'My Insecurities Pushed Me To Start My Postpartum Fitness Journey,' Says Mom Of TwoHere's how a mom got back to her pre-pregnancy weight seven months after giving birth to her second baby.by Victoria Dang . Published Nov 8, 2023
Is it more challenging to lose weight after the second baby?
YES, because I noticed that I gained more weight during my second pregnancy; therefore, it was harder for me to lose it all over again. Also, the skin on all parts of my body, not only the belly, was saggy and loose, like a deflated balloon filled with water. It was worse than what I experienced with my first pregnancy.
My life drastically changed when my second child arrived. It made me happier but busier than ever, making it more challenging to overcome the initial obstacles and start my fitness journey. So, if you're still struggling to get started, it's okay; we've all been there, and we understand how it feels. We are allowed to take our time.
But here's a secret that pushed me–my insecurities. It is a powerful force that pushed me out of bed to start moving forward and get over the hump. I didn't like what I saw in the mirror, and I wasn't happy with how I looked in photos either. Dressing myself became a struggle because all my clothes felt too tight and no longer complemented my new body. While I tried to tell myself to love my new body, a part of me was frustrated and sad. Days turned into months, and my feelings transformed into my insecurities. Then, one day, I realized it was time to tap into my insecurities and use them as motivation to start my fitness journey.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
What helped this mom restart her fitness journey after baby #2
Like you, or other moms out there, I had difficulty restarting my fitness journey. It felt like getting up on a Monday morning for work after a long weekend. It's like dragging yourself out of bed. It was tough, and I made countless excuses not to do it, but I did it anyway. The hardest part is the beginning, but it becomes a rewarding journey once you get over the hump.
Fast forward to seven months after restarting my fitness journey, I'm back at my pre-pregnancy weight, weighing 48 kgs after giving birth at 70 kgs.CONTINUE READING BELOWwatch now
These steps, considerations, and ways helped me achieve my goal of losing weight and getting back into shape with strength.
1. Know your WHY.
Why do you want to start your fitness journey? Why do you want to exercise? Whether it's about overcoming your insecurities or gaining muscles, strength, or looking better for your husband or family, all these reasons are valid. However, you have to identify your WHY, your motivation to start and sustain your fitness journey. Without it, it can feel like a car running out of gas.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
2. Mindset, mindset, mindset.
Consider it as problem-solving. When you have a problem, you solve it. In this case, the problem is weight gain, and the solution is fitness. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Ignite that fire inside you to keep you moving forward!
"I'm glad I did because it helped me lose weight and made me a happier mom." —Victoria Dang
3. Find a gym near you.
Your workout place should be within five or ten minutes of your home, without traffic jams, and easily accessible. This way, you can go to the gym quickly, without wasting time on the road, eliminating excuses that it's too far away. Working out at home might not be the best choice, as there can be distractions, especially with kids around. Remember that taking an hour away from your kids for self-care is not selfish. However, if you want to begin with small movement at home when the baby sleeps, that's a good start.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
4. Hire a personal fitness trainer.
I gave birth to my second child via Caesarean section, so restarting my fitness journey wasn't easy, as I was concerned about potential risks. To ease my mind and prioritize safety, I hired a personal coach experienced with postpartum clients. It's a worthwhile investment. Don't just choose any fitness coach assigned by the gym; always select an experienced fitness coach who has a history of guiding postpartum clients and understands your schedule, lifestyle, personality, and, most importantly, your goals.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
"You need a hands-on fitness coach, not a YouTube video kind of coach." —Victoria Dang
Take advantage of the free session from the gym to get to know the fitness coaches. Remember, your fitness coach should motivate you and guide you slowly towards your goal, rather than leaving you on your own. You need a hands-on fitness coach, not a YouTube video kind of coach. Your coach must genuinely care about your progress, so you won't want to miss any of your gym appointments.
