Pre-pregnancy reflection in the mirror is, let’s just say, not the same as post-pregnancy reflection. Our bodies show signs of battle. It’s beautiful in its own right, it shows how hard we worked to grow a tiny human. Most of us, however, can relate to seeing a less than perfect image of our younger self.
It’s OK to grieve a little over the changes we see in the mirror. We may see stretch marks or scars. We may see rolls that weren’t there before. Or we may be sporting our own personal waterbed where these things called abs once resided. I’ve been told they hibernated and with some encouragement they may one day reappear. Myth? I’ll keep investigating this theory and keep you posted on my findings. Either way, what we see is the real deal and it isn’t always pretty. Somehow, we navigate this new territory, come to accept our new reflection and learn to love ourselves for what we see and what we’ve accomplished. That is the ultimate goal. Easier said than done? Definitely.
I’m not about to tell you to get back on the treadmill and hit the gym right after you deliver. If I’ve learned anything it’s that babies don’t keep. So don’t stress, because the more pressure you put on yourself the more you are likely to become overwhelmed and unhappy.
However, I know I felt more myself once I started moving again. A body in motion stays in motion. Take the kids, if you can, for light walks to start with. Remember a mile is a mile, no matter how long it may take. Take them to the park and run around with them. Try out some yoga that incorporates your baby to keep them (and you) thoroughly entertained. Or, encourage your husband to bond with the kid(s) and give you a break to focus on yourself and what you need. Maybe it’s just meditation. From personal experience though, don’t attempt that one with kids. You’ll soon find a little one poking your face and trying to pry your eyes open. While it was amusing, it wasn’t what I would classify as relaxing.
Fortunately, I have an amazing and talented cousin who is a Certified Personal Trainer that I talked to after my first daughter was born. After telling her what I was needing, she created a quick yet challenging workout for me to do in the mornings. With her permission, I’m sharing it with all of you out there that may be looking for something to make your tummy a little less like a waterbed and move to something resembling more like a trampoline. Small goals, folks. Slow and steady wins the race, or as I like to say…slow and steady will at least finish it! So go ahead and print it – it’s yours! A printable freebie courtesy of Sarah Wood – Certified Personal Trainer @woods.cpt and Marshalltown Moms.
In the end, we truly win the race when we surround ourselves with friends and fellow moms who will endlessly remind us we are more than the sum of our imperfections. Open up and share your story with others. Who knows, you may find a friend who will be your motivator to move and groove to this new beat of motherhood.
Quick Post-Pregnancy Workout
(Courtesy of Sarah Wood – Certified Personal Trainer @woods.cpt)
- 30 High Knees – 15 each leg
- 30 Butt Kicks – 15 each leg
- Arm Circles – 10 forward and 10 backward
Set One: Complete all 3 exercises, rest and repeat
- 20 second Plank (on forearms or hands)
- 20 second Mountain Climbers – Have your hands on the ground in a plank position. Bring one knee to same side elbow, then back to a plank, repeating on alternate side.
- 20 Standing Side Crunches (aka wacky jacks) – 10 each side – Bring your same side knee and elbow together (bending at the waist, then repeat on the other side.
Set Two: Complete all 3 exercises, rest and repeat
- 20 second Iron Cross- While sitting on your butt, keep your torso tall, lean back slightly with knees bent and heels on the floor. Then extend your arms laterally and hold that position.
- 30 High Knees – Keep arms raised above head
- 30 Jumping Jacks or Jills (on side at a time versus simultaneously)
Set Three: Complete all 3 exercises, rest and repeat
- 30 second Glute Bridge- Lay on your back, arms out laterally with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Raise your hips to a make a straight line with your knees and hold the position.
- 30 Reverse Crunches – Start in a sitting position with your knees bent, legs raised and feet crossed. As you lower your upper body to the ground, lower your feet as well, but do not let them touch the ground. Bring yourself back up to a crunch position with knees and chest coming together and then repeat.
- 30 Bird Dogs – Begin on your hands and knees with a straight back. Raise one arm and the opposite leg simultaneously. Go slowly and stay balanced, return back to start and alternate sides.