10.02.2015

post baby body (2 months out)

Ah yes. The post baby body. This is such a sensitive subject for many women, fraught with emotional land mines and myriad ways to give offense.

On one had, we see celebrities and "fitspo" inspirational women on social media who are 20 lbs below pre-baby weight at 2 months postpartum, with six pack abs and catch phrases like "no excuses!"

On the other hand, we have the mamas who are offended by any suggestion that a woman might want to regain her figure after birthing a child. "The culture is trying to get rid of any evidence that we had babies! You're perfect just the way you are! Your saggy belly is a battle scar - you should be proud!"

I hereby proclaim permission to fall somewhere in the middle of those two equally unappealing extremes.

So without further ado...

Reasons to Take Care of my Health after Baby

Vanity (or the quest to find flattering clothes)

I am truly happy for women who have naturally lean bodies who can look so toned after having baby. They will most likely attribute it to eating clean and staying fit throughout pregnancy. Those things are so important, and a huge accomplishment, because carrying a child in your womb is seriously tough. But for those of us who eat healthy and stay fit, but still look 4 months pregnant for weeks on end postpartum, it's a hard message to hear. Every person's body is different. We have different genetics, metabolisms, body types (short torso...ugh), and situations.

But let me be clear. I don't like the sagging postpartum midsection. First of all, the words "sag," "sagging," and "saggy," just sound unappealing. Kind of like the words "moist," and "puberty." But I digress.

I don't like it because I find it impossible to dress. When you're pregnant, the goal is to show off that bump. And many maternity clothes are designed to do just that. When I'm postpartum, I want to disguise the bump. I don't love explaining to 4th graders and men who apparently don't know anything about the post baby process why I still look like I have a baby in my belly. It's just a weird conversation. So I tend to stay away from many of my maternity clothes.
that's a lot of belly to shrink


8 weeks post baby...progress
At the same time, I'm not yet fitting into my fitted and sleek pre-baby clothes. So I'm stuck with a limited wardrobe of stretchy and kind of unappealing in-between clothes. I want to get back to my normal size if for no other reason than I hate clothes shopping and I'm kind of frugal.

Happiness

Working out makes me happy. I forgot about that! Taking 2 months off from working out besides the occasional walk around the block felt like heaven. I wasn't allowed to work out for awhile, so there was no obligation and no guilt. I loved not having to plan my shower around a sweaty workout.

But then I reached a point in my postpartum journey where I was cleared to resume fitness activities, and my weight loss hit a plateau. It was time to join a gym! I'm a huge advocate for living room workouts and no equipment body weight workouts, but I knew that with 2 small children, a small home, and limited free time, I would always have an excuse not to workout. I figured joining a gym (for the first time in 4 years!) would force me to get out of the house if for no other reason than for fear of wasting my money.

After my first workout, I was seriously on a high of endorphins. I felt a surge of energy I hadn't felt since before pregnancy. (Even though I worked out during pregnancy, it wasn't the heart-pounding, go-all-out type of workout). It was 9 p.m., but I felt like I could do anything! Grade a stack of papers! Do a budget! Fold all the laundry!

not cute...but sweaty + happy
When I didn't feel like working out the other night, I had a come-to-Jesus talk with myself in the form of chatting with baby Teddy. "Mommy doesn't want to workout right now, but a fit mama is a happy mama. A fat mama is a sad mama. So Mommy is going to the gym whether she likes it or not!"

Strong for my tasks

"She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks."
Proverbs 31:17

Ah, yes. The Proverbs 31 woman is always a source of inspiration. A mother of small children has TASKS to do! Lifting carseats, laundry baskets, and a 30+ lb toddler requires strength! Lugging Teddy's swing to and from school everyday requires strength. Keeping up with a 2 year old requires endurance. Running on less (a good amount for having a 2 month old, but still less) sleep requires more energy. Vacuuming, running a household and a business, teaching, parenting - they all require energy, endurance, and strength. Those things are enhanced by activity and good health. I take care of my health to be a good wife, mother, teacher, business owner, and steward of God's gifts in my life.

Tools to Take Care of my Health after Baby
10 weeks post baby

+ Pinterest - an amazing source for gym workouts, home workouts, no equipment workouts, and workouts with baby
+ workout gear - loving my new Old Navy workout tanks
+ these fat burning and nutrient-dense shakes (while still nursing, I use them in addition to healthy balanced meals)
+ Bible studies + devotions to keep my mind sharp and motivated to serve God to the best of my ability
+ the Bedtime Belly Buster!

+ podcasts, audiobooks, and good music to listen to while working out

What are your favorite tools, workouts, meal plans for fitness after baby?

P.S. My thoughts on getting back into shape after baby #1

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