Hi friends! Have you been itching for some movement and activity since you’ve been locked in the house? As I’ve scrolled down my Instagram feed I’ve seen tons of workout posts encouraging folks to stay active, trainers offering live workout classes, and other tips and tricks. And get this ya’ll… It’s all for FREE! So, of course I’ve been taking advantage of EVERYTHING! So, here is my big THANK YOU to all the fitness pros out there for all your freebies!
So, let’s get into today’s post. Today I’m going to share a little bit about my pre-and-post pregnancy fitness journey since my body has gone through some pretty extreme changes in the last two years.
And, just in case you were wondering…. NO, I was not blessed with the snap-back. What is a snap-back you ask? Well, essentially it is a word used to describe when a woman’s body returns back to its original size & shape in a short period of time after she has given birth. While I was pregnant I hoped I would be like some of the other mamas on my social media timelines, and would get to experience the snap-back, but unfortunately, this was not the case.
When I turned 30 and stopped taking my birth control because my husband and I decided we would “just see what happens”, I decided it would probably be a good idea to start losing the extra 40 lbs I gained after moving to Nebraska. As a person who had no real experience with going to the gym, working out, or changing my diet all of this was uncharted territory. So, I started going to the gym on my own and cutting back on fast food, but wasn’t satisfied with the results I made in the first month. I wanted immediate results… I mean is it really unreasonable to want a six pack after spending one day doing a killer ab routine???
Since I wasn’t getting the results I wanted going at it alone, I teamed up with one of my sorority sisters and started working out with her and a personal trainer who provided diet/nutrition tips, along with two 30 minute workout sessions per week. In addition to working with a trainer I started attending two majorette style workout classes per week. This was a huge change to my original routine because working out with others means I was being held accountable.
And a month and a half later ya girl lost 15 lbs. I was beyond excited because I was halfway there… just 20 lbs away from my overall goal.
…And then I got pregnant…
As soon I started making progress I got pregnant. Since I wanted to remain active and was focused on improving my overall health I continued to work out with my sorority sister & trainer, and still attended my workout classes until I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. Towards the end of my pregnancy I started experiencing round ligament pain which made it extremely difficult to workout.
Up until I was 30+ weeks pregnant I wasn’t concerned about returning to my pre-baby weight. I mean from all the articles I read as long as I continued to workout & stay active I would be good. So, I figured I would just snap-back to my previous size without any problems… Boy was I WRONG! Throughout the majority of my pregnancy I gained approximately 10 lbs. But during weeks 30+ something changed, and I ended up gaining a total of 50 lbs by the time my son was born. I don’t know about you, but I thought that was a significant amount of weight to put on in such a short amount of time.
I don’t know all the science behind how or why some women snap-back instantly and others do not. But as the end of my pregnancy drew near I was pretty bummed because I knew there was no way I was going to snap-back. There was no way I was going drop 50 lbs like that, and to make matters worse all of the reading I did while I was pregnant set me up for even more disappointment. All of these articles had me thinking once I subtracted the weight of the baby, extra blood/fluid, placenta, and after birth I was going to be at least 15 lbs lighter when I came home from the hospital… WRONG AGAIN! A week after I came home I stepped on the scale and to my surprise I was only 8 lbs lighter. Want to guess how much my baby weighed? 8 lbs 1 oz… Yup! I literally just lost the baby weight!
If you’re currently pregnant, recently postpartum, or if you’re a year or two into this motherhood thing I would like to encourage you to show yourself and your body some grace. I’ve mentioned in another post that a seasoned mama encouraged me to show my body an extensive amount of grace. I didn’t understand the magnitude of her words until after I gave birth to Remy, but as women our bodies are pretty incredible and can do some amazing things.
So, if you weren’t blessed with the snap-back it’s not a big deal. Neither was I. It took me almost a year to lose my baby weight, and once I was able to do that I decided to tackle the goals I set for myself when I turned 30. I know it’s a whole two years later, but I finally did it! And I’m so proud of myself! My body definitely looks A LOT different now than it did when I was this size 12 years ago (gosh I sound old) but I’m okay with that and I hope you will be too.
Since I’ve been asked here and there about what I’ve done to get in shape I wanted to share some tips. Of course everyone is different and we may have different goals so what may have worked for me may not work for you.
