When I got pregnant with my daughter, I was in peak condition. I was strong, I had boundless energy and felt great because I was able to take really good care of myself. It also helped that my work was in dance, fitness and nutrition, but I’ll get to that later. At the time, I was only married for about 2 years and dedicated most of my time to teaching dance and fitness, as well as nutrition and pageant coaching. It wasn’t until after my daughter was born that all of the things I was and did in my life just kind of disappeared for a while…
I think we moms, all experience this “loss of old-self” to some degree. For me, it was profoundly about fitness and wellness because that was my life. I quickly started to realize that on the days I was able to take better care of myself, those were the days I was better at being mom, too. That little slice of “me-time” renewed my energy and spirits, even if it was a 10- minute workout or a facial mask. Yes, Supermom, you are human too and have to have your needs met in order to be your very best for baby. So, let’s get to it! Here are ten fitness and wellness strategies:
There’s much to be said about taking your time with postpartum fitness, and it’s certainly NOT an outdated wives tale! There’s A LOT of healing that still needs to happen, and continue to happen for months to come. Once you are given the green light to exercise by your doctor, take it as slow as you need to. Your body took so many months to form a human life, and now it’s time to let it heal and recover in its own time.
Listen to Your Body!
I can’t stress this enough. Remember I said I worked in fitness and dance? Well, for me, it SHOULD HAVE been easy to get right back into my old routines postpartum, but it couldn’t have been farther from the truth. I had diastasis recti, as well as pubic symphysis dysfunction, both limiting, and painful conditions that changed the way I move…and for me that was EVERYTHING. I sincerely wish I had listened to the nagging messages my body was giving me over the conventional wisdom on prenatal and postpartum fitness that led me down a difficult path of recovery. Needless to say, your innate humane instinct is very wise.
It’s an oldie but a goodie, and that’s because you can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going. So get a cute little notebook out, and set some very specific goals for yourself in the next weeks and months. You’ll need to break your goals down from bigger, to smaller, more digestible steps. Let me give you some examples:
By March 1st I will fit back into my skinny jeans (Big goal)
I will drink 8 glasses of water daily (smaller goal)
Wake up 30 minutes earlier to do a workout 4 days a week (smaller goal)
I will cut out processed foods from my diet (smaller goal)
Use this Year long planner to set, keep track and achieve your goals.
Keep Track of your Progress
Take a few minutes daily to track your workouts, food and drink intake, supplements, and how you felt. It doesn’t need to be extensive, but a quick snapshot of your day. This will give you great insight on how you’re doing and what changes you may need to make. It’s also a great source of continued motivation as you start to see some positive changes along the way.
Eat from your Refrigerator NOT your Pantry
Let me explain. If you follow this strategy you’re likely to eat less processed foods that are packaged/preserved and full of unhealthy additives, and eat more fresh foods; the kind that can spoil, and reside in your fridge. The fresher, and closer to nature the food, the better it is for you.
Fill up on Nutrient-Dense Foods
This is an easy concept to follow if you think of a rainbow. Eating fruits and vegetables in an array of colours – like the rainbow – is a great place to start getting an abundance of necessary nutrients to fuel your body. With cleaner energy sources, you will not only heal faster, but you’ll have so much more energy to be that Super Mom you already are!
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Eat Super Foods
Super foods are all the rage these days, and for good reason. They’re the kind of foods that provide a full spectrum of vitamins, including necessary fiber and antioxidants. The superstars I list below are just a few. But a quick google search will turn up many more.
Red (purple) Cabbage
Realize that things are different now and you’ll need to rework your old routines, and that’s ok. For me, that meant doing short burst workouts (when my daughter napped), the kind that I now offer in my online fitness program. I would do 5-15 minute workouts twice a day, and then once I was able to do more I gradually increased the workout time.
Practice Positive Affirmations
This is the stuff champions are made of. I’m serious! Competitive athletes, including entertainers, and well- known public figures all use positive affirmations along with visualization to achieve their goals because it is a form of brain- programming. It puts these positive thoughts and vibes at the forefront of your brain so that’s how you confront your day. Here are some examples of positive affirmations (or positive self- talk) to repeat daily:
I am beautiful and strong
All of my goals are within my reach
I live my life with purpose and joy.
Check out some more empowering quotes here.
Practice Patience and Self Acceptance
I fully admit these are virtues I have a very, very hard time practicing, but they are both worth spending some time on. To be at your best, you have to learn to be patient with the process and accept where you are currently. It’s an ever- changing journey too as new things come into play in your life, such as motherhood. I found that if I let go of the notion of perfection, and focus on gratitude for the positives, I feel motivated and energized to achieve more wonderful things.
In conclusion, I’d just like to say, YOU are awesome! All of your goals really ARE within your reach. With the right guidance and a positive attitude, anything is possible. You’re a strong, beautiful mama who deserves to feel amazing, and I’d love to help you do that. I hope you’ve found this helpful, and I look forward to learning about you and your journey too!