Lovely Lady Lumps and Exercise

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Don't lie girls, if you just had a baby, you've got more lady lumps than you care to admit and if you don't I am extremely jealous.

Have you ever watched a TV show where a character gave birth? First, they birth a three month old baby and second they leave the hospital a size two.  Unrealistic, I think so!  Also, how about all those movie stars who look like they didn't have a baby two months after giving birth??  Real life is not like this for the majority of people.  Therefore we must trudge back to the gym or drastically change our pregnancy eating habits.  (You know the one where you ate skittles every afternoon at 3pm.  Was that just me???)  Whether this is the typical six weeks later or it is six months later it is hard to get back in the routine of exercising.  For me, I was itching for the six week mark to hit so I could start reducing the squishiness that is now my belly.  This being my second time to do this, I am realistic in knowing that my stomach will not be it's pre-pregnancy self but it will not be this bowl full of jelly forever.

My ideal week and exercise routine looks something like this:
  • Monday:  hour long aerobics class (high impact)
  • Tuesday:  hour long aerobics class (high impact)
  • Wednesday: exercise video at home or run 3-4 miles
  • Thursday: run 3-4 miles
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: long run 5-6 miles

I have yet to do all this in one week.  I ran a marathon in January (you can read about it here) so I am sort of starting over with the long distance thing.  Let me tell you that four miles kind of hurts these days.  I exercised up until the day before I gave birth so I was somewhat ready to jump back in.  I would not recommend jumping in with this many days of exercise if you haven't been active for the last ten months or longer.  *disclaimer, I am not a doctor so make sure to consult your doctor before doing any exercise routine.*

Here are some of my tips for a successful start back to your old body:
  • First, don't be surprised if you can not make it through a 20-30 minute work out without being interrupted by your bundle of joy.  I was doing a 20 minute exercise routine in my living room the other day and I had to stop to pick up Isla at least four times and put her pacifier in he mouth a few other times.  By the time abs rolled around  I had her lying on the floor next to me.
  • Start slow and maybe even start at home.  Some gyms have daycare, which is awesome.  Mine does but not until the child is six months old.  Luckily I know the teacher of my favorite aerobics class very well so both times postpartum I have been able to bring my babies in their carrier and leave them in the room while I take class.  (Ok, they are in the closet but close enough.  Yep, both my kids have been in the closet.)  If your gym doesn't have a daycare get some videos and exercise in the comfort of your living room.  You cans still keep an eye on the baby while working on some Gwen Stefani abs.
  • Don't be discouraged if you can't do what you used to be able to.  You won't be able to come from labor and run a marathon, plain and simple.  (Nope, I am not that lady running a marathon then giving birth.)  This has become my mantra.  You can't expect your body to perform the way it did pre-baby when you have been sitting on the couch eating oreo's for nine months instead of jumping on the elliptical   Also, there is the case of sleep deprivation and you might feel like you are walking around in a cloud.  Planes fly through them, you can work through them also.
  • Don't compare yourself to your friend who lost her baby weight in two months and is already wearing a bikini.  It is ok not to be back into your jeans in three weeks, three months or longer.  You will get there too but it might take work, be ready.  It took nine months to get that way and I think it takes about a year to resemble your old body.
  • Go to a mommy and baby class, like yoga or strollercize.  If you have that mother guilt (and we all have it about something) about leaving your child with someone while you do something for you take them with you.  It will get you moving and eventually promotes activity for your impressionable young one.
  • Get a support group and get to know the people you are working out with.  You can also work out with the people you know.  I run around 5:30 or 6 in the morning.  It sucks getting out of bed that early, always.  I also have a group of people that I run with that are counting on me to get out of bed so they don't have to run alone in the dark.  If I miss my aerobics class too many time I will get a text or phone call from my support group.  It is really easy to skip out on working out if it's just you that will know, let someone else down and it gets much harder.  At the same time don't try to kill yourself getting to the gym or out of the house.  Work with people who can be flexible.  When you are the mother of an infant you are on their timeline and don't want to feel stressed about making it to the greenway on time because your child always needs to eat when you are supposed to be somewhere.
Well, that is a start.  Now get up off your bootie and take a walk.  That is exactly what I need to do....

1 comment:

Leeann said...

Love. Thank you for sharing. I'm 16 weeks in and still throwing-up almost every day, so exercise for me has - unfortunately - been pretty minimal lately; and I'm so upset by it. Thank you for being honest and encouraging. Hopefully soon Baby Moore will cooperate where I can get some gym sessions in. If not, this baby is already SO grounded! ;) Love you!

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