The past few days have been filled with postpartum firsts. Ryne and I went out to eat alone, we took the baby out to dinner, I had a much needed beer (okay, beers), and I reunited with my treadmill. While it’s exciting to be doing “normal” things again, I’ve definitely been learning as I go. One of the topics I’ve been learning the most about is postpartum fitness.
Throughout my pregnancy, I tried to remain as active as possible in the hopes that getting back into a routine would be much easier. I do think that working out helped a lot, but I still have a long way to go to feeling like myself. Three weeks was the magic number for attempting to jog again. I felt good, I was mentally ready, and Maddux could go long enough between feedings.
I ended up jogging and walking for a total of two miles. Let me just say that two miles has never seemed so long! It was a very humbling experience, but it also felt awesome to get started again.
I was proud of myself for getting a good sweat going. I knew that physically I had done all I should do, but mentally I wanted to do more. I have a problem of wanting things when I want them. Being active is no different. That brings me to lesson number one.
1. Take it slow. Coming back to working out after pregnancy is no different than coming back after any injury. You can’t just jump back in expecting everything to be the same. Even though I feel 100%, I know that my body is still healing. It’s still trying to adjust, so I should adjust my expectations. The worst thing I could do right now is push myself into another injury.
2. Expect interruptions. I am one of those people that gets a number in her head and really wants to stick to that plan. Before the baby, let’s say I hopped on the treadmill and wanted to run 5 miles. I was going to run 5 miles… come hell or high water. If for some reason I couldn’t get to that magic number, I would feel like the workout was a waste. I need to break that mentality. I’ve got to learn that every workout counts, whether it’s 5 miles or 5 minutes. If the baby is crying, I’ve got to stop my workout. It is as simple as that. Before, staying on the treadmill for 22.19 minutes would really irk me. Now I know that I just put 22.19 minutes into my workout “bank”. It all adds up!
3. Don’t expect miracles. It’s been a little over 3 weeks since Maddux was born. 3 weeks is nothing! But for some reason, I feel that I should be making more progress than I am. I’m being way too hard on myself. According to most doctors’ timelines, I shouldn’t even be working out yet! I’ve just got to embrace the fact that fitness is about how you feel, not how you look. Physically, I feel awesome right now! I shouldn’t let the other stuff get me down.
4. Hit the weights. (Not literally, although I thought about fighting them after they kicked my butt the other day.) Lifting will bring back my strength. I need that strength run, carry around a ten pound little boy all day, and do everything else the day might entail. I think the most important part of my routine right now will be weights. Running will help me lose a little weight, but lifting will sculpt this pile of mush back into something resembling a human again.
5. Rest, rest, rest! Last but certainly not least, I need to remember to rest. The dishes can wait, because momma needs some sleep! My body will never heal if I’m running around tired all day. Sleep is one of the most important aspects of being healthy and fit, so I need to make it a priority.
What about y’all? Any advice for coming back after pregnancy or an injury? What would you say is the most important thing to remember? Have a fabulous Monday! 🙂