I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here.
Pregnancy is not kind to the female body.
That can be hard to be okay with at times. Very few women are immediately okay when they are covered in stretch marks and left with more fat and flab than they started with. That’s okay to admit. I’m not comfortable with my body right now.
I should be. As my husband always reminds me, I grew a human. I spent 9 months, almost to the day, nourishing and growing a beautiful little person into an 8lb 3oz baby. I gained 35 pounds on my tiny frame to support him. No, I’m not going to look the same after. I now have the body of someone that did all of that. And that should be celebrated.
- Easier said than done.
- I do not feel healthy.
I want my pre-pregnancy body back. I do. I’m not going to get it back. Let’s be honest. All the stretch mark cream in the world isn’t going to be able to eliminate what gaining 35 pounds entirely on my stomach does to the skin. I’m taking gelatin every day, but I’m not expecting it to magically give me the stomach of my 21-year-old self. So I’m working on accepting that.
A big part of that is getting healthy again. Over the past year, my health has slipped drastically as I have hung out in survival mode. From a transatlantic move to first trimester nausea to another transatlantic move to 3 months away from my husband to 3rd trimester exhaustion to postpartum recovery and caring for a newborn, I’ve just been surviving. Not working out, not eating well, and not feeling very good.
If I can just get healthy again, I know it will go a long ways towards feeling good about my body again.
Postpartum Fitness – How I am Getting My Health Back
So what does getting healthy look like?
First, good nutrition.
My nutrition has been pathetic for about a year. The one time I tried to clean it up, I found out I was pregnant 3 days earlier and was too nauseous for anything other than crackers, potatoes, cheese, and meat by the end of the first week. I couldn’t even stomach bone broth. When I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, things got a bit better. But by the end it became about the numbers. A cheese and cracker plate or a protein bar was just as acceptable as a bunless burger with veggies.
It’s been so long and we are on such a tight budget, I’m taking it really slow. At the moment, as I continue to adjust to a newborn, a workout schedule, getting back to work, and moving to a new house in a couple weeks, I’m not making any grand gestures with my food. Right now, it’s just real food. Nothing processed, no ingredients I don’t recognize. I’m eliminating sugar as well, since my body reacts horribly to it. I’m not beating myself up over a cheat once or twice a week, but I am really trying to stick to this.
Slowly I am also working on increasing my vegetables and protein. This is important for my health, my baby’s health, and my ability to recover from my workouts. Over time, I will be intentional about creating nutrient dense meal plans for myself. Until then, I am just grabbing what is in the fridge or freezer that is free of sugar and questionable ingredients.
Next, postpartum exercises.
Before I go any further, I want to emphasize that I check myself for diastasis recti before beginning this program. If you have diastasis recti, make sure that your fitness focuses are repairing the separation first.
Once I ensured that my abdominal muscles had closed enough and I got the “okay” from my midwife that my uterus and stitches had all done what they were supposed to, I started the Bikini Body Mommy 5.0 challenge.
I love the whole concept of this particular challenge. Briana, a personal trainer, is filming the workouts in real time as she gets back into shape after her 4th baby. My Day 1 of postpartum fitness is her Day 1 as well. While I’m huffing and puffing through the workouts, so is she. On Day 2, when I could barely move I was so sore, she was complaining about being sore in the video. Starting to workout postpartum is basically starting from scratch, or worse. To workout in the privacy of your own home, with someone who is also struggling, makes the process much easier on the ego.
I’ve also been missing running, so a month or so into this program I may start replacing the cardio days with a run. We’ll see how I feel when the time comes! I would love to be able to run a 5k again.
So that’s my start
It doesn’t feel like much typed out, but that’s good. Small steps are important right now as I work on my postpartum fitness and getting my health back. As time goes on, I will maintain or increase as my health and fitness improve and I balance the rest of my life.
And yes, I do anticipate this program to change the way my body looks into a more aesthetically pleasing form. I’ll admit, I’m looking forward to that and I will be disappointed if the results aren’t “dramatic” enough. But I also know that if I feel healthy and strong, I will feel amazing about my body for the first time in a long time.
Come back in 2 weeks for an update on my postpartum fitness journey.
Like what you see? Please support this blog and help me keep it running by signing up for my newsletter, purchasing products, or donating through the links below:
DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. The information contained in this post is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For more information, click here.