Posts Tagged ‘Post Pregnancy Fitness’

Happiness is your Perfect Body…..right?

1 Week Post-Pregnancy

4 Months Post-Pregnancy

Every morning, since reaching my pre-pregnancy bodyweight and measurements, I jump out of bed and slip into my skinny jeans then skip down the stairs with my two little babes in tow ready to take on the day. Because my life is pretty perfect now….

Oh if only it were that simple. Reaching the size, weight or measurements that you consider to be your ideal does not result in instant happiness. Kids still get sick, bills still need to be paid, you still throw a child at your other half the minute he walks in the front door (and remember to say hello to each other about an hour later) and basically the world keeps spinning exactly as it did. But I will admit that, for me, the process of getting to this point has made me happier in myself. Maybe that’s because I don’t deprive myself food-wise (nor do I encourage any of my online participants to do so) or maybe it’s because I enjoy taking the time for myself that exercise and healthy eating require. If you’ve been following my post-pregnancy progress you’ll know that I started off on my 6-week online post-pregnancy plan and then went to on to do my 6-week online slim-down. I’ve also been doing a lot of other things since Jodie was born to help me feel good including yoga, meditation, therapy and just generally taking it a bit easier (which is NOT always easy for me).

Jodie’s Christening

It’s ok to want to get back to your pre-baby size, weight or shape but it’s not easy and it’s not for everybody as some new mothers just can’t be bothered and guess what? THAT’S OK TOO! There were days when I wondered if I was putting too much pressure on myself but when it comes to losing body fat I like to get it done, move on and not have it be something that I spend valuable time, energy or brain cells on. There are more important things in life.

Spending time with my babies is more important than worrying about my weight

After watching and hosting the fantastic film Embrace (which I did a vlog about previously), I almost decided not to do this post. So many women are at war with their bodies, believing that if they could make it look a certain way they would be happy. I hate the idea that me or my business would ever contribute to those feelings. But while that film exists to encourage women to love themselves no matter what (and I agree wholeheartedly with this) my business exists is to make it possible for every woman to look after her health and fitness no matter how busy her life is. It’s a strange concept for some women to get their head around but you can learn to accept yourself as you are while still wanting to look after yourself in a way that might bring about positive change.

If you’d like to learn more about my online courses or sign-up and join a great community of women already making positive changes to their lives then head over here.

Thanks for reading,

Bríd

Post-Pregnancy Plan Final Post

Hi Everyone,

I finished Week 6 of my Post-Pregnancy Plan on the 23rd of December but due to the madness of Christmas and Frankie having the chicken pox for the first week of the New Year I’m only getting to sit down and do a proper post about it today (Jan 9th!). Since I finished the plan it has been launched and is now available to join along with my 6-week Online Slim-down which I’ve started myself this week. I’m helping a fabulous group of women to improve their health and fitness and I’d love for more of you to join us. For more details about both courses head over here.

Always room for Christmas Eve treats

My babies in their Christmas finery

The Results

Week 1 vs Week 6

 Week 1 StartWeek 6 End
Arm9.5"9.5"
Boobs35"35"
Waist29"28"
Bellybutton32"30"
Hips / Bum36.5"37"
Thigh20.5"20"

Considering I took on this challenge two weeks after Jodie was born when we were still in the midst of sleepless mayhem I’m delighted with my results. It was also during the build up to Christmas so there was plenty of temptation in my way!

As I explained in my blog post from Week 1 I hadn’t a lot of excess body fat to lose after I had her owing to the fact that I kept up a good level of exercise and ate a fairly balanced diet throughout my pregnancy. I did have a good bit around my stomach and lower back though and I’ve definitely lost a lot of it from there. I have a bit to go but I had been warned by other mothers that it’s a little slower to go off this area the second time around. I’m confident that I’ll be rid of it after a few more weeks though.

