My Post-Baby Fitness Hopes

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I wanted to write a post about my post-baby fitness hopes for a few reasons.  First, I’ve found that putting it out there really helps me stay motivated and excited.  Second, I’m pretty pumped to get back into the swing of things; I really love exercise as “me time” and have truly missed that physical release and mental break. 

PicMonkey Collage 4

I’m not going to allow myself to chase some ideal of “before.”  I may never get back to my before-before or even my before-Little One-before.  And I’m totally okay with that because I’m exactly where I want to be at this point in my life.  Still – it’s really important to find ways to maintain your identify when your kids are young, even when they are very little.  Taking care of yourself is a huge sanity-saver. So my post-partum goals have a lot more to do with how I feel than anything else.


My plan after Little One is to simply be focused on surviving feeling healthy, strong, and capable.  I want to focus on feeling balanced and nourished. I want to recover from pregnancy and childbirth and sustain my body throughout breastfeeding.  I want to focus on carving out small slices of “me time” and maintaining my sense of self amongst the diapers and feedings and craziness.  I think have a pretty balanced idea of what this will look like.


It takes a long time to truly “get over” childbirth and adjust to the emotional and physical challenges of caring for another person.  For my first pregnancy, I did a Mind and Body After Baby post series, which I liked because it allowed me to document both the subjective emotional and objective physical changes that I went through on a month-to-month basis.  Maybe I’ll do that again?  I’ve also just done less pregnancy documenting this time around, so maybe an official documentation is not necessary?  Thoughts?  I’m open to suggestions!


Here are some of the practical ways I hope to reach that balanced, happy state – at least when it comes to my health – after Little One’s birth. 


Goal #1:  Walk as soon as possible.


This was something that I did with Henry, and I really think it helped my immediate recovery.  I was walking to the end of the block fairly quickly, and within two weeks or so, I’d do two (slow) blocks.  That was all I was up for, but it was enough – it helped with blood circulation, made me feel less exhausted, aided in digestion, etc.  I know that I’ll be tempted to spend my post-partum period on the couch watching TV or on the floor playing with the kids, but I know that I’ll need to move a little, too.


Goal #2: Do PiYo {once I’m cleared by my doctor, of course}.


I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I’m planning to buy the PiYo workout DVD series.  I’m not a huge fan of workout DVDs, but I know it’s going to be hard to get out of the house for outdoor workouts with a newborn born in December.  I can’t wait to write more about PiYo – I think it’s going to be really fun!


Goal #3: Do a {relatively fast} 5K.


I did a triathlon when I was 11 weeks post-partum with Henry, and it makes me feel SO proud to look at the pictures from the event.  Training for a race made me feel like “myself” when I was so otherwise so consumed with the newborn period.


So… I signed up for a 5K at the end of March! It’ll be about 4 months after I give birth to Little One and probably 10 weeks or so after I’m given the clearance to really exercise again.  I think a 5K is realistic, and I’m pretty excited to train for it.  I’m going to use the Couch to 5K method again, and I’m definitely going to set some time goals for myself, although I won’t know what that will look like until I start training.


Other Goals…


I would LOVE. LOVE. LOVE to do triathlons in Summer 2015.  I’m hoping to at least do a sprint and an Olympic, but I’m really not sure how I can possibly fit in training with two kids under 2.5 years.  I know other moms do it, so hopefully I can figure it out!


My other (more immediate) goals include eating really clean, minimal sugar, not relying too much on coffee, and drinking enough water.  I had a moment a few weeks after Henry’s birth when I realized I was eating crap to power through the newborn sleeplessness, and it was wrecking havoc on my body.  I *really* want to avoid making that mistake again.  It takes effort to eat healthy post-baby, but I want to focus on that just so I can be the best (most awake and least irritable) mom/wife/worker I can be.  Hah!


I’d love to hear your stories on balancing new motherhood with fitness and health.  How did you find balance? What goals did you have?  Did having goals help motivate you?  Or did setting expectations simply stress you out?



  • Kathleen Ojo @ My Ojos November 5, 2014, 1:16 pm

    Great post! It’s so important to set these goals now, so you have them to drive you once the sleep deprivation and exhaustion hit. I started running less than 2 weeks after my daughter was born, and ran my first half marathon when she was 4 months old. Not saying that was the BEST decision, but I think it was necessary for my sanity at the time. Running gave me energy to deal with the sleep deprivation, and that 1-3 hours of alone time on Sunday mornings was exactly what I needed to collect myself and refocus on my health and family.

    We’re not ready for #2 yet, but I already know how I will do things a bit differently next time around. Less coffee. More low impact exercise to start, instead of jumping right back into running (it all worked out and I don’t regret it, but in retrospect, I should have respected the recovery period a little more). More high fat/low carb foods to fuel me while nursing. I just started P90X3, even though I hate workout videos too, because I know I need to get used to them before there comes a time (with two little ones) that exercising outside the house before work in the morning won’t be an option. It’s actually not so bad! And really convenient, to be able to workout barefoot in my PJs if I want to 🙂

    I’d love it if you document your “body and mind after baby” just like you did before! A lot of bloggers focus on the body aspect of things, but I like how you covered the physical/mental/emotional adjustments thoroughly. My daughter is 6 weeks younger than Henry, and your posts were SO helpful while I was going through the same period.

