I remember waddling through the last couple of months of my second pregnancy and thinking, “I just want my body back!”
I wanted to walk without losing my breath, I wanted to bend over and pick something up without wanting to vomit. And I just wanted to wear my regular jeans, not my high-waisted elastic clown pants!
Once the baby was out, I hoped to have my body back. Immediately. I mean, why not? The baby was out now. Unfortunately, the magic didn’t happen, and now not only did I not have my pre-pregnancy body, but I also had this sweet little bundle that required lots of love and attention. When was I going to get my body back??
I’ve worked with lots and lots of moms and I’ve interviewed hundreds about their post-baby body experience. It takes a lot of careful planning and maneuvering to get back into the groove of a movement practice, but this is what I’ve discovered that worked for me and my mama clients.
1.) Practice Pilates:
After 11 years of teaching Pilates and working with women, I’ve learned that Pilates is THE BEST way to rehabilitate after childbirth. And yes, childbirth requires rehabilitation. It should anyway. There are so many potential ailments that are the result of not properly strengthening after birth. (But that’s a whole different article) Once you’ve regained your abdominal strength, if you desire to, you’ll be less prone to injury when you get back to your regular exercise program. But Pilates is so amazing, feels so good, and it does wonders for a mama’s body that you’ll most likely be addicted and never want to do anything else.
2.) Make it Convenient:
This is SO important when it comes to mamas wanting to workout. If it’s not convenient, it’s just not going to happen. It’s as simple as that. As mamas, we juggle so much as it is with family, work, and whatever else springs up in our day, that having to drive out of your way to get to a class or the gym is not going to give you a high success rate. Find something super close to home, or find an online program or videos that you enjoy.
3.) Grab A Buddy:
We learned this when we were kids! The buddy system keeps us safe, everything is more fun with a buddy, and it’s another key for success when it comes to working out. Someone has to keep you accountable, keep you motivated and call you on your BS when you’re trying to back out of your workout routine. Grab a buddy.
4.) Make Sure It’s Fun:
I like to think that “Fun” is my middle name. If it’s not fun, I’m not doing it! And you shouldn’t either. We could all use a little more fun in our life. Find something that you enjoy doing so that you’re not dreading it and having to drag yourself to class. Again, more likely to happen if it’s fun.
5.) Schedule it!:
Schedule it. Schedule it. Schedule it!! I can’t say this enough. If it’s not in your calendar with a reminder, it’s not going to happen. Period. This is one of the biggest reasons why people fail to keep up their movement practice. And if you can’t make it to your scheduled time, just reschedule it. Don’t beat yourself up and give up altogether. Rescheduling is okay, just make sure to get it in within the same week
6.) (Bonus!) Be Consistent:
Consistency is right up there with scheduling and convenience. Schedule your workouts a minimum of 2-3 times a week. When I personally did this a few years ago, it was the most magical thing I could have ever done. It was life changing. I’m being totally serious, not only did my body change but so did my mindset. I had more joy, more peace, and my bod never looked better. Being consistent with my workouts and having in them my schedule meant I didn’t have to think about it—it was planned into my day, and I went. Done.
I challenge you to try use these 6 great tips over the next 3 months, then come back to me and let me know how it went. It works. I promise.