I worked hard! Losing 55 pounds twice wasn’t easy and I certainly didn’t feel all that great about myself after my babies were born. I was left with the after affects of pregnancy and it couldn’t come off fast enough. I wish I could say it was the recommended 25 pounds but with the first two it was more like 55. Having always been a fit and athletic person pregnancy was a chapter of life that was a struggle. I didn’t feel good because I wasn’t exercising or eating right. I didn’t exercise during pregnancy because it was the only time I dealt with feeling so uncomfortable in my own skin. After each of the girls I busted my butt to lose the weight. I just wanted to feel good in my clothes again, make sure my husband had a wife he could be proud of and for me to be okay with what I saw in the mirror.
When my second daughter was 2 I took my fitness to the next level and trained for figure competitions! Of course starting at an ideal body weight was helpful but now I was in the business of making muscle. Before she was 4 I did 3 figure shows placing in two of them! I loved my strong body, my level of fitness (gym Rock star you could say), and constantly desired to get stronger, faster, all around better. I took what I knew in my head about proper nutrition and put it into practice, cleaned up my diet for life not just competing and committed to a healthy and balanced lifestyle not to be skinny again but because it’s truly what I love, practice and preach to my clients.
Shortly after our youngest turned 4 my husband and I decided to go for a third. A new child to love, a new baby to hold, perhaps our first boy, so much to be joyful about, but what a SETBACK that would be. Physically a setback as my body would obviously change, my muscle mass would begin to decrease, my skin stretch again, and of course the unknowns that come during the birth process. Some would ask why you would ruin all that hard work and I couldn’t argue with that question.
Not only did I acknowledge the physical setbacks but the mental struggle also. Fearful of this being the pregnancy that does me in and I can’t get my body back, can I handle my passion for fitness with two busy daughters and a newborn, how will I adapt emotionally to not being the fit and fierce woman I had been the past few years.
I had come so far and I hadn’t forgotten how my body handled pregnancy the first two go arounds. I wish I could say I completely embrace the beauty of pregnancy but that wouldn’t be the truth. I know in my heart I’m blessed to carry a child, to have children, and what a miracle that is. But my head tells a different story.
Aware of all this, and my selfish, self absorbed thoughts God always challenges me to stop thinking about me. So last October (2012) shortly after my 31st birthday I was pregnant. Determined to not let this be a miserable pregnancy and let my selfish nature win I made a plan so this setback could be a step forward in so many ways.
So much of my training effects how I function so being a lazy preggo was not going to work this time. Regardless of how I feel I look, how I feel while I train, or how big my boobs got I made exercise a priority. I kept my usual gym time and while I didn’t always feel like it went and worked out, and I worked out hard! Having been active, strong, and agile before I became pregnant continuing to train was perfectly safe for baby and myself.
Not only did I train and exercise I was mindful of my nutrition. Certainly I indulged more than I would have if I were not pregnant but keeping similar eating habits would make transitioning post delivery that much easier.
As a personal trainer I continued to work up until the last 6 weeks. Keeping my clients focused, challenged and strong kept me even more so in the arena of fitness.
Other than my changing body and insecurities about my appearance I didn’t let any of that take me out of what I know I love.
My healthy baby boy is now 4 weeks old, and of course I am in love! He is the perfect addition to our family. I am on the other side of this “setback” working to get my body back. My plan to make this life lesson a step forward proved beneficial! I still gained weight obviously but 35 pounds is way better than 55 (and all of my babies were small so that isn’t a factor). My confidence during this last pregnancy was the best it had been for all three. My energy and activity level stayed high throughout the pregnancy and I was able to keep up with two busy daughters. I even coached my oldest daughter’s soccer team all the way up to 8 months pregnant. My post delivery recovery was easier than expected and I was able to start light exercise just two weeks after delivery.
The post baby body is quite a change from the fit mom that stepped on stage two years ago but because I know this is my lifestyle and I maintained it as such throughout I’m hopeful to get back where I was.
Being fit before or after children is a reality, whether it’s for one child or 10, you just have to make up your mind that you will do it!! I’m thankful I was able to get over myself enough to add more love and life to our family and will fight like hell to be a fit mama of three because all setbacks make for amazing comebacks!!
Hopefully you will find me on my Facebook and see the progress I’ve made on the journey to get my body back!!!