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Losing It!

March 24, 2009

I’m blurry eyed and sleep deprived. There’s barely time to eat, shower, or get dressed. I wonder if my body will ever be the same again.

I just had a baby. Actually, make that two. Twins.

My life will never be the same. And neither will my body.

I look in the mirror with a mixture of joy and despondency. Joy, because all that weight I’ve been carrying has greatly diminished with the birth of my babies. Despondency over loose tummy muscles and wrinkled skin replacing my once flat waist. I wonder if I’ll ever feel good about my body again. And when on earth will I ever find time to exercise, anyway?

The good news is no new mother needs to worry about exercising right away! If you’ve just had a baby your body needs healthy food and rest to build up the energy you need to care for yourself and your new little one. In the meantime, don’t despair. So, when the time comes to start adding exercise back into your life again—or even for the first time—here are a few tips to maximize your workout time, and make it easier to fit into your day.

Continue reading . . .

For my readers with babies and/or small children, what have you found helpful for practically building exercise into your life? Or, what is your biggest challenge to exercising regularly?

(Image from Ungrind.org)

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2009 10:52 am

    Great article Danielle, and very timely for me. Collin just turned 6 months old, which is when I told myself I would start exercising. I was fortunate enough to join a free pilot program at my local gym that was designed for post-natal women to strengthen their backs and core muscles using a fitness ball. It was low-impact, and a good start. Now, I’m doing a combination of everything that you mentioned: DVDs or TV shows, walks (with baby backpack or stroller), and some time at the gym (Ethan watches Collin once a week for me during his lunch break). I know that I’ll probably lose some weight, but like you said, my shape and tummy skin are definitely altered.

  2. March 24, 2009 11:53 am

    Danielle, I’m with you on the videos. They make it more feasible to exercise. I love the “Walk Away the Weight” videos and Pilates. I also ride a stationary exercise bike. This works because I can do it during naptime and also fit in some reading while I ride. Or I can sit my baby in her exersaucer to watch me.

    For me, the biggest challenge is finding the energy. Although I’ve found that once I get started it always make me more energetic throughout the day.

  3. March 24, 2009 1:39 pm

    LOL – Danielle, I saw the photo and I just about died – I was like HOW DID SHE GET THIS SHOT OFF MY COMPUTER??? – and then I remembered I shot it off for Ashleigh to use for your article…. *giggle* I still have to read the article; just thought I’d tell you about my laugh… 😉

  4. March 24, 2009 1:43 pm

    And I totally am sad about that tummy flab hanging over my waist too, but it’s just so encouraging to know that other gals have it too! Great article – I need to get that ab-toning dvd! My biggest challenge is finding the energy to exercise in the first place… *wry grin*

  5. March 24, 2009 2:29 pm

    That’s your photo, Kelly!? Awesome, I love it!

  6. March 24, 2009 2:31 pm

    Oh I’m glad other gals have tummy flab too! Odd thing to be happy about. All my exercise has yet to get rid of it. I thought my skin was just so stretched from having twins, but then maybe it would have happened anyway, twins for not, ha ha!

  7. March 24, 2009 4:40 pm

    Hmmmm well I am at the pregnant stage and with my first two kids I taught spinning up until the day I gave birth. With my third and now fourth I have found that exercise during pregnancy is pretty much just keeping up with the kids. I was finding if I went to work out I had nothing….nothing left to give my kiddos.

    When the kids are not in the belly….I love to get up early and exercise. For me it was my time. It was hard to get up. I am not naturally a morning person. But I enjoy it once I get going. I like to hike near my house or go lift weights at the gym. I found if I went before the kids were awake and hubby at home I didn’t get off track when they were sick and couldn’t go to the gym childcare. I do find this early morning very challenging with breastfeeding. My kids are my one of my highest priorities especially their needs that first year. Adelee seemed to hang on to that morning nurse until the end. That was the final nursing time when I weaned her. So that made my morning routine hard to do. I pretty much either had to haul the boys and their bikes in the car and Ad in the stroller and head to the Rose Bowl for a walk around, or take them to various outdoor places to walk such as the local gardens. We hike a lot as a family. I too love exercise videos but those didn’t happen much this last time with homeschooling the older two and running a business, and keeping house I didn’t have as much time to pull those out. I guess with each kid you have to adapt if you want to be healthy. I think it is great as you have older kids to find activities that you all can do as a family that encourages them to be active.

    I have plans after this next baby. My hubby is already looking at used spin bikes for me to have one here at home….so I can get up and work out and be available to nurse if need be. I think one of the biggest keys to losing weight after a baby is to really monitor your calorie burn and your calorie intake. If you are not careful with what you are putting in no amount of exercise will help.

    I have also noticed something both in my years of Personal Training and my years as a mom. When you do heavy exercise while breast feeding you tend to hold on to the weight a little more. I think it is the bodies natural response to protect the baby and have a supply of milk. So know that you are doing what is best for you baby but the pounds might not come off quickly until you are done.

  8. March 24, 2009 7:46 pm

    Funnily enough, I used that Kathy Smith DVD today for the first time. She’s a little scary, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. There’s also a few postnatal DVDs out there, including one for TaeBo.
    Definitely, making a regular half-hour for exercise most days is important, and feasible. I don’t do mine in the morning because there’s too much going on, so my time is in the afternoon, when I’d normally be at my lower ebb. It helps me to push through and gives an extra boost of energy at the time of day I need it the most.
    Lucky you for tummy flab – I haven’t lost enough yet for it to be flabby! The exercise part isn’t as hard for me as the not eating whatever my hand finds! (sigh…)

  9. March 25, 2009 8:01 pm

    I just read your article on Unrgind. Just beautiful! I love the gentle, hopeful tone of your writing. Have you read anything by Geneen Roth? She’s got a similar gentleness. I have found her writing to be very helpful on weight loss and body image issues.

  10. bethyoung permalink
    March 26, 2009 11:01 am

    I promised myself that I would exercise this pregnancy and I have not. Sad. I’ve been fortunate enough with my last two pregnancies to take the weight off within the first few weeks and get back into my normal cloths. “Normal” though, isn’t where I should be. I really SHOULD be about 15-20 lbs below where I started before the pregnancy. So, since this is most likely our last, I will really try to make it happen. Weight Watchers works great for me and we also belong to the YMCA. I have found that Cycling Class (or Spin Class) can burn up to 1200 calories in a short 45 minutes and if you ask me, that’s a great way to start! I actually like the Cycling Class so I’m hoping that my little comment will give me the confidence boost I need after this bebe 🙂

  11. bethyoung permalink
    March 26, 2009 11:01 am

    and I wear clothes, not “cloths”. Ha.

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