My Postpartum Fitness Routine: Why I Think Running Is A Positive Way To Workout After Having A Baby

After having Giulian I was not in a rush to “get my body back”. The article “A Letter To My Daughter About My Postpartum Body” by Taylor Roybal perfectly portrays my views on how amazing, powerful and beautiful our bodies are. Being pregnant, giving birth and then breastfeeding made me realize that my body is more powerful than I ever knew. I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation for my body, I see it in a whole new light thanks to motherhood.

With that being said, I also knew that I wanted to get back in shape after having Giulian. I knew I wanted to challenge myself in fitness, feel strong, get my stamina up so I can have more energy to keep up with our baby boy and of course the added bonus of fitting in all of my super cute clothes I had before baby G. After Giulian was born I took about 6 to 8 weeks off from working out (the normal suggested time), we went on a ton of walks but that was about it. After that I did some workout classes, at home workouts and hit the treadmill a few times a week. Then in early March of this year (2018), I began my running journey. I had two of my best friends say they were going to run the Boulder Boulder, a popular 10K run here in Colorado. I decided to do it with them and since I was the rookie in the group I felt this pressure to make sure I was going to keep up with them on the day of the run. They both had ran the 10K before, but I had never participated in anything like that so I had an extra layer of nerves about it, thinking “gosh, I can’t be the weak link of the group!” So, I picked a training plan and stuck to it for the weeks up until the race. I was so strict about the training, I didn’t miss a single day. On the day of the race we had a blast, I was absolutely prepared and we had a wonderful time. Then I decided I wanted a greater challenge, so I signed up for a half-marathon. Training for that was a whole new commitment, the days of the long runs kicked my butt and were incredibly time consuming, but I did it and I’m so glad I did.

It feels great to be proud of yourself, to challenge yourself, and to finish what you start. It’s the mental part of all of it that I think is such a good thing for women to do postpartum. As mothers with new babies we can get so consumed with the daily tasks of motherhood that we forget to take care of ourselves, too. Having something for myself was so important in regaining my happiness after having Giulian. I struggled quite a bit with feeling happy for the first few months of Giulian’s life, I was exhausted and stressed out. Even on the days where I was tired, going on a run really helped me to relax and regain perspective on everything. I think it’s such a positive thing to do after having a baby and I’d suggest it to any woman going through a similar journey.

Here are the 5 reasons why I think running is a positive way to get in shape after baby:

  • It gets you in shape without having the focus be your weight.

    I didn’t want to obsess over my weight and the way my body looked after having a baby. I didn’t want to get caught in a downward spiral of shaming my body for how it looked because of having a baby, instead I wanted to focus on being happy, healthy and feeling good in my skin. What I love about running is that my goal was never a number on the scale. My goal was always to increase how far I could run little by little over a long period of time. My goal was to stay consistent with the training plan I had picked out and to finish the race I had signed up for. And that’s exactly what I did, for both the 10k and the half-marathon. I simply picked out a training plan and stuck to it. For the 10k I literally did not miss a single day from the training plan, I was extremely strict about sticking to it and training properly. I missed quite a few runs on the half-marathon training but overall I stuck to the plan and increased my distance little by little. It was amazing to watch my body change, and to feel the change. When I first started running, one mile without stopping was a huge challenge, this was 27 weeks ago. Now one mile doesn’t feel like much, I’m so proud of how far I have come.

    The truly amazing thing is I have not focused on my weight during this entire process, I didn’t obsess over how I looked, what size I wore or what the scale said, and I actually weigh less now than I did before I got pregnant. When I got pregnant I weighed 135 and I now weigh 129. I’m so grateful that this is how I lost the “baby weight” because I don’t want to say I starved myself, deprived myself or mistreat my body just to lose weight. I used to pull that crap in high-school, obsessing over how skinny or fat I felt, and I really didn’t want that to be my postpartum story too.

  • It gives you goals outside of motherhood.

