Think about this.  Your body has been going through a lot of changes in the past 9 months.  Some that are beautiful and some that are not as pleasant.  You grow, get back pain, throw up every day for the entire pregnancy, kicked in the ribs and pelvis, the urge to pee as soon as you stand up, can’t find a comfortable position when sleeping, etc, etc.  The list goes on.  And then boom, you’re in labour.  Contractions, water breaking, extreme pain (that is not comparable to anything we deal with on a regular basis) and if complications arise perhaps some form of medical intervention.  Once all of that is done you have this beautiful baby in your arms  that ends up becoming your entire world.  You are now responsible for raising a human being.  It is the most selfless role you will encounter while you are on this planet and everything you do from here on is for them.

So why are women so obsessed with getting their pre-baby body back so quickly after giving birth?  I expect for reasons like this.  Stories that show us that a celebrity or super model was back in their size 0 clothing 2 months after giving birth (or sometimes less).  Of course we want to feel good about ourselves again because we’re covered in poop, pee and spit-up for a good portion of our day but there are less strenuous ways to feel good about yourself post-baby that don’t involve heading to a gym for 3 hours every day (like getting your nails or hair done, reading a book, sitting in silence enjoying a cup of tea, etc). For most of us this isn’t realistic.  We don’t have that luxury.  And even if we did, wouldn’t you want to spend as much time with your child as possible instead of paying a nanny to watch your child just so you can spend hours in a gym to lose your weight as quickly as possible? Weight loss should not be done quickly.  It is a process and when done correctly, will take time.  You need patience and organization skills.  There are ways to fit it in multiple times a day without having to be out of the house for 3 hours at a time.  Do any body weight exercise like squats or push-ups (perhaps utilizing the stairs to modify) while your child is napping.  And then perhaps join a fitness class at night when your spouse is home so you can get out and socialize with adults.  Your sanity is valuable too.

Now, you’re probably asking, so when can I start a workout routine?   I advise my clients to wait until 6 weeks post delivery to ensure they have had their checkup with their doctor.  Always go by what our doctor says.  As a fitness professional I need to ensure my clients are safe.  You don’t want to pop a stitch, promote excessive bleeding or start doing something strenuous that your body isn’t used to which could cause more harm.  Walking is a normal human motion so that is ok to do while you wait to see your doctor but lifting weights or completing a crazy cardio circuit would help you get your body back quicker.  If something were to happen you would be told to wait until you’re healed which would actually prolong the time it could’ve taken you to start a real fitness program.  Don’t jump in right away.  Take it easy the first couple of weeks back to ensure you don’t overdo it.  Also, keep in mind, if you don’t see results right away don’t get discouraged.  It took 9 months for your body to change (hormones, body shape, etc) so don’t expect a quick weight loss 2 months after you’ve had your baby.  Normal weight loss is about 2 lbs/week so if you’re losing more than that chances are you aren’t creating a habit and just want to see results quickly.  Change your mind frame because you’re only going to set yourself up for failure and yo-yo dieting (when you go up and down in weight trying new diets).  Every body is different and every women’s body changes in a different way post-baby.  Don’t get discouraged if your friend is losing weight faster than you.  Embrace what you were given and work with it.  Don’t fight your body to get to a certain point. It’ll all happen on it’s own when your body is ready. Check your measurements at specific times (perhaps every 8 weeks) and don’t get obsessed with the scale.  Weighing yourself everyday could result in a negative body image.  Have a phenomenal support system and surround yourself with awesome encouraging friends and family.  Gain the confidence to tell the doubters you don’t have time for their unsupportive attitude.

If you find after a while (and I mean 6-9 months) you’re struggling, seek the help of a professional for both your meal planning and workout routines.  Don’t try and get some free program off of Pinterest because chances are it was not posted by a trained professional, nor is it specific to post-natal fitness.  It takes a lot of planning to create a program for you as an individual and not 1 type of workout will work for everyone.  I for one always offer modifications in my classes which is tweaking the workout for that individual.  Take pride in your body because you only have one.

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