What I was mostly concerned with was improving my posture and increasing my strength and I’m delighted with the progress I’ve made in this area. My core muscles are so much stronger and I’m starting to see definition in my stomach muscles similar to what it was pre-pregnancy. The core exercises in the plan start off very gently as obviously the muscles can be quite weak post-pregnancy but after week 3 they get a bit tougher and that’s when I really started to notice things improving.

One of my main aims was to build up my bum again as it goes really flat after pregnancy. I’ve seen a big improvement (and am delighted to see an increase in the measurement here, not a decrease!) and will definitely continue to work on it.

While it’s not an area of the body most people would be too bothered about my upper back and shoulders were a big concern to me. They come under serious pressure when holding baby to feed. I had a shoulder injury after having Frankie and it began to niggle again this time but between the strengthening exercise, the post-workout stretches and some muscle therapy I’ve managed to stay pain free for the most part.

The Exercise

In the beginning I found it hard to get used to the slower pace of the workouts as I’m used to pushing myself but I was conscious that my body wasn’t ready to be pushed too hard and so it was exactly what was needed. Each week as the pace increased I looked forward to the extra challenge. In the first two weeks I walked a lot with the double buggy as well as doing the workout videos but when the weather turned bad I was so glad to have the videos to do at home while Frankie was in TV land.

The Meal Plans

A typical tastey dinner   

Snacks at the ready

Once I stayed organised with the meal plans I was fine. I would do my Tesco online shopping on a Wednesday eve, have it delivered Friday morning and then do some food preparation on Sunday for the next week. The only week it didn’t go well was when we were all sick with coughs and colds. I had to just wing it that week but it was fine and doesn’t seem to have made a huge difference. There’s plenty of wiggle room built in to the plan anyway. I also found that because I was in the early days of breastfeeding I had to add in extra snacks some days and particularly at night but again that’s something I advise as part of the plan as every woman’s body is different.

The Support

Our private Facebook support group to stay connected and motivated 

Those who join the plan are invited to join a private Facebook support group. Obviously I didn’t have this element myself but I got so much lovely support and feedback from people on Snapchat that it felt like I did. I snapped if I was working out and also a lot of my meals and snacks and got so many snaps from other new mothers and women in general telling me that I was inspiring them to get up and go or make changes to their diet.

Like I said in the beginning I was really glad that I got to trial this plan before it went out to the general public. There were one or two things in the meal plan that I changed because when it came to making them I realised that they were too complicated and that if I hadn’t time to do them then others wouldn’t either. I’m so happy with the progress I’ve made and I’m delighted that I’m going to be able to help lots of other new mothers and busy women in general reach their goals in 2017.

Thanks for reading,

Bríd

Post Pregnancy Plan Week 3

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What I like to think my brain looks like after a workout

Hi Everyone,

This week I’m at the half way mark of my 6-week Online Post-Pregnancy Plan. Myself, Frankie and Jodie have all been sick with colds, coughs and ear infections so it’s been a fairly challenging week. I haven’t been able to exercise much because I’ve been so sick which was disappointing because I was really getting into my stride in week 2 and feeling the benefits of it. As I said in the Week 1 post I find that exercise is great for my mood and mindset and helps to keep me positive even on days when I’ve had very little sleep. So I’m definitely feeling the affects of not getting to do my workouts much and am really looking forward to getting back to it asap.

I haven’t measured myself as I don’t want to be disappointed if this past week has stalled my progress but I’m feeling stronger and my jeans are fitting better too. I also haven’t done a picture comparison this week as there isn’t enough of a difference yet to really notice but I  am looking forward to comparing in the final week.

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    When you’re sick and only snuggles from your baby sister will do

I did stick to the meal plan as much as possible even though I wasn’t sharing much on Snapchat – there isn’t time to make food look pretty when you’re living in a blur of snot and Neurofen! I found having all of the food I needed for the week in the house, as well as two evening meals frozen and ready, really helpful in the middle of all the madness though and it can only help to be eating healthily when you’re sick and don’t have much time to pay attention to yourself. Almost all of the food on the plan is easy to prepare but even at that I struggled some days as everyone needed me so much and we all have days or weeks like that. So I took the easy option sometimes which meant having Cully and Sully soup from a tub a couple of days rather than my own homemade soup as well as snacks like the Good 4 U Super Bites when I couldn’t manage to nut butter a few rice cakes (yes that’s how insane it can be some days with a sick 2 year old and a newborn!).