    I’m sure you’ve heard people say things like this before, that it’s good to have goals outside of motherhood. I strongly agree with this. I’m not trying to diminish the job of being a mother, it’s hard work and also extremely fulfilling. However I do think it’s healthy to have goals, dreams and work outside of motherhood, even if you’re a stay at home mom. The more full your cup is the more you can pour into your children and your family. And accomplishing goals and growing as a woman outside of motherhood will fill your cup and make you a better mommy. Giulian is too young to understand now, but I want him to be inspired by me and the goals I’m pushing towards. I want him to see that mommy and daddy both value growth and are ambitious. And if for no other reason, it’s good for you to feel proud of yourself mama!

  • You get time to yourself.

    Not gonna lie, sometimes I wish my time to myself was sitting in a peaceful coffee shop sipping on a latte, but you know what—going on a run is good too. Just to have some time away from the kiddos is a great thing. I don’t think any mama would argue with that.

  • It gets you outside, fresh air and vitamin D.

    Parents.com has an article on ways to prevent postpartum depression and one of the things mentioned is make time to exercise. The article shared a quote that I found so true, it said “Taking a brisk walk, getting fresh air, and enjoying nature can improve your outlook," says Karen Rosenthal, Ph.D., a psychologist in Westport, Connecticut.” I personally think running outdoors instead of on a treadmill is the best option for postpartum workouts (if the weather permits of course). There have been so many moments where I was feeling overwhelmed, anxious from the baby being upset or just stressed out from my “to-do list” and then I would go on a run and feel so much more relaxed and ready to conquer my day. It’s been a wonderful stress reliever over the last six or so months.

  • It’s a great opportunity to push and challenge yourself .

    Like I said before, it’s so important to feel proud of yourself. It’s a great way to build your self confidence (which can be lower during the postpartum phase of life). Running helped me regain a ton of confidence after having the baby, I began to feel better about how my body looked and how my body felt. Every time I set a goal to run a little bit further and I achieved the goal, it was a boost in self confidence and over time it let my subconscious know that “I can finish what I set out to achieve”.

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Whatever form of fitness that is best for you, is best for you. I just wanted to share my running journey with you all and the reasons why I feel it is a wonderful way to get back in shape after having a baby. Comment below if you’d like to share about your postpartum fitness journey, I’d love to hear!

 
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My Three Go-To SAVORY Sweet Potato Recipes

If you watch my Instagram stories, then you know I am a bit of a sweet potato freak (and by a bit I mean obsessed). Sweet potatoes are one of my all time favorite foods, I love them sweet and I love them savory. They are packed with Vitamin A and potassium. They are also a good source of Vitamin B-6, magnesium, Vitamin C, calcium and iron. So, they are not only tasty but they are extremely good for you too. Over the years I've experimented with different ways to incorporate sweet potatoes into my meals and so I thought I'd share with you three of my favorite ways to do so! So here are my three Go-To savory style sweet potato recipes that are extremely simple and quick. 


Sweet Potato, Onion & Egg Breakfast

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This is currently my favorite breakfast! My husband is such an amazing egg cook and we eat a lot of eggs in our house, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eggs on toast used to be my go-to, but I love the idea of leaving bread out of the meal (for a number of reasons) so swapping bread for some crispy sweet potatoes was the perfect idea. Eggs over easy on top of sweet potato and onion stir fry is delicious. Add some turkey bacon on the side, a cup of coffee and bam, you've got the perfect breakfast. 

You'll need:

  • 1/4 White Onion (or 1/2 if you really like onion)
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 2 tbs Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Eggs

-Add the olive oil to a pan and turn the heat to medium. 

-For the perfect soft center and crispy outside to the sweet potatoes, turn the heat to medium and add a lid to cook the potatoes through. Once they are fully cooked, take the lid off and turn the heat up a bit. Cook until crispy and add some salt and pepper. 

-Top with any eggs. I prefer to top with two eggs cooked over easy. I personally think the yolk mixed with the sweet potatoes is delicious. 

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Sweet Potato Crisps

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I always call them sweet potato fries, but since they are circles instead of long skinny rectangles I feel like I should call them "crisps" for the sake of the blog post. But whatever you want to call them... they're DELICIOUS! 

Four Simple Ingredients:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Olive Oil (or coconut oil)
  • Salt & Pepper

-Preheat your oven to 420 degrees. 

-Slice sweet potato however you choose. I prefer circles because I find it easier to cut, but slice them any way, just make sure they are about 1/4 inch thick. 

