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Exercise After Kids

Here's how the Mom Squad is bouncing back after babies.

We all know having babies takes a toll on your body. But for some people it can be harder to shed those stubborn pounds. This week the Mom Squad shares our path to a healthier life with our children!

Bethany:

Making healthy choices and staying fit has always been a struggle for me. In my teens and early twenties, I enjoyed running and even joined a gym for a while and took beginners kickboxing and tae kwon do. I still struggled with eating right though. That part has always been difficult for me.

Before I got pregnant with Claire, I definitely could have been in better shape. I didn’t eat the most healthy foods or have a regular exercise routine. But once I got a look at that positive pregnancy test, EVERYTHING in my life changed! One of those things was making healthier choices as far as eating and exercise. I tried very hard to eat a well rounded diet and lay off the junk. (Although, I did give into a few pregnancy cravings ...) I signed up for , bought myself a yoga mat, and decided to give this whole healthy lifestyle thing a chance.

I can’t say that I loved yoga, but it was a nice way to ease back into exercise while i was pregnant. I stuck with it for quite a while after Claire was born, but once she was able to crawl, it was more difficult for me to do both at the same time. I quit going to class and started doing it on my own with the help of a DVD. This didn’t work well for me though. I am someone who needs more accountability than that. I need a scheduled class or a workout buddy, and now I had neither.

After a while, I went back to my old ways of not eating very healthy choices and not working out. I gained weight and felt depressed and upset with myself. Then we decided it was time to try for baby #2, so that triggered me to start eating better and exercising more. I was feeling better, but still not happy with myself for letting it get so bad so quickly.

After a few months, I got pregnant and was thrilled. Then very soon after, I had a miscarriage. This sent me into another bad place. I took it really hard and started to “eat my feelings” (as my sister and I say). I didn’t have any at the time, so I had nobody to turn to for support. This only made matters worse.

I had all but given up on myself, when I got a very pleasant surprise in the form of another positive pregnancy test. Then I started the cycle all over again. Eating better, exercising more, and trying to get out more so that I wouldn’t be tempted to sit in front of the TV and snack. It wasn’t as easy for me this time though. I had a toddler and a very big pregnant belly, and I was having a rough go of it. I will be the first to admit that I pretty much failed at the whole staying healthy thing this time around.

So now, here we are one year later. Joey isn’t a baby anymore, he’s now a toddler and I have run out of excuses. I found the push I needed in the form of the simple act of shopping for a pair of jeans. It was a completely soul crushing experience. I left the store in tears and vowed to do something about it then and there. Once I got home I registered for Baby Boot Camp - South Bay.

I’ve only gone a few times now, but I really like it. Classes are run by a Mom who brings her kids with her, most of the other Moms have their kids with them too. There are new Moms and Moms with older kids, Moms who are in great shape and can do some crazy exercise called “Spiderman push-ups”, and then there are those (like me) who are very delicately called “level 1”.

I’m not sure where I go from here, but I’m positive and hopefully optimistic about the future for my health and weight issues. I have the support I need this time, so hopefully it will go better for me. I really and that is a great motivator!

Nicole:

I must share a little tidbit with you, I have never been skinny. My weight has been a battle my whole life and it’s a battle that I have won and lost several times and it’s only gotten harder after having children. Despite those extra pounds, I have always been athletic. I have always enjoyed playing and participating in sports. I take to working out very easily (although, sometimes are harder than others to find the motivation) and I love to try new things.

Then came pregnancy. I was actually really careful not to gain a lot of weight when I got pregnant both times. I ate well and continued exercising through my pregnancies. I actually felt pretty good, which is probably why my three-day labor with BOTH kids wasn’t as hard as it could have been had I not taken care of myself.

Then came postpartum depression. After I had my daughter, I had a mild case of it. I cried all the time, it was one emotion after the next and that usually included a trip to the fridge. Needless to say I gained most of my baby weight post baby. I never really lost anything before I got pregnant with my son because I got pregnant so quickly. I tried a lot of things to get out and exercise after I had Evie. Baby boot camps, baby and me yoga, going to the gym. Nothing really stuck.

and while I didn’t gain much with him I still had that weight from the aftermath of my daughter. I’ll be honest, the first nine months after having Milo I was in “survival mode” as Bethany calls it. Just constantly trying to get from one day to the next without falling asleep at dinner. Getting used to the craziness of having two kids was a total whirlwind. Going to the gym and exercising was not a top priority. But when that stage ended and I felt myself becoming human again, I realized I felt horrible all the time. Tired and dragging and it wasn’t just the kids. It was me. So I decided to make a change!

I joined the YMCA and I started going 3-5 times a week. I now find going to the gym exciting because it gets me out of the house! Some alone time, just Mama, and I get to watch HGTV while I do it! They offer day care, but my husband usually watches them. . I take walks pretty frequently with my kids. We have a shopping center near us, about a mile each way, which is perfect when I need milk or stamps or something simple. I just pop the kids in the stroller and walk over rather than drive. The kids love it too!

I also just recently joined Weight Watchers and although I’ve never been a fan of special diets, this is not a special diet. It just teaches you a new way to think about food and helps you make healthy decisions. It’s really been so great and I’m starting to feel the results! I’m happy with the choices I’ve made so far and I am really looking forward to making healthy decisions for my future. My motivation isn’t just me anymore, it’s my children. They are what gets me off the couch and out to the gym, and there couldn’t be a better motivation than that (at least for me!).


We all know how hard it is to make healthy decisions, even when you don’t have kids! But you can make losing weight and staying healthy fun, and make it work for you!


Don't forget to check out Campbell Patch - Mom Squad on Facebook! We answer your questions, take your suggestions, and offer up support to our fellow Moms.


What do you do to stay healthy? Or, are you having a hard time too? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Mayra Flores de Marcotte August 21, 2012 at 03:49 AM
I gotta say, after reading this I felt the need to get back into the groove of things. No more excuses. Thanks ladies ;)
MomSquad August 21, 2012 at 04:03 AM
You can do it! We all have our own excuses: kids, work, whatever. But, we just need to find our motivation, and it always helps to have support of others in the same situation :)
Helene Byrne August 21, 2012 at 05:25 PM
All pregnant women should strengthen their deepest abdominal muscle, the Transverse Abdominis, or TvA, to prevent or lessen the severity of diastasis recti, also called abdominal separation. This muscle is our body’s internal “girdle” and when contracted, compresses the abdomen. Like pelvic floor muscles, the TvA does not move bone. TvA strength during pregnancy also helps to prevent back pain and pelvic instability, and because it is the primary expulsion muscle, greatly aids in labor and delivery. Find safe TvA exercises for pregnancy at: http://befitmom.com/abdominal_separation.html
MomSquad August 21, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Thanks for the great info, Helene! :)
Michele September 11, 2012 at 07:15 PM
We advocate a more gradual approach to weight loss. "The number one thing new mothers have to have is a certain amount of patience with their body," she says. "It took nine months to get there. It should take at least that long to get back to their fighting weight. http://postpregnancyworkout.net/

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