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One of my favourite quick snack foods

Winter wedding season is in full swing and we had a friend’s wedding over the weekend in The Mill House in Slane (fab venue btw). I often get asked by people signing up to do my plans what they should do if they have a wedding on during the 6 weeks. My answer is always the same. Go and enjoy! Life is too short to be sitting at a wedding dinner not able to eat this and that or enjoy a drink or dessert. Normally (when not so bet down with sickness) I would do a really tough workout the day before and after and be extra good with my meals so that I feel I’ve really “made room” for a more indulgent meal like you’d get at a wedding. While I’m on the subject of weddings I might as well add in that I will be running a separate general population online plan in January which is very popular with brides-to-be and their bridal parties so if you’d like to know more about that you can leave your email address here and I’ll get back to you with more details very soon.

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Wedding ready but unfortunately my sickness caught up on me later in the day

I’m getting such lovely feedback from everyone, particularly when it comes to what I’m talking about on Snapchat. I snapped a lot in the past week about the pressure women feel to get back into shape after having a baby as it was something that I hadn’t realised affected so many and wanted to offer a little bit of advice. That advice included not to pay any attention to family members (who say the CRUELEST things it seems), not to let yourself get distracted from your own progress by comparing yourself to others and also not to feel mammy-guilt if you want or need to take time out to look after yourself and your health and fitness. I got such a great response from my Snapchat followers that I’m strongly thinking of having a Motivational Meet-up in Laois in the New Year. I’ll be posting more about this at a later stage but would absolutely love to help other Mammies and women in general to reach their health and fitness goals in 2017.

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Snapchat @mrskbomb

Thanks for reading,

Bríd x

 

Post Pregnancy Plan Week 1

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe Jodie is nearly 3 weeks old! I should know from Frankie how quickly time flies (although it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s flying when I’m up feeding her at 3am!). She’s doing really well, gaining 1lb since birth. Frankie is loving her and insisting that she comes everywhere with him.

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I’ve just finished Week 1 of my 6 Week Post Pregnancy Plan. If you haven’t got time to read this blog post but want to know more about the plan then you can leave your details HERE and I’ll let you know all about it very soon. You can also follow my progress over on Snapchat.

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Firstly, I want to acknowledge that obviously my body is not in bad shape. As fitness is my job I was in pretty good shape prior to getting pregnant (although the madness of having a toddler had definitely taken it’s toll on me!). I also put it down to having a fit pregnancy. A lot of people commented during my pregnancy about how lucky I was to not gain much weight and how I made it look easy etc. but the truth is that I struggled with the same nausea and fatigue that a lot women get. However I chose to keep trying to eat relatively well and stayed active and that did stand to me during the pregnancy, labour and now in the post pregnancy stage.

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1 Week Post Pregnancy

I really, really don’t want other new mothers to compare their post-pregnancy bodies to mine. Like I said fitness is my job and so obviously my body will return to somewhere near it’s previous form quicker than a lot of other women’s bodies would. However that’s not to say that I don’t fully encourage all women to try and get back into some form of physical activity as soon as they get the go-ahead from their Doctor. Not to lose weight (although you are entitled to want to do that) but for your mindset, your self-care and your overall health and wellbeing. Being active and eating well this week has given me so much more energy and I’ve been feeling very positive most of the time. That’s not always the case when you have a new baby and I honestly believe that it is the missing link for a lot of women who do experience lows in the months after pregnancy.

