Lots of people say to me “there is no way you had a baby” in disbelief that I had a (giant) baby and claimed my body back. Well, you can and it is not easy and my fitness journey has not ended.
We all talk about why we can’t do something for ourselves, oh only if… I had more time, more money, more energy, there will always be an excuse for all shapes and sizes of mothers out there (and fathers). Many of us give up on getting our body back, but the reality is if you want it bad enough you can have it back. I am not here to say it is easy…but know from experience it can be done.
Here is some insight into my fitness journey.
After having Caroline I felt tired, ugly, fat and at times lonely, even though I was never alone. After a few months of falling into a postpartum slump I decided I HAD to do something about it.
My family is the most important thing to me, making sure I was happy and healthy for them became my #1 priority.
To get started I needed to find something to work towards. After hearing a few other mom’s talk about running the Disney Princess Half Marathon I decided that was it! To keep myself on track I took the hard route of fundraising for my spot in the race. In order to run I had to fundraise over $3000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.
I got a training schedule (provided by @liveforfittnes) and scheduled out my 5 days a week of running. Yikes! The fundraising aspect kept me accountable and my competitive nature kept me working hard… I had to run 13.1 miles and walking was not an option.
I started training 4 months before the race and the weight started dropping off. I also adjusted my diet, this was the hard part. During my pregnancy I had some extra stress and my way of coping was enjoying the ability to eat for two. When I started running I started replacing breakfast and lunch with shakes. I did a mixture of meal replacements and my own spinach, vegetable and assorted fruit and nuts really whatever I could mix together that was fresh and healthy that tasted remotely good.
I was finally feeling happy about the way I looked and started to regain confidence in all aspects of my every day life.
Breastfeeding and pumping made training difficult but burning the extra calories assisted in the weight drop.
Like most women the world around me has shaped the way I perceive my body. This perception still plagues my mind as I look at my post baby body. However, I am proud of how far I have come.
After the race I was motivated to stay in shape and decided to try a new type of work out. Orange Theory Fitness was opening their first location in Gainesville, literally down the street from my house. I was out running with caroline one day and decided to pop in. They were opening the next week and had a full week of free classes available so I figured I would give it a try.
Almost two years later I have not looked back! Orange Theory took my already fit body and gave it some definition. In the past I have worked hard to tone my arms and stomach with less then impressive results. Something about the Orange Theory work out was exactly what my body needed.
I still struggle with how I feel about myself, can my stomach be more defined… why can’t I “see” my six pack more?? 😉 and dealing with the reality of stretched out skin from having a 9.6 pound baby. I know I got off easy compared to some mothers but no matter how big or small stretch marks are stretch marks and I am still working on moving past that.
My current fitness goals are to stay strong, run faster, lift heavier, and define my abdomen even more. I know I will get there if I keep on pushing myself.