A co-worker asked me recently, "What are you doing for yourself?" That's a big loaded question for a new mom. But here it is.
I finally grabbed my kettle bell and got back into the swing of things. I used to love going to my kettle bell class several years ago, until my instructor left for a different position. Since then, I've been lifting and swinging on my own at our local Snap Fitness. Now, as a mom, I wanted to get a membership to a gym with child care (LA Fitness), but they will not feed Fredrik if he gets hungry, they won't change a diaper, and if he fusses for more than 5 minutes, they will come get me. Not sure I'd ever get a workout in at that rate...
Instead, I've started following these workouts in the morning from Noelle Tar at Coconuts & Kettlebells. Either before Fredrik wakes up (after coffee of course), or after he is up and fed, I grab my bell and pray Samoa our cat doesn't walk in-front of me. I figure Fredrik will learn to count to 10 before any other babies with all the rep counting. My bell isn't very heavy; only 15#, but it's getting me moving in a way I haven't for at least 4 months. I tried to do a few things when I was 2 months postpartum, but found that many activities still aggravated my C-section, and just didn't feel good. I also didn't have the energy since November was a terrible month of sleep. So I stuck with walking.
My goal is 3 x/week, but I'm not holding myself to any strict schedule or standard. I know there is the possible 4mo sleep regression and teething in our future, but when I'm mostly rested and feeling good I plan to swing my bell and get a little sweaty. Wondering when I shower? I was too for a while... Since Fredrik is still so young he takes fairly predictable naps; and his first one lasts about 45-60 minutes, which is just enough time for me to shower and dry my hair. TADA! clean mom. I can honestly say that making these two activities (exercise & showering) back into my schedule has made me a better mom. I feel more patient and sane knowing I did something for me.
Even if you aren't a new mom, what are you doing for yourself that makes you feel good physically and mentally.
My belly is giant, my ribs hurt, my ankles are swollen...But I'm still exercising. Some days I feel great and do things like back squats. Even if they are much much lighter than I used to. Then there are days like yesterday when all I could muster was a medium paced walk on the treadmill. As I later told Ryan, 'it feels like all the energy and strength has been pulled from my legs and arms and shuttled to my belly. GUESS WHAT?! IT HAS!!!
As someone who truly enjoys being active and working out, it's very hard to accept that my body is changing and that I am not capable of doing all the things I want to. It's frustrating to barely be able to put on shoes, roll over in bed, bend down to feed our cat, reach the bathroom faucet to spit and rinse after brushing my teeth. However, I know that in the next 24 hours to 2 weeks, our lives will be forever changed, and I'll be frustrated and enchanted by a whole host of new things. Change is good, sometimes it's just uncomfortable.
When it comes to exercising in your 3rd trimester, just do what feels good.
I'm a dietitian with a passion for good nutrition, bold flavors, playing in the dirt, and being with my family.