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When I find out I was pregnant with our now 5 month old son it was one of the best days of my life. We had been trying for 2-1/2 years and had just returned from a beach vacation. I had so many exciting thoughts about the future of our lives. Like most parents I looked forward to the tiny baby kicks during pregnancy, the joy of baby’s first solid foods, and watching them meet each milestone. I thought “eh, it can’t be that hard.” I’ll just nap when the baby naps. We’ll sleep train right away and have a baby who sleeps through the night by 6 weeks. I’ll go for jogs outside or early morning home workouts in the living room. Let me just tell you it has went nothing like that and that is ok.
Throughout my entire pregnancy I only gained 17 pounds. That was intentional…sort of. I sucked it up in the beginning and ate a lot of McDonald’s french fries and pizza and it showed. Those 17 pounds? I had gained them all by the end of my first trimester. I knew I could not keep going like that but I was SOOO tired. I would come home from work and sleep on the couch until bedtime. I think my husband ate hot dogs for dinner every night for 3 months straight.
The fog started to clear as I entered my second trimester. I had a little bit more energy so I was able to eat a little healthier and get back into working out. You see, in the 18 months prior to getting pregnant I had lost 50 pounds. By eating healthy and being intentional about exercising I had adopted some healthy habits. It made it that much easier to get back on the train when I knew I needed to make some changes. I already had a good knowledge base to help me. From that point on I was committed to being healthier. My goal was to keep my pregnancy weight gain under 25 pounds. Up until the day I went into labor I was still doing some form of exercise on a regular basis. I was pretty uncomfortable for the last 2 weeks so some days it was yoga, a prenatal workout, or a short walk around Target. It wasn’t my usual routine but it was what I could do in that season. I was ok with that. I would get back into my old routine once the baby was here.
Our son is 5 months old now and I am not back into my “old” routine. Rather, I have a new routine. My life is completely different now so I can’t expect it to look the same as it did before. Nutrition and exercise is still very important to me. By keeping my nutrition in check I have managed to lose the baby weight plus 15 extra pounds.
Each season of my life takes some tweaking to find the things that work for me. This season of being a new mom definitely had some challenges but through some trail and error I have settled on a handful of things that keep me active throughout this season. Each day has a certain ebb and flow to it. In reality it’s simple but it is not easy. It doesn’t have to be some crazy ridiculous workout if that doesn’t work for your season. Just move your body intentionally for about 30 minutes a day. That is all it takes to get your heart rate up and blood flowing. These are the things that I am finding work especially well for me now. It doesn’t take fancy equipment or going to a gym. You have everything you need to get started right now.
We have the perfect neighborhood for a walk. It is quiet without a lot of traffic. The layout is perfect so that I am never more than 3-4 minutes from home if the baby just isn’t feeling it that day. Each full lap is about 10 minutes so I tell myself I only have 3 laps and I’m done.
Mommy and me exercises
My son loves these. Especially riding on my legs through tabletop crunches and my hips through glute bridges. I count out loud, kiss him, tickle him, and just play with him as we go through about 10 or so moves. As long as we’re both tolerating it we keep going. You can find so many different options on pinterest just by searching mommy and me exercises. Exercise is compoundable so even if it’s in 5 minute increments as long as you get it all in throughout the day its counts.
I hate to say this but I used to think that yoga was for grandmas or lazy people. But after practicing it myself I am amazed at 80 year olds who can move their bodies in ways I can’t even wrap my brain around. Get it, grandma. There are plenty of free youtube videos and graphics out there to help you get started.
Two years ago when I started my health journey I subscribed to Beachbody on Demand. This is a program that gives you 24/7 access to all of the Beachbody workouts and trainers without having to pay for their entire program. They have something for everyone. Prenatal and postnatal workouts, lifting programs, yoga and pilates, cardio. You name it, they’ve got it. I am not able to fit one of these in all the time but when I find myself with extra energy and time I’ll pick one out and get as far as I can before the baby wakes up. Something is better than nothing. I always feel great afterwards.
My days don’t look the same as they did before but neither does my life and I am ok with that. I do what works for me and my family. I’ll be honest there are some days that I don’t get in much at all and that’s ok too. There is a balance to my life. Overall I work towards being happy and healthy. What that looks like is up to you. It has taken up until now to finally feel like I have a good routine down. Until my son has been this side of the womb longer than he was on the inside my expectations are pretty low. I just keep giving myself grace and doing what works for us right now.
I am more happy with my body post baby than I was before. I am so much more comfortable in everyday life. I have less aches and pains. I am more comfortable in my clothes. My skin has become more healthy. I am overall in the best shape of my life. I’m no Jillian Michaels but I am working towards being the best me I can be and that is all I expect of myself. It is a process and a journey that will last a lifetime. It has ups and downs. But as a whole I am constantly improving. It seems to be working pretty well.