So, you’re a new mom or maybe you are about to become a new mom, either way one thing on your mind is what happened to my body?! or what is my body going to look like after this?! Pregnancy certainly takes a toll on your body, and my one piece of advice for women who are trying to get pregnant, or who are currently pregnant, is to stay as active as possible for as long as possible during your pregnancy. It just simply makes it easier for you, in a lot of ways in the end. It’s hard to believe I’m sitting here today the sleep deprived, full-time working, and “Is that a booger on my pants?” mother of a 6 month old, time flies. I can honestly say there is no “quick fix” or one right way, however, here are some tips for getting fit AF as a new mom.
I will preface these tips by saying this is NOT a workout or nutrition plan and that becoming fit AF as a new mom is just as much about your mental health as it is your physical.
1. Set Realistic Goals I am a big list person. With that being said, even before I had my son I had a Pinterest board titled “Postpartum” filled with girdles and workouts, along with a list of goals I felt I would be able to achieve in those first few months with a newborn. Shortly after having my son… I threw that list in the garbage. My expectations were not realistic and being a first time mom I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Those first 6 weeks are crucial for your body to rest and recover. You just experienced the workout of your life, give yourself a break! Now after that 6 weeks is a whole different story. After being cleared by your doctor, it’s time to set some goals. BE REALISTIC. Make it a goal to take a walk 4 times a week, while your baby is napping do a short (quiet) interval workout, come up with easy/healthy meals etc. Focus on feeling better in your body, not the number on the scale and again, I repeat: be realistic!
2. EAT! I know this sounds obvious, but eating is one of those things that can quickly be pushed aside after having a baby. There were quite a few days early on where I was eating only fruit snacks and granola bars (I do not recommend this) and ordering out becomes VERY expensive. If you can, prep frozen meals ahead of time, and ALWAYS accept family and friends offers to bring you food. Sitting down and eating a meal is not only good for your body, but also your mind. Take the time to actually sit down and eat a meal or two each day. It’s important, especially if you are sitting down with your spouse. As your little one grows, make it a priority to meal plan for the week and even do some prep on the weekend, even if that means your babe is strapped in their carrier while you cook!
3. SLEEP! This is probably the most difficult task of all. Sleep is so important, and anyone who has survived the first month or so knows that operating on little to no sleep is almost impossible, yet somehow you manage it. I wish I had taken the advice to nap when he napped or even to give my husband more responsibility with night feedings. Sure, I wasn’t actually going to work those first three months, but what I was doing at home was like working three full time jobs. With that being said, sleep whenever you can. Invite people over to hold your kid just so you can sleep. You need it.
4. Take Time for Yourself This was another hard one for me. I just wanted to be with my baby ALL the time. You need to take time for yourself, I can’t even tell you how amazing it felt to put on real clothes, do my hair and go get a coffee BY MYSELF! Walking through Target felt like I was on a Caribbean cruise. It’s the little things that make you feel like yourself again. Go get a pedicure, get a new outfit and hey, maybe even some new workout gear! Talk to your significant other about making time for you to work out a few times a week. Set up a schedule so that everyone is on the same page and arguments don’t happen. If you need an hour or two to yourself three times a week then take it! Everyone will be happier if you do.
5. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments Give yourself a pat on the back. You carried a baby in your belly for 9 (pretty much 10) months. You brought that beautiful baby into this world. You have been nurturing and caring for them since the day you found out you were pregnant. Now you need some nurturing. Remind yourself of how strong, beautiful, smart and sexy you are! Tell yourself every morning and every night if you need to. LOVE YOUR BODY. One thing I learned from pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum is that as a mom I have a new respect for my body and all that it is capable of. I have learned that some days are harder than others, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t change a single second. When I’m feeling like I haven’t worked out enough, or I’m not skinny enough, or I’m not strong enough I quickly remind myself of the fact that I am a mother, that I am doing my best. I am enough and so are you.
Maybe this post isn’t what you expected when you read the title, but the point is: being fit AF as a new mom really isn’t about the physical workout. It’s about fully accepting yourself in your new identity and in your new body, because no matter how much you work out your body will remain changed, and that is a beautiful thing. Get it girl!
Take a Class!