    I’m getting more and more excited for you! Can’t wait to see the newest little one!

  • Natalie @ The Ravenous Mommy November 5, 2014, 1:17 pm

    I felt walking with my son really helped me too! I started with walking. Then added some jogging, then started into Stroller Strides fitness classes which were really fun! Luckily he enjoyed the stroller alot those first few months 🙂

    You have an awesome plan! I am looking forward to trying out PiYo one day.

  • Kim November 5, 2014, 1:19 pm

    If I have another baby, my 2 goals would be to get back in the gym as soon as my body was ready (as opposed to waiting 8 months until I felt like the BABY was ready for the gym lol), and to keep fresh fruit in the house all the time so I didn’t reach for donuts to calm the crazy breastfeeding sweet tooth.

  • Ashley November 5, 2014, 1:26 pm

    First I just want to say a big THANK YOU for posting the very *real* photos of yourself right after having Henry! Everyone (media) likes to pretend that as soon as you have a baby your tummy is back to being super slim but that is SOOOO not the case! You’re a trendsetter for sharing these photos (you did so even before Kate showed her postpartum belly bump!), and I really think it goes a long way for women, in general, to see images like these!
    Onto the balance issue…..really good childcare??? I have twins, which I know is totally different than having kids at two separate times, but during their first year of life we paid more for part-time childcare than our entire rent payment….by almost double! I didn’t want them in daycare that young, so we had to pay a disgusting amount, but I felt like the finances were off-set because it allowed me time to (1) work (I work part-time from my home, but I’d go to a coffee shop), (2) exercise (I’d go to our gym), and (3) whatever else! Sometimes I’d spend the time grocery shopping, other times grabbing a coffee with a girlfriend. We are not rich people so this was a huge sacrifice financially and we had to cut back in a lot of other areas, but looking back I feel like it was 100% worth it for excellent, high quality care that afforded me some time to myself and mental sanity (FYI -we had care 3 days a week; paid about $1200/month for child care and our rent, in comparison, was only $650/month)

    • SM November 8, 2014, 8:08 am

      $650/month rent? Are you renting a room in Wyoming?

  • Jill November 5, 2014, 1:27 pm

    I didn’t start doing triathlons until after I had my first kid. My husband and I both compete, so we work on our training schedules together, to make sure we both get in the time that we want. I’m sure you’ll figure something out 🙂

  • Caitlin November 5, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I LOVE PiYo! I’m not really a workout video person either, but I was so intrigued when I saw it. I still haven’t made it through the whole program (kids, sickness, excuses) but it kicks my butt every time. I’ll be interested to read your review.

  • Megan B. November 5, 2014, 1:41 pm

    I would LOVE for you to do a MInd & Body after Baby post series. If you are up for it, of course. 🙂 I really enjoyed reading those after Henry’s birth . . . helped prepare me for the birth of my own first baby. And, as I’m starting to think about #2, I would love to hear how it’s different or the same for you this second time around.

  • Sarah R. November 5, 2014, 1:46 pm

    So I don’t have kids and don’t think I will choose to have them, but I loved loved LOVED your Mind and Body After Baby post series. I thought it was so fascinating to read and I also enjoyed how nice it felt to “check in” with you and learn how you were doing. 🙂

  • kristin @ W [H] A T C H November 5, 2014, 1:46 pm

    so impressive that you did a tri so soon after baby! wishing you a speedy return this time around as well.

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed November 5, 2014, 2:08 pm

    No baby experience here, so I don’t have any advice, but I do enjoy your body after baby posts so I’m voting for another round of them 🙂

  • Nic G November 5, 2014, 2:17 pm

    I had twin girls in April and returned to work in July. My main fitness goal was to run a 10K on Nov 2. I did it! Slowly, but at least I finished! Having the race as a goal helped me stay active, even if I only trained about a third of the amount I should have…

  • Joanna November 5, 2014, 2:29 pm

    I loved your mind and body after baby posts. I think that was the hardest time for me and reading about your experiences did seem to help me get through the tough time and adjustment. I am interested to see how having two kids affects things because eventually I hope to have a second baby!

  • kira November 5, 2014, 2:31 pm

    i just really started exercising about one month ago and my son is 9 months old. i was eating bad before that and just really consumed with him. I started working part time again and now am going to the gym everyday eating healthy and feeling so much better! it takes time and i dont feel bad about not exercising for a while but if i have another one i will want to take care of myself and exercise my whole pregnancy so afterwards it will be the norm!

  • Britt@MyOwnBalance November 5, 2014, 2:55 pm

    I really want to be able to walk after the baby gets here but I think it might be tough with a November baby living in the Northeast. I may just walk the hallways of our apartment building!

