Postpartum Shape Up – Before

Fitness & Food

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Follow along with my post-partum fitness progress (and setbacks). Come share your healthy goals and let’s get in shape together!

The other day, my sister Nancy and I were talking about losing weight and how to hold ourselves accountable while we work on getting in shape.  Nancy had recently posted a “before” pic on Instagram and mentioned how she was working on accepting her body where it is right now, while simultaneously making better food and exercise choices.

She also said how easy it is to post embarrassing “before” pictures of oneself once you’re already looking like the amazingly hot “after” picture. It got me thinking about how hard we women are on ourselves, even while we’re trying our best to make progress. We’re constantly inundated with pictures of perfection: perfect crafts, decor, outfits, hair, parties, makeup, bodies; and when we look in the mirror every day, it can be a struggle to not feel inferior.

So, I decided that I’d invite the whole of the interwebs to follow me on my very imperfect journey of shaping up and losing the baby weight this time around. I’ve gained and lost so much weight over the past 12 years of bearing children, that I’m a lot more at peace with my postpartum body now than I was after the first couple kids.  I know that my body won’t be like this forever and so most of the time I just try my best to implement healthy habits and then not dwell too much on the rest.

But I fully acknowledge that having a healthy mindset about one’s body isn’t easy.  It can be frustrating and exhausting to try to lose weight and see little progress. For example, my body never gets entirely back to normal until after I’m done nursing my babies…which means every time it’s taken close to (if not longer than) a full YEAR to lose all the baby weight!  It’s a slow, sometimes agonizing process but as long as I’m doing my best, I try not to beat myself up.

Today I’m showing you my current “before” status via pictures, weight and body measurements. Once a month after this, I’ll be posting updated pictures and stats, as well as any successes and setbacks.  I hope that any progress I have will be inspiring to other moms trying to make healthy changes, but mostly, I hope to offer some comradery to those of you who struggle with postpartum body image issues or frustrations because you don’t look like your favorite fashion blogger just minutes after giving birth.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I’m not generally a fan of showing this much skin in public (let alone on the internet!) even when I’m in good shape 🙂 but I felt it was important that other women see what a postpartum body often looks like (and yes, I have stretch marks and loose, flabby skin under those swim bottoms!).  You may be starting a lot closer to your goals than I am or a lot farther away, but the important part is that we accept where we are, make a plan to improve and then just START!

April 17, 2017: 8 weeks postpartum

Current weight: 162
Goal weight: 140-ish

Current measurements:
Bust 40.5″  –  Waist 32.5″  –  Hip: 42″
Goal measurements:
Bust 37″  –  Waist 29″  –  Hip: 39″

Successes: I joined a local gym and had some great workouts there doing mostly body weight strength training.  I also got back into running since having the baby.  I’m not fast, but I did do 2 miles without stopping recently!

Setbacks: Sugar and refined carbs are my kryptonite when nursing a new baby. I did lots of baking this month and ate a lot of garbage.  I’m working on really listening to my body and feeding it fuel when I’m hungry instead of junk.

This month’s goals: Do strength training 4x/week and run or do other cardio 2-3x/week.  Limit sugary treats to once a week.

Now it’s your turn!  Please share any goals, progress or frustrations you’re facing on your fitness journey in the comments.  Let’s support each other in our quest to get healthy!

UPDATE: See the end of my postpartum weight loss journey HERE, as well as links to my other progress posts!

And if you’re looking for more ideas to help you get in shape, check out the fitness challenge I posted after my last baby.

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  • Reply
    Heidi Streadbeck
    April 22, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    I had hoped to just jump right into jogging (having never done it before ever) but I’ve decided to start with walking a long way each day (at least 10,000 steps on my fitbit). Which at first (December) was a struggle to get my steps, or even half my steps each day! But now over the last several weeks I’ve been getting more than 10,000 every day! As I lose weight I hope to some day take up running, because it seems like a great way to burn a lot of calories! But I mostly need to focus on finding healthy recipes that my whole family will eat, because cooking one meal for me, and one for the family (plus any little extra meals for the kids that won’t eat whatever dinner is!) is too daunting!! I lost baby weight after the first baby, and then all the other weight just seemed to stay, so I have a lot further to go than you do!!

    • Reply
      April 22, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      That’s awesome, Heids! Any progress is progress and I think the best steps to take are the ones we’re actually gonna stick with (like walking over sprinting, etc 🙂 And I agree, health is like 80% diet and I need to work on that mainly too! Keep me updated on how you’re doing!

  • Reply
    April 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Love this, Bonnie! I’m already having anxiety over my post-partum body, and I still have 3 months until this baby is cooked!! Of course, you girls know me best and how I can be overly critical of myself.
    Heidi, what a great start! Slow, maintainable habits that we keep are the best for long term changes. Can’t wait to see both of you and your progress in Oct!

    • Reply
      April 24, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      You’ll do fine, Amy! At least you know what to expect! Can’t wait to meet a tiny Amy! 🙂

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