I Had a baby and I Want My Body Back: Reality VS “Reality”

Currently, there are 8 women in close proximity to me, that have had a baby within the past year. How amazing that is as a new mom, to have your own personal baby group? And how amazing is it for my little one: her own immediate entourage!

Quite frequently, these new mommy’s come to me for guidance on when to begin training again, how to overcome their frustrations with accomplishing old workouts they used to excel in, and now really struggle with. Going through this journey myself, I’m often re-evaluating my levels of fitness, and reminding myself of my instagram hashtag  #startwhereyouarenotwhereyouwere

The following fact recently occurred to me while out for a mommy-walk with a friend:
Of the women who have had their babies (3 including me…but one making a debut anytime now –quite literally, and another one in the coming weeks) each and every one of us has a very different labour and delivery story. We range from medical complications, sections, mid-wives, home births, inductions, epidurals, multiple births and the list can go on, and on. It really got me thinking today:

Why is it that we have such completely different labour and deliveries, but when it comes to postnatal recovery and getting back into fitness, we quite literally group all moms together and expect the same progress and results?

I mean, I guess I always knew that each of us has our own story to tell when it comes to having a baby, and the experience during the “big day”. But, I find it intriguing that when getting back at it, we quickly forget our own individual journeys and immediately conclude that we’re not as good as, or as fit as another person.

It is so, SO incredibly important to step back, and assess your own levels of fitness. Since I started back into my routines, I had to really scale back my expectations. I’m going to break down ONE of the many, many, different exercises that I had to slowly creep back into doing the way I had pre-baby.

THE PUSHUP
Think about what you were able to do pre-baby. For me, I could do pushups on my toes.. honestly I don’t know if I ever could do more than 15 consecutively. But, I do know that I could do push ups where I exploded up and clapped in between. I could do them on a decline, with my feet on a chair and bring one knee to my elbow as I came down, and bring it back to the chair as I came up. I could do them with my feet on a medicine ball, and my hands on a bosu ball. AND, I could do my favorite: tricep (narrow) pushups. I preferred to do them on my knees to keep my form, but I was ok with that. Sounds great, right? Impressive, even… Now… wait for it…

I got pregnant (Yay!!). Aside from the obvious medicine ball inside of me that made it tricky towards the end to actually DO the pushup, My abdominals were stretching. Stretching and therefore my core strength was changing. I slowly transferred from on my toes, to knees, to standing on the wall. No medicine ball (aside from my belly), no declines, no bosu, and my beloved triceps were removed. All this happened over the course of the next 7 months.

REMEMBER THAT LADIES: It takes your body almost one year to grow a baby, So why assume it will take anything less than that to go back?

By month 8, pushups were done. My workouts were changing, so my body conditioning was being lost. Fast forward Oct. 9th, my little gem, Vanessa arrived! Lots changes in your body after you have a baby. The obvious… baby is out, but then there’s the extra water, hormones, stretched skin, strained abdominals, maybe you have scar tissue, there’s stitches, your hips are sore, body is shifting again because of weight transfer… All valid points that we “know”.. but do we really, ACTUALLY consider this when we look in the mirror?

You should always wait a minimum of 4-6 weeks before you begin working out. 4 weeks at least until you begin walking, again it’s ALL relative to the type of pregnancy, and delivery or other health concerns you are facing. And as for the abs, or core? That area in particular took a hit (aside from the obvious sore spot heh), so it should be the one that is eased into again with the most caution and care.

Back to the pushups: When I started again.. it was on the wall, and even then, I could feel tightness and knew it wasn’t time to push. That was in late November. By the end of December, I was back to my knees. By the end of January I could do no more than 2-4 on my toes, and the rest on my knees… which brings me up to the past few months. Since February here is my official pushup status:

12 on my toes before I need a break in order to continue on
10 on a decline with a chair for my feet
4 narrow (tricep– my FAVES) pushups– ON MY TOES. Yes, I’ve actually IMPROVED my core and can do them on my toes
8 Pushups where I bring my knees to my elbow. Toes on the floor, not on the chair.

