So we are over half a year round into my little journey with Emelia and halfway through the first year of postpartum fitness. Being a first time mum I had no idea how my fitness was going to be after having Emelia. I knew I very much wanted to keep it part of my life and wanted to make the time to fit it in because I know how good it makes me feel. What I didn’t realise was that it would be pretty slow going getting back onto it. With the obvious tiredness and lack of energy a bout of mastitis and days when Emelia just needs my attention completely on her it has taken a lot longer to fit in fitness as part of my routine. We also had christmas! and no that isn't an excuse but it does just slow everything down. 6 months round though I feel happy with my little routine, and it feels nice to have found a balance that works well with my little family.
I’m not going to lie I’m still feeling tired ! I have a 7 month old baby who breastfeeds a lot of the night and is pretty demanding (hello motherhood!). However just having a bit of time to myself to get rid of (and gain) some levels of energy is immensely important. Getting up and going for a good run in the fresh air is so revitalising and does me the world of good when it comes to helping to restore my energy levels. Its probably part psychological and a lot to do with the endorphins that you release when you exercise but it is fact you always feel better for it afterwards.
As for my body it still has the capabilities as what it did prior to pregnancy which amazes me. When I was 6 weeks postpartum and had the all clear from the doctors I headed back to the gym and at that point my body wasn't quite ready for the full pelt workout I wanted to put it through. My pelvis ached from holding, and then birthing a baby and I just felt unbalanced and clumsy. But Because I maintained a routine whilst expecting, I definitely think it helped to keep up my stamina and increase my fitness levels back to what I would call “normal” throughout the past 6 months. With the added (or minus) of an Emelia bump the ease of excersising when not pregnant is outstandingly better ! You can breath, and move and not ache (as much!) I am so much faster and don't generally feel like a weeball in trainers!
I have several different workout styles that I can fit in around Emelia. This means that A. I have no excuse when it comes to finding something that I can literally do on the spot and B. If I am just too tired to get out for a run I have an alternative to turn to. I know having the motivation is key but I guess once you start seeing and feeling the results from your hard work you are inclined to keep at it, and in a way it just becomes second nature. With my fitness comes a certain amount of healthy eating. I don't believe in "diets" and actually lifestyle changes and healthy choices long term are a lot more sustainable and work a lot better. If your favourite food is chocolate (me) and you tell yourself your never going to have a chocolate bar again (or at least for along time ) you will just crave, crave and crave, moderation is key and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a treat or "cheat day". I've been "pescatarian" for 10 years when I became obsessed with the content of meat and what process it went through before landing on your plate. I possibly gained a bit of an unhealthy addiction to food, but thats maybe a story for a different day. I say pescatarian loosely because I dont often eat fish I became quite a vegetable eater and started to eat very vegan like dishes a lot of the time. Now most of my main dishes are vegan and when I do indulge in fish and dairy it will be as a treat or on a cheat day. Thats not to say you have to limit yourself though. Its just what I happen to enjoy and it works for me. If you dont find what works well for yourself you won't find enjoyment out of it. Its funny because I really do enjoy exercise and running and eating healthily so I guess it just all works. There are a few Vegan books that I follow for inspiration but then I do just tend to make up my own dishes as I go along. Its amazing what you can make with very simple ingredients that you've probably got at home and it does not lack in taste. Bellow is my sweet potato bean chilli warming hearty and filling. I have to say I tend to just add everything to my slow cooker so its very much estimate cooking (Just add more of the ingredient of what you like). Emelia has had this too and loves it !
Chop sweet potato
add kidney beans
add chopped tomatoes
add chilli powder
add sprinkle of cinnamon. High for 4 or low for 6-8 hrs serve with brown rice and smashed avocado.
I try and fit in around 15k of running per week (approx 30 mins 3 times a week). This doesn't always happen and thats okay I have a 6 month old who doesn't always sleep! This is my favourite time, my favourite form of exercising and just a bit of me time. The one thing that gets my heart pumping and gives me a massive boost. Pre Emelia if I was stressed or having a bad day getting out for a run always did me the world of good, and cleared my head. Thats not to say that running is for everyone. I think everyone has that one thing that they can find thats for them. The key is finding what it is !
Emelia is my new style of weights. Balancing her on my hips or in my arms is plenty good enough for me it keeps her entertained (in fact she finds it somewhat hilarious!) and works a treat in the weights department for a good arm or leg exercise, as she is always increasing. My routine hasn't really changed much from what I did prior to having Emelia. Obviously I have just adapted it for her to join in but I like the exercises, and they work well on the parts of body that I need them too. I can only imagine her in years to come stood next to me trying to copy my workout moves ! below I will write down my at home hit workout quick easy child friendly and adaptable. The exercise bellow can obviously be done minus baby and you can use weights if you wish or nothing.
warm up- starr jumps 20 sec, on the spot jogging 20 sec
weighted lunges x10 each leg (bum and legs)
weighted squats x20 (baby to chest for 10 baby out stretched for 10) (peachy bum)
weighted standing shoulder press x 10 (arms )
tricep dips (use chair or sofa) x10 (bingo wings)
press ups x10 (chest)
repeat 3-5 times
I usually finish with floor work so some sit ups and crunches (stomach) and stretches to warm down and finish. After working out I also have continued to use slender blend protein which I had prior to pregnancy. This one is completely fine to use whilst breastfeeding too.
I would like to add that I am in no way a professional. I was a wanabe ballerina growing up and did a bit of running for my county but other than self taught exercising in the gym or at home I aint no expert!! So I can't express enough how important it is to get seek advise from a trainer if you are just starting out with excersise because you dont want to hurt yourself. Starting off slow is key and definetely not rushing your fitness post baby.