When I was pregnant, my plan to get in shape was to take 4-5 barre classes a week. Piece of cake, no problem. At 6 weeks post partum, I was cleared to participate in physical activity of all kinds. (SIDE NOTE: I didn’t listen to the medical professionals and started doing physical activity prior to my medical clearance. I walked at 1 ½ weeks, ran at 3 weeks, pushups/tricep dips at 3 weeks, etc). I signed up for a barre class about 25 minutes from my house. I had no idea how hard it would be to leave my 6 week old baby for two hours a day just in the name of exercise. Not to mention, post workout I had to factor in showering and eating. My plan was unraveling so I had to come up with something else. I wanted to make sure I was back in tiptop shape before teaching at SP. As a fitness instructor, I want to be able to push my students to their point of maximum discomfort. I had to make sure I would be able to keep up!
Running became my go to exercise. I could run anywhere, I could push myself as hard as I could, and eventually Abel could join me. If running wasn’t in the cards for a certain day, I would fit something in at home. I would practice my Poise in my bedroom while Abel napped. I tried to focus heavily on my core since it was a disaster after carrying a baby for 9 months. Whatever I was doing, I looked for inspiration because, lets face it, this wasn’t, and still isn’t easy. I thought about #poisenation and how we were eagerly awaiting my return. I looked to my go to inspiration @karenakatrina from Tone It Up. I found new inspiration in November Project and Goldie Graham. I thought of personal goals so I had something to achieve and feel good about. I haven’t achieved them all but Im still working on it of course. These goals have nothing to do with my outward appearance. They are solely physical ability goals ie, doing arm balances/inversions and improving my running speed.
There is no magic pill or equation that will get me where I want to be. I know its consistency, eating lean, clean, and green, and pushing myself to the point of almost puking every time I exercise that is key to achieving my fitness goals. I created a list of Do’s and Don’ts that helped me remain on the path to success:
Something- something is always better than nothing.
If I was home and wasn’t sure if I would get a solo workout in, I would find an intense 20 minute workout that I could do in my house while Abel napped. You can really get a great workout in just 20 minutes. I watched videos on instagram ie, @alexajeanfitness and @censkii. Or I would get a tabata workout going (20s on/10s off) with burpess, jump squats, jump lunges, etc.
Worry about workout attire.
There were many days when the laundry wasnt done and there were slim pickings in the clean workout clothes department. I would throw on any combination of clean pants, socks, shirts, etc. My fitness fashion was questionable to many, I am sure. But I was out there running, walking, jumping, SPoising ;)
Give yourself time.
It took 9 months for your abs to separate completely and hold a significant amount of weight. Its going to take some time for your core strength to return, be patient. I try to focus on core exercises; something that I never REALLY did before having a baby. Everything I do, I focus on my core muscles: running, piloxing, legs, no matter what, I always try to refocus my attention on my core muscles.
Talk yourself out of a workout.
Its easy to make excuses as to why you cant workout. You can get into the habit of working out or get into the habit of making excuses. If you fall into the habit of not working out, you can go down the road of negative self-talk. You start feeling bad about yourself and this can impact every aspect of your life. Remember there is actual scientific evidence that PROVES exercising positively effects your mental attitude along with keeping you physically healthy. So, just do it. Whoever thought of that slogan is a genius.
Fall in love with movement all over again.
I took it easier on my body over the 9 months I was pregnant. I still worked out almost daily but decreased the intensity of the exercise. It was difficult to learn limitations, but I did. For instance, I had to stop teaching piloxing at 7 months because my back would feel sore after teaching. So after giving birth, I appreciated my ability to move freely without any limitations. As I mentioned earlier, I went for my first run around post-partum week 3. Too early, I know, but I wanted to see what would happen. I felt like the alien in the first part of Men In Black. I felt so uncoordinated it was comical. Over the past 5 months, Ive been able to work hard and become a faster runner than I was pre-baby. I also rediscovered TRX while getting back into exercise. One of my goals is to become certified in TRX and develop a TRX for Runners series that I hope to teach at SP.
So there you have it. My Transformation Thursday: poised and preggo edition part II. How did you transform post baby?