I am proud to be a 14-months postpartum, still-breastfeeding mom.
If you’ve ever birthed a baby, you’ve been exactly where I am. You’ve wondered if you would ever get your body back after pregnancy. Before getting pregnant, you might have been a gym goddess with sexy, curvy abs and a physique worth coveting. But, no one really tells you what it’s like AFTER pregnancy.
I’m going to get real with you today, because I know I’m not the only one. It’s time we come out of the closet to talk about it.
After having that baby, what’s your ‘why’ you continue working out?
- Do you want to wriggle into your skinny jeans?
- Do you work out for health reasons?
- Are you hoping to race the NYC marathon?
- Do you want to get on stage for a physique, figure or bikini competition?
- Do you simply love hitting the pavement or lifting weights?
The postpartum period is no easy stretch of time for any mom, let alone a hardcore fitness gal. Your hormones are out of whack. Your body’s nutrients are depleted. You’re not getting enough sleep. You may not even be able to put your baby in childcare at the gym until he/she is six-months-old, unless you have a supportive partner to watch the baby while you exercise.
The worst is going to the gym in your baggy workout clothes to hide the loose belly skin that you can do NOTHING about and see the girls who’ve never had a baby strutting their stuff in those tight curve-hugging workout clothes. It makes you want to break down in tears right then and there.
If you choose to breastfeed, that adds another complication to your fitness and weight loss goals because your body will hold onto an extra 8-15 lbs. to support milk production. For many of us, this weight hangs on until you completely wean the baby. The breastfeeding advocates won’t tell you about this because the average woman may not notice this weight gain, but an ultra-fit woman will...and it will drive her crazy!
All of this leads to us new moms or soon-to-be-moms to figuring out a new ‘why’ to work out.
My own ‘why’ I work out is different that it was pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy or even immediately afterwards. I am learning how to embrace the various stages of feeling sexy and amazing in my own skin, even though I know my body will never completely revert to what it once was. And most importantly, I’m learning how to be okay with that.
I am a powerful woman. I birthed my beautiful baby girl. I am strong. I am dedicated to being fit and staying healthy, no matter whether or not my body squeezes back into my skinny jeans. No matter what our size, no matter what our sport, no matter what our life circumstances, we are--and always will be--strong, powerful, beautiful women because of our unwavering dedication to ourselves and our families.
What about you? What’s your reason for exercising, and did it change after you had a baby of your own?