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Postpartum Exercise (Sort of)

By MadelinePetersen |

Margaret Richard | Body Electric

Before I had the baby, I told myself that I would be motivated to get back in shape as soon as the baby was born. I love clothes, and I really love the clothes I have — so what better motivation than to actually be able to wear them again?

I have had the good fortune of losing nearly all the baby weight. But, I look at the scale and then at the mirror and back at the scale and again at the mirror, and something doesn’t make sense. I weigh what I used to weigh, but my body is vastly different. The only section of my closet that fits is the stretchy section: tees, knits, & leggings. My hips are wider, my boobs are bigger, and am 99% sure my rib cage expanded. All my tailored blouses and pencil skirts don’t fit (and probably never will). But there is one thing I can do to help the situation — tighten up. Because, ladies, I may have lost some weight, but I am soft.

So, today, I decided I should stop eating pumpkin muffins and to do a little exercise. I had the foresight to record an episode of a PBS exercise program, Body Electric (and yes it was as awesome as it sounds). A fit woman over 50 had me dance around while talking to her assistant Heidi about how heavy the 3 lb weights are. I got exactly 7 minutes in before Tate was completely over being strapped in his bouncer and I took him out, strapped him in his stroller and went for a “run”. I ran for about 30 seconds and walked the rest of the way.

I also may or may not have eaten 3 more pumpkin muffins when I got home. What? I can’t let them go to waste!

Here’s hoping I can actually find the time to exercise a bit more often, and the will power to stop making yummy treats, because then I will eat them, all of them. What are your tips for finding time to get back in shape with a little one in tow?


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About MadelinePetersen



Madeline blogs and tweets about budget-friendly clothes, modest apparel, sales, her obsession with pop culture, and her pudgy little baby, Tate, on her personal blog, Uber Chic for Cheap. A former Babble contributor, she currently resides in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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19 thoughts on “Postpartum Exercise (Sort of)

  1. Anna says:

    Well done for your getting your mind ready for exercise, I find that’s often the hardest thing. My little one is a little older and I’ve started running for 20-30 minutes three times a week when Daddy gets home. It’s my time away from my munchkin and gets me fit at the same time. I also do my crunches when little Luke is playing (as many as I can fit in :-) ).

  2. Kristyn says:

    I. Love. This. Post.
    And I miss you.
    And I am also squishy and hoping to sneak in more exercise. Since the babe goes to bed early, my plan is to work out around 8 at night. And possibly lay off the brownies, but I make no promises on that point.

  3. Olivia says:

    All I can say is, don’t let it add up like I did, kid after kid. Find the determination – especially before the holidays get here in full force (sounds like you are), and pretty soon you’ll be exercising because you love to do it, not because you are doing it to tighten up the muscles. Someone told me this 60 lbs ago, and I laughed. Now I’m doing triathlons and crazy mud races for fun? I guess that’s the new me. I think I have Doug convinced to train for a mini-tri this winter (we just have to tackle the swimming!!). Thankfully you live in a place that you can exercise in year round (if you get up early to beat the heat) – so that won’t throw off your routine, especially headed into fall/winter. Remember – becoming a mom is all about redefining yourself – spiritually, mentally, physically. Its a huge life change – the biggest. It takes time and patience to get that right, and find the new you. You are doing awesome!

  4. Holly says:

    I exercise in spurts. I get a good two weeks in before something happens and Im thrown out of my routine. The life of a mother! But at least once your kids get older your exercise can involve them. Hey kids lets turn on some loud music and dance around! Lets race around the yard! Let me lift you and swing you around and play airplane on my feet! Its kind of awesome:)

  5. Amanda says:

    So funny. I can so relate. Losing the weight was pretty easy after Grace, but now, after Ruby it’s no bueno. I’m mostly focusing on portion control (I have been hungry since that girl was born!) and exercising when I can and not worrying about it the rest of the time. :) Good job on doing what you’ve been doing!

  6. Elle says:

    Our little guy is almost 8 weeks old and I’ve recently started doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. The workout is only 20 minutes so I fit it in during nap time. Not sure what I’m going to do once I start back to work next week though.

  7. Heather says:

    Just FYI, your rib cage did expand, but it does go back down. Your boobs may never be as small again (lets be honest, that’s not bad), but your hips also get back together. According to most doctors, etc that I’ve talked to, it takes about 9 months for your bones to move back, because it took 9 months for them to get there. I will never wear some of my HS clothes again, obviously, but you’d be surprised what will fit you again eventually. I’m just reveling in my “new” clothes, because with Logan and Spencer 13 months apart, there’s a whole tote that I never even opened between them. As for exercise… I get time to Wii Fit sometimes, and that’s about it. I’d like to be better, but chasing 4 kids under 5 has it’s merits in the exercise department, too. The brownie/pumpkin muffin/oreo cravings are very real, so I don’t forsee myself withstanding that anytime soon… I also agree with Olivia, don’t let it pile up with more kids. :-D

  8. Tamara says:

    I gain about 60 pounds with each pregnancy and end up losing it. But with baby #4 here, it’s not melting off like before. I know I’ll have to work to get it off, but I’m stuck in trying to find a routine still. Good luck!

  9. Houda says:

    I got my body back with some work (well almost, the ribcage thing, I swear they’re wider). When my little one was 3 months old, I decided I needed something I can do at home, it has to be 30 minutes or less and it must be tough to whip my muscles back in shape. Searching for bodyweight exercises I found Mark Lauren’s “You Are Your Own Gym”. It fit all my criteria. The cover might scare women off but I wanted something hardcore. Besides he has a slim and fit woman portraying some of the exercises.

    I followed the programs in the book, it was a lot of effort at first but within a few weeks, the change was very visible. The best part is my legs look a lot better and are more toned that before the pregnancy!

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