Any of you ever wonder how some moms online seemingly have babies and miraculously "snap back" in a matter of minutes?
Yeah. Me too.
You see, despite popular belief, I did not snap back in a matter of days or weeks. After I gave birth, I was stunned at how much my body had changed--I had stretch marks all over my lower abdomen and hips, loose skin, and extra fat I could literally grab off my stomach with both hands. And this happened to my body twice.
I was in so much love with my babies post delivery. But I couldn't deny--I still wanted to look and feel great again. The only problem was, I wasn't sure it was possible.
Despite not knowing whether my hard work was going to pay off in the form of chiseled abs, I decided to start my fitness journey. After having my second, Ariel, I started creating home workouts after my midwife cleared me to exercise (about a month postpartum).
My schedule was bananas, so I had to keep things simple. My husband was working 90 hours a week at our restaurant, and with almost no support system, it was on me to raise a toddler, Eliel, a growing, breastfeeding newborn, manage my online fitness coaching business, and keep up with the daily house affairs.
In short, it wasn't easy.
And I'm sure you can relate. As modern moms, our plates are extremely full--from laundry to changing diapers, to grocery shopping to work, to emails, to paying bills, to trying to maintain quality relationships in life--balancing it all can be exhausting.
This is why I cater my programs to moms. (Although I accept all women!) Moms have so much pressure on us that the first thing, often, to go on the daily to do list is our self care. We feel guilty for scheduling that workout because, well, dishes need to be washed, and we could be playing with our babies!
But--I think we are the best moms when we actually take time to practice self-care--exercising, eating well, reading, etc. On days I don't give myself permission to do these things, my patience is shorter, and I am irritated more easily.
Out of the hundreds of women I've had the pleasure to coach, the most desired trait many share is that they want to lose the belly fat from pregnancy.
The good news here is that I believe we can lose that mommy tummy with our hectic schedules! Below are my tips on how to do so:
1). Know your body will never be the same as pre-pregnancy, and that it's ok.
I still have my stretch marks (although they've faded a bit with time). I still have loose skin. But I love and appreciate my body despite its flaws! God has blessed me with two amazing, healthy kids. I refuse to stress about any imperfections that came as a result of carrying life. The key here is to focus on getting strong and healthy, not having a "perfect" body.
2) Eat nutritious foods.
Aim for high protein (lean meats, fish, tuna, Greek yogurt), complex carbs (oats, sweet potatoes, whole grain breads, brown rice, vegetables), fruits, and lots of water. Try not to over complicate your meals. Eat what gives you energy--not what depletes it. I was able to step on stage 11 months postpartum while breastfeeding Ariel with 30 minute workouts and a diet like this. No crazy gimmicks. No starving. Just fueling my body and weight training.
3) Strength train.
You wanna get your best body? Grab some dumbbells. The fastest way to lose weight and change your physique is by incorporating resistance into your workouts. You don't need to be at the gym 2 hours a day to see progress. You just need to be consistent with your training. My workouts after my kids were 15 minutes-30 minutes a day/ 5 days a week on average. I would exercise while the kids napped, or with them in the living room. If you are consistent, you WILL see results! I promise!
Well, there you have it. My top tips to transform that body after baby and tone your tummy.
Let's start (or continue) our fitness journey from a place of self love. Right now--go look in the mirror and THANK your body for all it does! From conceiving, to giving birth, to allowing you to run around chasing kids all day--your body is amazing--right now. It's vital we begin from seeds of self love--and not self loathing.
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Have a happy holiday! And happy New Year!!