My Postpartum Fitness Journey with the SWEAT App

My Postpartum Fitness Journey with the SWEAT App

My Postpartum Fitness Journey with the SWEAT App

Two-and-a-half years ago I was a recently postpartum mom to a 3-year old and a newborn. Honestly, so much from that time is a sleep-deprived, tear-fogged blur of nursing around the clock, working through the big sibling transition, and trying to survive. My days…& nights…well, my whole life revolved around the feeding, butt wiping, and nap schedules of 2 very unreasonable, tiny people who operated with alarmingly little patience and even less understanding.

I was tired – oh, the tired. Motherhood is an exhaustion unlike any other. The demands are unrelenting and never-ending, and just when you think you can not possibly go on, you do. The woman’s body really is amazing – it conceives life, facilitates its growth, expands to support it, delivers it to the world, nourishes it, and adapts to the physical demands it inflicts. And physically heals.

Emotionally, however, the adjustment to parenthood can be a far greater struggle. Nearly six years after becoming a mother, I’m still working on coping mentally. We are thrown into this abyss we can’t navigate, full of fear and anxiety, and with very little support. Unsolicited, contradicting advice and unwarranted judgement, however, we get plenty of that!

My days got dark. The next darker than the last, actually. I felt regret about having children, then shame for being regretful. Drowning in responsibility yet accomplishing nothing, I was sinking deeper into a hole I couldn’t climb out of. I felt trapped, like I had lost all control over my life. It was always about the kids. What they needed, when they needed it, no matter what. My needs had to wait. And I’m talking basic needs. Gotta pee? Nope, sorry – you can pee when you’re dead. Hungry? Nope, sorry – baby needs you now. Tired? HAHAHAHA.

**Disclaimer: This post may contain Amazon affiliate and other affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links may result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you), but all opinions are my own. Thank you 🙂 **

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Related Post: No, I Didn’t Let Myself Go

How I Found SWEAT and BBG

Finally, after 3 months of pure survival-mode, I decided I needed to take my life back. Or at least a teeny tiny piece of it. Somehow, someway, I needed something that was for mine and for me. I wanted to feel a sense of control. To feel like more than “just a mom”, if only slightly. My schedule and activities were constantly dictated by my children’s incessant needs, but I realized I did have say in how I moved my body, if little else.

I started searching the internet for workout programs that would fit my situation. I had three main criteria: training sessions needed to be 1) short, 2) completely outlined for me, and 3) doable at home. Enter, Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide (BBG). The program consists of just three 28-minute workouts per week. Plus 2-3 suggested LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio sessions per week. Walking counts. Each workout is pre-written with exactly what to do and when to do it. The workouts require very little to no equipment.

**Sidenote: I started BBG with just a yoga/exercise mat, jump rope, and some old dumbbells. Eventually I bought this weight bench, but made due without it for months using sturdy step stools instead – I got this one from IKEA. Check out “Workout from Home” for a variety of home workout equipment.**

Related Post: 5 Benefits of Working Out at Home (By a Stay-at-Home Mom)

When I discovered the program, I started following various BBG hashtags on Instagram. I was amazed by the progress pictures and transformations. As a postpartum mother in a body I didn’t recognize, I wanted that. I saw the community of women from all corners of the world and all walks, stages, and seasons of life coming together to encourage and support one another. As an isolated, lonely, trapped-at-home mom, I really wanted that. Discovering this program and community sparked the beginning of my postpartum fitness journey with the SWEAT app!

How it Went in the Beginning

Postpartum Fitness Transformation with SWEAT app
Being 1 month postpartum with baby no. 2 seems like forever ago. Sometimes postpartum weightloss gets saddled as “easier” or “less impressive” than weightloss that doesn’t occur after pushing a watermelon through your hoo-ha or having one ripped outta your belly, because “oh she started high” or “the weight naturally comes off.” I call bullshit. **Click HERE for full Instagram Post and Caption**

Armed with the BBG PDF guide, a bit of hodge-podged equipment, and the timer on my phone, I started. I was surprised by the level of intensity (I thought I might die! Or puke! Or both!), but I was more blown away by the clarity and satisfaction I felt when I was done. The workout was hard, sweaty, and amazing. I was hooked.

