| Article Summary:
No More Excuses For New Moms - Start Today And Get Fit Now!
Before my pregnancy and the birth of my baby, I used to hear out-of-shape moms who seemed to have given up on being healthy and fit - never mind beautiful and sexy - just because they had had a baby. Almost like having been pregnant was a license for them to eat way too much junk food, skip the gym for the rest of their lives, and blame it on having a baby or two!
I never understood it when someone would gain weight during pregnancy, have the baby, and then four years later still be using the fact that they had given birth for why they live and look the way they do. I'd hear, "Oh, just wait 'till you have a baby..."
When I did announce that I was pregnant, I was quickly assured, "It'll take over a year to take all the baby weight off. If you ever do!" The general recommendation is a gain of only 25 - 35 pounds throughout pregnancy, and I had always wanted to be one of those fit little ladies who looked like they just had a beach ball shoved up their shirts. You know the ones we all envy, because nothing changes in pregnancy except a cute little ball of a belly!
But cupcakes and cheesy nachos were calling my name daily when I was pregnant. It helped with the nausea, really! Although I did continue walking a lot, exercising at the gym, and teaching dance right up until the day before I delivered, food was definitely my weakness. Friends all told me to just go for it, and that I was pregnant and should enjoy the ride! And I did - looking back; I enjoyed a bit too much. I ended up gaining a whopping 70 pounds over the course of my pregnancy!
Click To Enlarge.
I Had Always Wanted To Be One Of Those Fit Little Ladies
But Cupcakes And Cheesy Nachos Were Calling My Name.
Finally the big day came, I delivered my baby boy, lost about 20 pounds within the week just from birth and baby weight; I enjoyed the next few weeks with my baby and didn't really think much about my body. Then, after seeing a few photos of myself, and trying in vain to fit back into some pre-pregnancy clothes, cold hard reality set in.
I was quite chubby with nothing to blame but all the junk I had enjoyed throughout my pregnancy. People will tell you it's hormonal and that you're eating for two - ready-made excuses to take the blame off you. But if you really own up to what's happened, you realize you simply enjoyed a few too many big cheesy pasta dinners and tubs of Haagen Daaz during pregnancy.
If you're thinking to yourself right now, "I didn't do that. I ate healthy and still gained tons of extra weight through my pregnancy that I'll just never be able to lose," then you're in denial. You'll be comfortable blaming your overweight body on the pregnancy for years to come.
That's fine if you're happy staying fat, but if you really want to change your body and your life forever, you need to face facts: pregnant or not, if you eat too much and don't burn it off, you will gain fat! Also, I would question what you think is healthy. Sometimes people think they're eating healthy, but salads smothered in fat-laden creamy salad dressing, cheese, and croutons, are just the opposite.
Maybe they let themselves eat three bowls of granola, just because the label on the box reads 'nutritious'. Healthy eating really is a science, and one of the biggest factors in how your body looks. Fortunately it's something that can be learned - read up or consult a nutritionist!
So here are a few ideas on how to squeeze workouts into your busy life as a new mom!
Click To Enlarge.
After Seeing Photos Of Myself, And Trying In Vain To
Fit Into Some Pre-Pregnancy Clothes, Cold Hard Reality Set In.
Invest In A Jog-Stroller And Run Everywhere!
This worked for me big time! I found I often really didn't have time for working out, but I knew I needed more cardio to melt all this fat away pronto. One day I was watching a weight loss reality show where one of the contestants talked about jogging around his area with his baby in a jog-stroller every day as his workout.
A light bulb went off in my head! Why hadn't I thought of that before? That very day I went out and bought my own jog stroller and the next morning I was jogging all over town! Instead of running just to get a workout, I would maximize my time by running to appointments, on errands, everywhere. If I had to meet someone downtown, I would run there, if I had to go into work, I would run there, so I ended up racking up a lot of miles.
I'm not a driver, so running everywhere also allowed me to avoid having to heave a big, awkward stroller onto public transit (not to mention all the money I saved by not taking the subway or streetcar!)
One minor problem was that I was always sweaty and a bit flushed whenever I'd be out because I was always in the midst of a workout. But I thought to myself, "Would I rather have messed-up hair, be a little sweaty, and be fit? Or look all done up, but be a fatso?" Easy call! The jog stroller was the best investment ever. Just make sure you put it to use - don't just buy it to have it: get out there and run everywhere!
Click To Enlarge.
One Of The Contestants Talked About Jogging Around His
Area With His Baby In A Jog-Stroller Every Day As His Workout.
Get Up To Work Out Before Your Baby Wakes Up!
I know it sounds painful, and it can be sometimes (especially if your little one has kept you up half the night). But it can also feel absolutely wonderful when you carve out an hour of total 'me' time amongst all your other daily commitments. It's almost like a stress-relieving vacation for an hour each morning!
Bring Your Baby To The Gym!
Your gym may offer child-minding services, or you can just bring your sleeping baby in a stroller which you move around near wherever you're working out. Especially take advantage of the first few months when babies sleep a lot - before they want to get out of the stroller to crawl around the gym, exploring and playing with the weight machines (like my one-year old does now!)
Register For 'Mommy & Me' Exercise Classes!
If you live in a big city you can usually find 'mommy and me' classes in almost anything that interests you: yoga, aquafit, bellydance, boot camp, salsa and more! Find one that appeals, sign up, and get fit while interacting and having fun with your baby! These classes are also great as you get to meet lots of other new moms who are going through the same things you are and it can be a social-and-support time as well as a workout time!
Work Out In The Comfort Of Your Own Home!