Please keep in mind that I am not a expert in diet, exercise, or nutrition and am only recommending what worked for me.
Wear a Spanx: I was encouraged by my mom and friend to wear a girdle or spanx as soon as I returned home from the hospital to help “flatten everything back out”. So, that’s what I did. I know some women prefer postpartum girdles or waist trainers, but I preferred a spanx. It fit nicely underneath my clothes and extended all the way from right underneath my chest to the top of my knee.
Cardio: Do not under estimate the power of walking. The first type of physical activity I incorporated back into my workout routine was walking. Walking is a low impact activity that my doctor encouraged me to engage in shortly after having Remy. Due to receiving stitches and being concerned about healing I didn’t start walking until after my 6 week appointment. But when I did it was so helpful. Getting outside for at least 30 minutes a day not only helped physically but mentally as well. Also, walking is a easy activity to do with others. Go with your spouse, family member, or friend. A mom friend and I started meeting up once a week for lunch and to take our babies on a walk. And once Remy got older I started taking him to the gym where I would spend 30 minutes on the exercise bike while he napped.
Diet: As long as I’m cooking my diet is pretty decent, but I wanted to be even more mindful about what I was putting in my body. And since I LOVE food I’m constantly mixing it up. I like it all! Meat, vegetarian, vegan, and pescatarian options. And as a special bonus I have a friend who is an amazing cook and also vegan who showed me that just because its vegan doesn’t mean that its bland. Her food is so good and packs a ton of flavor. Along with mixing up my options I decreased the amount of bread I was taking in, but I still struggle when it comes to cornbread… I mean its cornbread, who can really resist that.
Accountability partners: Accountability is huge for me. Unfortunately, due to my move I was no longer able to work out with my trainer and sorority sister. But luckily around the same time some of my college girlfriends and I decided to hold each other accountable. We encouraged each other, shared meals, workouts, and made regular check ins. Our check ins have slowed down a lot lately, but this played a major role in keeping me on track in the beginning.
Fitness tracker: I’m a visual person so using a fitness tracker was extremely helpful. I used the free version of My fitness pal to log my meals, workouts, and to stay connected to my accountability buddies. As long as you’re being honest and not lying to the app it can be a really big help. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself though, some days you may reach your goals and others you may not.
In home workouts: Since our move it’s been hard to make it to the gym regularly. So, thank goodness for in home workouts. I’m attracted to in home workouts that are not only quick but effective. 30 minutes is my sweet spot because I can get a good sweat in, and Remy seems to get a kick out of it too. He enjoys being the added weight when I do squats, glute bridges, planks, push ups, etc. And another plus is most in home workouts require little to know equipment. My “at home gym” consists of a few items in a basket in my living room, which is pretty tiny but has actually grown over the year. So, if you’re in the market for in home workouts here are my favorite fitness pages on Instagram: Ivanas Fitness, Sweatsisters, Lifestyle.Nette, Brittnebabe (her Vol. X, 21 day challenge is fire), and Diary of a Fit Mommy.
Try something new: Don’t be afraid to experiment and try a new activity once or twice. *Inserts shameless yoga plug*. I suggest trying this new activity at least 2 times because my first yoga attempt was a at home video and a complete bust. I was so lost. But about 3 months ago I was invited to a yoga class and fell in love. If you’re looking to ground yourself mentally & emotionally while moving your body I highly recommend giving yoga a try. Now that I’ve gotten some basic concepts down I’ve given the at home videos a try again. If you go on YouTube I recommend Yoga by Adrienne and Sarah Beth yoga (she also has a app). Im pretty sure this won’t be the last time I write about yoga so I’ll keep you posted on some other channels I’ll be trying out this week.
And there you have it! Those are my tips. The changes in your body won’t happen overnight but if you’re consistent I’m sure you’ll notice a difference. So, whether you were blessed with the snap-back or not, please be kind to yourself and remember to show yourself grace.
How did you get active after having your little one? Let me know in the comment section below. And don’t forget, if you like what you’ve read please subscribe, like and share the blog with a friend.
If you need any additional support as you navigate motherhood schedule a 15-minute consultation with Patience today. You are not alone mama.
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