I'm not gonna lie: I spent the first two months after having my baby lying down and nursing, preferably in my comfortable bed and, if I was feeling very ambitious or extra social, on the downstairs couch surrounded by pillows and snacks. The picture of fitness I was not.
Before becoming a mom, I'd always been a person who worked out a few times a week. And yes, after the baby was born I needed to rest — and I luxuriated in that downtime (as much as a new mom can luxuriate on very little sleep while changing diapers and handling constant feedings). But there came a point for me when that rest, the hours in bed and on the couch, felt like more of a liability than a relaxing bonus to the little snuggler beside me. I had to move. Here's what motivated me:
I had proof of my own strength.
While I certainly wasn't in my best shape physically, I had a new appreciation for my body and what it could do. This body had given birth to a human being! Now that I knew how strong I really was, I wanted to harness that power.
I got in gear.
You have to get your start, and square one for me was a trip to Kohl's for a new Under Armour Mid Bra for my, let's be honest, brand new boob type. My old workout clothes all fit a little strangely — loose in some places and tight in others — so I needed gear that would stretch to fit and support my new shape. An Under Armour Tech Tank fit the bill while the HeatGear Capris gave me good lower-level coverage without chafing — and that wide, flat waistband was a bonus.
I let myself start slow.
Once I was out of pajamas and into my new Under Armour fitness gear from Kohl's that was almost as comfortable, the new healthy-mom me was ready to go. I did some at-home stretching as a start, because let's be honest: I wasn't going to run a marathon my first week back, new clothes or not.
I built up to new levels.
Within a week, I was back at the gym. Yes, I was slower and I tired more easily, but that wasn't important. What mattered was taking that first step back on the treadmill, even if I wasn't going to run my best time or distance. What mattered was getting back on my yoga mat, even if I spent more time in Child's Pose than in Downward Dog. With each workout, I got closer to my fitness goals.
I found simpatico workout partners.
My neighborhood is full of new moms, and I discovered postpartum classes at my local YMCA, one that even let me bring my baby with me! She would coo on a mat while I did squats and lunges with my Baby Boot Camp class, and if she cried or squirmed, everyone there had sympathy and pitched in to soothe her. The instructor was especially baby skilled, but she didn't take it easy on us. If we stopped working out to nurse, she expected us to be doing Kegels the whole time.
I had a new inspiration.
The best part? That little baby girl was a whole new set of reasons to stay fit. If I ever need motivation to get to the gym and lead a healthy and active life, all I have to do is look in her direction.
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