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Pre Pregnancy & 1 Week Post Pregnancy

What I weigh doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Weight is not a good indicator of health and fitness or even body fat as it fluctuates for a number of reasons. Never is this more evident to me than post pregnancy. I think I was about 9st 10lb before I got pregnant with Jodie. When I brought her back to the hospital at 4 days old for her heel prick there was a scales there and out of interest I hopped up on it and wasn’t a bit surprised to see that I weighed 9st 9lb. This was despite the fact that I had obvious post pregnancy body fat and wouldn’t have had a hope of fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans or most of my clothes for that matter. I knew myself that my body fat was up just from the feel of my body and why wouldn’t it be considering I had just given birth? The reason for this drop in weight was because I have lost muscle tissue, which makes me weigh heavier normally, during my pregnancy as is also expected. I’m not a heavy weight lifter outside of pregnancy but was using even lighter weights during it and by the end was only using either my bodyweight or a resistance band so this is why I would have lost muscle tissue. Anyway bottom line is that while you would expect that with more body fat your weight would increase on the scales but this proves that that is not always the case and shows that the scales are not a reliable indicator of where you’re at.

Just because I don’t have a lot of body fat to lose doesn’t mean my concerns about my body are not legit. For me it’s about improving my posture and strengthening up areas that have become weak. Pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding really take their toll on my body. When I’m pregnant the muscles in my bum are strong and I tend to have a fairly decent sized one too but afterwards when I’m sitting down a lot I lose the muscle tone in it, it goes really flat and I get a lot of lower back pain as a result. The same happens with my shoulders and upper back to the point where I need neuromuscular therapy to help me avoid injury. My stomach is a lot softer this time than last and I have quite a lot of loose skin when I sit down too. So these are the things I’ll be concentrating on over the coming weeks but it is genuinely the feel-good factor that I’m looking for when following a plan like this.

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As I said in the last blog entry the plan starts off very gently and really does take the post pregnancy body into account in both the exercise plan and the meal plan. The meal plans are not about restricting calories. Instead they focuses on including healthy, nutritious foods that will help to give a new mother more energy and keep her feeling fuller for longer. They’re also not rigid and there’s plenty of room for real life (eg. my slight off-plan treat that I had with Frankie to celebrate him finally allowing his hair to be cut!).

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The plan takes breastfeeding mothers (of which I am one) into account too. It’s very important when you’re breastfeeding that you don’t restrict calories as it can affect your milk supply. For this reason I advise all mothers to adapt the meal plans to suit their own needs, adding extra snacks or increasing portions sizes where needed and NEVER allow themselves to get too hungry as this is a sign that they’re not eating enough to meet the needs of their body. I’ve taken my own advice this week and when I’ve needed more than what the plan says I’ve eaten it. For example, I get really hungry while I’m feeding during the night so I always bring up something to eat for that time, usually some overnight oats or granola and yogurt.

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While I really enjoyed the exercise this week and found it no problem to do, I did struggle at times with the meal plan. I had been in the mode of eating pretty much what I wanted during the previous weeks and it’s taking me time to get back on track. I find that when I’m eating like I was then I’m not eating out of hunger but out of habit and being tired makes this even worse. Following the plan this week has made me sit up and take notice of what I’m actually feeling but it still doesn’t take away the urge to pick at food, in the evenings in particular. I find that being organised and having a lot of my meals and snacks prepared really helps when I’m tired and more inclined to make poor choices.

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I’m so grateful for all the positive feedback and lovely messages and comments I’ve been getting from everyone across all of my social media outlets over the past fortnight. I read them all and they really encourage me every day. I can’t wait to launch this plan in January and am so excited to help lots of mothers feel really good.

Thanks for reading,

Bríd

 

 

Pregnancy Video – Week 37 – Update & Anxiety

week-37-front week-37-side

Hi Everyone,

Nearly at the end of week 37 and very much ready to be done now. Caring for and carrying a toddler around when you’re this pregnant is not much fun, especially when said toddler is smack bang in the middle of the terrible two’s and not fond of sleeping past 6am! Getting slightly anxious about managing two small children but I’m sure we’ll get into our groove fairly quickly. I’m all set with my buggy, hospital bag etc so all I need now is for baby to not hang about too long.

