I Realized I Was Doing my Postpartum Workouts All Wrong When…
I was waiting for the perfect time to go to the gym.
I was waiting for both children to be totally asleep and non-fussy to roll out my yoga mat.
I was waiting for a time when (theoretically) I hadn’t eaten quick-and-easy blue box Mac & Cheese for lunch AND dinner earlier in the day, leaving me feeling unenthusiastic about jumping around in leggings. (Don’t judge meeeeeee.)
I was waiting for my boobs not to be sore.
I was waiting for my whole body not to be sore.
I was waiting to be well-rested.
I was waiting to work out after even one full night’s sleep.
Even just half a night…
What was I waiting for? I was waiting for the impossible. I was waiting for the stars to align so that nothing would be inconvenient, nothing would hurt, nothing would be sore from a long day of carrying a baby on my back, I would be energized from a full night of unbroken sleep…
And those times were just never going to happen. And so, neither did my postpartum workouts. Until I realized I needed to do them even when the timing was imperfect, when my body felt imperfect, when I was sleep-deprived, when I wasn’t eating the most healthy things and just trying to survive. And I’m not saying my workouts now are effortless. There are times when I am still too tired, too sore, too worn down. But I try not to view those as reasons to put it all off. Because if I put off this stuff until that imagined day, it’s never going to happen. I’ll never work out again.
You can do it. I know it’s past the initial time when everyone’s fitness goals are either becoming habit or are being slowly worn away post-New Year resolution time, which is why I’m saying this now: I still struggle. But if you put it off and put it off and put it off until that magical time you dream of, it’s not going to happen. You have to make it happen yourself. Even when you’re sore. Even when you’re tired.
And one day, you’re going to wake up, and you will be well-rested. I swear. I pinky-swear, even. It’ll happen. And it really, truly will get easier. Or at any rate, you’ll do the workout, and then can stop mentally flipping through the hours of each day wondering if that’s a better time to work out.
One final note, because maybe you’re waiting for me to say it: the one thing I’m not going to say here is this: I’m not going to say you should be cherishing this challenging time in your life and be grateful for the soreness and exhaustion, because hellllll no. This time in life is challenging. It is hard. It is difficult to find the support and time and resources (mental and physical and time-wise and person-wise) to be the best version of yourself. So while it’s important to advocate for your child, it’s also important to advocate for yourself. You need the time to work out. You need the time to focus on your body and mind, not just the body and mind of the little person(s) you’re raising.
So do the work. But make sure others are doing the work to help you do your work. I know you can do it. Don’t put it off.