Return to 100% Me…Baby 1st Birthday!

Having a child is just like having an open heart surgery, once your chestis cut opened, you are never the same.

Becoming a mother greatly changed my mentality and priorities in life, but it also altered my physical well-being I am not talking about squeezing into that old, small bikini, which it is highly desirable, but building back my physical strength and stamina? I came to realize that I needed them desperately to stay healthy and take care of my kids.

After the postpartum recovery, the faster one could regain her physical strength, the better. However, it may not be realistic for many mothers, because the tiny human beings rely on you to be nurtured and loved, thus setting up a goal and a doable timeline was the first most important step for me.

After the birth of my first daughter, I was determined to fit back into that beautiful bridal dress, which I bought before I found out I was pregnant, and to look beautiful for my “dream wedding”. Therefore, my clearly defined goal and the major incentives to feel and look great, helped me to drop “the 50 pounds” in just 4 months. Not fun, but I did it.

It was a totally different story after my second baby. I did not have a specific goal to chase, but I did want to get back to my healthy weight, in order tofeel better about myself. The reality is, I did not want to perpetually chase these last 8 pounds until my kids are in high school…or to fit in those skinny jeans in just 4 weeks like those Youtubers or Hollywood stars. I was realistic; I gave myself one year. I made up my mind that by the time we celebrate the 1st birthday of my 2nd daughter, it would be the time to return to 100% me, and I did it.

Being a working mom is not easy in my humble opinion, but it enables you to optimize your working hours and to squeeze in time to “invest on yourself”. On the other hand, staying at home mom who is always busy with the kids also struggles to find “me” time, As you know, there are different obstacles for each individual and it takes different paths & time to “get back to ONE SELF”.

Taking a holistic approach at my current physical and mental state, I started with a goal of “80%” meaning to lose 80% of the baby weight and return to 80% of my physical strength by month 4 when I go back to work from my maternity leave. I did it and I blogged about it, so I feel accountable to myself. However, my body condition fluctuated throughout the following months, attributed to work stress, two toddlers, nanny situation, and a husband constantly traveling. Here some of the tools and solutions, which I adopted that I found useful…

“Beachbody on Demand” is the BEST for stay at home mom or when you can’t step outside of your home. There are different styles of workout for fit individual needs. Some fitness celebrities I found annoying…but Piyo is a great start when I was ready to exercise. It is a very balanced workout with not too much jumping and insane cardio, but it gives results. I started to “tuck” things back to my pre-pregnancy shape.

Fortunately, I live in the city of Chicago, and the area has nothing less but boutique workout studios and coffee shops. I also enjoy the vibe of working out in a group, with an experienced instructor and at the end of the session, I feel fresh and energized, as if I planted a new tree, taking all the oxygen I need to pump through the rest of the days and weeks…

Not many people are aware, that Studio 3 has a postpartum promotion with a deep discount for unlimited access to these new and posh studios that offer yoga, cycling, and circuit training. I found time to take care of my kids and working out there during my maternity leave. After that, my on-going solution is the combination of on-demand workout and Class Pass. I logged in around 120 visits in 8 months. I tried everything, besides Studio 3, my favorites are SWEAT (smart circuit focused), Studio Lagree (intense Megaformer-machine Pilate) and Yoga Six (never fail me on the quality of yoga teachers). Honestly, there were times and even weeks, when I do feel dragged and miss classes all the time, but I do keep my mantra from work, showing up is 70% of the success, so I keep showing up.    

I do agree that constant diet projects may affect negatively the eating habits of your growing kids. However, I also believe that not feeling ONE SELF as being physically strong & fit, is also reflecting poorly on woman’s self-esteem. As a result, moms may not be able to keep up with the new human beings in her life, which is a BIG issue for every “super mama”.

Nevertheless, even the most organized moms, ssometimes do feel frustrated, as if all the super power is sucked out of their bodies. When I feel that way, I revert to my yogi spirituality and begin to chant the Ashtanga closing sanskrit —

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

It is truly amazing how the repetition of these simple words can rebalance me and get me back on track.

Translation:

May all beings everywhere be happy and free

Om peace, peace, perfect peace

 

After 5-10 chants, my superhero power regains…happy birthday to my baby 1st year, and more power to every single mama!

 

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