I’ve been busy putting together the January courses for the past couple of weeks. There will be two courses as follows:

  1. A 6-week online Post-Pregnancy course and
  2. A 6-week online General Health and Fitness course

I will have more details about each nearer to their launch time and if you’d like to be added to my mailing list so that you receive all of the details straight to your inbox then please add your details here.

No. of weeks pregnant: 37

Exercise: I’ve slowed right down now. I’m still walking 5km about five days a week, doing Pregnancy Yoga, some bodyweight and band-assisted resistance training as well as lots of flexibility work but I’ve officially stopped running for this pregnancy. I want to keep as active as possible but have no interest in feeling sore or stiff at this stage.

Food: I’ve been comfort eating a little for the last few weeks and I’ve talked about the reasons why in the video to go with this post. Still eating healthy, balanced main meals though and freezing lots of meals in preparation for the weeks post-pregnancy when I’ll have neither the time nor energy to put in the effort.

Bump is: nearly on my knees now!! It’s pulling on my mid-back a lot now so I’m getting my other half to give me regular massages to help with the tension. I also hope to start having pregnancy massages and reflexology from this week too.

Measurements: Starting to see a change in these now which I expected. I’m definitely losing some muscle tissue and it’s being replaced with body fat. Plenty of time to work on that afterwards and I’m looking forward to it. I will literally be the test case for my own post-pregnancy online course!

 Week 32This Week
Arm9.5"10"
Boobs35"35"
Waist31.532.5"
Bellybutton35"36.5"
Hips 38"38"
Thigh21"21.5"

As always if you have any questions or comments please mail me or you can find me on Facebook and Instagram at Fit with Bríd and Snapchat @mrskbomb.

Bríd

 

 

 

Introduction to my Summer of Vlogging

Here’s a short introductory post telling you a little bit about what I hope to vlog about over the coming months (but as explained in this video I’m just going to call them videos because I HATE the word VLOG!!). I’m also telling a little about what’s in store for the online courses over the summer too.

To add your name to the mailing list for more information about the online courses go here.

Brídx

Pamela’s Success Story

Pamela BeforePamela After

Pamela Phelan Measurements

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that my advice is to stay active and eat a balanced, healthy diet during pregnancy to avoid putting on unwanted and unnecessary body fat. However that’s easier said than done for a lot of women and it’s also hard if you’ve already been battling with your body prior to becoming pregnant as had the lovely lady in this success story. Pamela had been attempting to get rid of unwanted body fat for most of her life. She had moderate success preparing for her wedding in 2012 and after the birth of her son, James, in May 2013 but after having her third child, Emma, in May 2015 she found herself piling it on again.

Back To Work

My 12 week online course came just in the nick of time for her in September 2015 as she had just three months of maternity leave left. Pamela really embodied what this course is all about and the type of woman it’s designed for. With two small babies on the go she couldn’t be accused of having much time to spare but every day she took whatever opportunities she could get to do her workout and prepare her food. Like me, her workouts often involved keeping her babies entertained and she found plenty of clever ways to do that. She kept me updated and was a regular contributor to our online support group too. In addition to following my course she took to the roads with her double buggy, rain or shine, and she has now started running too which is something she could never have imagined herself doing.

Real Life

Also like me Pamela likes her meals and nights out. This course suited her because it allows for real life. She always stuck to the plan during a week leading up to a night out, then she went off and enjoyed herself and was back to it again at the start of the new week. I could really see it all clicking into place for her on this course. She got why she had to prepare meals and eat healthily for the majority of the time and she’s been able to stay motivated because she could have her nights out too. She admitted that she lacked proper knowledge about what foods were good and bad for her. She had been guilty of not eating enough during the day and then binging on the bad stuff at night. The course helped her to regulate her eating and now she eats every three hours and has learned some great go-to snacks to keep her satisfied. She’s back to work but is continuing her healthy way of living and is joining me on the No Nonsense New Year course to continue her journey. She has told me how good she feels in herself since making all of these changes and as you can see she’s looking good too!

