Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Body After Baby: It CAN Be Done

I can totally see your reaction now.

Some of you are in shock and awe.
Some of you are sitting there rolling your eyes, thinking that I am a discouragement.
And some of you are thrilled and feel hopeful at the aspect of bouncing back after baby.

What I want to tell you today is that yes, it can be done. But not every female body and pregnancy are the exact same. Every one bounces back at their own rate, pace, and ability. 

And before you even say it-YES, I get that some women were on bedrest or had difficult pregnancies that hindered them from keeping up the fit life for those 40 weeks of growing a human. I get that. Trust me-I have gotten tons and tons of hateful comments about how the way I bounced back "so quickly" made them feel bad about themselves.

My goal in life besides being the best wifey and mother that I can be, is to inspire you women. I have not always been this physically and mentally fit.

I have suffered from an eating disorder.
I have been overweight.
I have had an unhealthy relationship with food for much of my life.

As you can see from the collage below, I become a little heavier than I ought to have been. But, then, I changed my lifestyle and gained a 6 pack for the first time in my entire life. Proof, that yes, abs are made in the kitchen!

Growing up, I played sports and had a naturally athletic body. But as high school came and went, that meant quitting sports for jobs to pay my way. This also meant fast and cheap food. I ate this way all throughout college and nursing school. Until one day, I had enough of the jiggle and decided that I wanted to get healthy and love my body.

Throughout my pregnancy, I stayed very active. I worked a job. I worked out 5 times a week (sometimes more, if I had time) for at least an hour by doing cardio and lifting, I loved running at my local track, and I ate clean for the most part. I actually ran 3 miles the day that I went into labor with my son-which was on my due date (though he decided to not make his grand appearance until 22 hours later.)

Because I kept up with all of the activities that I was doing prior to pregnancy, the hateful comments kept rolling in. I heard things like:

"You're going to induce an abortion!"
"Shaken baby syndrome!"
"You shouldn't be lifting that heavy! You are going to miscarry!"

Sweet, right? The fact is that I knew my body and what it was capable of. Not every woman can do the same things and this is where we need to undersand that it is okay to workout during pregnancy-if you are physically able and if your physician gives you the thumbs up. Don't listen to the trolls who love sitting behind their keyboards, feeling brave. Listen to YOU and YOUR BODY. Ignore the haters.

A lot of you guys had asked me, at the time, if I would take a picture of my immediate pospartum body while at the hospital. The photo below was 18 hours or so after giving birth. I was amazed more than anything at how the human body can bounce back after giving birth-if you took care of yourself throughout your entire pregnancy. 

But, don't get me wrong-I did not walk out of the maternity ward wearing chiseled 6 pack abs. I actually did not start working out hardcore till around 12 or 15 weeks postpartum or so. BUT I CAN tell you that wearing a postpartum girdle did help me to acheive flat abs before even walking out of the hospital.

I used Belly Bandit, the BFF style.

38 weeks vs. 4 days after giving, below.

I am not saying that each and every woman WILL bounce back after giving birth. 

I am definitely NOT saying that each and every woman SHOULD.

Every one has their own goals and the way that they feel about their bodies. Personally, I wanted to stay healthy in order for my son to be the healthiest baby that he would be (with my control). 

If you chose not to workout during pregnancy, I do not shun you! That is your choice and you have your reasons so do not feel bad. I am here to encourage and motivate-not make you feel like shit. If you feel convicted, then do the best you can to change that.

I am often asked, what is my biggest trouble area since giving birth, if it isn't my abs. 

Hands down-my ASS! Breastfeeding (as I am still doing) has made it almost freaking impossible to gain muscle and tone my legs. However, it is getting there... slowly, but surely-one weighted squat at a time :)

Here are a couple befores with the current situation in the middle (untouched).

I have learned that my body is such an amazing machine. It created a freaking human LIFE and gave birth to it!! How can I not love it and treat it with all due respect?

Here are 10 of my biggest tips that have helped me to get my body back after having my son:

If you cannot make it to a gym and need to workout from home, try my new Strong Body Guide that is helping busy women worldwide get into their best shape ever. Little to no equipment needed for most moves!
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