Hi! New mom here 👋
I gave birth to my son on February 1st of this year, almost 4 months ago! I tried to stay active throughout my pregnancy because I knew it would help with labor and delivery and also because I didn’t want to gain an excessive amount of weight. I didn’t eat the healthiest though, so I ended up gaining about 40 pounds.
I wasn’t an athlete growing up, but I always enjoyed being outdoors and moving. I did gymnastics for a short time, loved to play tennis with my brother and loved rollerblading and riding bikes as a kid. When I was in high school I became more interested in fitness though marching band. I know that sounds crazy, but our band camp was like boot camp. We did intense workouts on the black top in the hottest month of the year in Florida. We also ran 2 miles each day of band camp and did stadium steps. Every day that we had band class outdoors during football season, we would run 2 laps around the football field before practicing, and more laps if we had been misbehaving in class or at a football game.
I’m being serious! Check out this video of my marching band performing during halftime back when I was a freshman in high school!
Anyhow, I can honestly say that my interest in running began in high school from running in marching band and during soccer practice when I decided to join the soccer team. That only lasted a few weeks – I had never played soccer and decided to tryout my Junior or Senior year of high school. What was I thinking? (My best friend in high school was a varsity soccer player, and she got me into soccer. I would practice with her and we would go to the YMCA to workout together!) But hey, least I wasn’t afraid to try new things!
Before I got pregnant I was really into running. I loved to run. I actually joined a group of runners on a mission/fundraising trip and ran from Ft. Myers, FL to Key West, FL. I didn’t run the whole 300+ miles, but we ran as much as we could or wanted to each day. I did run 20 MILES IN ONE DAY- the furthest I’ve ever run!!! If you’re interested in finding out more about that run/bike ride go to ~~> https://www.endscycling.com/ to learn more!!! Ends Cycling is a ministry that “hosts multi-day cycling tours throughout the United States to promote and resource global youth ministries.” They have multiple tours around the USA and are always looking for more cyclists, runners and support staff to join them!
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you may have read that my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I know this wasn’t from anything I did, but I was still scared to over do it when I became pregnant again, especially since it was May. If you’re familiar with the weather in Southwest Florida – May is when it starts be in the upper 90s outside! This was one of the reasons I didn’t run as much once I became pregnant, but the other large reason was because I had morning sickness SO BAD. Thankfully it wasn’t to the point I had to go to the hospital or be on medicine, but I was sick multiple times a day and that plus the exhaustion of the first trimester gave me absolutely no desire to run!
During my pregnancy I really enjoyed doing prenatal yoga workouts and all of the prenatal workouts on BodyFit by Amy’s youtube channel. You can check her out by clicking here! Her workouts are great, and she does modifications so you can tailor the workout to your own abilities! I have also done some of her postnatal workouts.
I am now 16 weeks postpartum, feeling very strong and am happy with the progress I have made so far. I still have a ways to go, but nothing worth having is easy!
I started going for walks as soon as I was home from the hospital. Thankfully the weather is AMAZING in Florida in February, so I had no problem taking baby Eli outdoors. Of course, I went for short and slow walks when I was only a few days postpartum. A tortoise probably would have beat me walking down the street. 😂 I walked a lot during my pregnancy, so this is what I started with to get moving. It also was so helpful for me to get outdoors in those first few weeks when life is a blur of breastfeeding, changing diapers and sleeping whenever the baby allows.
Thankfully I didn’t have much ab separation, but because I was unsure, I waited until my follow-up doctor appointment before starting to workout. The first few weeks I kind of just ate whatever I felt like having, but I realized breastfeeding would only help me lose so much weight, and it wasn’t going to keep coming off if I was eating cookies everyday! I decided to start eating healthier by eating more fruits and veggies and less carbs and dairy. I’m not one for super restrictive diets, but am more into the idea of eating 80%/20% where you eat mostly healthy, but still allow yourself some things.
I follow a lot of health and fitness accounts on Instagram, which has given me a lot of inspiration and motivation. One of my favorite things to make for breakfast right now is a smoothie bowl. I bought a bag that contains frozen strawberries, blueberries, cherries and kale and like to add in some vanilla yogurt and coconut milk for the base. Then I top the bowl with granola, shredded coconut and some chopped cashews or walnuts. It’s perfection!
I’ve just started running again and have gone on 3 runs with the stroller. It’s getting easier and I love it! Although it’s waaaaaay easier to run without having to push a stroller.
My biggest encouragement to other mother’s who want to live a fit lifestyle is to just start with what you can do in whatever moments you have. Sometimes you have a the perfect amount of time to complete a whole workout while the baby naps, or other times you have 10 minutes while the baby is occupied in his/her swing and you can do part of a workout and then play with baby and then finish the workout the next time you get a chance. Trust me, sometimes working out is the last thing I want to do while the baby naps and I use that time to actually eat food and just relax. Other times though, I prepare myself and am ready to go right when the baby goes down. Most times I finish a workout and Eli is hungry and wants to breastfeed the moment I finish, so I barely get a chance to stretch!
If you need a starting point, you can begin by just doing a few rounds of walls sits, squats, push-ups and lunges. I still do push-ups on my knees right now. I can do a few regular push-ups, but I can do a lot more if I do them on my knees, so I am working on building my strength! Get a pair of light dumbbells and add some weights to your squats and lunges. Go for walks!
Are you an active mama? What’s your favorite kind of workout? When do you find time to workout? I’d love to hear from you!