I love Salt & Vinegar chips, page-turner novels and binge-watching Netflix with my husband. :) I host The Living Easy Podcast, where I talk about the things that most people don't discuss - with a focus on faith and relationships! Follow along on IG and Pinterest for mom-hacks, recipes & life tips!
*This post is sponsored by Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews, but all thoughts and opinions are my own*
I delivered my sweet little Saxon on January 3rd, 2018 and he has been such a little dream baby ever since! Throughout my pregnancy, I had Polyhydramnios – which ended up saving his life – but it caused my belly to grow out quite a bit more than with my first baby.
My recovery definitely hasn’t been as quick this time around, but I’m working every day on my fitness with the goal of being healthy and more active for the sake of my family. Saxon just turned 4 months old and I am 4 pounds away from my pre-baby weight.
I get asked quite often about my tips for getting back in pre-baby shape, so I wanted to share 7 of my best tips with you all!
1. Daily Home Workouts
I have lived by the mindset that no matter what workout or program I decide to do, or for how long I’m able to do it, it’s always better than doing nothing! Just force yourself every day to do something.
I started using the Kayla Itsines: Sweat app after I had my first son and I had pretty amazing results. It’s a 28-minute program with three different workouts per week (arms & abs, legs, full body.)
It also encourages low intensity and high intensity cardio workouts and I seriously love it! My body is completely dead when I finish – but in the best way!
Most of the time I don’t get to the cardio and, if I’m honest, I sometimes only complete 14 of the 28 minutes – because children. 😉 But even with that, this workout has really helped to get my body back to where it was before pregnancy much more quickly.
The only equipment I’ve needed are dumbbell weights, a medicine ball, a jump rope and a bench for step-ups. This has been something that is really convenient and easy to do since I know I’m unable to make it to the gym consistently in this season of life.
2. Skip the Scale
This is such a simple thing, but it has honestly been my biggest source of motivation. I stay off of the scale (because it gets me discouraged quickly) and replace that with taking before & after pictures once a week.
The smallest progress is so encouraging! And even on the weeks that I’m not doing so well with my workouts – these photos help me to see that I have taken a step in the wrong direction. It then motivates me to do more or get back into it.
3. 120 Ounces of Water Per Day
A good rule of thumb is to try and drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight a day. I’ve always loved water, so I have to admit that this isn’t super challenging for me.
However, there are definitely days that I begin to get sick of the bland taste, so I purchase about 10 lemons per week and squeeze them into my water as often as possible. Add whatever you enjoy – cucumbers, raspberries, etc. to make it palatable for yourself.
It also helps me a lot if I have some sort of container that keeps my water super cold especially when I’m out and about. I use the Hydro Flask, but anything similar will work!
I always notice that my energy levels are much higher throughout the day if I’ve had sufficient water. It also prevents me from snacking half as much because I’m filling myself up with water instead of food.
4. Viactiv Calcium
Breastfeeding is so magical and amazing for a million different reasons – and it is even more incredible that it’s also a great calorie burner. Because I’m a nursing mom and want to take good care of my own health along with Saxon’s, I have to ensure that I’m eating well and getting all of the proper nutrients that we both need.
I started taking Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews to help me reach the recommended daily dietary levels of these nutrients as a supplement to my food choices.
It’s important to me that I am taking care of my health, not just my body. I want to set an example for my boys that the goal is to nourish the God-given gift we’ve been blessed with in being healthy and able.
Also, anyone who knows me knows that I hate swallowing pills (the worst!) so having these chews is so helpful! I have tried both the Caramel and Milk Chocolate flavors and they are absolutely delicious. My husband and brother & sister-in-law all tried and loved them as well. They’re helpful in curbing my sweet tooth which is a huge plus! Viactiv also has 30% more calcium, half the sugar and half the calories compared to all other gummy supplements!
This is something I plan to write more about, but in a nutshell, it has been really important for me to have the right motives while working on my health and fitness. If I am motivated simply because I want praise or attention or because I’m pursuing my own selfish vanity, it’s not a pure motive and therefore it’s not sustainable.
It’s so important that my heart aligns with motives that honor God and, in that, I want to take care of the body that He has given & entrusted me with and to choose to be healthy for my family.
I want to be able to keep up with my kids in all activities – like running around with them at the park, playing tag or going on hikes. It’s also very important to me that I take care of my body for my husband and for comfort and confidence in intimacy. Just as in all things, If I keep the love of people as my focus, rather than on pursuing vanity, it’s much easier and more joyful to work towards something good.
6. A Workout Watch
I REALLY love my FitBit! It helps to keep me accountable with my movement. My watch will notify me when I’ve been sitting still for too long and it keeps track of my steps so I can tangibly see how active I’ve been that day.
When it alerts me, I get up and move around to do steps, walk, or take the kids out and ride bikes or go on a jog. Something like this – really anything to hold you accountable – is so helpful in the journey to get back in pre-baby shape.
7. Lean Meats and Veggies
I know, I know. We all want to get healthy while eating whatever we want 😉 But as sad as it is, it just doesn’t work that way! This is my number one tip because I can work out as hard as I want, but if I’m not eating well, I make very little progress.
I’ve shared our typical diet below. We probably eat like this about 4-5 days a week and then allow ourselves more freedom on the other 2-3 days. We find that when we allow ourselves to enjoy the food we love occasionally (pizza, desserts, you name it), the more likely we are to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle.
Lots of fruit, sugar snap peas, bell peppers dipped in hummus, roasted almonds, kale chips.
Eggs with avocado toast, ground turkey & sweet potato hash, cold oats with peanut butter and coconut milk, greek yogurt and fruit or toast and peanut butter. (we love Dave’s Killer Bread which is organic, GMO-free and filled with seeds and grains.)
We are obsessed with Costco’s Tortilla Crusted Tilapia & their Basil Pesto Tilapia and eat that with roasted asparagus or broccoli (with coconut oil and seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning) for nearly every lunch.
On days that we don’t want fish, we’ll eat grilled chicken and roasted veggies. My tip on this is to stock your fridge with a bunch of difference sauces – buffalo sauce, hot sauce, low-sugar BBQ sauce, greek yogurt dips, etc. It helps to make you forget that you’re constantly eating grilled chicken. 😉
Grilled chicken, veggies and quinoa is our go-to meal for dinner. I marinate the chicken in different marinades to give it a different flavor throughout the week (honey mustard, stir fry sauce, garlic & herbs, etc.) We also do ground turkey and veggies, stuffed bell peppers, salads and taco bowls.
I know it seems boring, but if you get creative with the pairings it doesn’t feel so redundant.
I hope these tips are helpful for you all or at least a reminder that small things, along with intentionality and consistency, can make a big difference!
Comment below and let me know your best tips for getting back into shape!