Getting Your Abs back after Pregnancy…

In July I delivered a 9 pound 2 ounce baby boy.  Prior to pregnancy I was 5 foot 1, weighed 125 pounds, and had 16 percent body fat. During my pregnancy I worked out every single day, ate healthy, and went to the pool and swam/water walked daily during the summer. With all of that being said, I ended up gaining 40 pounds. I gained so much water weight I looked like a balloon. You could touch my leg and the indentation would be there for hours, literally!

My whole plan was to go as natural as possible with the delivery. I wanted to avoid having a c-section at all costs, but knew that if it was in the best interest of my baby I would have to have one. After being in intense back labor for hours, projectile vomiting, and losing all control of my left leg, my doctor suggested that it was time to do the c-section. Everything went well and I delivered a healthy baby boy.

When I returned home I couldn’t wait to start working out, but my recovery was extremely difficult.  I couldn’t get out of the bed without assistance and couldn’t go up and down stairs for a good week.  I didn’t change my own baby’s diapers for a week because it took me so long to walk from one room to the other…thank goodness for my amazing husband!

Things eventually got better and within 10 days of delivery I had already lost 29 pounds! How’s that for water weight. When I went in for my first checkup, at 3 weeks, the doctor cleared me to work out. As I went home that night I wrote out my 12 week plan of getting back in shape and, specifically, getting my abs as flat as I possibly could. My doctor told me that my abs were really destroyed from having such a big baby and that it was going to take a lot of hard work to get them back to where they used to be. You could stick your hand in the gap between my lower abs and press down so far it would feel as if you were touching my spine! So, my goal was specifically making them flat, and not necessarily muscle solid, in 12 week. If I was able to achieve my goal in 12 weeks of getting my abs flat my next target would then be trying to get the muscle as solid as I could. That night when I went home from the doctor I decided to do an ab workout. I could only do 3 crunches! I could barely do a push up because my abs were so weak. It’s flabbergasting how weak your abs become after a c section.  I went from lifting heavy, sprinting my ass off, and doing hardcore crazy workouts prior to pregnancy to not being able to do sit-ups.  I had never felt so defeated in my entire life. But, the good news is since I worked out my entire pregnancy & I wasn’t going to give up on working out, within 4 days I had went from 3 crunches to being able to do 20 crunches and pushups. I was doing full on ab workouts within 2 weeks.

As I was getting close to my 12 week deadline and I was definitely seeing progress. My abs were getting smaller/flatter and I was physically getting stronger. It wasn’t until I completely cut out breastfeeding all together that my abs and my body in general started to take on a shape similar to what it used to be prior to pregnancy…this occurred after my 12 week deadline because I continued to breastfeed until then. When the 12 week mark finally hit I was very pleased with my abs. They may not have been defined, they may not be completely filled with muscle, but they were flat and so much stronger than they were the first week I started working out. Now my focus is on getting what is there tight and solid, which is proving to be pretty difficult, but my husband always reminds me it took 9 months for me to grow that baby and he was huge! It’s going to take time to get back to where I was before being pregnant.

I am determined and I will get there.

BEFORE PREGNANCY

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LAST WEEK PREGNANCY 38 WEEKS

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3 WEEKS POST DELIVERY, FIRST DAY OF WORKING OUT

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12 WEEKS POST PREGNANCY

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