Hi everyone I am Elif and I write at Theboxqueen. Mandy is graciously hosting me at her beautiful internet home and I would like to share with you some of my experiences with fitness; especially after having my three kids. This is the first installment of the series, and we are at no 6 right now at Theboxqueen. Hope you enjoy! Would love it if you let me know what your own experiences have been with fitness after you have stopped for a while for any reason! <3
A couple weeks ago, over one of our regular girls/moms night out with my close friends, we were discussing how I wanted to write about my ongoing love of fitness and started by writing my first post. My friends mentioned that it would be useful if I wrote about how I bounced back after my three pregnancies. ( thx so much girls <3) This got me thinking that although I am no fitness/nutrition expert in the professional sense, I would probably be able to give some useful tips/support not only to new moms but also to anyone trying to get back to or into fitness and is intimidated to start. I know how it feels as I have been there- three times! With no further ado I introduce you:
Every week I will include some tips/suggestions on fitness and/or nutrition that worked for me. I will use my own experiences as an example but I think you could apply most of it to any situation keeping you from starting again, be it college 15, a surgery and home rest, or some particularly busy period in your life. Also I want to open this space to your back to fitness related questions and I will answer one every week to my best knowledge.
Let's begin shall we. Today's two back to fitness tips are:
Set Realistic ExpectationsI want to start with what I think is the number one suggestion on my list. Whatever it is you are bouncing back from you need to be kind to yourself and set your sight on realistic goals. I learned this the hard way. Before my oldest daughter was born I had absolutely no clue how the first year would be after birth. I was living in my dreamland thinking after delivery in about two weeks I would be at the gym and outdoors back to my regular routine. Instead I had a baby, fell in love with her and at the same time felt such an utter and complete exhaustion from all the responsibilities that I barely had energy to take showers, or even change from my pajamas to my regular clothes. Fitness what did that word even mean, forget it, running 6am in the morning was not even remotely in my list of things to do.
My initial super high fitness expectations made me reluctant to start with even something simple, as the fear of failure took over me.
I felt like if I wasn't going to do it at full speed, there was no meaning in starting.This mentality of course made me unhappy. After almost eight months ( and still holding on to most of the gained pregnancy pounds and feeling so sluggish), when I eased into motherhood, I felt like I needed to change my view of fitness success to accomplish my goal of getting active again. By setting up a much more realistic back to fitness plan for myself, I got my motivation back. This brings me to my second tip.
Takeaway: We as women are so hard on ourselves. In our busy lives, with all the different hats we wear, if we need to, it's OK to give ourselves permission to focus on what's important ( like a baby, new job, recuperation) for a while. When we are ready to get back into fitness, realistic expectations will probably make us start faster, stick to the plan and most importantly make us feel empowered instead of like a failure.
Start SimpleDirectly related to my first tip I think starting simple with baby steps is huge. After the above mentioned realistic goal setting, I decided that I would ease myself into exercising. I would also find ways to become active again with simple everyday activities.
I walked to my neighborhood Starbucks instead of driving. I stopped telling myself the white lie that I would go to the gym in the evening after my hubby came home (who was I kidding, in the first year, after a full day of diaper changes, this NEVER happened); instead I put my baby in a jogging stroller and walked up and down the hills with her (nothing like pushing a stroller up the hills to get your hamstrings in shape). I would take Daisy -just the cutest dog in the world- for leisurely walks around the park. At home watching TV, I started to take 3 pounders in each hand and did tricep/bicep curls. I would go up and down the stairs ten times super fast in my house too. Just anything and everything that could be done easily before I went into fitness madness full force.
Pugs are not a breed to run with but they are wonderful for walks and are the best companions. I of course think my Daisy is the most adorable pug in the world.Takeaway: If you can start a full force fitness routine right after a hiatus, more power to you. If you are anything like me, ease yourself into daily fitness slowly by transforming everyday activities into mini exercises. No intimidation, better chance of sticking with it. As you start feeling more energetic (i.e older baby, less sleepless night) you can start elevating your routine to more hardcore cardio, toning, weight sessions.
Next week I'll continue with more tips including how I started my serious self- crafted exercise schedule.
I want to open up this place to questions from you. I realize not everyone's experience will be identical but we can all learn something from each other. Anything getting back to or staying on track with a fitness routine goes! Also I have probably done most type of exercises out there being a fitness nut that I am; so I will try to answer using my own experiences and anything I am not sure of I will learn from the experts.Just comment below, send me an email, or use my social media. Let's chat fitness and support each other in our quest of getting and staying healthy! <3<3 XOXO, Elif