This post is written in honour of my new and dear friend Natalie who is probably going to read this while seated on her couch, watching her two young children steal toys from each other.
She might be trying to read this article in her one hand, while using the other free hand to rub her child’s back.
So I’m making this article as point-form as I can, which is hard, cuz the one thing I am Not lacking in is Words.
I could go on forever- but for Natalie, and all multitasking Mamas just like her- I’ll try and keep this concise!
Those two words one after (or before) the other seem like an oxymoron.
But they don’t have to be.
There Are some things you can try and do to be in better health after a baby, or 2 or 4, flies out of your body.
Short note here- vaginal birth, c-section, fresh baby via adoption- it’s All hard.
In any way in which you acquire one- a new baby in your possession means that you:
⁃ No longer have any time
⁃ No longer have freedom to leave the house when you want to
⁃ Aren’t sleeping well
⁃ And are feeding a child All the Effin Time, so you don’t have time/forget/don’t have time to feed yourself.
Keeping your own damn self Alive after a baby is Hard enough.
I’m going to say that again- cuz it needs repeating.
Do you have a child under 2 at home?
Have you kept Your Self AND your child fed for the last two years or however long they’ve breathed on earth?
If you answered Yes to that question-
You are ALREADY nailing this postpartum weight loss thing.
Postpartum weight loss- I don’t Love that term.
It implies that we Have to, or we Should, crank out a baby, and then Immediately set about getting fit and sexy and skinny again.
I don’t want to get skinny for someone else’s standards, or sexy for my husband’s sake, or any other dude’s (or woman’s) sake.
I wanna get Fit, and healthy, for my children.
My kids want me to get down on the floor and play with them and not just adhere myself to the couch all day (damnit- there goes my plans for the day). Well shit- I better be able to jump with them for at least 2 minutes straight.
(PS that’s Effin hard- if doubting this- try playing the ‘Jump…’ song by Patty Shukla (or something close to that name and title) on YouTube. Try and jump when Patty tells you to jump and rest when Patty tells you to rest. Your kids will Love the song- and you’ll get a Very good idea of just how shit your cardio has become since having a baby.)
I wanna get Fit for my Kids.
And for myself.
These are my goals.
If I get a compliment from someone along the way- Awesome! But first and foremost, if your goal words are ‘skinny’ or ‘sexy’ or to reach a certain number on the bathroom scale-
Throw those goals right into the diaper bin. They stink.
And stinkin’ thinkin’ doesn’t get results. Just more blame and anxiety and guilt, and we likely don’t need any more of those items in our daily diet, amiright??!
So here’s the postpartum fitness test- Can you jump/dance/wiggle/wrestle for 2 minutes straight with your kid(s) and not self-destruct/implode/explode/run out of air?
And the next fitness test- Do your kids see you at least trying to be active?
If you can answer yes to Either of those questions- Then you are already nailing this postpartum fitness thing.
Those are the goals.
A) That you are trying, and B) that your family sees that you are trying. The other goals you might want- to be skinnier or sexier, they might follow, in good time.
But if you wanna succeed- don’t let them lead.
1. Eat when you’re hungry
2. Eat when you’re hungry
3. Eat when you’re hungry
4. Sleep as much as you possibly can between the hours of 8 pm- 8 am. As much as you Possibly can.
5. Eat when you’re hungry
6. Drink lots of water. Have it Everywhere. In your car. Water bottle on your desk. In your purse. On your nightstand. Bonus points if it’s washable- the earth thanks you for this. So do future generations of humans who will need this planet’s resources.
7. Eat lots of snacks. Same as above. Have little snack baggies of Everything, Everywhere. Not more than a fistful of any one snack food at one time, and try to limit how much of your snack food comes in bags/plastic/individual packaging. Not because it’s bad for the environment- though it is- but more so because if it is a snack food and it has more than three ingredients in it, it’s probably not good for you.
8. Eat fruit. See above. Fruit is nature’s carb. Easy to grab. Easy to eat. Easy source of quick energy. Easy to pack. Except for bananas- they’re assholes. Bananas are also one of the best snack foods out there, for a million other reasons, so even though they’re assholes to pack- do snack on bananas often. They’re cheap as hell to buy too!
9. When you’re acing it with the fruits- eat veggies. Same as above re fruits. Veggies are nature’s snack. I myself find veggies ‘hard’ to do- my sexy coworker that looks like a leggy giraffe does Not find veggies hard to do; hence the difference in our body composition. I like fruit; fruit is sugar and carbs. She likes veggies; veggies are vitamins and minerals and nutrients and Not much sugar; I have to Work to lose or maintain my healthy body weight- the leggy, veggie-loving Giraffe at my office does not. You wanna be a leggier giraffe? Eat more veggies. You wanna be pleasantly plump and then do some exercise to fix it? Eat more fruit.
10. Find ANY exercise you like. Find it first. And then do it, when you can. And don’t force it. Don’t force Any of it. Pilates? I would rather die. Zumba? Tried it once with a friend (never say no to a fitness suggestion- try everything once. You never know what your body will respond to.) Zumba- tried it once with a friend… knew my hand/eye coordination was really bad- but didn’t know how bad. Tried Zumba with a friend Once- ended up consistently facing the Entire rest of the class, and realizing, many times, that not only was my whole body turned the wrong way (again!) but that I was doing the exact Opposite of what I was supposed to be doing. Right arm up; left leg kicking? My left arm was up, and my right leg was flailing around like a half-dead chicken. Laughed so hard I pissed my pants (legit- had to run out of there lightning fast!) and never went back again. I have friends that love Zumba and Pilates and Peloton bikes and I just don’t- and that’s Totally fine. I love vinyasa-flow hot yoga and running the track at the gym and occasional hiking and occasional biking during the summer and rollerblading. And that’s about it. Find something you like- and Then find time to do it. Right now- my toddler can go to childcare at the gym in the next town over for less than $5/hour. I can jam her in the gym’s childcare centre for one hour and I can bring my newborn in the stroller to the track upstairs. I go to the gym on Mondays, for one hour, and throw the toddler in childcare and run like the wind with the newborn around the track. I do it once a week. For one hour. Could I be doing it More? Maybe. Do I want to do it more? Absolutely. But dragging two kids out of the house for a workout is pure fucking hell, so right now, I go once a week, and that’s awesome. Find something you like- then make the time for it.
And that’s it.
Those are all my tips.
Eat when you’re hungry.
Drink water lots.
Eat fruits and veggies.
Find an activity you like- and then find some time for it.
Let me know how it goes for you-
I wish you the absolute best of luck!!
PS I got un-lazy- here’s the link to the Patty Shukla song-
Go try it and have a good laugh at your jumping fitness test, hahah.
I still can’t jump to that whole damn song, but I’ll get there :)-