A woman’s post-partum body is an interesting thing. While I truly appreciate the fact that this body created two healthy tiny humans and is currently physically keeping one of them alive, I don’t appreciate the ‘stretched-out-jiggle’ that those tiny humans left me with across my midsection. So I decided that I’d just start running to get that pre-baby body back. Problem solved.
Except I haven’t done any intense physical activity since we’ve moved here. And to be honest, I didn’t do that much before we moved here either. I quit twirling in 2012, did a few months of boot camp after that, and then decided to just be.
And by just be, I mean enjoy all the foods that a new city provided when we first moved, get pregnant and gain some weight, lose that pregnancy but not that weight, immediately get pregnant again, attend the MN state fair, birth Q, breastfeed for 2 years and eat like an army even when nursing was weaning down, stop nursing and immediately get pregnant again (while at your highest adult weight ever), birth H, and survive 6 weeks with a newborn and toddler. Whew, it’s been quite the adventure and my body has paid the price.
So I went out and grabbed some new shoes, gave myself a pep talk, and told T that if I wasn’t back in 30 minutes to come looking. Seeing as how I’m writing this post, clearly I survived. And I learned a few things about running post-partum.
1. Put on a sports bra. Then put on another one. And maybe even a third. Those girls are full of milk and need more support than you think.
2. While you’re loading up on sports bras, you might as well drop some nursing pads in there too. That letdown can happen anytime…though your haven’t-worked-out-in-four-years sweat can probably hide it.
3. You’ll probably want a girdle. That extra jiggle in the middle isn’t exactly a pleasant feeling. Do they make workout spanx?
4. Make your husband/friend/parents keep the kids for the duration of your run. In my case, T handled the kids while I hit the pavement. I managed an extremely impressive 15 minutes of running. Boom. Running QUEEN over here. Plus, you’ll have 15 minutes to yourself without a single person needing your boobs. That’s a godsend when there’s a newborn, or spouse, in your home.
5. You’ll want to quit before you get to the end of your block. Hell, maybe even the end of your driveway. Dont let your mind fool you, breastfeeding will not make all those pounds just “melt away ” without a little effort on your part. #speakingfromexperience
6. Squeezing into your pre-baby leggings is an extra 500 calories burned. FACT. Those puppies aren’t easy to get back into.
7. Your body may give you signals that it isn’t ready for an intense workout and that’s okay. Listen to it. My body let me know that maybe it wasn’t time for running, so I took a week off and tried again. A woman’s body is an incredible machine, but it needs to be well cared for in order to work properly. Give it time to heal, giving birth is no joke.
I finished that first run and have tackled a second one. I’m hoping to continue this trend and get some regular runs on my weekly schedule. Cheer me on in spirit, I need all the help I can get to keep this up!