Getting into shape after having a baby can be one of the most daunting tasks. Many of us can start off with all the right motivation and will power but then fall off track. Sadly, we find ourselves back at square one, eating a tub of ice cream whilst watching Netflix when the baby is asleep.
People who have been successful with their health and fitness have these two things in common:
First, they identify what exactly is needed to form the grounds of their healthy lifestyle.
Second, they put 100% into executing their finds.
One with out the other is not setting you up for success.
But, you’re probably wondering:
“What are the simple grounds to making a healthy lifestyle that actually works?”
One of the biggest excuses for not sticking to a fitness regime is not having the time. This have been one of my excuses too, especially after having a baby. It is so important that before you start you really commit yourself and give the time needed. Unfortunately, this may also mean sacrificing time away from other activities you are use to doing. This can be hard as you already don’t get as much me time anymore, now that you have a little one. Personally, I train 5 nights a week, giving me the weekend off and I will only train
once Mole is in bed fast asleep. That way, I also don’t feel guilty about not being with her when she is awake. Is it harder to train at night after a busy day? Yes, but, Mole is my main priority.
Making this commitment will form the grounds to your new healthier lifestyle and the rest will flow from there.
“First and foremost, prioritise the habit of exercising regularly,” says personal trainer, life coach and author Mike Campbell.
Have a plan. Do not go to the gym with no plan. Do not go into your diet with no plan. You will waste time and end up having nothing to focus on.
A workout plan for me helps me walk into the gym focused. I know exactly what machine I need to use and a back up plan
if it is taken. I waste no time thinking “erm I’m going to do that one now or should I train my arms instead?”
Having a food plan will keep you focused on what it is you have been eating. It is very easy to sneak in extra calories and forget about it. Like when you go into the kitchen and start nibbling on cheese in the fridge or a biscuit out of the cupboard whilst waiting for your dinner to cook. I like to plan my food so I have my more exciting meals towards the end of the week giving me something to look forward too.
After having a baby, I find I prefer my workouts to be more fast paced so I can get home quicker even if she is asleep. So I will tailor my plan around this.
3. You do you
Be realistic in your goals. When I first started my fitness journey my goal was to compete in women figure bodybuilding. I had no muscle tone and quite a bit of body fat. (Thanks to my part time job at McDonalds) It was not going to happen. You will just set yourself up for failure as you will not reach what you want in the time frame. After having Mole, I gave myself 9 months to reach my pre-baby weight. If you want to return to the gym after giving birth, consult your doctor first and make sure your body is ready and not just your mind.
Choose a goal that truly works for you and start small. It could be as simple as, in two weeks you want to be able to run for an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill.
The sooner you can understand the patience required to achieve fat loss and muscle building, the sooner you can apply yourself to consistently getting it done. Take into consideration that you have had a baby. There will be times where you can’t make the gym or you have an off day with your diet because their needs come firsts. Do not let this put you off your goal, simply extend your time frame.
4. Where to start?
Investing time learning the correct form for exercises will really benefit you. You can research different exercises that target specific muscle groups. Knowledge is power in fitness, you will reach your goal faster by educating yourself first.
A personal trainer can help you. They will be able to show you the correct form for different exercises and what exercises will work for your body and goal. Some gyms offer this as a free service.
There is nothing more daunting than walking into a gym and having no clue what to do. Even if you have been to that gym plenty of times, you can still ask a trainer for help. Too nervous to ask directly? Check out the gyms bulletin board for their email.
Here’s the downside:
Feeling intimidated is a real thing.
You will feel like the only one who feels intimidated when you walk into the gym, but trust me, you are not! There looks to be 100 men and women owning the floor and you will feel like they are all watching you. They are not. They are focused on their own journey and you should be too. Try going to the gym at off peak times to practice and get your confidence up.
You could even start off by completing some home workouts. I have seen some great videos where you can get your baby involved too. The whole process should be fun for you. A happy mummy will equal a happy baby.
Here is the strange part:
When I wanted to return to the gym after having a baby I got so many negative comments from people. Even though my doctors had cleared me to go and train, people thought that they had the right to put me off my fitness goals with comments like “you should be spending time with your baby not the gym” or “your body needs to heal don’t snap back too soon.”
The truth is:
I felt miserable not doing something about getting back to my old self.
Social media has started to become a place where women are congratulated for sharing images of their post-partum bodies. Do I think this is good? Yes. It is amazing women can have the self love they deserve. But, what I don’t like is how a woman who wants to work hard for their healthy body can also feel ashamed for getting back into shape too soon. Who’s to decide what is too soon? Doctors of course, but not opinionated others.
Do not feel like you have to conform with society. Focus on your own personal goals and do not let opinions of others stop you from reaching your full fitness potential.
Doctors recommend waiting until your postnatal check up – around six to eight weeks – before you start dieting. If you’re worried about your weight in the meantime, try switching to low-fat options and stay away from foods with a high sugar content.
PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE