I remember so vividly that first attempt at working out after having my son– and it was so hard and I felt like a different person! I had waited ten weeks instead of six just to be sure everything had healed up. I had a pretty “easy” delivery (is there such a thing?!) and had stayed really active throughout my pregnancy, but very gingerly dipped my to back into the fitness pool since even at ten weeks post-partum I was sore, leaky, and things weren’t exactly how they used to be. Add to that not sleeping through the night and trying to actually find time to do something for myself before a tiny human started crying and I wasn’t sure how I could ever get back in shape!
***I want to pause here and say that this is just what worked for me– everyone is obviously different at where they are at physically, what they like to do, and how their lifestyle is***
A couple things that really helped me get back in a routine and actually get in better shape than before are below:
- Have grace for yourself. You literally just pushed a human being out of your body that you carried around for almost ten months. Don’t look at the magazine covers of the post-baby body two weeks after birth, or get so focused on regaining your shape. This is a time for healing, rest, and getting to know this little person! I promise you’ll come out of the newborn haze.
- Take it slow. Even though I didn’t “have” to wait past six weeks, I knew that my body needed more time to rest. If you over-do it on exercise too early, you can cause more trauma to those tender areas, plus sports bras don’t always feel the most comfortable right away! Let your body do its thing. Fuel it with healthy foods and if you’re able to go on walks do that! You can start slow and ease into things.
- Be flexible but determined. Some days I worked out first thing in the morning, other times it was at ten o’clock at night– a two month old doesn’t always have the best sense of timing, so until our schedule got more set, I fit in workouts when I could. However, I would try to always get them done before I went to bed. I could tell how much better I felt about myself, and my arms and back needed to be stronger as my baby got bigger, so it was worth taking those 30 minutes to do it!
- Eat healthy food! If you’re breastfeeding, you’re going to be hungry and thirsty!!! At one point I literally ate half a tub of ice cream in one sitting (not my proudest moment, but it was what was handy). Nutrition is such a HUGE part of your results, but also really helps as you’re feeding another person too. Even if you can’t fit in workouts as often as you want, fueling your body with nutritious foods will get you well on your way to results. I made sure to have lots of fruits and veggies on hand, and for me the 21 Day Fix containers were a lifesaver as well as Shakeology since it was a fast and easy meal I could grab (once the ice cream was gone, right?!)
- Include your baby. There are so many Mommy and Me workouts you can find, or go on a run with your stroller, or do squats while you’re holding him. I would a lot of times have him laying on a blanket and talk to him while I did my workout which he seemed to like as well.
- Find accountability. When I first started working out again, my friend (and boss!) was getting married and we would meet up at 5:30 every morning for a couple months and do the 30 Day Shred together. It was really helpful to have someone else who was counting on me to be there and I was able to go after Caleb had nursed for an early feeding and then went back to sleep for a few hours. After that, I did the 21 Day Fix and an accountability group, which was literally a game changer for my health and fitness all around, and got me the results I had been looking for years for. This is one of the reasons that I LOVE running my own groups now and being able to pay it forward!
- Have a reason. This will be different for everyone, but for me, it was going back to work six weeks post-partum. I had to fit back into my work clothes relatively quickly and it was a great incentive to get back into shape. If it’s not going back to work for you, maybe it’s an event, or even a new outfit you get to motivate you!
- Be patient. You’ve heard the saying that it took nine months for your body to change, so it will take at least that long for it to change again? It’s true! Even though I was in a great routine and eating really well, it wasn’t until Caleb turned one and I was done nursing that the last of the baby weight left. But when it did, results came so quickly because I had already done the work and established healthy habits. So even if you don’t see the results you want right away, know that it takes time and your work will pay off!
If you’re looking for some extra support and encouragement on YOUR fitness journey, I would love to get you more info on my next support and accountability group. Fill out the form below to be considered for a spot!