June 11, 2010

Work It In, Work It Out

The first month of my daughter’s life was so wonderful, and at the same time very challenging. My cesarean was very rough on my body. It was a solid week before I hobble around the house, but things like going to the bathroom and showering seemed to take five times longer than normal, and I still stayed in bed or out on the couch all of the time. I had NO idea the recovery was going to be this rough or the pain this bad. But after about 2 weeks I started moving a little easier, and taking short little walks around the house.

So I waited about 4 weeks to begin working out again. Mia was just a tiny little one still, and I was still pretty sore and suffering on a regular basis. But I had the itch and couldn’t help but scratch. I’d seen my OB for the 2 week check, and she’d given me the go-ahead for walks, and even told me I could lift the weight of my daughter, but nothing over 15lbs, and “no crunches!”. That was all I needed to hear.

(On vacation with my daughter, 3 months old, my girlfriend and our husbands)

Very carefully I started out slowly, using my 8lb hand weights doing recorded FitTV episodes to give myself some structure. I would do my 100/100/100 (leaving out the abs of course) and walked at least 45 min – 1 hr every day. I would put Mia into her stroller, put the dog on his leash, fill up a water bottle and walk as swiftly as my tender abdomen would allow. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, but as soon as I started this routine my energy levels came soaring back, and the superfoods went into high effect. It was hard to fit in, of course, but I was determined as you too will have to be. I would work in my 4 sets of 25 squats while I was soothing Mia before naps or bed, or even as I was interacting with her. I’d make goofy noises, drop down, smile, and then slowly rise. She just stared at me and occasionally smiled, but I worked it in, which is the point.
Work it in when you can, however you can. I would do the pushups (modified for ease, from the knees) while Mia was in her crib fussing, so that I could make sure she was okay by being in the room, and still getting something done. Either that or I would put a blanket on the floor, and do the pushups literally over her, smiling as I came close to her face, so she would start thinking it was a game. We still do this, at three months, and she is now so responsive she just laughs and smiles each time I say “woo!” as I lower myself towards her.
Now I am back to full-throttle working out. I’ve returned rejoicing to Bikram yoga, and the very last 5lbs of baby weight came flying off in just 3 weeks. I know it isn’t that way for everyone, but being in the hot sweaty room, cleansing, twisting, shedding all that water weight, built up toxins and hormones, just things your body needs to let go of, it felt amazing. Everything slowly has tightened back up, and it will for you too. If I can’t make it to yoga I am still doing my 100/100/100, and all of my FitTV recorded exercise shows, and every once in a while I actually make it outside or to the gym for a run. The point is, just like through the pregnancy, it is equally as important to continue to make sure you do SOMETHING every single day. Make the time, if it is important to you. You will feel better, healthier, be able to sleep at night or when the baby sleeps, you will feel more confident to take on the challenges that new motherhood is presenting. And even though you haven’t gotten much sleep and you have “no energy to work out right now!” do it anyway, because by exerting energy your body will take care of you and give you energy back.
It will balance out hormones; regulate your sleep/wake cycles get blood pumping so there will be fat flushing; give you a rush of serotonin and make you feel like you actually can make it through the day/night.
If you need resources for help losing the baby weight, there are great websites out there, tons in fact, such as http://www.pregnancywithoutpounds.com/
But the bottom line is it is just going to take you getting motivated enough to do something, anything, every single day. Load up your water bottle with lemon water, a few drops of liquid stevia, and hit the floor, pavement, or yoga mat. You can do this!!!

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