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Currently, I’m learning and improving on diamond pushups. These bad boys are tricky, but hey– if you don’t raise the bar, you wont be better than yesterday.

So, my final words are simply this:

Ladies, it IS possible for you to get back to it, and regain the strength. But remember… if your labour and delivery was different than your friends, chances are– the recovery and journey back will be to. Reach out to those going through this similar experience, because even though your challenges may be different– your emotions, frustrations and disappointments will feel the same.

You can always reach me on this blog, or email me mrskooy@gmail.com if you need some extra support. Always happy to talk it out 🙂

Much love my readers. xo

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Me…. and the Lime ;)

I’m BACCK 🙂

It feels so darn good to get back to writing! Let me tell you, when you want to be writing about what is going on in your life and how it relates to fitness but you have to distance yourself for a little while it is HARD. But, alas– the time has come to dust off my keyboard and begin my journey on here again!

Why, do you ask, would I leave you in the dark like this? When I was posting about my new goals and how I was going to push through for new accomplishments this year?

Well– actually– it has something to do with the fact that some of my goals have changed sliiighhtly in these last few months. As you may recall from previous posts, I have some race dates approaching in May– and was supposed to have some weight loss goals accomplished by– well– now. Not to disappoint, but weight loss for me is something that is NOT going to be on my agenda– at least for the next.. let’s say…9 months?

Yep. That’s right folks, your MrsKooyFitness is going to be MrsKooyMama! 🙂

I’m finally at a stage in my journey when I can begin to discuss this exciting event openly. And well there are never any guarantees in life, all one can hope for is to continue on this healthy path which will lead to the birth of a happy and healthy baby. But let me tell you– not only has it been difficult not writing on here to share my experiences thus far– the changes I have had to make to my own regularly active lifestyle have taken me some time to adjust to– and be okay with.

Slowly, I’m gaining my energy back (this little poppyseed, turned olive, turned prune, turned lime— has been eating away at my energy levels!) and dare I say– I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the toile– ugh— tunnel?

Today I accomplished a significant landmark for myself and baby lime. (the food references are not my cravings, they are — according to my “in depth” reading on my phone APP “baby bump”– the size of my growing baby!) Last night a good friend send me a text letting me know that our usual running crew were going to venture out tomorrow and try a small 7K to get back on the road. (7K used to be smaller for me.. but lately walking on the treadmill gets my heart rate up there so I was unsure whether I wanted to hold them back) I decided I was going to show up and do my best, and if I had to walk a bit so be it. We typically run before our bootcamp classes on Saturday so I thought if I was going to make the trek down there I would stay for the class afterwards and work at my own pace. My own pace. Something that was hard to dial down.. but I’m getting better at.

So I woke up this morning at 5:15– snoozed until 5:30… and finally got my little booty out of bed at 5:45 to get dressed, pack, and be ready to leave at 6:00. Well– apparently little lime wasn’t having this new agenda. One quick brush of my teeth sent me right over to my porcelain friend. The first few interactions with the toilet had me feeling like maybe I should just call the girls and tell them it’s not the morning for me, and go back to bed. But by the 5th, 6th, and 7th heave-hoe it was time for baby lime and I to have a little heart to heart.

I stood up, rubbed my tummy and said

“Look baby lime– you and I have to learn how to cooperate with one another. Otherwise this is going to be a long journey for the two of us. I’m going for this run today, and baby– you’re coming with me. So please, let’s work together and have a great morning”

So off we went. And you know what?

We did it! We ran 4K together, had a nice pick-me-up at Tim Hortons to refuel, and finished with a great workout together in boot camp!

It can be scary in the beginning to know your limits when you’re pushing for two. The important thing to remember though is so long as you have been physically active up to your pregnancy, and your doctor gives you the ok to continue what you’re doing– go for it!

The rest is up to you– and your baby! Listen to your body, ultimately it will tell you if you need to slow down. But let me tell you– there is no greater feeling that knowing you took your time but finished a great workout that not only benefits you, but benefits your little addition. The one who’s also working hard– trying to grow.

Have a wonderful weekend my readers!
Talk soon! 🙂