Everywhere you look you run into beautiful bodies, self-help programs, self-improvements, gimmick this and gimmick that. If you’re a new mom, like me, in your sleep deprived haze it’s a wonder if you brush your teeth let alone feel like an insta-beauty woman! You see it all the time, the new mom that dropped all the weight she gained within a couple of weeks. You see people that don’t look like they were ever pregnant and even if this is YOU, even if you’re body weight is back to pre-pregnancy, there are changes!! There is absolutely no getting around the changes your body goes through when you have a baby, not to mention, now your heart is running around outside of your body and you see things in an entirely new light. Yet, you need to remember to take care of number one. You need to take care of you.
Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful and precious feelings and experiences in the world. Yet, it can be difficult to look at your changing body sometimes and wonder, will I ever feel like I did before this beautiful experience? I personally practiced yoga right up until the very end of my pregnancy. I stopped teaching a couple of months before I was due just because it was a little challenging to be in the front of that room, not to mention, sometimes at class time it was more beneficial to take a nap and practice at another time. We have to be gentle with ourselves and recognize what we need and how to approach our self-care with balance. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of social media stars, of people that are spending every waking moment working on their body and to feel bad about ourselves; however, if we stop for a moment and really think, we should recognize that we just went through something extremely hard! Maybe we can compare it to running a marathon or being an elite swimmer fighting for their chance to be in the Olympics. We just brought life into this world!! I mean, come on mamas, what is more badass and strong then that?!?!
We live in a time where we have access to a constant flow of information, whether from friends, family, businesses, marketing or whatever else pops up in our news feed. It’s important to sit down for a moment and decipher what is important to us. Maybe we sit and meditate on how we are feeling, maybe we tackle a yoga flow
to see if we are inspired, maybe we go to the gym and hash it out, maybe we sit and have coffee with friends to get some perspective (please, no cell phones!!). Once you get a little perspective it’s time to create your positive self-talk!! Why do you have to have negative words flowing through your mind in order to make changes?? STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!! Instead, if you’re sitting here saying I need to lose weight, I need to shed these last 10 mom lbs, give it a positive spin – Strength, flexibility, abundance, energy – all things I need and want to be the best possible me for my baby, my children, my partner and most importantly, myself.
I’m not insta-famous, I’m not an insta-mom, there are still things I would like to change with my body and there is still negative self-talk because let’s get real, I’m human. However, sometimes it’s more important to remember that we are the positive role models for these tiny humans. They are watching our every move, our every bite, our every breakdown and our every success. They are our very own little mirrors. Don’t forget to present the world with the beauty that remains inside of you, don’t forget to pull your confidence from your powerhouse of being a mom. I promise, we are all just doing the best we can. It took me a hot minute to get up and get moving.
Part of it was downright exhaustion, part of it was feeling like I lost a lot of strength and replaced it with a lot of “mombod” and part of it was just the fact that sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of doing things for everyone else around you and forgetting to take care of yourself. We all know the saying that if you’re on an airplane and need to apply the oxygen mask you put your own on first, and then help everyone around you.
Easier said than done. Remember, your heart is now running around outside of your body and you want the absolute BEST for your heart. So for me, it has been slow and steady. Yes, I would prefer to be back to my pre-baby bod. Yes, I look back at how I beat myself up pre-baby and realize that with a few simple changes I would have had zero complaints. Yes, it is challenging to look my partner in the eye and say I need to go workout for an hour so good luck with the screaming baby and the three other kids that need dinner, baths and bedtimes. Yes, I do it anyway. Now. I do it for me and I do it for them and I assure you, once I come back home I am 100% more capable of tackling what lies ahead of me. So, here is a little yoga video that you can do any time, anywhere just to give yourself a small piece of sanity.
Put the dishes down and bust out a yoga practice. Let the baby get some tummy time and meditate and breathe for 5 minutes, give your partner the benefit of the doubt while you grab a buddy and head to a bootcamp! Just take the time to give yourself the rejuvenation you need. You may not become insta-famous, it may feel like it’s taking longer than you would like, it may feel like you can’t possibly take on one more thing but take it from someone that knows…you can.
Here is what I do to get in some "me time" while being mom, wife, employee, friend:
I try to get up 30 minutes earlier. Yes, that's some precious sleep, but the result is some quiet time before everyone else is up and running around! Sometimes I can even get in a quick workout!
That means - going to bed 30 minutes earlier. Set an alarm on your phone. I'm serious. Do it. A bedtime alarm, stick to it!
I found some at home workouts and I do them whenever I can. I mean, baby crawling all over me, dog rolling around on my mat, dishes in the sink whenever I can.
I teach yoga but I also TAKE yoga classes!! Man, there is nothing better then someone else telling me it's time for Savasana. Plus, it's inspiring and feels great!
I do not get on the scale, especially not in front of my three daughters. I have measurements done by the professionals at XIP and I discuss with them my goals and tell them my game plan.
I pay attention to my diet! Yep, the dreaded "D" word. Understand, I don't "diet" but I pay attention to it. Too much of a good thing is probably just that...too much.
These things work for me. They may not work for you, but pay attention to what does and make them a part of your every day. I promise Mama, it will be totally worth it and you will feel great!! You've got this, and I've got your back!