Related Post: My Kayla Itsines’ BBG 60-week Review

My body didn’t suddenly, dramatically transform, like I had hoped and expected. My first set of before-and-after pictures seemed identical. As discouraging as this was, the progress I was making that couldn’t be seen in the mirror or read on the scale is what kept me going. I felt accomplished, purposeful, and driven for the first time in over a year. It was like a fog had lifted and I had my senses back.

postpartum fitness journey progress pic
🔎My 1st ever 4-week progress pic🔍⁣ Here is a throwback to 2018 and my first ever 4-week progress photo. ⁣**Click HERE for full Instagram post and caption**

Six weeks into the program, I started my own fitness account on Instagram for accountability and community. It was around that same time I actually, finally, noticed visible physical change. It wasn’t much, it wasn’t mind-blowing, it was barely even there – but it was SOMETHING, and I was proud.

My first-ever Instagram post, about 6 weeks into my postpartum fitness journey with the SWEAT app, following BBG at the time:

my first fitness instagram post. my postpartum fitness journey with the sweat app
It may be nearly imperceptible to the human eye, but I can see a teensy difference. I was discouraged at 5 weeks because I really couldn’t tell anything was happening. **Click HERE for cull Instagram post and caption**

Even so, it’s not like finding the time and energy to get in shape came easy for me. I had to fight for it. So, I fought: for my workouts, for myself, and as it turns out, for my relationships. I became a better, more present wife and mother by honoring my needs.

In order to prioritize my fitness, I had to learn flexibility when it came to getting my workouts done. I exercised in the playroom, the nursery, the kitchen, the front yard, the hallway, and the back deck. Often, I worked out during naptime, after bedtime, while I played with the kids, and while they snacked or watched TV. Most of the time I trained barefoot, wearing pajamas and nursing tank tops. A BBG training session is made up of four 7-minute circuits. Oftentimes, I squeezed in a circuit when the opportunity arose, whether or not I could complete the full 4-circuit, 28-minute workout. Because if I waited for 28 consecutive, uninterrupted minutes, I’d still be waiting.

I found out that once I started, eventually I would finish. It wasn’t always pretty and sometimes it took all day, but it got done and it was always worth it. That mentality carried over and impacted other aspects of my life, as well, and I’m more productive these days because of it. I used to not bother doing anything because I figured I’d be interrupted a ridiculous number of times, so what’s the point? Now, if all I get emptied from the dishwasher is the silverware tray, I know it’s better than nothing, it’s that much less I have to do later, and it will get done at some point. I learned to be flexible when it came to anything I wanted or needed to get done for myself, from chores to exercise to enjoying a cup of coffee.

How It’s Going Now

I followed the BBG Program for 14 months, eventually subscribing to the SWEAT app after about 8 months of using the PDF printouts. Having access to the full complement of SWEAT trainers and programs, I decided to try Kelsey Wells’ PWR Program to change things up. I have been following Kelsey’s program ever since, for over a year now.

PWR program progress. Fitness journey
⬆️THIS is #PWR Progress⬆️⁣

⬇️Side Effects May Include⬇️⁣ **Click HERE to read full Instagram post and caption**

Related Post: My Kelsey Wells’ PWR Program 6-month Progress and Review

The training style of PWR is different, the workouts are longer, and more equipment is required. This program doesn’t fit the criteria I was looking for 2 years ago when I started my postpartum fitness journey with the SWEAT app, but it’s just right for me now. My children are older now (5.5 and 2.5), and their schedules and needs are different from when I started. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but maybe this whole having-kids thing actually does get easier?

Related Post: Kelsey Wells’ PWR and PWR at Home Programs: How Do They Compare?

Also, I become more and more committed and disciplined as time goes on. The journey feels easier because it’s more habitual and routine. My willpower and resolve are stronger than ever, as are my body and mind.

Just Start

My advice? Take the first step. Make the first change. Put yourself first. Start. Just start. Please start. I often wonder who and where I would be today had I not started my journey to fitness and self-love. Knowing the trajectory of my mental and physical well-being at the time, I shudder to think how low I would feel and how cloudy my mind would be. I’m forever grateful to have found the SWEAT programs, trainers, and community to guide me along this path to a happier, healthier, stronger me.

2 year postpartum fitness progress
Letting my Self go was easy. ⁣⁣
I was selfless and lost my Self. ⁣⁣
I gave all I had and gave up my Self. ⁣⁣
I was torn in all directions and my Self fell apart.⁣⁣
I saw to everything else until I couldn’t see my Self any longer.⁣⁣
Taking my Self back has been exquisite.⁣⁣ **CLICK HERE for full Instagram post and caption**

Thanks for reading about my postpartum fitness journey with the SWEAT app!

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How to Set Fitness Goals and Actually Reach Them

I Struggled Today: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom

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