Coping with pregnancy and motherhood – and my training
I’m back into training and I’m feeling rather good again. I’m doing 3 x week, 2 with a training partner and I am really finding my mojo returning! Boy let me tell you, did I get sore after my first session. I thought you might be interested in the workout I did today. Here it is:
Incline BB Bench Press 4 x 8-10
DB Bench Press 4 x 6-10
DB Fly 3 x 8
BB Curl 4 x 8-10
Single Arm DB Curl 3 x 8-10
DB Hammer Curl 3 x 8
Bodyweight Squat to Ball (warm up) 2 x 12
Kettlebell Squat to Ball 3 x 10
Box Jumps 3 x 12
BB Overhead Walking Lunge 6 x 6
Kyah is growing up so quickly! She is now 7.5 months. Hard to believe. She’s an absolute joy now, this age is just beautiful. And she’s sleeping through the night! She’s had her fair share of chest infections, gastro and now another little cold, but this will be par for the course I imagine. We went on a trip to the Barossa Valley for 4 days over the recent long weekend. She traveled so well and was great ALMOST all the time. Apart from the night we went to a dinner party – we had just sat down to eat the main course and she started to cry. And wouldn’t stop! We ended up bundling her up in the car and going home. It’s certainly different when you have kids! Which leads me to the next part of my post. I’m often asked how I manage/managed pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood. So, I wrote a little article. I hope you enjoy it
How I coped with pregnancy and motherhood
Do you ever wish there were more than 24 hours in the day? Do you imagine how much you’d accomplish if you didn’t have to sleep? It sure can be a difficult thing to manage a home, a career, a relationship, be a mother, a daughter, a wife and a domestic goddess all rolled in to one. Add getting in shape to all that and things can seem pretty impossible.
As a new mum at the ripe old age of 41, this was a new challenge for me late last year. Prior to this I was an independent woman who ran my company business from home and trained and slept whenever I felt like it. I used to compete in figure competitions, so I was very busy and I worked hard, but my husband and I could pretty much do what we wanted, when we wanted. Now, we have a beautiful addition to our family and I love my 6 month old daughter with a love that I never knew existed – but that luxurious world of independence that once existed has been totally crushed!
I was prepared for it as much as I could be. I’d heard stories from other women about how they lost their pre pregnancy shape and never regained it, and that they never had a moment to themselves when the kids came along. I admit – I was a little bit scared.
I’d had my fair share of body image issues and disordered eating patterns in the past and I definitely didn’t want to revisit those topics. Funnily enough, childbirth didn’t worry me (although in hindsight it should have!), but losing ‘my life’ and my body as I knew them were my major concerns.
I actually talked to my husband at length about my concerns prior to getting pregnant. I had a career, one that paid our mortgage, so I was never going to be able to be a ‘full time mum’. Training was part of my life – it’s what I do, I don’t just talk the talk, I definitely practise what I preach and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to continue that. My husband was great, and he was adamant that he intended to share the child rearing responsibilities.
I’ve never been a great sleeper, so this was my biggest worry initially. I had no idea how I was going to be able to look after a newborn and get enough sleep to enable me to run my business – let alone get back in shape! I’d heard that if you managed to actually have a shower before lunchtime you were doing well! Crikey!
About 8 weeks before the birth, I prioritized.
My baby and my health were my number one priority. Even though I’d put on 16kg (35lb) I wasn’t too concerned about it but I knew that even if I didn’t have time for exercise yet, there was definitely something I could do to start my way back to great shape. So, this was my simple list of priorities after Kyah was born:
- Get enough sleep so I could cope with the new challenges that would come my way
- Get back to the nutrition principles that I know get me lean and keep me lean
- Walk outdoors with my baby, when possible
Pretty simple really!
Prior to the birth I made sure that I had delegated as much of my business tasks as possible to my wonderful Programs Manager Kristin, though being a Managing Director of your own company means you will never be able to fully delegate everything. I talked to my husband about the need for some time each week to keep up with the basics. So basically I had a plan for my business after the birth.
I also decided that exercise was not a priority at this early stage and that I wouldn’t beat myself up if I wasn’t able to exercise regularly (or at all). Consequently, I think all I managed was a couple of walks and one gym session in the first 8 weeks.
I did however concentrate on eating good food, and found that because of my previous fitness lifestyle, that the weight came off easily. Within 10 weeks I was only 2lb off my pre conception weight. I highly recommend being in shape prior to conceiving ladies!
The first 3-4 months of being a new mum was very challenging. I still had a very busy business to run, and a household to tend to, as well as a beautiful little girl who was diagnosed with reflux at 2 weeks old. I also had to go back to hospital for surgery for retained placenta 2 weeks after Kyah’s birth – I spent 2 more nights in hospital.
My husband and I played a bit of tag which allowed us both to get enough sleep to deal with everything else we had going on. I wouldn’t have been able to manage without my husband who shared the responsibility of night feeds, bottle washing and general household duties. So, you could say we didn’t have a smooth start to parenthood.
I’m happy to say that things do settle down somewhat after that initial period that is much like a whirlwind. However, I realize it’s never going to be the same as it was without kids, and nor would I want it to be. I have discovered that success (in anything) is all about priorities, and this is a topic that you will see raised again and again in my upcoming blog posts.
A final word of advice for all mum’s – please, do not put too much pressure on yourself – keep reminding yourself you do an amazing job, every single day. It is really important you be kind to yourself!