A (Better) Body After Baby: Yes, It’s Possible

Actually, I’m going to put it out there and say it’s likely under the right circumstances, and those don’t include access to a nanny, private chef, or $500 and hour trainer.

Before having a baby was even a thought in my fitness-obsessed little brain, my friend Peter would regale me with tales of a certain breed of woman who was particularly lust-worthy: the Upper West Side mom.  They were popping up at all his local haunts; power-walking their strollers through the park during his morning run, bumping into him on his way out of Trader Joe’s, grabbing coffee while juggling a baby carrier and a yoga mat.  Every feat was reportedly carried out while somehow looking slim, toned, and SEXY.  “I swear,” he’d tell me.  “These women LOOK BETTER.  The hot mom thing is real.”

Pairing pregnancy with the inevitable slowing of metabolism and muscle loss that happen in your thirties can indeed spell disaster for some women post-partum.  But the fate of your “mom bod” rests largely in your hands.  Here’s why.

You did your prep work.

Taking charge of your health BEFORE you’re pregnant gives you a major leg up.  Staying active during your pregnancy (with the permission of your OB, of course), gives you an even better advantage.  Not only does physical activity during pregnancy benefit your body, and therefor your unborn bundle of joy, it’s also a great way to pencil in some “you” time. 

I’ve met women who went into pregnancy overweight, over-indulged during pregnancy, and took the course of inaction.  One plus years postpartum, they’re all struggling and miserable.  Remember, you can’t get back what you didn’t have.  Get going on that post-baby body now.

You work smarter, not harder.

Having a little person (or people) to look after has a funny way of affecting your priorities.  Gone are the days of my two-hour gym sessions.  When I hit the gym there is ZERO time wasted on socializing and I’m there to kick my own ass in as little time possible.  Compound movements (think squats, deadlifts) performed with a challenging weight have been my go-to, while isolated abdominal work is less of a priority.  But that’s just me – I’ve always gravitated toward heavy lower body workouts.  The “E” in exercise is for enjoyment, so continue with or find what you love – then make it happen. 

Your fitness serves a higher purpose.

If a child doesn’t motivate you to be your best, what will?  Taking care of yourself in terms of nutrition and regular exercise is a top requirement if you’re going to shine in your role as a parent.  You have a lot of years of running around ahead of you! 

Setting an example is another prime reason to stay on top of your fitness game.  The more your child recognizes physical activity as the norm, the easier it will be for him or her to join in on the fun when it’s time. 

I’d love to hear your success stories and challenges along the way to YOUR best body after baby.  Tag me in your Instagram photos with the hashtag #bodyafterbaby!