My Picture of Health: The Real Before & After
This is a story of a before and after. You see, I have been many shapes and sizes in my life. I’ve been overweight, skinny, fit, and even in physique competition shape (bikini class).
I’ve hated my body and loved it. I’ve even had love/hate relationship with my body and finally found peace when I found balance in my life.
When I became a personal trainer, I was still chasing that perfect body. I wanted a 6 pack and be perfectly toned. I worked so hard for that body, would get compliments and had women wanting to work with me because I had what they wanted--or I appeared to have what they wanted--that perfect body. I liked my body but didn’t love it the way that I thought I would.
Then I found out I was pregnant.
I was excited to become a mom but I struggled with what was going to happen with my body. The fat that I worked so hard to lose was going to come back
I worked HARD during my pregnancy, workout nearly 2 hours a day. I would work to the point of having constant braxton hicks and numbing of my feet. At that point, I would stop.
After my son was born, I wanted more. I wanted to prove that having a baby wasn’t going to get in the way of me. It was my disordered thinking and postpartum depression telling me that I needed to get my body back. I just didn’t understand that my body was different. The more stressed I got, the more I worked out to cope.
Just before my son was a year old, I had some issues with my health. Due to these complications, my anxiety was high and I wasn’t sleeping. I worked out more and more but I wasn’t feeling any better. I eventually went on anti anxiety medication and started to feel normal.
I was diagnosed with a solid mass (which thankfully turned out to me a blood filled cyst) after months of diagnostics, some were pretty invasive and later had surgery.
I then decided that I wanted to do a physique competition. I was feeling healthy and was in a much better place so I went for it!
It was the HARDEST thing I’d set out to do in my life. I had seen the fitness models and the magazine cover girls and admired their bodies but holy cow! What they have to give up for an entire season must be tough. I mean, the competition I committed to was happening after Thanksgiving. My body was so depleted at that point, I ended up eating whatever.
Then the guilt set in.
Above are my competition pictures. I was 1yr 9 months postpartum with my first child, exhauseted, and depleted. I had zero energy. This is what most people would say "healthy" looks like. I had to be super restrictive with what I are and trained for 2 hours 7 days a week in the last 12 weeks. My body was craving carbs and resisting that wasn't easy.
The second set of pictires, I'm 11-months postpartum with my second child, working out 2x weekly with lots of walking. I eat well most days but I'm more flexible than I have been in a while. Some may say that these pictures ar of someone who isn't as healthy but I beg to differ. I'm free of the miserable life of dieting and no longer trapped of the anxiety of not working out every single day. I'm still up multiple times a night and breastfeeding so my body is still carrying some extra fat.
Funny part, I weight the exact same in both pictures!
Competition time comes around and I was pretty proud that I made it this far. I worked hard for 12 weeks and dropped down to 8.5% body fat which is crazy!
Got on stage with a ton of other competitors who looked amazing and I didn’t place!
I’m okay with that. It was an incredible experience and it’s part of the reason I’m here today. To tell moms just like you that this is an unrealistic goal for most of us. When we see memes or fitspos that are targeted to moms with these other moms who try and tell us that there is “no excuses” I am here to tell you that they are dead wrong!
The body that you have right now, your baby body, is incredible. You don’t have to look like a supermodel or a fitness model to be healthy either. You don’t need to stress and kill yourself in the gym every single day for hours and hours. You just need to find a lifestyle that works for you.
When my life allows, I may workout a little more and challenge my body the way that I use to but for now, I need my body to funtion more than I need it to look good.
I am now almost 11 months postpartum and I do not have my pre-pregnancy body back and I’m happier with my body now than ever because I’m in a place that works for me. I workout a couple times a week, walk a ton, and have a balanced diet. I’m about the same weight but my body looks very different. I am fit!
Please don’t think that you have to look like a cover model to love yourself. It’s okay to skip workouts and eat ice cream. I can tell you from personal experience that having a body like the one I have included in this blog is going to be what makes you happy because first; that isn’t the real me and two; that isn’t sustainable and no one looks like that long term.
Love your baby body,
Do you want to know more about fat-loss after baby and how to set realistic goals without driving yourself crazy? It’s important to understand how our bodies change, your hormonal profile, stress, sleep, and self-care all play a role in your health and wellness. Knowing that your workouts may be doing you more harm than good will not only play a key role in your success but also learning how you can get great results without crazy intensive workouts.This Friday (June 3rd), I will be speaking at Cheeky Monkey about we will be discussing all of this! Register today to book your spot. Space is limited.
r baby and what you can realistically expect during your 1st year postpartum. Click the link to register, spots are limited.