6 Months postpartum and I’m back in my Crossfit box on a regular basis (praise the lord!).
If you’ve been following along for awhile now you know that I stayed pretty active doing Crossfit through most of my 3rd pregnancy.
I wrote more about that journey in these blog posts:
- Crossfit in My 3rd Pregnancy: 5 Things I did Differently
- How to Modify Crossfit in Pregnancy
- Sometimes Pregnancy is Hard
I spent the second half of pregnancy adjusting workouts and creating what eventually turned out to be The Pregnant Athlete, a pregnancy workout program I co-wrote with Brianna Battles. (If you’re pregnant, you love Crossfit, and you love weights, you’ll dig this).
After my 3rd, Liv, was born, I completed Rebuild, my 8 week postpartum program. I started by introducing rehab type movements and gradually progressed back to a barbell and a little bit of intensity. It was perfect for that early stage.
Workout #1 started at 4 weeks postpartum, after I had been in for an assessment with my pelvic floor PT and she cleared me to begin exercise again. That clearance was not a “hey, go do whatever you want” it was permission to do some basic foundational movements which were shockingly difficult.
This is Libby, my pelvic floor PT from Breathe Clinic in Des Moines. Find a women’s healthy physical therapist in your city HERE.
As frustrating as it was to slow down and be intentional with my exercise (I’m a crossfitter remember), I knew from personal and professional experience that going slow would actually help me get to where I wanted to be much faster in the long run.
And again, even though these were slower workouts and different workouts than what you’d typically see at Crossfit, they were super challenging for my postpartum bod! Here’s a taste of what I was doing in those early days.
Life post 8 Week program
I wish I could tell you that upon completion of the program I was ready to rock at my pre-pregnancy fitness levels and everything was super easy, but that’s not the case.
At 6 months postpartum, I’m back at my Crossfit gym. I’m integrating a lot more of the regular workouts into my routine and while there’s so much I can do, I’m also not yet feeling back to “normal.” I’m certainly not ready to be working out at my pre-pregnancy fitness levels.
Truth time: Sometimes that leaves me feeling a little crappy. I feel like I SHOULD be further along by now. I’m a fitness professional for God’s sake!
I’m just not yet though.
Instagram often gives the perception that some women have their shit together more than you do.
You know that is bullshit though right?
If you’ve been scrolling through my social media feed or website and feeling AT ALL like maybe I’m one of those gals that has it together more than you do right now I’d like to take a moment to be super real with you.
Here’s exactly where I’m at 6 months postpartum:
- My baby doesn’t sleep well, so I’m tired AF all the time. That often means I skip the gym and choose a quiet cup of coffee alone while my sitter has my kids over a workout.
- Yes, I’ve returned to the gym, to my community of friends, but I still have to adjust the workouts A LOT.
- Impact activities i.e. jump rope & box jumps are still a no for me.
- Running in short distances seems ok
- I lift regularly, but at a lower load than I did pre-pregnancy, I won’t try to 1 Rep max anything until a few months after I’m done breastfeeding.
- Certain things like front squats light up my back so I omit them for now. (Update: I’ve added them back in at 7 months postpartum and kept them barbell only at first then added just a bit of weight while really focusing on engaging my core).
- I’m supposed to spend 5 minutes a day on core strengthening, I remember to do this about half the time. The free video series I created for you all is something I still do myself as much as I can remember. Grab the videos here
- Mentally and emotionally I have good days and bad days. I know that sleep will improve both my mood and my consistency in the gym, but until that is able to happen I’m continuing to see my therapist once a week.
I’m seeking out a lot of help
Postpartum at 36 is a hell of a lot different than postpartum at 30. My neck, my back, my knees, somedays it all feels like its going to hell which is why I make a point to get into see my physical therapist and chiropractor regularly.l (S/O to @breathedsm and @dsmspinesport).
And what about my weight?
Well, since you asked, it’s a few lbs heavier than it was pre-pregnancy, which I’m more than ok with. Weight, to me, is not a great indicator of anything. It’s just a number. I can gain or lose lbs and basically nothing that actually matters will change. My friendships and marriage are the same.
My children think I’m the coolest either way.
I’m not counting my macros or placing tight limits on my nutrition because I have 3 little kids and I don’t sleep much. I don’t need another thing to manage at this point. I am however trying to be mindful of my nutrition choices.
I’m *trying* to keep my indulgences to 1 small thing a day which is a change from the 3 cookies a day of early postpartum 🤷🏼♀️ It’s not always easy to be patient, but what’s the alternative? Hate myself until I “arrive” where I want to be?
A big no thanks to that.
It takes time, but I’m getting there.
Are you postpartum? I’ve got some resources that you might find helpful
7 postpartum stretches for new moms (FREe!)
These 7 stretches are perfect for early postpartum, when your body is still healing but you just want to move.
returning to exercise postpartum: An essential guide
Your A-Z Guide for the first 16 weeks postpartum.
REBUILD - An 8 week postpartum fitness program
Regain your core and pelvic floor function, strengthen your body, and return to the workouts you love after pregnancy.