Bríd

Post Pregnancy Fitness For All – Part 1

First and foremost you really need to get your medical clearance before starting to exercise again post pregnancy. General guidelines state:

Normal Birth – 6 weeks post birth provided there have been no complications and the woman herself feels good. The 6 week check-up is a great time to get the go ahead from your GP.

Caesarean – 12 weeks post section provided there have been no complications. I will allow women who are less than the 12 weeks to take part in my classes if they have medical clearance but will start them off very slowly and progress from there.

Every birth is different and everybody will recover in its own way. Like exercising during pregnancy it’s important to listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard too fast. You can read about my own post pregnancy story here.

First Stroll

My first steps out into the real world post pregnancy

Stage 1

Start slowly with walking. You will more than likely be looking forward to getting out of the house anyway and it’s great for you and your baby to get some fresh air (or to get a break from the constant stream of visitors). If you’re nervous at first ask someone else to join you and don’t go too far.

While you're making bottles

Core control on the go

Regaining control and strength of your core muscles which include your pelvic floor muscles is essential before moving on to other forms of exercise that may exert pressure. Practise your core control exercises as often as you possibly can. The maternity nurse will most likely have given you a leaflet with pelvic floor or kegel exercises to do and these are really important to do as early as possible. There will be days when you can’t seem to find time to eat let alone do exercise so I recommend trying to do your core control work at random times like when you’re making bottles. Tell yourself at the start of the day that every time you make bottles or boil the kettle you’ll do the exercises shown in the video below and soon enough you’ll get into a little routine.

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Stage 2

Increasing your walking pace and going for longer walks may be possible at this stage. Continue to practise your core control exercises and if comfortable add in some additional bodyweight resistance exercise e.g. modified press-ups, squats, short planks etc.

This is a great time to think about joining a post pregnancy or baby friendly class like Buggy Bootcamp (shameless plug I run such a thing – check out the details here) or Mother and Baby Yoga. Just make sure that you inform your instructor if you have had any pregnancy complications.

Be very careful before putting your body under too much pressure. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t run or do exercise of a higher intensity but remember the pressure your pelvic floor muscles have been under and how week they may now be. Your body will tell you in the most embarrassing way if you are ready or not anyway. Think of your pelvic floor exercise like scrubbing your body before putting on fake tan. If you skip that part you run the risk of looking like a big streaky mess. Put in the ground work and you’ll reap the rewards afterwards.

Stage 3

Once you are starting to feel your body regaining its strength you should be able to increase the intensity of your exercise routine but again listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Note that I said listen to your body not your brain which is so exhausted from the lack of sleep that all it can do is scream ‘COUCH!!!!’ Regular exercise will help to increase your energy levels and hormonal balance too so your brain will thank you eventually too. Take advantage of all the lovely people offering to mind your baby. They really really do want to do it and no you’re not putting them out.

Try to incorporate your baby in your workouts from as early as possible. I did this with Frankie and now he loves taking part or even just watching me from the buggy. If you don’t do it from early on they can sometimes get a little frightened but let’s face it a grown adult might be scared at the sight of us exercising some days too!)

If it’s not possible for you to get out of the house to exercise due to your schedule or the weather then you might like to consider an online fitness course to help you along the way. Shameless plug No.2 – check out details of my September 2015 course here.

Here are a couple of videos I put together to help you. The first includes some very basic core control exercises and the second to show you some of the things you can do with your baby as you increase your intensity (although I can’t promise the sunny day – it was the only one we had this summer in Ireland).

Bríd

 

Online Fitness Course Starting September 2015

Róisín’s Story

  Click here to read success stories 

I have been working hard on the online plan for the past few weeks and am delighted to share the details.

Please read the following carefully before deciding whether this plan is suitable for you. Places will be limited and will be given on a first come first serve basis. Your place can only be confirmed once payment has been received.

