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Bridal Fitness: Body After Baby Monday, May 20, 2013 ~ 12:00 p.m.

Well, I know that it has been a while, but I am finally back with a new edition of Bridal Fitness on Paper! Although I hope no one minds that I'm renaming this post to better suit today's topic - Body After Baby. Today, I thought it would be appropriate to start up the blog series once again, because as of last week, I am 6-weeks postpartum and able to jump back into the exercising saddle! Ironically, my gym was closed all last week for maintenance (boo?), but I did make sure that I got started exercising again. I took some walks with Jack, did a workout at home and I took a pilates class, all of which were exceptionally more difficult than they used to be.

It's crazy, because when you get pregnant, you have to readjust the way you work out. Your body is obviously changing, and you have to do what's best for that little baby growing inside of you. Then you have the baby, and you think, "Great! Now, I can get back to normal!" Well, not so fast. It is crazy how much my body has changed since having Jack, and I'm beginning to grasp just how much.

Postnatal pilates exercises

My pilates class, in particular, was a real eye-opener for me. Side note: Click the image above to see some great Pilates moves for toning your belly after-baby. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I used to be pretty good at pilates. For awhile there, I was taking advanced level mat classes 2, 3 times a week, and I loved it. Last week, it was like my brain knew all of the moves, but my body simply couldn't keep up. Moves and positions that were once easy and felt good were suddenly super challenging and not-so-comfortable. I felt the most noticable differences in my hips and my abs. Not only was I much weaker, but I was a lot less flexible! I left the class feeling a mix of emotions. It felt great to get back in class again, but it was somewhat discouraging to feel so far behind where I used to be. It's crazy how you can workout consistently for years and years, and then you stop for 6 weeks, and you seem to lose so much of your endurance so quickly! Right now, it feels like I'm back at square one.

However, looking on the bright side, I feel really motivated to get back into shape! I'm going to be focusing on strengthening my abs, in particular, and pilates is going to play a big part in my fitness routine. Haha...when I was getting my c-section, my doctor actually complimented me on my ab muscles and asked what I usually do as far as exercise go. I was just happily surprised that they were still there at all! I was so proud and you better believe that I tell people that story every chance that I get! :)

I was actually reading about what happens to your abs when you're pregnant because I had heard that at a certain point, your abdominal muscles will split to the sides to make room for your growing baby. It sounds freaky, but I guess it's really normal and pain free. I read that those ab muscles, do, indeed, split for about 66 percent of pregnant women during the third trimester. It just means that once you have that baby and are cleared to exercise, you do have to work those ab muscles quite a bit in order to get them back to where they once were. I think of my abs like a corset, and when I was pregnant, the corset opened up and came undone. Now, it's my job to get it cinched right back up! Needless to say, my stomach is quite...jiggly right now. It has gotten a little bit better with time, but I know that it's going to take some work to get my stomach tightened back up. I'm not sure that it'll ever be what it once was, but I'm hoping it loses a whole lot of the jiggle with more time and more pilates!

Jack, 7 weeks old

With everything that has changed in my life this past year though, and for as difficult as it can be, I wouldn't have it any other way. My little Jack melts my heart with just one look (he's actually focusing on us now with his eyes, and it is PRICELESS). He is such a gift to my husband and I, and I know that I am the luckiest girl in the world to be his mama. It is very hard to believe that he turns 2 months old this Thursday, and he's now weighing in at a whopping 12 pounds (in the 90th percentile, haha!). Jack is a very healthy boy, and eats CONSTANTLY - he has the double, maybe even triple chin to prove it! :) He has been sleeping pretty well - I only wake up about two times during the night to feed him and then he goes right back to sleep. They say that babies are at their fussiest at 6 weeks, and there was definitely a noticably change in him at that point. But Dale and I still consider ourselves pretty lucky to have such an easy, mellow baby. Haha, I joke that I'm SO grateful that Jack inherited his daddy's temperment and not mine! Jack has my blonde hair, my brother's distinctive hairline, his daddy's pretty blue eyes and kissable poochy lips. He loves being held by anyone who will have him, and he has the uncanny ability of making EVERYONE who holds him feel like he or she is his favorite. I'm sharing a couple of his most recent photos, taken with my phone, so apologies for the quality. He just grows so fast that he doesn't look like a lot of his photos anymore! We love him to PIECES!

Bridal Fitness on Paper is a weekly blog series posted every Monday, where I share and review a wide variety of cardio and resistance training workouts, both inside the gym and out. Bridal Fitness on Paper is meant to help guide brides along their weight loss journey all the way to the altar and beyond! All of the reviews posted are based on my own experience; I am not a fitness or nutrition professional, and am not liable for any injuries incurred while trying any of the workouts that I share here on A Paper Proposal. If you're curious about a specific workout, and you'd like for me to review it, please do leave a comment below or feel free to send me an email at Sarah - at - apaperproposal - dot - com.

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