Tips to overcoming fitness plateaus, especially on your postpartum journey.
- First, GIVE YOURSELF GRACE. Do not expect your body to change overnight. It took you 9+ months for you to GROW a human (or two!), and if it wasn’t your first pregnancy, your body stretches more quickly than normal with subsequent pregnancies. But that also does not mean you cannot get back to a place of confidence and strength again. You CAN. But it will take time. It will take consistency. It will take patience. It will take work.
- Make sure you’re getting ENOUGH calories! As I mentioned above, some women are so eager to “lose that baby weight” that they cut calories, which means they really are cutting out important nutrients they need. You need an adequate number of calories and macronutrients to maximize your metabolism.
- If you find yourself hitting a plateau, re-evaluate what you are doing. Are you tracking your nutrition? Getting enough water? Getting enough sleep?
- Often, I find women that hit plateaus make a break-through when they change up their fitness routine. Our body often responds incredibly well to variety in your workouts. And one of the best things I have ever done is simply choose a plan and follow it to a T. I’m not an expert when it comes to nutrition and fitness. But I have the tools and resources and programs created by experts that I can use on my own personal journey and share with others.
- Set SMALL goals that will help you get to that bigger goal. Instead of focusing on the 25 pounds you might have to lose, set your sight on that 1st pound.
- But, above all, my biggest piece of advice is set goals that are not JUST a number on the scale. Do you want your clothes to fit better? Do you want to feel comfortable in your own skin? Do you simply want to get into the habit of working out four days a week? Do you want to be able to do five push-ups? I promise if you focus on THESE things, the other stuff will happen.
Enjoy the journey, focus on your progress, and never expect perfection of yourself. It’s OKAY when you miss a workout (or two!). Eat the dang slice of cake if you want it. Most of all, I hope for all women that they have a healthy relationship with food — that they never have guilt or regret for what they have eaten, that they get to a place and lifestyle in which they enjoy the treats in moderation, are exercising consistently, and most of all, that their mental health is the best that it’s ever been, so that they feel happy and fulfilled.
My goal was never to get my “pre-baby body back,” like you so often hear. I am so GRATEFUL to my body that was able to endure two rounds of IUI, three rounds of IVF, and to help me become pregnant four times (including a twin pregnancy) and have relatively uneventful (aka healthy) pregnancies. I was able to carry all five to term and had safe deliveries. I was able to recover from two C-Sections. I was able to breastfeed my first two kiddos to 9 and 10 months, respectively and my third kiddo for a full year. I was able to breastfeed my twins exclusively tandem (who are still breastfeeding at 13 months).
And now, I am a mom to 5 kiddos — kids I once wondered if I’d ever have.
So, no, I don’t want that pre-baby body back. I’m so unbelievably thankful for my journey to and through motherhood, and I focus instead on what I can do now to be my healthiest self, stretch marks, loose skin, C-section scars, and all. And my hope is for every other woman out there, that you, too, can love your body just the way it is!
Key essentials to follow while training with IVF pregnancy.
I had a different exercise regimen during my IVF cycle than while I was pregnant. During my IVF cycles, I was advised to keep my exercise low impact with no twisting (some yoga moves, as an example), because while taking the IVF medications, my ovaries were enlarging.
I always took a few days off from exercise on the day of, and a few days after, my egg retrieval, as well as the day of my transfer. I then chose to solely walk for exercise during the “two-week wait,” or, in my case, nine days. I felt that time was so critical (the implantation window), and because I knew exactly when we transferred. I chose, then, not to exercise for a few days immediately post transfer. I did all the things many women who do IVF do to help aid in implantation. Eat pineapple. Eat warm foods. Foot baths. Keep your feet warm. Acupuncture. I did my best to keep myself busy and distracted until we knew if the transfer had worked (or didn’t work).
And only after I found out I was pregnant; did I slowly start to exercise again after a discussion with my fertility doctor and OB. At first it was low impact — I swam, cycled, walked, and did light weightlifting. I was so nervous that first pregnancy, especially, given how long the road to become pregnant was for me. But I also knew that exercise is such an important aspect of a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum journey. I certainly took it easier the first trimester, as I had an irrational fear that I could do something to cause harm to my pregnancy in the form of exercise. This is not, for the most part, true.
Chat with your doctor about what is safe for you, and generally, start from your baseline. If you weren’t exercising before, don’t overdo it. But, also, DO NOT FEAR EXERCISE while pregnant! There are so many things you CAN do safely during pregnancy. Ask someone who can guide you properly!
My healthiest pregnancies were those where I found home workouts that allowed me to modify programs with the help of my coach or to choose programs specific for pregnancy — all streamed and done from home! I even found a prenatal barre program that was added to the prenatal strength and yoga workouts!
I MOVED my body every day, if even just a long walk.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.