-Add potato slices to a zip lock bag and add 1.5 tbs olive oil. shake it up until the potato slices are fully covered with oil. 

-Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper on it. 

-Bake for 12 minutes and then flip each piece. Then bake for another 12 minutes. 

*When I am trying to cut calories, I will use coconut oil cooking spray instead of olive oil. They turn out a bit more dry, but it is far less calories than using olive oil. Trader Joes has great coconut oil cooking spray. 

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Eggplant & Sweet Potato Stir Fry

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I don't know what it is, maybe the texture or maybe the taste (probably both), but I love eggplant and sweet potatoes together. It probably seems like a strange combination (which it slightly is), but I've been obsessed with it the last six months. I love making a big batch of it and having it in the fridge. I eat it by itself, top it with avocado, or even eat it as a side with some chicken. No matter how you like it, it's extremely tasty and simple to make. 

All you need is:

  • 1/2 Eggplant
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • Olive Oil
  • Sale & Pepper
  • Avocado (add slices once done if you'd like)

-Chop sweet potato and eggplant into cubes, half inch cubes work just fine. 

-Heat pan to medium with 3 tbs olive oil. 

-Add sweet potato and eggplant to the pan and cover. 

-Add salt and pepper. 

-Cook until the potato gets softer, then remove the lid and turn the heat up. 

-Top with avocado if you choose or a meat if you choose.

*The crunchier the better! Trust me, I have under cooked this before and I thought it was disgusting!! 

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Summer Workout Routine + The Perfect Post Workout Snack

The official first day of summer is coming. June 20th. This time of year, with beaches, bikinis, vacations and summer outfits on my mind, I am far more health conscious. I find myself more motivated to bust my booty during workouts and to choose healthy snacks.

I am super grateful that my sister is a personal trainer. Sometimes I get bored of my same workout routine and I'll ask her to fill me in on some fresh moves. She was kind enough to let me film her so that I could share her awesome workout routines with all of you! This is a simple workout for men or women that you can do at the park. The only thing you need is a park bench and some water. She has demonstrated six simple workouts for us to do, that we are to try to complete at least three times all the way through. I hope you enjoy this killer full body workout. Don't forget to keep reading to discover the perfect post workout snack!

FIRST MOVE

Squats | 20 Times

 
 

SECOND MOVE

Push-ups | 20 Times

Choose one of the three variations

THIRD MOVE

Bench hops | 20 Times

 or

Modified bench walks | 10 Times each leg leading

FOURTH MOVE

Tricep Dips | 20 Times

Choose one of three variations

FIFTH MOVE

Squat kicks on the bench | 20 each leg

 

 

FINAL MOVE

Inchworm, tricep push-up, & knees to elbows | 20 Times

Make sure to stretch good before and after your workout to prevent pulling any muscles. 

Carbohydrates are great to consume after an intense workout like this. Fruit is such a pure and natural way to get some sugar/carbs in. Froozer, a Colorado based nutrition company, was kind enough to send me some samples of their frozen fruit snacks. They are delicious! Genuinely, my husband and I have sorta become addicted to these because they really are great. The company prides themselves on having extremely healthy products that are NON GMO, dairy free, kosher, gluten free,  and all natural, so basically anyone can enjoy them. They have three flavors- Strawbanana Bliss, Tropical Sunset and Blue Aloha.

We loved them all, in fact we already ate them all (within a couple days of receiving them!). I wasn't kidding when I said it's an addiction! We need to make our way over to Safeway to pick up a few more boxes. Like I mentioned before, it's the perfect post workout snack, but we also are just loving them as a cold summer snack to cool us down. 

Another great thing about Froozer and their line of products is it's an easy thing to be able to take with you when you're out and about... like at the park doing a workout! It's really a good way to intake some carbs before or after a workout and an easy snack to have for the kids if they get hungry. For those of you out there that may be watching your sugar or carb intake, Froozer products are only around 35 calories! So not only do you get to enjoy a sweet treat, but you can do it guilt free. Check 'em out, I was really impressed with the product and will be buying more as soon as possible because we ate ours so quickly.

 

* This post is a collaboration with Froozer. As always, all statements and opinions are genuine and my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that partner and collaborate with According To D. 

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