Healthy Meals

My Postpartum Fitness Journey

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time, but alas, motherhood is much busier than anticipated.

Quite frankly, these past 5 months have flown by as I’ve watched Sidney change and grow every single day before my eyes. It’s wonderful, and I’m so lucky and grateful to be home with him during this time. Life has gotten so much more beautiful since he was born. (Read his birth story here.)

That being said, I want it to be known that having a baby doesn’t always mean that everything is blissful all the time. There’s a lot of new change to process all at once (and I want to touch more on those emotions in another post); today I’m here to share my postpartum fitness journey with you.

I wanted share this because it’s truly been a journey for me to feeling confident with my new beautiful body. It took acceptance, managing my emotions towards body changes and juggling and prioritizing self-care to realize that I was never going to get my old body ‘back’. What I was going to get instead was a family, and a new perspective of what my body was able to do for me, and would continue to do for me moving forward.

monique in a yard in a tan sports bra and grey sweatshirt

Honestly speaking, self love and acceptance are a complicated kind of relationship to have with yourself. It requires constant practice, and it’s never perfect. Your relationship with food, your body and mind all need to be in agreement and co-exist in a way that feels balanced; but add in a newborn baby who doesn’t sleep more than 3 hour stretches, constant breastfeeding, minimal time for any self-care and you are easily stretched to your mental and emotional limits.

This is where exercise comes in. Exercise helped me feel like I had a moment of time for myself. Like I was working on getting stronger, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally.

The first 6 weeks

For the first 6 weeks, I didn’t exercise at all. Just lots of soaking up baby cuddles and sneaking in sleep whenever I could. I was also recovering from a 2nd degree tear so walking for the first few weeks was even out of the question. I took it slow. Figuring out how to care for a brand new tiny human can make you both overwhelmed and overjoyed at the same time. So new mamas, just TAKE IT SLOW.

monique sitting on a bench with a coffee in black joggers and a grey sweatshirt

Months 2-3

By the third month, I was into a steady at-home exercise routine 4-5 days a week that consisted of doing workouts on the internet, IG lives and my trainer Rae’s workout programs. One day, I just started and decided that for the next 12 weeks I would commit. I really could only fit in a 30 minute workout, so my best bet was to change into my workout clothes right away in the morning, and then as soon I put Sidney down for a nap, I would immediately start working out. At that point in time he was only taking about 45 minute naps, so it was truly difficult, but prepping everything is key. Have your clothes on, water ready and everything you need for when your baby gets up — it makes it so much easier!

During month 3, I also committed to walking 3 miles a day at least 4 days a week. It felt amazing to get out with Sidney and enjoy the warmer weather. I usually walked with him when I knew he’d be likely to fall asleep. The last nap of the day was perfect for that.

monique walking in a pink long sleeved shirt and black shorts

Month 4

By month 4, I really started to feel stronger in both my core and legs, and I was overall feeling so much happier and in a better groove than the first two months.

Finally, I decided to order some new workout clothes from lululemon. Does anyone else agree that cute workout clothes make you feel a little more confident? I got a couple bras for my now bigger boobs, a few pairs of my favorite stretchy leggings, and a couple pairs of biker shorts. I was ridiculously excited and the new clothes made get excited to workout, even when I felt a lack of motivation.

Here are the few things I got:

Month 5

I recently have felt a little unmotivated again to workout at home. It happens, and it’s a fine line between giving myself grace and feeling the exercise guilt. But more than not, I choose GRACE. I switch things up, acknowledge why I feel unmotivated and start again, because I know at the end of the day that movement makes me feel incredible. Lately I’ve started training outside once a week, and then the rest of the time I’m going on short runs or riding my bike by the lake. That’s just where I’m at right now and it’s working well for me. The important part is consistency (even if it’s imperfect), to get out the energy, clear my mind and release anxiety.

So, there’s the little update on my postpartum journey. It’s changing, evolving, growing — just like me. Each day I make a choice to move forward, to get stronger and to properly nourish my body. Life is a gift, and it is even more of a gift to carry one. Thanks for reading. xo.

This post is sponsored by lululemon. All text and opinions are my own.

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