    I’m excited to try PiYo too! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  • Kaella (KaellaOnTheRun) November 5, 2014, 3:30 pm

    These are all AWESOME goals! I started running about 8-10 weeks after I had my son. I hadn’t really been a runner before but knew that I had some baby weight to lose (60 pounds) and that carving out some “me” time would be great for my mental (sleep-deprived) self! I signed up for a 10K and began the C to 10K program. I gave myself four months to get ready for it. I was hooked after I completed it and signed up for many more!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 5, 2014, 4:23 pm

    Sounds like a great, healthy and achievable plan!

  • Stacy November 5, 2014, 4:29 pm

    I have no kids, but I am also looking forward to reading your mind and body after baby posts. I would be interested to know how the second baby is different.

  • Kristi November 5, 2014, 7:31 pm

    Your first set of “Mind and Body after Baby” posts were tremendously helpful for me! As a brand-new mom, your blog was one of the only places I found that was real and honest about those early days. So I for one would love it if you did another set for the second time around!

    Thank you for being so real and helping the other new mamas out there 🙂

  • Emily November 5, 2014, 8:26 pm

    I am so eager to get moving again! I did a lousy job of staying active with this pregnancy, and I’m looking forward to running again. But in the early days/weeks, I’ll be happy with a walk around the block. I walked a lot after giving birth to my first one, too, and it made such a positive difference.

  • etsy stalkers November 5, 2014, 9:38 pm

    OK, I’m seriously impressed by all of your goals. I could barely keep my head above water after baby #2. I can’t wait to follow along…

  • BW November 6, 2014, 9:41 am

    This is a great post. I am 7 months post pardum after my second and I can say – this second time has been SO MUCH harder to find ME time. I work outside of the home 11 hours a day with 2 hours of commute and then dinner and daycare happenings. I need to make ME more of a priority. Also I tandem breastfed for a few months and that drained me and I turned to junk food. My biggest regret, now I cannot seem to get my sweet tooth under control. Breastfeeding cravings are WAY worse for me than pregnancy cravings LOL. I would love to follow your journey and perhaps it’ll inspire me to stay active and eat cleaner!

  • Gena @ Life FuelFilled November 6, 2014, 10:00 am

    What great goals! I did Couch 2 5k program after my second – it’s what got me into running. I also hate to say it – because I don’t prefer counting calories, but after both of my pregnancies I did Weight Watchers – usually only for a couple of months so that I could be more mindful about my eating. At the end of my both my pregnancies I would eat anything and everything. I found that keeping track helped me get back into more mindful eating habits and making sure I was eating enough to support breast feeding.

    I can not wait to meet the new little one!!!

  • Jen November 6, 2014, 10:36 am

    Those goals sound really great!

    My first will be six months old tomorrow, and I’m at a pretty decent place with my fitness and overall health. There have been times I’ve felt that I’m relying too much on sugar (hello, exhaustion!), but I always pull myself back up and get back to limiting treats and upping my fruits and veggies. As far as fitness, I really thought I’d be doing way more by now, but it just hasn’t happened. I walk pretty regularly and am trying to incorporate more yoga and stretching into my routine. I’d like to do more strength training, and I’m hoping she’ll be taking naps that are longer soon (sleep, both day and night, has been a huge, huge struggle with my darling daughter) and that I’ll have more time for that.

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork November 6, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Lovely post, Caitlin! I truly enjoyed your “Mind and Body After Baby” with Henry. I loved how honest you were (and still are).
    While I don’t have any children (yet), I personally love mixing in barre workouts as they offer a less taxing, but still challenging workout. I could see this being great for post-partum because it helps you focus on core and the pelvic floor. I fell in love with barre3’s 28 to Great bundle (I didn’t do the 28 day thing, just wanted the 5 DVDs and ball). I bought it when there was a Living Social deal and they just put it up again! It’s worth every penny.

  • Juli D. November 6, 2014, 8:51 pm

    I found this bloggers post about post baby the most refreshing, honest and right on response to the whole “body after baby” obsession:

  • Morgan November 7, 2014, 10:05 am

    I would love to see another mind and body after baby series. I ran my first ever half marathon when my first was 6 months old, but my second baby is now 14 months and I am just getting back into a real exercise routine. The second baby really threw me for a loop and I got really down on myself for not having it together the way I did after #1. I just didn’t have the time to spend more than 90 minutes a week exercising and I actually gave up all exercise but walking up for about 6 months. I also ended up with pretty severe postpartum depression after baby 2 and I don’t know how that played into my activity levels. Anyway, I would really like to hear someone document the transition to two kids with the honesty I know you would provide.

  • Emma November 7, 2014, 3:36 pm

    I’d love to read post-baby mind/body posts! Especially since we can go back and compare baby one to baby two 🙂

    For your post-baby healthy eating- maybe make some freezer meals pre-baby!

  • Angela Power November 28, 2014, 6:17 pm

    I love all of your post-baby fitness “hopes” 😉

    I wasn’t a home DVD fan either at the beginning of this year. I had visions of hating JM 30DS! lol That all changed though! I did PiYo this summer and I have never been stronger! I feel crazy even saying this because the idea of it a year ago would have had me laughing hysterically, but I actually got certified to be a PiYo Instructor after! I just loved it that much and am completely smitten! 🙂 Doing Combat now and love that too. Don’t hesitate to touch base if you have any questions, ok?

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