A few weeks ago after teaching a fitness class I was talking with a new client (who by the way was absolutely adorable and worked extremely hard). She kept telling me how disappointed she was with her body. How she sucked at planks. How she couldn’t do sit-ups. And how she hated her post children, and two c-sections later stomach.
First of all, like I told you I thought she looked great. Second of all, it was her first class and she was giving it all she had. So why was she so hard on herself? She was not the first woman I have worked with and talked to that feels this post-baby pressure. Why is there such as hustle to hop back into a bikini 15 minutes after delivering an entire human? Can we talk about this? Seriously.
A human, I mean an ENTIRE human is relying off a woman’s body for 9 months…40 weeks….280 days….however you want to count it – almost a year people! I can hardly handle having a house guest, making them comfortable and feeding them for the weekend let alone have one live and grow inside me. And you are that growing and developing human’s sole source of nutrition. So consuming calories and eating has to be a priority. The body changes to make room and prepare for a safe delivery. Ligaments and joints are stretched. Ouch. And then you have to deal with all of the hormones. Don’t forget about the hormones. Progesterone, estrogen, HCG, prolactin and the list goes on. I mean they all go absolutely crazy and cause about a million uncontrollable side effects.
So then after pushing and stretching and straining the body, this beautiful gift is finally here. And nope we are nowhere near done yet. The body now has to make the food for this child. More hormones. Less sleeping. More stress. More work. I could keep going for eighteen plus years worth of play-by-play details – but you get the gist.
Having a child is no joke.
Just like it took time to grow this beautiful child, it takes time to get the baby weight off. To ease the body back to a workout regime. I give so much props to the new moms who take the time for themselves to even get to a gym. I mean brushing your hair is worth a gold star in itself, so getting out in public – major kudos. Even if it is just to get a mental break (there is nothing wrong with sitting in the locker room watching reality T.V.).
There shouldn’t be a deadline.
Everyone is different. Just like every pregnancy is different, post-pregnancy is too. Who cares if your size 4 jeans won’t zip? The size shouldn’t matter. Health should. Be proud of what you have just accomplished. You will get there!
So here is my fitness professional two cents worth of advice on the postnatal journey:
- Give yourself plenty of time.
- Set mini-goals.
- Ditch the scale, don’t think about the number.
- Use positive self-talk (Pump yourself up. Be positive.).
- Eat plenty, eat frequently and eat well.
- Sleep as much as possible.
- Drink LOTS of water.
- Think HEALTHY, not skinny. You have a human to take care of now!
- Spend as much time with your little nugget as you can, time will fly by and you don’t want to look back regretting that you were too busy counting calories to cherish the moment.