You love your new baby, but do you love your new body? Read this great guest blog post by fit mom ambassador, Tamara.
Tamara Newell is a Fitness & Pilates Trainer, Holistic Nutritional Consultant, Writer and Speaker. Creator of ‘Tamara Newell The Method’ she helps women embrace their body and enhance their beauty through individual coaching and her online program Freedom with Fitness & Food. She is a contributor to Pilates Style Magazine and has worked with clients at the top clubs in New York City. As a ballet dancer she trained on scholarship at the Joffery Ballet, The Rock School and graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a dual BA in Dance & Communications. She holds certifications from Core Pilates NYC and the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. Tamara lives in New York City with her husband and baby boy. Download free resources including recipes, workouts and her ebook “100 Small Health Tips that Create Big Results” at www.tamaranewell.com.
Babies bring so much change into our life, I doubt anyone is ever fully prepared for the depth & scope of change.
I had an idea of what motherhood would be like. A few of those things have become reality.
But I had no idea how challenging nursing would be or what the first year would feel like. I underestimated the level of exhaustion from months of fragmented sleep and constant caring for a baby.
As a trainer and nutritional consultant, I value feeling healthy, energized and strong. But with an itty bitty baby my previous gym routine and time for myself flew out the window overnight as I delivered my little boy.
After slowly getting my groove back, I found 5 things that are key to being healthy as a mom. These tips are just as true with a 7 week old as much as they are with my 17 month old.
Prior to mommyhood, I woke up at 5 am for early clients and put myself through early morning workouts choosing the gym over a full nights sleep.
Hitting the gym early can be great and sometimes necessary but not if you are burning the candle at both ends. A lack of sleep can cause hormonal imbalance causing weight gain and increased appetite.
If you’re getting up several times at night with your baby, choose sleep over the gym until you both start getting longer stretches of shut eye.
2. Choose to Love Your New Body
Do you have an “ideal weight” in your mind?
Maybe it’s your high school weight. Or when you were your most fit, hitting the gym several times a week.We tend to carry that number or size as our gold standard and measure ourselves against it throughout life. But really this is crazy and often not sustainable.
Experiencing pregnancy and labor taught us that our bodies have been created to change and adapt through life. Take time to reflect on the awesome power of your body to carry and bring life into this world. Your beautiful body has value beyond it’s appearance or what size pants it wears.
3. Preparation & Planning
Becoming a mom changes your routine and schedule. Old strategies to organizing your life may not work with a baby! Test new healthy eating strategies that set you up for success. I wasn’t much of a food preparation person before my son but now it is my key to eating well.
Here are a few tips:
1. Schedule a few hours each week to wash, clean and prep food for the week for easy snacks and quick meal preparation.
2. Sign up for grocery or meal delivery services. Having someone bring your food right into your kitchen really is magical and a huge stress reliever.
3. Learn how to use a crock pot. It’s one of the easiest multifaceted kitchen tools.
4. Cook double for easy leftovers. If you’re baking chicken cutlets for dinner, make double for lunches or freeze the extra for last minute dinners.
4. Exercise for Energy
After labor many moms are eager to start exercising and shed the baby weight. Its a great goal that often helps improve mood, energy and sleep.
But how you exercise is important post-partum. Listen to how your body feels after your workout and the following day. If you feel drained and hungry, the exercise is probably too much, too soon.
Prior to pregnancy, I was a cardio junkie. I’d grab my headphones, magazines and cell phone and plug away on the elliptical for an hour. Post-partum, long cardio workouts leave me tired and hungry. Now I practice Pilates and strength training 3-4x week with an occasional interval cardio session. I feel energized and strong.
Making time to sit and be still has been the biggest change in my lifestyle. Some mornings I wake up a few moments before my son and sit quietly while he begins to talk in his crib. A few minutes to connect into my inner peace helps me stay present and calm througout my day.
These 5 tips help me stay healthy and in turn be a better mom and wife. These may work for you, or you may discover something different. Experiment with a new recipe, workout or health plan. You’re a changed woman now as a mother, so your approach to health and fitness needs to change too. Explore and have fun in the discovery!
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