This mama wanted her body back! 🙂
Getting back to an exercise routine post-pregnancy has been an equal parts mental and physical battle, but I’ve had a number of motivators that have kept me going throughout the last five months.
Motivator #1 – Weight loss and getting back into old clothes (November & December)
For starters, my college roommate and one of my very best friends from college was getting married five weeks after I had Hadley. I know this sounds vain, but I really didn’t want to reunite with my college friends 40 pounds heavier. Also, even though I’d ordered my bridesmaid dress three sizes bigger than I wore pre-pregnancy, it still was nowhere close to zipping. I knew letting out that dress was going to cost a fortune! In panic-mode, I ordered AdvoCare’s 24 day challenge as well as a baby bootcamp DVD from Amazon that’s designed for brand new moms to easy back into working out. Spending the money was tough, but I was and am so glad that I did because I knew I had to stick to doing both the challenge and the DVD since I’d paid for them.
Erica! You’re not supposed to workout for at least six weeks!
Yes, I know! I hear you loud and clear, but the bootcamp DVD was hardly working out. It was definitely more of just movement to get me going. Marching in place, a few lunges, stretching, etc. I’d done enough research to know that my body was still “putting itself back together” after having Hadley, so I knew that I couldn’t and shouldn’t overdo it (plus I had zero energy to overdo it). For time reference, I started the DVD 12 days after having Hadley.
Another huge motivator to get moving again was that I could not fit in a single thing in my closet (besides my maternity clothes of course). I couldn’t even wear my engagement and wedding rings. Since I had just quit my job to be a SAH mom, there was no fund for a new wardrobe, so I knew that if I ever wanted to wear non-maternity clothes again that I had to lose the weight to get back into my old stuff.
Motivator #2 – Dealing with colic/new mom stress (January & February)
I don’t know if Hadley was officially a “colic” baby, but Jamie and I sure have had our share of some very rough times. We expected and could handle the frequent newborn crying for the first couple of months, but by the time she was two months old we were kind of losing our minds. I won’t get into it (story for another day), but I can’t count on two hands how many days/nights I just broke down crying from frustration. I was not mentally prepared for potential colic, so that was tough. With that being said, my exercise motivation switched from trying to lose weight to I have to do something for myself first thing in the morning so that I can mentally and happily get through the day ahead. I knew that if I got in a workout first thing in the morning before she woke up that I’d feel better about myself and could focus 100% on her and her needs. It worked.
Since January and February were so bitterly cold, I stayed inside and did CU24 Level Two four-five mornings a week. Pre-pregnancy I always hated home workout DVDs because I was distracted by things around the house and because I knew there was no accountability. I knew that I could quit at any point. Since going to the gym or outside to run weren’t options, I did what I had to do. I actually love home DVDs now because there really isn’t any excuse to not get it done.
On days that were a tad bit warmer (ahem – 28 degrees), I did try to start running. I was so intimidated to get out there and do my first run, but my goal was just to run around the next street over and to go as slow as I wanted (but no walking). That first run was hard physically, but I had to start somewhere.
Motivator #3 – It’s routine, it feels good, and I really can’t find a reason not to (March – present)
I always wondered what on Earth SAH moms did all day long. Now I know that there is plenty to do! Though I find that my to-do list is lengthy every day, I still feel like if I’m not going to be out of the house working, I really have no excuse to not pencil in some kind of exercise every day. Picking a different workout every day has really become a game; I love alternating between long runs, short (but fast) runs, home DVDs, or home tabata workouts (just started last week). I don’t have a certain time of the day that I squeeze in exercise because every day usually looks so different. If I run, it’s either with Hadley in the BOB in the morning or by myself after Jamie gets home from work. If I do a home workout, it’s usually during her morning naptime.
I absolutely, positively, cannot get enough of my Nike+ app. It’s changed the running game for me completely! It more accurately tracks my distance and time than my dad’s Garmin watch, it “talks” to you during and after your runs, you’re “awarded” for milestones, and IT’S FREE! I love setting goals before my runs to beat a certain pace or distance.
I haven’t personally used the Couch-to-5k app (C25K), but my mom used it last year and couldn’t praise it enough! She was running 30 minutes straight in a matter of weeks.
Finally, as I’ve mentioned several times before, I love AdvoCare‘s rehydrate, spark, and catalyst. My dad runs 6-10 miles every Saturday, and he can’t get enough of his new running products. He’s 52 years old and running eight and a half minute miles with ease. Couldn’t be prouder of him.
If you have any questions about post-pregnancy exercise or weight loss in general, leave them in the comments below or contact me personally. I am FAR from a nutritionist or a personal trainer, but I do feel like I have a grasp (for the first time in my life) on healthy and balanced food and fitness.
I hope this encourages somebody to get out there! The hardest part is getting out the door. 🙂
Have a great Tuesday!
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo