First of all, I am not a fitness expert. I don’t have a six pack and I’m not some super toned, lean model.
I’m just a mom of two trying to be healthy and comfortable in my own skin. I’m not here to compare my body to anyone else or tell anyone they need to be thinner. So if you came here for a “get thin quick” message, you’ve come to the wrong place!
I am simply here to share why I decided to set some long term health and fitness goals for myself and offer some tips for anyone who is in need of a little encouragement and a place to start because let’s face it, postpartum fitness is hard!
Let’s start at the beginning!
Before getting pregnant I was always into some form of working out and loved to run but I would maybe workout twice per week.
I would go through periods where I would be super motivated and then periods where I simply just didn’t care. I was younger and pretty active in general so I didn’t always have to watch what I ate too much but I kept my weight in check.
In 2013 we had our first baby and I was determined to lose the baby weight. I was really sick the entire pregnancy so I only had about 10 pounds to lose postpartum which wasn’t too hard. Once my doctor gave me the ok to workout, I worked with a trainer and lost all of the baby weight and more.
I joined a local gym and worked out about 2-3 times per week but not very consistently, just enough to maintain my weight.
In 2016 we had our daughter and I gained a little over 40 pounds. Even though I was sick during the pregnancy, I still managed to pack on the extra weight.
When she was born I really struggled with my postpartum body. I was expecting it to just melt off like my first but it didn’t. In fact, I felt like I was still gaining some weight even after I had the baby.
The first year postpartum was miserable for me mentally and physically. I hated my stomach and would only wear loose clothing. I don’t even think I wore a swimsuit once that entire year! Although I was working out here and there and trying to eat healthy, it just wasn’t working. I lost some of the weight but the last 10 pounds just wouldn’t budge.
In December 2017 I decided that I was tired of feeling sorry for myself and that no one could help me but myself.
I literally said NO MORE excuses. I need to write down some goals and stick to them for once in my life.
I was so tired of setting goals and failing because I would make excuses then never start them up again.
This was it.
On January 1st, 2018 I made a goal to workout 5 times per week for an entire year. No excuses unless I was sick or something extremely urgent came up.
Fast forward to today and I am proud to say that I have kept my goal!
With exception to a few weeks where I didn’t feel good and skipped a day here and there, I have managed to workout and keep my goal. I even worked out while on vacation!
Not only that, but I am down 7 more pounds and several inches on my stomach and all around!
Physically, I am so much stronger and have so much energy.
The BEST part of all of this is my mental health. I am happier, more confident and just all around content with myself and my body.
This journey that I have decided to embark on has taught me that I am stronger than I ever thought and that I am the only one that has the control to change my health. No one can do it for me.
Along with working out, I have been eating healthier and I will talk about food more in the Q&A section.
I’ve been sharing my workouts and glimpses into my goal to workout 5 times per week on my Instagram stories and get a lot of questions about what workouts I do, what food I eat, how I find the time, etc!
As promised, here are my most frequently asked questions in regards to health and fitness!
How many times a week do you workout?
As mentioned above, 5 times per week. If I am not feeling well or have a really busy week, I may only fit 4 workouts in, but my weekly goal is always 5.
What workout program do you follow? What workouts do you do?
I don’t follow a specific workout program. I do 2 cardio only days and 3 HIIT cardio/weight days. This keeps things interesting and keeps me working different muscle groups.
Pinterest has become my go to workout resource. If you follow me on Pinterest, you can find all of my workouts pinned there.
Who watches the kids when you workout?
If I go in the evenings, I go after the kids are in bed and my husband is home. If I go during the day, I take the kids to the gym with me! My gym has a great kids club and they love it!
How do you find the time to workout?
I gave up time in front of the tv or on my phone. This is an honest answer. I used to always say “I don’t have time” or “I’m too tired” but I wasn’t too tired to sit on my phone until 11:00pm scrolling aimlessly through Instagram and Pinterest, wishing I was in better shape. Or, I wasn’t too tired to binge watch Gossip Girl until midnight…. Oh and let me mention that I would “snack” during this time too!
The bottom line is that if you are organized with your time and make it a priority, I think you will find that you also have an hour in a day to workout. It’s all about priorities.
On the days that I work, I go in the evenings when the kids are asleep. When I am home with the kids we go in the morning right after breakfast.
If I can’t make it to the gym or am short on time, I do a 30-45 min at home HIIT cardio session at home. These types of workouts can easily be found on Pinterest and burn a huge amount of calories in a short period of time! You don’t need equipment either.
What diet are you on?
No specific diet. I just track my calories on My Fitness Pal and stay away from sugar as much as possible. I don’t drink soda or juice and I don’t add sweetener to my coffee or tea. If I do want sweetener, I will add a little honey.
I don’t skip meals and I try to eat my carbs earlier in the day and go for a more protein rich dinner with veggies. I skip dessert 95% of the time and control my portions.
How do you stay motivated?
I am a results driven person so once I start seeing results, I am motivated.
It was harder to stay motivated in the beginning because it takes a few weeks to see results. To stay motivated I started posting my workouts on Instagram and people started sending me messages encouraging me and cheering me on.
A handful of other moms actually joined me and started posting their workouts and sending me DM’s to keep each other accountable!
I asked my husband to encourage me and hold me accountable. He reminds me to get my workout in and offers to stay with the kids if he is home and I want to sneak a quick workout in.
I also have been taking progress pictures on my phone and when I don’t feel motivated, I look at all my hard work and push myself not to give up.
In conclusion, all I can say is that you are the only one who can make a change. If you feel like you have been in a rut, write down your goal or goals somewhere that you can see them everyday and start. Don’t wait for Monday, start today.
Also, if you fail one day, tomorrow is a new day. Rather than giving up all together, just keep going.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone, this will only discourage you!
Just set goals that are realistic for you and start 🙂
Find one or two people who can encourage you and hold you accountable.
Lastly, be gracious with yourself. Don’t expect your body to be perfect overnight, especially after a baby! In fact, your body will never be the same postpartum so rather than fighting it, embrace it and focus on being healthy and happy.
If you worry about being “skinny” then you will never be happy or skinny enough. If you focus on being healthy, you will be happier, have more energy, your body will thank you and so will your mind.
If you are here and you just had a baby, take it easy. Don’t stress yourself too much, just take it one day at a time. Once your baby is sleeping better and you are more rested, then you can take on a fitness goal and start there.
Hopefully this was helpful!