I can still remember the day I was given the green light to start working out again, there I was standing in front of my TV wondering how on earth I was ever going to do that very first exercise in the 21 Day Fix. I was weak, I was tired and I had very little hope that I would ever be able to shed the rest of the baby weight that seemed so desperate to stay.
While I struggled through the first workout and many more after that I want you to know that what seems IMPOSSIBLE is POSSIBLE when you are gracious with yourself, when you allow yourself time, (you did grow a baby for 9 months and heal from major surgery by the way) and have patience with yourself.
You will get through these workouts, you will get stronger and you can get in the best shape of your life even after multiple C-Sections. Here are my 5 tips on beginning your workouts after a C-Section
1. Modify. Modify. MODIFY
Ok, I get it, some of us may have been she-hulks prior to having our little bundles of joy but that does not mean you all of a sudden have your super powers back, you have to EARN them back and modification will get you there. Now, if this is your first workout in your journey to a healthier you, this step will be a little easier for you. No matter where you were or where you are know that you will not be flying through the workouts with ease… listen to your body and follow the modifier if there is one. Heck, MODIFY the modifier, I know I did. Know that each day you WILL get stronger but remember that it is OK to start slow and modify.
2. Slowly As She GOES!
Ok, so I will be the first to admit that I wanted that baby weight off and I wanted it off FAST. This is NOT going to happen for most of us, even if we kept our diet clean and our workouts consistent throughout pregnancy, not all of us bounce back quickly. Remember that slow progress is not no progress, what slow progress really is, is LASTING progress. You want to aim to lose 1-2 lbs per week and nothing more (other than the first few weeks where we do tend to lose a bit more). Our bodies do better when we progress slow, the faster you go, the easier it will be to put that weight back on. So, remember the tortoise and the hare? ALWAYS be the tortoise.
3. If it’s PAINFUL stop (not to be confused with HARD)
Remember how you had major surgery? Stitches? How you could hardly even walk the first time you got up and getting in and out of bed felt like a marathon? Well… ya, how could we forget right? If you are working out and it is PAINFUL and I am not talking “ugh this is hard, I don’t wanna…”, I am talking, “shit… I feel like I am ripping apart”… STOP! STOP, STOP and STOP. Skip that move, do not do it… you are not ready, you have not fully healed, big ol’ STOP-A-ROO. Do you know how many ab exercises I did not do? Like, all of them but what I did do was SWAP… if there was an ab move that was not happening I did a plank. I did planks for DAYS ladies… so do not be afraid to STOP and SWAP. If you have nothing to swap it with, just take a breather and get back into it when it’s something you CAN do without pain.
4. Get your SLEEP momma!
You know the whole “nap when the baby naps” thing? Ya, do that! You do not have to be super mom, you do not have to have your floors ready to be eaten off of, you are caring for a tiny creature (and maybe even more) and they are your number one priority, number two is YOU. So nap… Get that sleep so that when you and baby are awake you have the energy to care for them and care for yourself.
5. Don’t Lie to Yourself
Ok, so truth time. For 3 months I was “stuck”, I was the same 163 lbs I had been for what seemed like forever. My workouts and “clean eating” were not working and I figured I was stuck with this “just had a baby” body forever. Well, truth is, I was lying to myself about the whole “clean eating” thing. Sure there were clean foods mixed all up in my diet but I had continued the night-time snacking, the quick and easy foods, the eat a little of this and that out of here and there thing… yet I still told myself I was eating clean when in reality I was stuffing my face with the oh so delicious and not so nutritious. If we TRULY want to get in the best shape of our lives then we have to FUEL our bodies, not FEED them.
Remember new Momma, enjoy all the time you’ve got with your little creature because they GROW UP quick. If you keep these 5 tips in mind you WILL get there but it will not happen over night. It took me 9 months before I was back at my pre-baby weight and it’s ok to take even longer. Just know that you will get there and be kind to yourself as you head out on this journey. You were beautiful growing your little one, you are beautiful now and you will be beautiful tomorrow.