As I come in from my late night workout, I feel inspired to write about my version of staying fit. I have never been the type of person to enjoy working out at the gym on my own. I always belonged to a gym, usually within my building at work which made it easier for me to workout. I was always a huge fan of classes whether it be spin, bootcamp, pilates, sports conditioning you name it. The truth is, if I wasn’t going to a class I would just tell myself I’ll do cardio that day. “Cardio” involved 30 minutes of walking/running on the treadmill followed by a few bicep curls until I started to feel sweaty. Pretty sure this did nothing for me, but I was proud of myself for getting to the gym. This remained my “workout routine” basically the entire time I was pregnant with Mckenzie as well. I tried yoga a few times and even did DDP prenatal yoga in my kitchen with my husband. One thing I regret was not consistently doing yoga my entire pregnancy. I wish I could go back and do it 2x a week and my “cardio routine” 1x a week.
I gained 30 lbs when I was pregnant, weighing in at 171 before giving birth. This extreme weight gain is so hard for women to experience. In my opinion, it’s manageable to take the weight off within the first year. Between nursing, fitting in workouts and going on walks, you can definitely achieve your goals. I really didn’t work out much until about 8 weeks post baby. I was so tired and nursing all the time, I really didn’t have any time for myself. Even when I did have time for myself, working out wasn’t my priority. Luckily I had McKenzie in the summer so I had plenty of time to go on walks with her after 6 weeks (that was when I was able to walk around an entire block comfortably.
McKenzie’s baptism was an eye-opener for me. She was 4 months old and I was just not happy with the way I looked. It was a tough time for me, I was back at work pumping 3x a day and basically ran home at 5pm to either pump or feed her and spend time with her. It wasn’t until McKenzie was 6 months old that I dropped her night feeding (3am) and started to gain a little bit of control back in my life. I was really obsessed with the nursing schedule, but I’m sure any first time Mom who is nursing will tell you the same. In the new year, McKenzie was probably 7 months, when I dropped to pumping 2x a day during work. I was bringing the same amount of milk home so naturally, I was annoyed I didn’t think to start that sooner. Like I said, I was obsessed with nursing and building that frozen stash. I’ll do another post on nursing as I realize I keep going back to that, but that was really what kept me putting off focusing on myself.
So now it’s Feb 2018, and Wrestlemania is quickly approaching. This was a perfect time for me to set some goals. I wanted to get a tight black gown for Hall of Fame and I was determined to look good. I got myself a trainer at work and would go to the gym during lunch. I set goals with my trainer; work out 4x a week, tone my arms and I lose 10 lbs. 10 more lbs would bring me to pre-baby weight of 141 which I thought was reasonable 10 months post-baby. Paying for a trainer was the best thing I ever did for myself. I learned a lot from her and seeing results was very satisfying and motivating for me. I was already eating pretty decent, Brian and I would get prepared meals from a nutrition store in our home town and I would bring them for lunch. I started out meeting her 2x a week and made myself get to at least a class or 2 the other days. I would also work out on the weekends in our gym at home while McKenzie would nap.
I made it to my goal by Wrestlemania and I was really proud of myself. I wanted to keep going, but who can afford a trainer 2x a week forever? Definitely not me, but I owe a lot of my success to her. She knew about my gym and home, I think at the time we had a treadmill, a fan bike, a bench press, and some free weights. She told me to get a bosu ball, some resistance bands and we got some medicine balls as well. I used the trainer for about 3 more months 1x a week but by June I started to look for a new job.
Once I got my new job, I no longer had a gym. Now, what was I going to do? I’m not a workout morning person, I’ve tried. I would rather get the extra hour of sleep and I don’t accomplish much in the morning at a rapid speed. I can’t work out after work either, I leave at 5 pm every day to rush home and spend 2 hours with my daughter. The only solution, work out at night after I put her to bed. I’ve actually learned to love doing this. I never do the “cardio routine” anymore. That was a waste of my time and never worked for me. Spin was the only intense cardio workout that ever worked for me but I haven’t done that since June. It’s a lot easier when Brian is home and we do this late night workout together. He motivates me and puts together great workouts for us. After having my trainer he even listens to my input for certain workouts.
Now, I never workout for more than 40 minutes. Usually between 25-40 minutes depending on how late it is or how much time I have left during McKenzie’s naps. Brian is traveling most weekends, so I still wouldn’t be able to go to a class without getting a babysitter. These at home workouts have just become a part of my life. I aim for 3-4x a week. Sunday during her nap is usually always a good kickoff point for the week. Then I aim to get outside 3 nights a week. Sometimes I go out there more, sometimes less. I prioritize sleep if I need it and if I don’t feel well or McKenzie has burned me out I make time to relax. I do what works for me, and for the most part I make it work each week.
To start, I’ll pick 1-2 areas of focus. I’ll decide if I want to do 5 or 6 exercises where at least 2 of them call for abs and cardio. Then I give myself one minute to do each exercise and I’ll do the whole circuit 5-6 times. Here is an example is I choose to work out back muscles.
- Deadlifts – 12
- Burpees – 10
- Assisted Pull Ups- 8
- Leg Lifts – 12
- Bent Over Rows – 12
This would typically take me 25 minutes. If I have some extra time at the end I’ll do an additional ab workout as well. We write our workout on a marker board, it helps me visually to see what I’ve done so far and what I have left. Structure has been key to these workouts, minimal time is wasted and it keeps me focused.