I made my way back to the gym last week. I have the greatest nanny in the world helping me with the girls a few hours a day, and it is amazing being able to get out of the house for an hour or so without worrying about the care my girls are getting. I feel like I hit the jackpot by getting her. Anyway, I was only 5 weeks post surgery, but my doctor told me that my incision was great and I could increase my activity even though I wasn’t technically cleared for exercise. It was quite an ego trip. I’ve done this before…post surgery getting back into shape, but this is completely different. A twin pregnancy with bedrest and a c-section is brutal, and after my first day back at the gym, I realized that it is gonna be a pretty long road back to being fit. I put on my lulu outfit and was so excited about heading to the gym, seeing my gym friends and moving my body! Then I looked in the mirror and completely lost it. I wasn’t prepared for what I was gonna look like in the weeks after pregnancy. I don’t know what I was expecting, I work with post partum clients and I know how this works, but I just never really thought about this part, I was just thinking about not being pregnant anymore. Nothing fits, and I still look pregnant!!!!! I definitely feel pressure going back to the gym…I’m a trainer who specializes in weightloss! I felt like people were waiting to see what I look like, and I wished that I had a sign saying, “I had twins 5 weeks ago” (that was all in my head and everyone was very supportive.) I cried to Miles, and he reminded me that this is normal and my expectations are not realistic. Then after I got a good cry out, I went downstairs and laid my eyes on my beautiful little girls, and totally put things into perspective. I will continue to have to put things into perspective throughout this process. I know how lucky I am to have these sweet little babies, and I just need to remind myself of that when I’m obsessing about body image and weight loss.
My first workout back was a strength workout. I decided to take it slow…really slow. I did my “assessment workout”. It’s what I take all my new clients through to find their starting point in our first session. One set of everything, working every major muscle group. Well, that should have been a breeze for me (after all, I did workout up until 31 weeks into my pregnancy), but instead, I couldn’t walk or even carry a baby down the stairs for 4, yes 4 days!!! Holy delayed onset muscle soreness!! I’ve been craving sore muscles for the last 9 months, so I guess I got my wish, but I forgot how painful it can be. I was scared to lift legs again after that, but I did and was not nearly as sore. I think I just had to get the extreme soreness out of the way.
Here’s my assessment workout for anyone looking to get started. I did all the legs exercises with just bodyweight, but you can always add weight or do more than one set if it seems too easy.
Step ups- 15 reps per leg
Squats- 15 reps
Assisted pull ups- 15 reps
Push ups (I had my hands on a bench, but you could also drop to your knees)- 15 reps
Bicep curls- I did these with a 30lb barbell- 15 reps
Tricep dips- I did these with bent knees- 15 reps
Overhead press- 20lb barbell- 15 reps
Lateral raise- 5lbs dumbbells- 15 reps
Plank- 30 seconds
Side plank- 30 seconds each side
This is going to be quite a journey to get back to “the fit life”. It’s definitely going to make me a better, more experienced, more empathetic trainer.