Our postpartum bodies are so different. It amazes me the differences I see and feel. At first, I didn't like it. I knew what I was getting in to but at the same time to see my body so different was hard. My belly was and is still so soft. I actually had slight diastasis recti after giving birth, too. I didn't even know where to start to getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I had gained about 30 lbs during my pregnancy but also was not happy where I was weight-wise before I got pregnant.
I was cleared to work out after my 6 week postpartum appointment but didn't even know where to start. I felt so loose, weak, and my tailbone was still pretty bruised. I also didn't want to make my diastasic recti worse. Plus, what mama has time to workout!? I was excited at the prospect of "getting my body back" but was also overwhelmed. I decided to make a small plan for myself though that started me out really slow and see how it went.
I slowly got back in to being physical and made it a point to make time for myself to workout. There was plenty of ups and downs at the beginning and I would go through periods where I wouldn't work out for weeks. But after my bout of PPD, I knew I needed to change something. I knew I needed to get healthy not just for Kai, but for myself. I lost a significant amount of weight when I was struggling with PPD and it was not healthy at all. After getting the help I needed, I tried to look at the silver lining of it all that I had lost a good amount of weight and the number was almost where I wanted it to be. I would never encourage anyone to lose weight by not eating and letting anxiety run their life though. It made EVERYTHING worse. So please mamas, if this is something you are struggling with please seek the help that you need. No shame. I'm here. Your doctor is here. Whoever, you need, please turn to them.
From there though I realized I needed to appreciate myself so much more. I stopped working out to lose weight and instead started working out because my beautiful body deserves to move and be loved. By changing this mind set and doing workouts that I truly enjoy, it changed everything. I love working out now. I'm disappointed when I miss a workout. I crave it now. I'm so proud of myself when I look in the mirror and see how far I've come. To me it's a moot point but I know numbers are easier to grasp for some so here it is...I've lost all 30 lbs of my baby weight plus another 10 lbs to get myself back to where I've been wanting to be for a long time. All my clothes fit again...even things that didn't fit prior to my pregnancy. But mostly, I feel good and to me that's what's most important about beginning my fitness journey.
So I wanted to share with you all how I got back in to a good fitness regimen after having Kai all the way through up to where I am at now.
*Week 1 meaning from the time I started working out again, not postpartum weeks. I wanted to state this in weeks of the journey, not postpartum because we are all ready to begin working out again at different times in our postpartum journey.
I go to yoga on Sundays and Thursdays and go running on Mondays. Monday and Thursdays are my work from home days, so going to workout is the perfect way for me to get out of the house for those days. I am currently still on the 1 mile run and 2 moderate level yoga classes phase of this journey. I was actually up to running 2 miles once a week, but after my dad passed away, I just wasn't getting my workouts in. As much as I want to believe I can run further than that, it's important that I don't rush that part of exercising. When you give birth, your pelvic floor becomes very very weak and your hips/back are very out of whack. If I miss too many runs, I back to track to 1 mile again. My philosophy is 3 weeks at a time. After 3 weeks of being consistent with a workout, I feel that I can bump it up to the next level. This has been a nice steady incline of workouts for myself to where I'm not overdoing it but at the same time not staying stagnant for too long. I was very active when I was younger and can tend to push myself too hard sometimes so it has been very hard not to do that now. It's so important though to give yourself grace and time to get back to where you want to be from a physical standpoint though...you did give birth to a human after all! Our bodies need a lot of time to heal. Exercising can actually help with this but overdoing it with exercise can make things much worse. It's about finding that balance and I believe the schedule up above was perfect for me in finding that balance. Like I've said, I feel better than ever these days! I feel good from the inside out and feel like I look it too whenever I look at myself in the mirror. So I encourage all of you to find that schedule that works for you, too. Know that it does take some sacrifice, but it's worth it. It makes me sad to give up my Sunday mornings snuggling Kai and reading to him before his morning nap to go to yoga, but at the same time I need that time for me. It makes me sad to not have dinner with Kai and Caleb after work on Thursday nights, especially because I have to go in to the office on Fridays, but I know I need that break to go to yoga for my own sanity. I do have mom guilt for even taking 3 hours a week for myself to do these workouts, but it's only 3 hours. Kai will be ok and I'm better for it. So mamas, pick out some time for yourself, do what you enjoy, and start slow! If you have any questions or need any advice or motivation I am always here for you!
The only thing I want you all to know and remember is, please do not workout prior to your doctor or midwife clearing you for it after giving birth. It is very important to rest those first 6 to 8 weeks or longer if recommended by your doctor or if you just simply need it yourself.
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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