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 my body. I 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 to be perfectly toned. I worked so hard for that body 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 I didn’t love it the way 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, I worked out nearly 2 hours a day. I would work to the point of having constant braxton hicks and until my feet were numb. At that point, I would finally 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. I just didn’t understand that my body was different than before my pregnancy. 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 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 1 yr & 9 mths postpartum with my first child; exhausted and depleted, I had zero energy. This is what most people would say "healthy" looks like. I had to restrict what I ate and I trained for 2 hours, 7 days a week in the last 12 weeks.
In the 2nd set of pictures I'm 11 months postpartum with my second child, working out 2x weekly and 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 are of someone who isn't as healthy but I beg to differ. I'm free of the miserable life of dieting and I'm no longer trapped by anxiety if I don't work out every single day. My body is still carrying some extra fat because I'm still breastfeeding and I'm up multiple times a night. Now for the funny part, my weight is exactly the same in the before and after pictures!
Competition time came around and I was pretty proud that I had made it this far. I worked hard for 12 weeks and dropped down to an 8.5% body fat - which is shocking. I went on stage with a ton of other competitors who looked amazing and guess what - 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. I'm here to tell you that the memes and fitspos that are targeted to moms that try to tell us that there are “no excuses” - 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. You don’t need to worry and workout in the gym for hours and hours to be healthy.
When my life allows, I may workout a little more and challenge my body the way that I used to. It's more important for my body to be healthy and to function, not to look perfect.
I am now almost 11 months postpartum and I do not have my pre-pregnancy body back. I'm happier now than ever because I've created an exercise and life balance that works for me. I workout a couple of times a week, walk a lot and eat a balanced diet. I’m about the same weight but my body looks very different and - I am fit!
Please don’t think that you have to look like a cover model to be healthy. It’s okay to skip workouts sometimes and eat ice cream. I can tell you from personal experience that having a healthy body is what will make you happy now and in the long run!
Love your baby body!
- Terrell Baldock, Mom's Fitness Boutique
Do you want to know more about fat-loss after baby and how to set realistic goals? Are you doing the same fitness program that you were doing before pregnancy to get back into shape? Are you frustrated with the lack of results? It's not your fault! This Friday (June 10th), I will be speaking at Cheeky Monkey; register today to book your spot.