There’s so much said these days about how difficult it is to regain your health and fitness after having a baby. People talk about how tired new mums are, how time poor, how sleep deprived, how gym memberships are too expensive for those of us on maternity leave. And you know what. That’s all true.
Absolutely true. If you’re a new mum you probably are sleep deprived, you probably do have less free time in your day and less disposable cash in your back pocket.
So yeah, the time and money needed for getting fit, healthy and well are likely to be a lot more scarce than they were pre-baby.
But you know what. None of that matters!!!
Because at the end of the day, time and money are not the most important factors in whether you’ll get healthy or not. Think about all those super-rich or commitment-free people you know in the world (or that you used to be!) Are they all super-healthy? Not necessarily. Because it’s not actually about time or money.
Want to know what it is about? Inspiration and commitment.
Last week I was talking about inspiration, and how it’s so much more powerful than motivation. Go check out the post if you have time, but basically what I said was that having something that INSPIRES you to improve your health, rather than just a kick-up-the-backside short term motivation blast, is a much more effective path to health and wellbeing.
New Mum? No time for exercise?
Now what’s more inspiring than being a new Mum?
All of a sudden you have this teeny little bundle of preciousness in your care, and he’s relying on you 100 percent to look after him. To be there for him. To keep him well. And the only way you can really do that, is if you’re well yourself.
I’ve never met a mum who doesn’t want the absolute best for their child, who doesn’t want them to be as well and healthy as possible. The trick is to shift that thinking over to yourself as well.
So rather than seeing your children as your barriers to exercise, eating healthy or taking some “me-time”. Use them as your inspiration for exactly those things.
Which brings us to the second part of the equation: commitment.
You can’t just be inspired to be healthy and well. You have to be committed. Dedicated to creating and maintaining a lifestyle geared towards optimal health and wellbeing.
That’s why it doesn’t matter if you can no longer find two hours in your day for your back to back RPM classes. Because if you’re committed to being well, then every decision you make within your 18 hours (or more!!) of awake time per day is helping you get there.
It’s about eating nutritious, satiating food. Building movement into your whole day on a regular basis. Getting sufficient rest. Drinking enough water. Reducing your toxic exposure. Being kind to yourself. Gratitude. Mindfulness. Socialisation. So much more than just time and money. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. That’s exactly what this blog is for. We’re going to be covering all these topics and more.
But for now, just remember. NOW is the time. The perfect time to change your life for the better. For your own sake, and for the future of your family.
Everywhere I turn these days I keep hearing, seeing and reading about how much weight women have (and should!) put on during their pregnancy. This, of course, is closely followed by how and when they should “shift the baby weight”, once they’ve popped that little blighter out of their expanded bellies.
All this baby weight talk irritates me. It seriously does.
Not because it’s not important. I’m not brazen enough to suggest we should totally ignore weight loss and gain as an indicator of health and wellbeing.
What really cranks me up is how often it is seen as the ONLY gauge of health – and post-natal health in particular. This is complete BS. Especially when it comes to post-natal health.
The realm of post-natal health and wellbeing is enormous – and no I’m not just talking about the DD cups you sprouted on Day 3 post-birth. What I’m talking about is the crazy hormone roller-coaster that can go on for months, indeed years, during and post-pregnancy. Then there’s also the structural changes and injuries which can cause disability and dysfunction post-pregnancy. And let’s not forget social and psychological wellbeing.
So let me think – what’s more important for a new mother than “losing the baby weight”?
Restoring hormonal imbalance. Reducing stress. Overcoming fatigue and sleep deprivation. Addressing anxiety and depression. Rebuilding their core strength and pelvic floor integrity. Recovering from carpal tunnel and other pregnancy related neurological disorders. Repairing a diastasis recti. Dealing with lower back pain, pelvic girdle pain, upper back pain, neck and shoulder pain. Restoring nutrient deficiencies. Emotionally adjusting to their new role as a mother and potential loss of other life roles – such as worker, monetary provider, friend. Reigniting a sexual relationship with their partner.
I could list more, but I’m pretty sure you get the point.
All of these things affect a new mum’s health and wellbeing. In most cases significantly more than whether or not she can rock a two piece at the beach.
But there’s also a secondary, more sinister, issue with this focus on baby weight. Because when the societal pressure to drop that weight hits, many women will resort to measures which will actually endanger their health – not restore it. I’m talking meal replacements, ridiculously low calorie diets, consuming zero-nutrient diet-foods and embarking on extreme physical training programs for which their recovering body is still not ready. These actions are NOT HEALTHY. But so many new mums head down this path, because they feel the eyes of the world on them. Much like Kim Kardashian’s rumoured resolution not to appear in public with her baby until she’d lost the weight. Because a mummy is only valuable when she’s “yummy” right?
Come on. A little bit of perspective please.
I’m not saying don’t talk about weight gain and weight loss. But let’s consider it in relation to everything else going on in a new mum’s life and body. Because at the end of the day, health and weight do not necessarily have a linear relationship.
And to all you new mums – this is my message to you. Don’t worry about your weight – just focus on your health and your baby’s health – because that’s what is really important. Now, I would love to say – “focus on your health and a killer body will come your way as a result”. But I can’t in all honesty say that. What I can promise you, however, is that if you look after your health, your body will look after you. You will be strong, fit and healthy enough to take on whatever life (and that new little bubba) can throw at you. Whether you’re wearing a bikini or not.