Check out my roundup of posts on post-baby fitness steps HERE.
Just as I was getting my groove back, just as Stella did, my life had another shake-up. I was not only in the place of being a mama for the first time, but I was also taking on the role of caregiver. How the hell was I going to do it all? All I knew to do was to pray. I’ve learned now more than ever that the only one to go to for strength through moments I feel I have NONE is God. He’s carried me through; He’s reminded me that I’m stronger than I can see right in any tough moment.
Let me break it down for you
You’ve totally got this. You’ve done harder sh** than this before, but at the moment it can feel like it’s the worst of times. I had to take a step back and also remember that if it took me almost a decade to get my fitness life together, all I had to do was the stuff what WORKED and forget the rest!
- Eat enough food for fuel; whether you’re breastfeeding or not.
- Chisel out time to workout, even if it’s in bits and pieces.
- State your goals out loud for accountability.
- Mix up your training every 6-8 weeks to stay ahead of plateaus.
- Eat REAL FOOD and avoid artificial ingredients even if you need to grab processed food on the go.
- Have grace with yourself in the moments you fail; those moments make you better in the end.
I’m NO different than anyone else on this ride after having a baby. I can’t even believe that my little one will be 2 at the end of this year and that this year is flying by. I appreciate the time I have to workout to keep myself level-headed and am motivated by the example I’m setting for my daughter. If we can teach our little ones lessons through our adversity, we’re up there as one of the top people in their lives who’ve taught them life lessons that’ll last a lifetime!