In January 2015 my world was turned upside down in the best way possible. I became a mom.
Prior to being pregnant, my lifestyle had always been active, but I made sure that during my pregnancy and afterwards, it still would be. I currently work a full time job in television, but many of you may know me as an instructor at Work It Out. I’ve had to learn to balance my life and adjust my schedule so that I can teach, workout, work and still have time for my family. I know it sounds like a lot, but it was my goal to remain active and try not to change too much after giving birth, without seeming selfish or feeling guilty! Rest assured, after figuring out my schedule, along with my newborn son’s, I was able to find that balance of staying active and healthy without hitting the gym 4 -5 times a week.
Like all things that change, it was a challenge. I figured that since I was in the gym until 39 weeks, I would easily bounce back to my pre-baby body and get back to the gym without struggle or time constraints. Reality check. That was not the case, nor is it…ever. Once I got over my ego and my unrealistic goals, I set small, reachable ones to progress.
At first it was one exercise a night, e.g. 100 crunches or 10 push-ups. Once I was able to do 10 push-ups easily without stopping, I’d increase the number pushing myself harder. I started to feel better at what I was starting to accomplish, so I started to bring weight back into the equation without even hitting the gym. I used my son! YES! The little things you can do (safely) with your child, will not only be a workout for you, but fun for them!
I would do sit-ups with him on my knees and give him a little kiss every time I’d sit up (That would always make him smile). Adding in some variation, I’d lay him underneath me on his back when I would hold a high plank or hold him while doing side squats, which even at times would put him to sleep. (Think of it as holding a dumbbell or medicine ball while doing a squat. It’s the same sensation).
As a new mom, staying active can be done in so many ways. Something simple like dancing with or rocking your baby (holding in your abs of course) is one way to get on your feet and still enjoy those precious moments.
But I cannot say that I did this entirely alone. That old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is true. Letting people help allowed me to go after what I wanted. My husband and I worked out a routine in order to allow us both to “maintain our sanity” and have time to ourselves. Getting to the gym everyday was never going to be easy nor was it realistic, but we made it work and continue to each and every day. While I know this isn’t as feasible for everyone, doing those little things for yourself can be attainable…like taking a longer walk with your stroller rather than a stroll to the local coffee shop just a few short blocks away.
My son is now 15 months and with every passing day my life feels more and more accomplished. I knew I wanted to stay healthy and get back to “where I was,” but allowing myself to realize the truth on how to get there helped me obtain it quicker. I recently competed in a figure competition (something I never thought I’d do). The vigorous training I endured for the last three months showed me that anything is possible if you have the will and the help of those around you.
I feel that the woman I am now, is the woman I always wanted to be.