5. Show up!
If hiring a fitness coach is not your preference, there are numerous group classes you can participate in alongside your gym membership, such as yoga, spinning, Zumba, pop dance, and more. You have to show up and try it for yourself. Don't be afraid to try new things and pick up a new hobby. You need it, Momma!ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
6. Consistency is key.
Depending on your lifestyle and availability, make it a habit to go to the gym, whether it's a fitness session with your coach or a group exercise class. Be consistent! You can start with once a week and gradually increase to twice a week, and, once you're used to it, make it three times per week. Stick to it for at least three months to see noticeable results in your overall body and build. I love going to the gym three times a week. I set an hour in the morning for my fitness journey for almost a year now, and I'm glad I did because it helped me lose weight and made me a happier mom.
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7. Make mindful food choices.
Since I was breastfeeding my second baby at the beginning of my fitness journey, I couldn't go on a calorie-deficit diet. However, I could make healthier food choices and avoid excessive sweets. I also practiced portion control and avoided stress eating.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Of course, there were days when I indulged in foods I shouldn't have because being a mom is overwhelming, and occasionally, treating ourselves with fast food is okay. I learned the power of conscious and mindful eating, which involves choosing healthier options even after satisfying our cravings. I continue to incorporate this into my daily routine. There's no such thing as perfection, but we can always strive to be the best version of ourselves despite our imperfections.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
8. Establish a family routine (including yourself).
Moms are naturally skilled at setting up structures for the family, whether it's planning meals for the week, family vacations, or events. Let's use that skill to create a structure that includes time for ourselves. Once you've set a schedule for the whole family, it becomes easier to make arrangements for your gym sessions because you matter, Momma! It can be in the evening, after work, or at any time during the day that suits you. If there's a will, there will be a plan, and eventually, a way to make it happen. You've got this!
It's not all about appearance
I want to make it clear: the postpartum fitness journey is not solely about appearance and losing weight; it's also about gaining strength and muscle. It's not just about looking good but also feeling good!ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
After pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, our bodies naturally become weaker. Starting the postpartum journey is not just about addressing our body insecurities but also about enhancing our capacity to function effectively as human beings.
As a mom, I strive to be the best version of myself to cope with my growing children and family. That's why I make sure to take care of 'me' so I can take care of 'them.'ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
A secret piece of advice from a mom of two
I've learned, and now I'm sharing with you a secret to getting back into shape (only if you want and feel) after your second pregnancy:
It can be helpful to lose a few pounds after giving birth to your first child before getting pregnant again. Not only will losing weight make it easier to conceive another child, but it will also help you regain your previous body shape after the second pregnancy.
In my case, I ensured that I lost weight and strengthened my core muscles after my first pregnancy. In fact, my OB-GYN remarked that I had a strong core, which helped me recover more quickly in the hospital after giving birth. I didn't develop diastasis recti after my C-section because of my tight and strong core muscles. It goes to show that all the exercises I did before my second pregnancy paid off.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
So, in short, if you want to make it easier to lose weight after the second pregnancy, start your fitness journey right after your first child is born.
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Be kind to your body.
Your body has been through a lot. It's important to be kind to your body by nurturing it and helping it transform into its best version.
I know there are times when you dislike how it looks–the stretch marks, the dark spots, the saggy areas. I understand, Momma! But always remember that the journey to love our bodies is challenging, but it's possible to love it all over again. Embracing our bodies again can be incredibly fulfilling when the time comes.
Focus on what makes you feel good and be kind to yourself, just as we teach our children.
SAY IT WITH ME:
"I will start my fitness journey, no matter what happens."
NOW SAY IT LOUDER!!!ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Products to help restart your fitness journey
Here's what I purchased to get started:
1. Yoga Mat 6MM. Buy it on Shopee at P1,150
2. Fitness Gloves. Buy it on Shopee at P959.75
3. Recess Fitness Leggings. Buy it on Lazada at P1,149.00
4. Skechers Sports Bra. Buy it on Lazada at P2,786.00
5. Nike Sports Shoes WMN. Buy it on Lazada at P2,895.00
Victoria Dang is a member of the Smart Parenting Mom Squad, and the author of the book, Go Momshie. Read about it here.
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