Post Baby Fitness and Nutrition Myths Exposed!

I used to tell moms that for the sake of their well-being they had to put themselves first,” she says. “But I know now that’s not always possible.” Kids sort of force you to let go in all areas of your life. They give you the perspective to see what’s really important.’  Jillian Michaels

There has never been a truer word said but the irony is, even the best in the business have no idea what it’s going to be like in regards to raising children whilst still trying to keep up some sort of fitness regime.

Personally, I know how hard it can be adapting to the HUGE lifestyle change that an addition to the family brings. True to form I was a self-centred elite athlete that really had no idea how much being a parent would change my life and it hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I foolishly thought that the hard part would be the pregnancy (9 months of morning sickness is hell on earth) and birth (after 20 hours in the birth suite, nothing was happening) but alas I was wrong. The hardest part was just about to begin.
Now, before you get on your high horse and perhaps say I should be thankful for 1. Have kids and   2. Have completely healthy kids, which I TOTALLY understand… what I’m trying to do is pass on to others (where fitness is a priority) that may be going into this parenting thing blindly (like I did) to help save the anguish by being ready mentally with what’s ahead. It is a beautiful time of your life and taking the time to allow your body to recovery can’t be rushed but only you will know when the right time is.

We all adapt to this parenting gig differently, some take to it as they have already experienced it in a past life while others are completely thrown. I was one of the later. The biggest part that helped me cope was to get back into fitness as soon as I could. It was my saviour that got me through the weeks that likened to running a marathon, back to back, for weeks on end (Catnapping/ reflux babies have a tendency steer the days this way). It was a bit like a double-edged sword at first but once I found the balance it all became clear.

There is a persona out there that you just pop your baby in a pram and go about your morning walk or outdoor class…but these are the truths that I learnt the hard way….

1. Babies don’t just sleep when they are tired…they scream! Load up the pram and just get out of the house, this way you can get some exercise while the baby sleeps…righto, sure…NOT! Neither of my girls was fans of sleeping anywhere except in their dark, safe cot at home. I definitely persevered and can remember with horror trying to get my eldest off to sleep in the pram by just letting her scream! Since then I always took my baby Bjorn, and nearly always ended up carrying her home this way (hello sore but strong back).

2. Just find a babysitter to take care of your child while you pop off to the gym or go for a run. This is all well and good but how about the “depeeling” of the child when they suffer from separation anxiety or the guilt you feel for actually leaving the house and taking the time to yourself? It can take a few times before you’re able to get out the door – baby steps are important here.

3. The best way to get your body back is to exercise while they sleep during the day. The first few months are HARD, and all you want to do is sleep on the couch as soon as they hit the pillow. The day is night and night is day and that awful jetlag feeling doesn’t go away until you catch up on some ZZ’s. Be kind and rest your adrenals – your baby is going to need that energy when it wakes up.

4. Book your baby into a crèche and go do a group fitness class. I have never been able to do this – but some do and good luck to them. Yes, I worry far too much…
5. After week six you’ve got the green light to go and get stuck into regaining your fitness. I don’t think I properly got back to anything more than walking until after week 12. Everything hurt and was uncomfortable plus I just didn’t have the energy. Take your time – and ease yourself into it when it feels right.

6. Feed yourself properly especially if your breastfeeding…. Some days you’re lucky to even make it to the kitchen let alone have a free hand to make anything healthy. This is why a biscuit tin looks like your best friend most days…. Tip- Have some fruit and vegetable sticks on hand in the fridge for when the munchies strike but time is limited

Of, course it all gets easier after the first year, it really is a turning point but gee, the first 12 months was tough..both times! Times goes quick and I remember running behind my two and five-year-old on their bikes while covering a good 4 km circuit around our neighbourhood!
I know I’m probably not the best person to be spreading the word about future population growth but hey, I certainly wished someone told me straight up how out of whack my perception was. Once the mental adaptions kicked in, it’s happy days!

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