Monday, January 16, 2017

Postpartum Fitness Life and My Small Group Fitness Class

Hello from a long time in blog post Siberia! I am currently typing whilst sitting criss-cross applesauce on the floor, with a baby sitting in my lap, drooling all over a rattle. This is my new normal after giving birth to my son 5-months ago. I hope this explains my long hiatus from, but I know it's not much of an excuse. I could have written so many posts on pregnancy, pregnancy exercises, prenatal body changes, prenatal nutrition, anything pregnancy related but I just couldn't get it together for some reason.

I guess there was just too much going on in my mind, body and heart for me to adequately document it. It just seemed like way too big of an event to marginalize with something like, "5 Ways to Stay Fit While Pregnant!" Or maybe I was just "pregnant lazy" and sitting on the couch watching "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" seemed more appealing. It's probably a combo of those things. 

So, going from pregnant lazy to postpartum lazy, first I'm going to share this article with you that I really connected with days after giving birth to my son, without having to explain it myself. I think it summed up what I was going through at the time. As far as the rest of this post, I've decided to only share my fitness journey. This is a fitness blog after all! 

Pre-baby, my workouts had just started slowing down a little bit because I was dealing with an injury. But mainly, I was doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts mixed in with some yoga and strength training. I was never lifting heavy weight (maybe 15 lbs max) and focusing on a lot of body weight work. I've also never been "ripped." I'm a girl who loves occasional decadent dining, cocktails, wine, and chocolate. That doesn't lend itself to a ripped physique, but I was happy with myself. Here's me pre-baby. I'll admit that I'm posing a bit here (I know, gross), but it's the most recent photo I had of my body prior to pregnancy so I'm sharing it.  I wish I had a side pic of me so you could compare to the other pictures that follow but I can't find one:


Here's me 2 days before my son was born, 40 pounds heavier. I worked out throughout my entire pregnancy. At the beginning I did a lot of the same stuff I had been doing pre-pregnancy. I was still HIIT training, taking yoga class, and lifting weights. As I got further along and bigger, I simply modified until weeks before the baby was born. Then I listened to my body and what it could safely do. It was basically easier weight lifting and walking every day. I remember the day I was doing yoga and tried to do crow and fell over. I realized I was simply too big and off balance to continue doing what I was doing!  I was planning on working out the day I went into labor but it was so hot and I was so huge and tired that it didn't happen (humble brag much?). I am so glad I didn't workout because my labor was 27 hours long. That is the hardest workout I've ever done. (Side note: let's all enjoy my popped knee in this photo):

2 Days Before Giving Birth

And lastly, me at 7-weeks postpartum and 21 weeks postpartum. There is no photoshop or filters on any of it. Just me and my iphone (and my messy bedroom--I do have an infant...EXCUSES!).
7-Weeks Postpartum and 21 Weeks Postpartum
I just deleted a whole paragraph commenting and hating on my body and what it looked like 7-weeks postpartum because, no. That. Ain't. Right. My body went through the biggest and most amazing feat it will ever go through, and I get choked up just thinking about it. No half-marathon, marathon, 100 mile bike ride, or hardest workout in the world can compare to what your body goes through to create a human being, and then what your body goes through to get back to your "normal" self. I guess you could argue that all the training that leads up to any fitness feat could compare, but nope. Just NO. It's an indescribable experience that leads to your body creating and birthing another person at the end of it. WHAT? It is the most beautiful thing in the world and I still cannot believe I did it. I am so grateful that I was able to do it and have a healthy and happy pregnancy. And even better? A happy and healthy baby boy in my life. Ladies, we are so lucky to get to do this. It is so hard on your bones, muscles, skin and mind to create a human in such a short period of time. The changes you experience physically and emotionally are off the charts nutty. Just...I can't. I can't even express what I would like to about the feelings I have about it because I would really just burst into a million pieces and my whole being would be shards on the floor.

Today I am 25 weeks postpartum. So far I have lost 31 pounds and I have 9 more to go. Working out post-baby was really hard at first. I was exhausted, hormonal, weepy, and stretched to my limits emotionally. But working out actually helped me so much. It gave me some energy to get through the day and also made me feel like I had some control over my life, which kept me motivated to continue doing it every day. I have only been exercising about a half-hour (while the baby naps--sometimes when he doesn't), 4-5 days a week but doing higher intensity work to get the most out of my time. It's been mainly body weight work with some weight training mixed in. I've just started doing more weight training because it helps boost metabolism and shapes your body in ways only using your body for resistance can't.

My nutrition has kind of sucked because I'm not focused on myself during the day so I am kind of just snacking and eating when I can. The only good meal I get most days is dinner when my husband makes it. I know if my nutrition was better, I would feel better and look better, too. I have lost a lot of muscle mass/toning and I hope to see that again.

The workouts have gotten so much easier. I do look better but the most important thing is that I am strong again. I was so weak the first few weeks that it surprised me. But I'm on my way. And you know what? If I don't totally get back to where I was physically pre-baby, that's okay. I will never, ever be the same anyway. But you can doooo eeeet! I promise you that working out, as hard as it is to get going, will not only make you stronger physically, it will make you stronger mentally to get through those really tough, "I-can't-do-this-mom'ing-thing-today" days. A little bit of sweat really does go a long way!

Which leads me to announcing the inching of my way back into the workforce with my 6-Week Shape Up for New Moms. 45 minutes, 2 times a week at Hyatt Training in Northwest Portland, starting February 7th. It's small group fitness and there will be a max of 4 women in the class. I am keeping the time shorter than an hour because as you can see, you don't need a full hour to get in shape. Enjoy the benefits of working alongside a personal trainer with the support of other new moms who are going through the trenches of motherhood with you. We will push to our limits while modifying as needed. As someone who recently went through childbirth, I understand what your body (and mind) might be going through during this delicate time. That doesn't mean these workouts will be easy! Get ready to work on increasing strength, cardiovascular fitness, balance, and endurance. We will track your progress and at the end of 6-weeks, you will get to see hard evidence of how far you've come! Contact me to get started! I can't wait! And contact me if you just want to talk being a mom and incorporating fitness into your life. It's not easy, but I know you can do it!