Whether you have some cardio equipment and weights lying around at home waiting to be used, the latest exercise DVDs, or even just some snappy music on your stereo or iPod that inspires you to dance around, working out at home is probably the handiest way to get some exercise into your baby schedule at the start.
When I finally felt ready to start moving about and getting a sweat on after having my baby, I started by waiting until baby was napping, then putting on some Britney Spears and bouncing around the house. There were some aerobic moves in there, some dance moves, some running, basically anything that got my heart rate up and made me feel like I was working out! A good beginning, as you can really go at your own pace and start with as little as you want, not to mention you can look as goofy as you want dancing around!
Click To Enlarge.
Whether You Have Equipment At Home Or Not, Just Doing
Something To Get Your Heart Rate Up Is A Good Start.
Set A Goal And Track Your Progress
First set a weight, measurement, or body fat percentage goal. Mine was 'I will be 140 pounds by June 1st' (which was 20 pounds less than I was before I got pregnant!) I also took measurements of my chest, waist, hips, thigh, calf, and biceps, as well as a 'before' bikini picture. The picture was painful, but so very motivating!
I knew I had gained lots of unnecessary weight throughout my pregnancy, but I don't think I realized quite how much until I saw that fat bikini photo staring back at me! Don't let starting point photos, measurements, or weigh-ins discourage you in the least. Just think, the more you have to lose and tighten, the bigger, more dramatic a change you can make!
Keep the new body and life you are working towards in mind as you look at your starting point stats. Once you've set your physical goals, try to set some event-based goals with deadlines, like a Caribbean getaway where you'll be in your bikini or your sister's wedding where you want to look good in your maid of honor dress, maybe a 10K run you want to participate in.
For me, it was Fitness and Figure competitions. Don't be afraid to dream big! And tell everyone around you your goals so you will be held accountable! I think people thought I was insane when I announced in January that I was going to compete in Figure competitions in June and July. At that point I was 197 pounds and looked really overweight and unfit! But I knew I could do it with a positive attitude and lots of hard work and clean eating... and I did!
This often can motivate everyone around you when they see you do what they thought was impossible. It shows them that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it! Track your progress as you go. Take bikini photos, measurements, weight every month to see how well you're doing.
If you don't see enough of a change from month to month, you'll know you need to re-focus and really clean it up. You can use photos to stay motivated if you're meeting your goals, or if there isn't enough change, as motivation to do more to make that change. They'll help you stay positive and never give up!
|JOIN BODYSPACE TODAY|
Avoid The Excuses
Here are some excuses that new moms fall into, and here are some ways to stop making these mistakes!
Excuse #1: "I find it hard not to eat what my kid eats."
Why is your child eating unhealthy foods? I want my child to eat even better than me. Why wouldn't I want what's best for his growing body and mind? Don't feed your child pop, sweets, processed foods, etc. It upsets me to see a three year-old gulping a big bottle of pop and munching on cheesies in the stroller. There is no reason for a young child to eat like this on a regular basis, yet I see it all the time.
Often, you'll notice that the parents who are serving this up are themselves overweight and unhealthy-looking. Just like what they're turning their little baby into, which is sad and unhealthy. So make sure to feed your family all the same healthy foods you'll be eating (lean meats, lots of veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats)
Excuse #2: "I don't have any time to work out now that I have a baby."
You need to make working out a priority. Often I would want to catch up on my sleep, work on the computer, clean the house, or cook as soon as I had a moment not holding, feeding, or changing my baby. But if getting your pre-pregnancy body back or even a better, fitter body than before-baby is what you really desire, you need to make that a top priority in your life.
As soon as you have a moment try some of the suggestions here and ask your husband to cook dinner or let the house be a little messy (get used to it - even when I clean every day, my house seems to be a mess now that I have a child!).
Click To Enlarge.
If Getting A Better, Fitter Body Is What You Really
Desire, You Need To Make Working Out A Top Priority.
Excuse #3: "I'm so tired all the time. I feel like I have no energy to work out."
You may not believe it after you've been up all night with a newborn and feeling sleep-deprived, but getting in a little sweat session every day will actually give you more energy. Try starting your morning with a workout and you'll feel the rush from it all day! Of course sleep is important too, so try to take naps when you can and go to bed early when your baby goes to sleep.
Excuse #4: "The last thing I'm thinking of right now is how I look - that's so self-centred. My family comes first."
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! You need to take care of yourself first so that you're feeling great and healthy enough to take care of everyone else! In an emergency on an airplane, passengers are advised to secure their own air mask before their child's; you can't help anyone much if you haven't even helped yourself. Everyone deserves to look and feel their best.
If you feel self-centered and vain thinking about losing weight and getting healthy for appearance's sake, think about it from a health standpoint: don't you want to be a great example for your kids as they grow, seeing your healthy lifestyle and adopting all your great habits? Don't you want to be fit enough to run around with your kids?
Don't you want to stay youthful and vibrant throughout your child's life right up until they're adults? Don't you want to have an awesome outlook on life that is contagious to your whole family? Bottom line, don't you want what's best for you and your whole family? If yes, put your health and fitness first!
Reward Yourself For A Job Well Done
I often think people are too easy on themselves, and this article may seem extreme and hardcore for new moms, but if you want extreme results, you often need to take extreme action!
I also believe in rewarding yourself for all your hard work. So once you reach a short-term goal - like losing 5 pounds or being able to run for 20 minutes straight - make sure to reward yourself for all your hard work. Make it a non-food reward - treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure or some snazzy new workout wear (you'll need this anyway when your old fat clothes start falling off you from all that weight you lose!).
|Share This Article: