How to Get Back in Shape after Baby
By Rachel Weems (@rachel_weems)
Whether you’re returning to fitness after welcoming your first or fifth baby, no two postpartum journeys are the same. While these differences allow us to define our own unique versions of health for ourselves, a few road signs along the way would be nice too! Hence why we compiled this list of some of our favorite, tried-and-true tips to help cheer you on during your quest to find your happiest, healthiest #mombod!
Photo: Madison Kaplan in the Oceane Nursing Sports Bra
Positive Vibes Only
No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, “positive vibes only” are wise words to live by. The internet is abounding with negativity concerning postpartum weight loss. While some articles promote forming healthy, realistic expectations, others are so focused on the obstacles that it can make moms returning to fitness feel like giving up before they even try. We’re not saying that there isn’t some truth to the argument that it’s harder to get back in shape after each subsequent baby (scheduling your workouts around one baby is easier than two) and no one is denying that our metabolisms do have a lovely way of slowing down as we age, but the rest of the story is your own to write! Life has a way of showing us what we expect to see and giving back what we put in. So, show negativity the way out (especially your own negative thoughts!) and stay positive mama. Trust the process, no matter how slow it might seem.
Photo: Selah Victor in the Chloe 3 Running Nursing Sports Bra
Progress over Perfection
Which brings us to our next tip, “progress over perfection”. Trusting the process can be absolutely maddening when the scale won’t budge (more on that next). Try to remember that what’s ultimately most important right now is that you do your best to enjoy this short season with your precious baby. We all know babies don’t keep, so trust that what little bit of movement and nourishment you’re able to give yourself right now is enough. Slow and steady wins the race (not crash diets or driving yourself crazy). You might just discover an even better version of your healthiest self along the way.
Photo: Hayley Carling in the Madison Ruffle Nursing Sports Bra
The Scale is a Liar
Ever noticed the phenomenon of weighing a slightly lighter version of yourself at 8 a.m. versus 8 p.m.? Have you fallen victim to the frustration of five pounds of water weight packed on overnight? Women and scales have had a notoriously rocky relationship. Our best advice here is to ditch the scale or weigh yourself once a week (or less!) if you must instead of subjecting yourself to the roller coaster of emotions unreliable daily weigh-ins can cause. If seeing your progress in a tangible form motivates you, then consider trying on your favorite pair of jeans once a week or so. The scale is fickle and can trigger a spiral of unnecessary negativity for some women.
Dress for Success
Any mama of little ones knows windows of opportunity for yourself are few and far between. Minimize obstacles between you and your workout, like having to change clothes, to help make that rare moment a reality. Thankfully Sweat and Milk has a full collection of livable athleisurewear and nursing sports bras designed specifically for modern breastfeeding mamas so you can comfortably spend the day ready to capitalize on whenever you can squeeze in that quick sweat session.
Forget the “All or Nothing” Mentality
And we often mean quick sweat session! Fitting your workout in between nursing, pumping, diaper changes, naps and toddler mealtimes (plus everything else you do for your family) is a workout itself. Flexibility is your friend right now more than ever. Some days your workout could be interrupted every few minutes or divided into ten-minute chunks here and there. Other days, despite your best efforts, it just might not happen at all. Maybe after a long night, you opt for rest instead. Give yourself the grace right now to accept that all of this is okay and don’t discount the seemingly little steps you make toward your goals. They’ll all add up and the pieces will eventually fall together.
What are your health and fitness goals right now? Let us know how you are making your health a priority! We’d love to hear from you!
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