“Getting your body back.” I thought that I would be as obsessed with this as society tells us we should be, especially because when you’re pregnant everyone and their mom feels the need to comment on your body. But as my pregnancy progressed I really just embraced the beauty of it all. What an amazing miracle it is to carry a life. I refused to let normal weight gain and a changing body ruin my pregnancy and postpartum experience.
Joey took this picture for me 10 days after having Jacob. When I asked him to take it, I was in AWE of what my body had gone through. Seriously, women are incredible. I was so grateful for this body that carried, delivered, and was now feeding my healthy baby boy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love working out. Moving my body is the number one thing that instantly makes me feel better both physically and mentally. I did the 5am Burn Bootcamp class up until the day I was induced with Jacob. Had I known I’d be sent straight to the hospital at my 37 week appointment, I would have skipped that leg day and slept in!
Waking up between 4:25-5:00 for Burn has been my routine for years and it actually felt great for me throughout my pregnancy. My first trimester nausea came in the evenings so early mornings were the only option for me to exercise. Burn Bootcamp is amazing and modifies for pregnant mamas, so I always had a great workout.
On core days I usually opted to go to the gym and do my own thing and I always picked one weekday where I would just get some extra sleep before work. Sometimes I would join Joey at the Strong class at our local gym, which is also another style of bootcamp. Everyone feels different throughout pregnancy, but I really felt great continuing with my workouts.
Since this had been my routine for so many years, I couldn’t wait to get back to it after having Jacob. We went on our first walk 5 days after delivery. I took it really slow and each walk got a little bit easier. The fresh air was so helpful at that time and I looked forward to it every day.
I had my 6 week check up in November and was cleared for exercise. I was thrilled! I knew I needed to take it slow so my first couple of workouts were really just me experimenting at the gym with what felt right to me. Newsflash- a lot didn’t feel right. I don’t know what type of general exercise doctors are clearing you for at those appointments, but high intensity workouts are not it.
I was a bit stubborn and tried to do a bootcamp class around 8 weeks. During the warm-up I realized it was way too soon for me to be there. I file that under one of the dumber things I did postpartum. Recovery after delivery is different for everyone… I’ll know better if there’s ever a next time.
I really was not stressed about losing weight. In fact I haven’t actually been on a scale since that last appointment. I gained somewhere around 35 pounds while pregnant, but I figured with time it would come off.
I just wanted some normalcy of my old routine back in my life… I needed that outlet. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to bootcamp since that day at 8 weeks. My body wasn’t ready for that kind of intense workout yet and I couldn’t figure out how to make it happen when I went back to work. I know they say you make the time to prioritize what you want in life, but there literally wasn’t any time. I didn’t have 30 minutes to spend in the car to get to Burn, pump, get Jacob ready, shower, get myself ready and leave the house by 6:40am. And unless someone was going to add some more hours to my day, I was not leaving my baby after 10 hours of not seeing him.
Enter the garage workouts. I guess I really got that going before everyone else did in 2020. We’ve had plenty of unused equipment since college, so that really helped since weights are impossible to find these days- why is this still a thing? Instead of wasting time in the car driving, I could just walk into the garage and get right to it. It was the only way I could fit it in with my work schedule. Given my ongoing lack of sleep, it was often still a struggle to make it happen. But working out was purely for my sanity at that point and really helped me manage the anxiety I was having. I needed 30 minutes to play some music, move my body and shut the world out.
I never followed a specific program or schedule. Most workouts were a mixture of weights and high intensity cardio moves (jump squats, burpee variations, mountain climbers, etc.). We had also recently purchased a Peloton bike and that was amazing for fitting in a quick and sweaty cardio session before work.
Ever since the pandemic broke, my workouts really haven’t changed. I still go back and forth between garage workouts and the Peloton bike 5-6 days/week. I aim for 30-45 minutes and consider myself very lucky if it’s not interrupted by Jacob. The Peloton app and youtube make it pretty easy to find challenging workouts when I’m not feeling inspired to figure it out on my own. Every once in a while I run in the neighborhood, but I haven’t been that motivated with the summer heat. Typically the only running I do is built into my workouts with a few laps on our street.
Basically my goal is to just get moving- it’s not perfect and there’s often a baby in the midst of it.
Working out this past year has been so much more about how I feel than how I look. It was absolutely the best way for me to work through my postpartum anxiety. I feel strong and energized after every workout and that’s what keeps me motivated to keep moving the next day. My fitness journey continues, but I’m really glad I spent more time this past year obsessing over my cute baby than my body.