Working Out as a New Mom
Waking up early and tracking calories to get back in shape
When my first daughter, Cadence, was born I knew I needed to get a schedule together of when would be best to workout so that it would actually happen. The first few years (that’s right, years!) it was all over the place. I was just trying to not go stir crazy so it included a lot of parks and walking. I tried to get a workout in during nap time along with going for walks but I couldn’t seem to get the results I wanted. I didn’t want to workout for hours but I wanted the results to be significantly better. Flash forward to about 2 years ago, before I got pregnant with our second daughter, and I finally got into a good routine. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out what did and didn’t work for my body – and the time that I had to do it in.
One of the biggest changes was that I started keeping track of what I was eating, down to the last calorie. At first it felt like I was going to die, it was time consuming and I didn’t realize how much junk I was eating (my doctor called it “beige foods” - like bread, chips, pretzels, cereal, pasta, pizza, etc). Once I figured out a healthy balance it became easier and now I don’t have to think much about it; I have programmed my mind to check the nutrition before I eat anything. I also changed the duration of my workouts, because let’s face it: being a stay at home mom, working out for an hour or more is just not possible everyday. I started waking up at 6 and working out by 6:30 and was done by the time my daughter woke up. This has worked great, is much less stressful than trying to hold crane pose with a toddler climbing on your head, and I don’t feel rushed. A huge factor to all of this working is that my husband has been right along side me, including calorie counting and waking up early to workout together. We are currently following Jamie Eason’s workout routine (minus the cardio, since my job is my cardio) and I love it!
During my second pregnancy I kept up with calorie counting and the same workout routine for the most part. I may have eaten more beige foods than usual to keep my nausea down but I was still careful to not over do it. I knew that whatever harm I did or didn’t do to my body during pregnancy I would pay for after having the baby. I can definitely say that recovering after my second pregnancy was much easier, I was back into my morning routine in no time.
I know it sounds terrible, and maybe it was at first, but just looking at and understanding the nutrition labels on your food, and not eating it if it’s terrible… really isn’t that hard. I use the app My Fitness Pal to track calories and it works great (I haven’t tried any others). It also allows you to tack your macros, which I probably need to start paying more attention to. It makes me feel ok about going out and having a cheat meal if I’m more aware of how bad certain foods are for me. I can eat a healthy portion of my meal and feel full without going overboard.