Sunday, July 31, 2011

My other, other "career": Mommy Muscle

I may not be an expert on much, but I do know a heck of a lot about two things, science (which is convenient since I am a science teacher, and former bench scientist) and health.  If I ever left teaching to stay home with the kids, I think I would finally be bold enough to pursue my "other other" dream career.  I would love to get certified to teach aerobics or spin, or even do some personal training.  Did I go to college for this endeavor, you might ask?!  No, I did not.  Do I think I know a heck of a lot about staying healthy?!  Yes, ma'am I do! 

What makes me qualified to post this information, you might be asking yourself.  Well, I consider myself a "career" athlete in training, per say.  I did my first race when I was in college, my first marathon just after graduating, and I haven't stopped training (save for the times I was pregnant, or had the smack-down from my RE to slow down) since.  With my first pregnancy, I ran until 32 weeks, with this pregnancy I was 35 weeks when I stopped running.  I think it's incredibly important to be a healthy example for your kids.  When you're constantly training, you also have to think of your body as a machine, instead of just eating whatever you want. I know lots of tricks to lose fat & gain muscle, in all the right places.  Am I an expert, not by trade, but I think I do a heck of a good job training my body, even at 33 after 2 kids.  Plus, it definitely helps when you know the biology behind nutrition.

These pix below are of me at 6 months pregnant, the second is before a race

So...(you're probably thinking) what's the point of all of this?  Well, since I love training my body and nutrition, am recovering from pregnancy (just like many of you are or will do soon), and I enjoy blogging, I thought I might share some of my tips and tricks.  You can take it or leave it.  But it works...I swear! 

So here it is...
TIP #1 to be a Healthier Mommy:  Make Workout Time a Priority in your New Life! 

The excuse many moms give when trying to get healthy during or after pregnancy is, "I don't have time".  Sorry, folks...that's a load of crap!!!!  I get it, pregnancy makes you exhausted, and being a new parent...that's a whole new level of exhaustion.  I've been there!  I'm still there (DD is only 3.5 months old). Then when you have multiple LOs, you are spread thin.  I get it!  But, there is ALWAYS a way. 

Will you be able to workout 7 days a week?  No! 
Will you be able to workout as long/hard as you used to with a clear head?  Absolutely not!  You will always have your LO in the back of your mind, and that ever-present mommy guilt (we all have it and it sucks!).  But, mommy's guilt aside, you WILL BE A BETTER MOMMY if you make time. 
Can you still train for races/events?  Absolutely!

How, you might be asking me?!  There is always a way.  For a new mommy, especially those that work outside the home, it's hard to convince yourself it isn't selfish to hit the gym after work and miss precious time with your LO.  I agree, that's a hard argument to win.  But, why do we have to workout outside the home?  Or, could you incorporate your LO into your workout?! Here's the beauty of being a Healthy Mommy, you don't have to choose just one option.  I suggest you "mix it up".  Go to the gym a time or two (or just on the weekends when you have your SO's help).  And try some of these options too...
1.  DVDs are really "hip" these days.  They work!  Plus, if you need to "pause" your workout and tend to your crying LO, you can!  Workouts are still workouts, even if you only do 20 of the 30 minutes.  It's better than nothing.
My personal favs:  Jillian's 30 Day Shred, P90X, 10 minute solutions: Rapid Results Pilates, Tight on Time: Hotspots, Be a Knockout with Kendra, Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones, or some "workout with baby" options.

2. Get up early.  This isn't a popular choice, I know, but once you do it, you'll realize it's possible.  I try to get up to workout 2 times, sometimes 3, per week.  Sometimes it's just running on the treadmill, other times it's going to a class (I prefer spin) before anyone in my house is up.  I go before my DH goes to work (he leaves at 7am) so as long as I'm back before he needs to get on the road, I can get it in.

3.  Ask for help!  SO should be cool with you going to the gym to have personal time at least once a week.  Or, ask your childcare provider to take LO a bit early or keep them a bit late.  Lots of gyms also have childcare options.  I have a 4 year old and he went to the gym daycare at times.  He survived and is a very happy, well-adjusted little boy.  Don't feel guilty! 
4.  Invest in equipment for your home.  We started out with hand weights, a balance ball, a band & a mat.  I had only those pieces for years.  All of these options are affordable, and easy to stash away is small spaces.  We did add a treadmill (I got a great one from the Livestrong delivery or S/H charges, and $$ went to cancer research) this spring when we had another child.  It was definitely possible to get to the gym with 1, but with 2 kids, it was too hard. I also recommend  a bike with a baby seat (when LO is big enough) and a jogging stroller (if possible). 
5. mix it up!  Don't just run.  Run, swim, go to classes, do a DVD, walk with your baby, etc.  Your body will respond better and quicker to different workouts. You would be shocked at how great you'll feel after only 20 minutes in the pool.  So if you don't have an hour, try swimming! 

6.  Find your local Strollerfit chapter and join.  With DS, this was a savior.  When I went back to work, I would pick up DS, change my clothes and feed him, then set off WITH my baby to an outdoor fitness class.  I didn't have to give up the special time I had with him after work, I got to meet other mommies, and I got fit.  Bonus!  I believe they also have Baby Bootcamp, as another option out there.

Have questions?  Leave me a comment, and I'll be glad to respond. 

Stay tuned for my next Healthy Mommy tip...


  1. Thanks for the post. I'm working on getting in shape. My DS is 7 months and I find it difficult to work out (I use all of the excuses!). I'm currently trying to do the 30 day shred and I love it!

  2. thanks for reading my ramblings Victoria! I truly believe that any mommy can do it, as long as you make it a priority. I get the mommys guilt all the time, but you have to remind yourself that a better, happier you = a happier kiddo! Good Luck! I'll gladly encourage you if you need it! Stay tuned for more tips!

  3. Thanks for posting this girl. I've been doing really good with the working out. Back at pre-pregnancy weight and doing awesome with the cardio, just need to get the weights in there. My body is definitely not the same as before even though I weigh the same. Would you mind emailing me some of your food recipes? I calorie count and am pretty anal about it these days just need different stuff to eat!

    Miss talking to you, but blogs are nice to "catch" up! Don't be a stranger! Lots of love!

  4. You have no idea how many times I hear MoM's say they have no time to workout! I belong to a board and that's the only excuse they give for not working out. I have the neediest babies ever and I manage to get in if not 1 hour 30 min work outs. Mine are horrible nappers and I still manage. I started working out and dieting in November, since then I dropped a good 20lbs. I am below my pre pregnancy weight, but still about 15 lbs over my pre IF weight. I hate that I put on so much weight. I did carry twins, but still. I have 2 problem areas that are driving me up the wall. I was put on bedrest at 18 weeks, so you can imagine the amount of muscle loss I experienced. Getting through the workouts have been hell and the recovery just as bad. I have dropped inches and yay that's great and all, but I am so flabby. The more I drop the more noticeable it is. Obviously I have twin skin and that doesn't bother me. Oh but my inner thighs are killing me, they look horrible. How the hell did I get that much fat there? That much fat. My arms too they look horrible. The rest is coming along nicely, my butt looks Any suggestions would be appreciated!!


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