Before and after Zain, working out has always been a tough thing for me to get motivated for. I had tried to maintain a regular workout schedule during my pregnancy for both myself and Zain and had hoped to keep it up after he arrived. It’s not that I don’t love how I feel when I’m working out and after, I just hate getting there.
The first six weeks after having him I wasn’t cleared for any type of intense workout so I would try to at least get out of the house every day for a walk and some fresh air. Things still hurt so these weren’t brisk walks and definitely didn’t happen every day.
After that magical 6 week mark I was cleared from my doctor I was excited to jump right back into the high intensity workout world. Sadly, Zain had other plans for me. Those weeks 6-8 were some of the worst for his gas and after being alone with him all day he often had spells of fussiness in the evenings that wore me out.
I had also planned to cook some healthy meals to freeze in those last two weeks before my delivery date and since I didn’t get around to that, we weren’t eating very healthy. Mostly takeout and when my mom was staying with us, Indian food. At around the 8 week mark, my mom encouraged me to get out even for a short run to relieve some stress. After finally making it to the pavement I realized a few crucial things:
Don’t Set Expectations
The first time I jumped on the 606, I set no goal for myself. I was honestly proud I even made the walk there and decided I would run my usual route and just see how far I could make it. Not putting the added pressure on yourself will prevent you from feeling like you failed and quitting then and there.
I surprised myself and actually made it my usual route. Granted, I took walking breaks but after recently pushing a human out I was proud of myself.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to get out and do this every day or even every other day so I was sure not to set a strict schedule that I couldn’t keep. Allow yourself to get back into the swing of things at your own pace.
I think after that first run, I didn’t make it out again for a week or so and that’s okay.
Change Your Diet
This didn’t happen for us till Zain was about three months. Trevor and I were both tired of feeling sluggish and out of shape and it was a never ending spiral of takeout. For broth of us, eating right and working out go hand in hand. If I’m eating poorly I never want to work out and if I’m eating clean I’m way more motivated to get to the gym or go out for long walks.
Walk, Walk, Walk
For new moms and anyone else dipping their toes into working out again, don’t underestimate walking. Since I was home alone with Zain during the day and far too tired at night to go to the gym, I used walks as my main source of exercise. The walks got me out of the house, helped me avoid pointless snacking and Zain loved them.
I tried to walk for at least 2-3 hours which is obviously not feasible for someone just home after work but great for a new mom. No matter how long you walk, it will help you ease back into fitness and get your blood pumping again.
Trevor was actually the one who made it back to the gym first. He was coming off a brutal year of fellowship that didn’t allow him much personal time and months of bad food with a newborn.
He was a great motivator for me and helped me stay on track. Once we put our minds to it and decided to eat clean, we really started to lose weight.
Side note: I tried not to weigh myself much but why exactly do men lose weight so much quicker than women? It’s reallyyyyy irritating.
Be Kind To Yourself
After having Zain, I shed some weight pretty quickly. I had taken on a lot of water at the end of my pregnancy (thanks preeclampsia and epidural issues) so that seemed to go first. After that, I was nursing around the clock and I think that helped me burn tons of calories and naturally tighten my belly a bit.
After a few months, I still have weight to lose and my belly still feels somewhat like a waterbed. Whatever your challenge may be, be patient. I made a human and my body will probably never be the same. I want to get back to the shape I know I can be but realize that it will take time.
Nothing happens overnight like it used to (remember how good you had it in college with that metabolism?) but I think we’ll get there.
I am by no means am an expert on how to lose weight post baby but had a lot of questions about my routine so wanted to share a bit! I’m working on a post about my current clean diet and some of my favorite easy to throw together meals but let me know if there is anything else you want to see!