10.08.2013

FINDING FITNESS AFTER BABY


I think it goes without saying that there are a ton of changes and challenges that come along with the birth of a child. One of the hardest things for me has been getting back to a place where I feel like the old me again, both emotionally and physically. Personally, those two aspects go hand in hand. The more I move, the more centered and alive I feel. There have been moments of physical activity here and there in the past 11 months, but it has been haphazard at best. Within the last two weeks, with Josephine on a more regular schedule, I have finally been able to find that balance I have been craving. I think a lot of new moms often struggle with getting back at it, so I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me on this journey to finding fitness.

Set a goal, but start small Figure out what you want to accomplish. Do you want to see a certain number on the scale? Would you love to be able to run a 5k? Do you just want to feel "better" and more centered? Whatever you are searching for in your own personal fitness journey, make note of it. Then, forget the big picture all together. This is something I really struggle with. When I start a new workout routine, especially after being away from it for so long, the first several days (and weeks) can be downright dreadful. This is when the self-doubt usually kicks in. I just want to quit. Focusing on little victories, rather than the goal itself is a great way to keep your mind from going to that place of I can't. If your goal is to run a marathon but all you can do is a half-mile right now, that's okay. Realize the big goal will take some time. You have to start somewhere.

Reward small victories This kind of goes hand in hand with starting small. Think about what you can do to reward yourself for accomplishing little milestones on your way to reaching that goal. It could be a manicure, a favorite magazine, those earrings you have been eyeing. Just something little to reward yourself for all of the work you are putting in.

Figure out what motivates you Personally, I find group fitness classes to be the best way to keep my butt in gear. I enjoy running but I'm not a huge fan of running with others. I try my best to keep going and pushing myself when I am out for a run on my own, but it is so easy to stop. There is something about being in a group class, though, that really pushes me to keep going. So, figure out what keeps you going, and focus on those kinds of activities.

Seek out local fitness deals Fitness classes can be pricey, so if you are someone who thrives in a class environment look for deals in your area. If a new fitness studio is opening, see if they offer opening specials or new client specials. I recently started taking Pure Barre classes (which I highly recommend!) at a studio that just opened. They offered 5 weeks of unlimited classes for $100, a significant deal when a single class is $25! Websites like Living Social and Groupon are great for finding amazing deals on local fitness classes, too. These deals are also a great way to try out a new type of exercise. I've practiced yoga before, but will be trying hot yoga for the first time thanks to a Groupon deal!

Treat yourself to new gear Sometimes all you need is a cute new workout top or a new pair of running shoes to get yourself in gear and ready to take on that fitness goal. It sounds silly, but it really does make me feel more motivated when I feel good about what I am wearing. You don't have to spend a fortune, either. Target is my go-to for great quality (and cute!) workout gear.

Make it a priority This is probably the number one obstacle when it comes to getting back into shape after baby, or getting in shape period! Exercise needs to become a priority in the same way that cleaning the house, brushing your teeth, and making sure your little one is taken care of are priorities. This can be so hard for a number of reasons. I struggle most with taking time away from Josephine and Pete to go to class. When Pete gets home from work I usually have to rush out the door, and sometimes I don't get back until Josephine is already in bed. But, the long term benefits of making my fitness a priority are so much greater than those couple of hours away from my family. I am a happier and healthier person, and one who is so much more 'present' because of that!

I really hope this is helpful for all of you mamas (and non-mamas, too) who are ready to get back on the fit train. I would love to hear some of your fitness goals! What kind of exercise do you enjoy? How do you make fitness a priority? Any other tips you would like to add? 

You can find more workout and fitness inspiration on my Pinterest page. I hope to add to it as I come across more great tips and things to get you motivated!

image via Pure Barre

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1 comment:

  1. I am totally with you on this. I was consistent with my exercise for years and after L was born, fitness took a backseat in a way I was not expecting. I do a little here and there, but definitely not enough. The other day I got a trial membership at a place down the road from my house. I am kind of a gym snob and this place is definitely a step down from the fitness club environment I love, but at least it's something (the gym I used to go to is not convenient to where we live now and my life as a mom). I went last week to work out and just being on the cardio machine was an emotional experience since the last time I was on an elliptical was when I was still pregnant and living my pre-baby life!! It felt so good to work out! Of course, after that L and I both got sick and (TMI alert) I just stopped pumping so I have been waaaay too sore to work out. Ugh. Sometime I will get back there...it's definitely a challenge. Good for you for getting out there and focusing on fitness again!

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