As a new mum the last thing on my mind was how to lose weight. I don’t know about you but between feeds, nappy changes, baby health issues, lack of sleep and everything else that comes with a new baby, I was happy to just get into bed at night and fall straight to sleep. Fast forward almost 5 years and my youngest baby is now 18 months! 2 pregancies, lack of exercise & unhealthy eating habits have definitely taken it’s toll.
I admit, like alot of mums, I have a bit of baby weight to lose. The funny thing is though, it’s not the extra weight that bothers me. I honestly don’t care about having a “bikini body”, or going “back to the way I looked”. And, if anyone has a problem with the way I look then it’s their issue not mine.
What I care about is getting fitter & healthier for my kids. They have SO much energy I sometimes find it hard to keep up for long periods of time. I know the extra weight plays a part in this, but I figure if I focused on getting healthier this hopefully will sort itself out too 🙂
But as we all know, thinking about doing something and having the motivation to do it, are two totally different things. Lol. This is where my friend Nikki comes in. Like me, she’s a mum of two and is focused on her goal of getting fitter & healthier whilst helping others achieve the same 🙂 But, unlike me, she’s actually trained as a Fitness Instructor before kids. So I decided to ask her what her story was, and what advice she had for me, and for any other mum reading this, on starting on this “get fit” track.
This post isn’t about losing weight after having a baby. It’s about getting moving again, getting some sanity time and getting some fitness back in your life. But guess what? Fitting in exercise when you’re a mum can be fricken hard.
I had a baby that didn’t like to sleep during the day, unless he was in the bouncy chair or the pram. In the bouncy chair, he would sleep for a couple hours, while I played Xbox (Fable, usually, if you were interested.), my foot absent mindedly bouncing his chair.
When he was 6 months old, I decided going for a walk, (so he would sleep in the pram) was a much more productive idea, and so I went all in and entered to walk a Half Marathon. At that point I could barely walk 2km, a Half Marathon is 21km. I had 5 months to do it in!!! Yeah, I had a lot of work to do.
It worked well. He slept, and I got some exercise in the fresh air. I built it up slowly, usually adding on about a kilometer each week. I was very fortunate to have a hubby who understood where I was at with lack of sleep and being stressed out, and never flipped out over a messy house or anything, he knew happy mama and baby was more important. So I was lucky.
But then baby #2 came along. Totally different story. Ok, so she actually slept more during the day, but just having 2 kids? SO much harder. No way was I getting out for any kind of exercise any time soon. Constant feeds through the night, a toddler with regular night terrors, toilet training accidents, sick kids etc. ZOM-BIE.
Looking back, I wish I had tried harder to push through the tiredness and make it work. I have proven to myself this last year that forcing myself out the door, and just doing SOMETHING, makes such a huge difference to how I feel in myself.
So how do you make it happen?
For a start: JUST MOVE.
That’s it. Just move. Even if it just getting the gardening done. The vacuming, doing some exercises in the kitchen. Walking to the dairy to get milk instead of driving. Little stuff all adds up to more than sitting on the couch does. Might sound lame, but guess what? It’s true.
Build it up over time, and you might just get to the point where you start to feel better, maybe even enjoy it, and WANT to exercise! (YES!! It CAN happen!!)
I asked some of the ladies in a Support Group that I run on Facebook, how do they fit in exercise around kids? Most of these ladies are mamas, some with babies, some with school aged kids. Here are some of their suggestions, and some of my own.
- Get up before the rest of the household and go for a walk before you start your day.
(I admit, this is not one of my suggestions. Totally not a morning person, but it was a popular solution, it seems to be how a lot of mamas get it done)
- Pram it like I did. It won’t work for everyone, but if you are ok with one of baby’s sleeps being in a pram, this can actually work for everyone.
- Be one of the lucky ones with a partner/hubby who will take over for awhile while you escape to have some mama time.
- Does your bubba/kid have a sleep still? There are some awesome short but fairly intense work outs online that you can do at home, with very little gear and in a short amount of time. (Think 30 minutes. It’s still 30 minutes more than you were doing before.) Flick me a message if you want some ideas. Home workouts are awesome, I’ve done a few lately for ladies that have no equipment but want a good workout they can do at home. It CAN be done!
- Mummy Group Fitness Classes!! Most of these have child care available, some for free, some for a small additional charge. An awesome way to connect with other Mums, where they all get that you may have to stop to feed your little monkey part way through, or change a nappy before you even get through the warm up.
- Another suggestion was to just make time!! You will show yourself as a positive role model to your kids if you are making sure exercise is an important part of your routine.
- Have you tried some of the Dance Classes that are out there? I found a free one, here in Tauranga, there are lots around that are very cheap or free. Have you tried Zumba? So much fun! Best part for me was that they were at night, so I finish Mummy Duty and head out the door.
- Get the kids involved in what you are doing!!! I like this idea the most. For babies – there are loads of exercises that you can do that actually use baby as the weight!! For older kids, get them copying you, get them out for a walk WITH you, so that they can see what you are doing, and why you are doing it and teach them good habits along the way.
I hope this has given you some ideas. Just do something you enjoy and it won’t feel like work at all. Hate walking? Then do something else. Just get out there, move your body and have some fun. You might even start to look forward to it!
If you are already an active mama, how do you fit it in? What exercise do you enjoy?
Feel free to send me a message over on Facebook if you need any advice or ideas.