Start Date: Mon 21st Sept 2015.

The information that you need to prepare for the start date will be emailed to you in the week prior to the start date so that you can do your first food shop.

Duration: 12 weeks

Cost: €100

What is included?

– A weekly exercise plan will be provided. There will be two different workout routines each week and a video demonstration of all exercises including teaching and safety points will be included. Each participant will be sent an email weekly with a Dropbox link to the video. Each routine is 20-30 minutes in duration and I will be advising that you exercise 4-6 times per week. There will be layered levels of exercise intensity demonstrated for different fitness levels.

– A food plan which includes real food choices for the real world. This is not a diet but rather a healthy eating plan. A template will be provided for planning your weekly meals and your shopping list. A clear explanation of your food options will be provided to help educate you on making better food choices.

– A Facebook support group that will allow course members to interact, share tips, and encourage each other. Support and accountability are very important when undertaking a plan like this and your group, as well as myself, will help to provide these things.

– Daily contact with me through the support group. I will be logging on every day to answer any questions you might have as well as giving motivational advice throughout the course.

What do I need?

– New mothers will need to have had their post-pregnancy check-up and have received medical clearance to exercise. If you have any specific post-pregnancy concerns you can contact me to discuss before committing.

– All participants will need to read the relevant terms, conditions, statements, and screening procedures. In order to proceed with the online course all participants will have to confirm via email that they have read the relevant paperwork and have medical clearance (further details will be provided should you choose to partake).

– All routines can be completed without equipment however a mat, dynaband and a weight of approximately 5-12kg are recommended to help you achieve the best results. The routines can be performed in your own home, indoors or outdoors, but if you are already a gym member you can do them there either.

– I recommend that you take your body measurements and a video demonstration of how to do so will be provided. For accountability all measurements can be posted to the support page or privately by email to myself and photographs included if you are comfortable to do so.

In addition I encourage all participants to chose an item of clothing that is currently too tight but which they would like to be able to fit comfortably into by Christmas and share this with the group if they wish. Weighing yourself on a scales is not recommended but is a personal choice.

Who is this plan not suitable for?

– Anyone with a disability, impairment or ailment which prevents them from engaging in active or passive exercise that is detrimental to heart, safety or comfort.

– Unfortunately at this time the plan does not take into account specific dietary requirements eg. If you are vegetarian, vegan, coeliac, diabetic

– Pregnant women (however please note that should you fall pregnant during the 12 weeks an alternative routine can be provided once medical permission to exercise has been received.)

The response to this course has been unbelievable. I’m very excited about helping you all to achieve your goals. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Please make sure that you have notified me of your intention to join this course before making payment.

You can make your payment here

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Please choose a category and click the Buy Now button below. The cost is €100.



My Post Pregnancy Story

Disclaimer: This is just my story, not advice and certainly not intended to make anyone feel bad.

I gave birth to my first baby, Frankie, in July 2014. If you’ve read My Fit Pregnancy blog you’ll know that I exercised to a fairly high degree right up until the end of my pregnancy. I had a lovely pregnancy with no major problems at all and my total weight gain was 1.5 stones or 9.5kg. I had a very fast labour and other than having an episiotomy and stitches I had no complications afterwards.

Stomach

Side facing post preg

From the day after my labour to 12 weeks

When I finally tore myself away from my little man the next day to go the loo I couldn’t get over the feeling and look of my stomach. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever felt or seen and I wasn’t a bit sorry to see it getting smaller as the days went on. I found breastfeeding really good for shrinking my stomach. I could actually feel everything contracting as I fed. Thankfully I didn’t have a diastasis which is when your abs separate and don’t knit back together straight away and so my stomach recovered pretty quickly. I have no stretch marks (go on hate me; I know I’m very bloody lucky!).  I give total credit of my return to good abs to practising Pilates during my pregnancy.

Food

Granola Tray  Bagged Granola

While breastfeeding I couldn’t go an hour without eating and regularly had to get up during the night for a munch. In the two weeks leading up to Frankie’s arrival I had made granola, flapjacks and other  snacks that I could have to hand so that I wasn’t indulging in bad stuff all of the time. Himself was off for two weeks and was very good for making healthy lunches and dinners. I had asked my friends and family not to bring crap food when they were visiting and they were really good about it. It’s not everyone you’ll feel comfortable saying this to but those who you can say it to will totally understand.  My crew already think I’m a bit mad (they can’t really fathom why anyone would want to exercise and eat like I do) and so a request like this wasn’t even questioned.  It’s hard enough dealing with your post baby body without being surrounded with Forrero Roche and Butler’s chocolates believe me. When you’ve been up half the night with a newborn and are in that new baby zombie state your willpower is NIL and you will overindulge if it’s there. Another thing that I do and have always done is give away, or if needs be, dump anything that you don’t want lying around tempting you. Yep, mad as a March hare, that’s me!

Exercise

Post Preg Ex 2  Post Preg Ex 3

Any pregnant or post pregnant woman reading this should ensure that they get their doctors permission before resuming exercise. I, of course, did not wait for this permission but I did start off very slowly. The reason I chose to exercise before the generally recommended 6 week period is because not exercising seems to have a mental, as well as physical, effect on me. I get even grouchier than I normally am without it and just generally don’t feel as good in myself.

So I started off slowly at about 1 week post labour with some short walks with the buggy. They were never going to be long walks while I was feeding on demand. There was an element of terror in every step I took away from the house as I waited for Frankie to start to scream to be fed but I built up the distance over the next couple of weeks. I also started back with some bodyweight exercises at this stage but I did not go near abdominal exercise until the 6 week mark as you really can do damage if everything has not gone back to its pre-baby state (and everything really hadn’t!).

As the months have progressed I’ve increased my workouts and have had great fun including Frankie. He really enjoys all the jumping around and running we do .

My Injury

Preg Back  Back Inj

8 months pregnant and extremely proud of my back(left) & 4 weeks post labour in a lot of pain(right)

I’ll be honest, throughout my pregnancy I was concerned about how my body would be afterwards. I don’t just mean what it would look like. I was really happy to be pregnant and the more my pregnancy progressed the more grateful I was for how well it was all going.  I’ve always been one of those lucky people who could exercise a lot and not get caught out with injuries. That’s mostly down to the fact that I work out with careful balance between cardio, resistance and flexibility but even people who also balance these things get plagued by pain and injuries. So with this in mind I wondered would the stress of carrying a baby and exercising regularly leave me off kilter afterwards.

Unfortunately I did suffer really badly with a shoulder injury from about 2 weeks post labour. It started with a sharp pain behind my right shoulder blade and by 4 weeks it had spread down my arm. Holding Frankie to feed him was almost impossible and when he was actually feeding the pain shot through to my shoulder as well. I started to notice that my shoulder blade was winging away from my rib cage too. I won’t go into too much detail in this post as I’d like to do another post soon about post pregnancy injuries but needless to say I was really upset. While the pain has eased over the past year I still have winging. I have been diagnosed with palsy of the long thoracic nerve caused by repetitive strain and the medical conclusion is that it was caused by me pulling on the bed handles during labour (the last 5 minutes of labour were not pleasant which I’m sure you had already figured out from the episiotomy part – sorry to my pregnant readers). Not being one to immediately concur with the educated doctors I have questioned my intense workouts during my pregnancy and some specific movements that I did too. I also question whether it was a good idea to paint the garden fence for the two weeks before giving birth too but sure we live and learn don’t we?

In total it took me about 12 weeks to get back to a shape that I was happy with. I lost a lot of muscle when I was pregnant but to be honest I’m ok with that. I’m happier with the post pregnancy version of me and am learning to be nicer to my body too. I’m also lucky to have a very placid baby who has made the whole process a lot easier.

Hope you enjoyed my story. I’ll do a general post-pregnancy advice blog soon too.

Bríd

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