When I found out I was pregnant, fellow Results Fitness member and expecting mom, Rachel Morse, was already at the end of not only her third trimester, but third pregnancy. Like any grown adult, I secretly pumped her for information and observed the modifications she used during workouts. Prior to even becoming pregnant, I was already using her as motivation because she was pregnant and pushing more weight than me. And, might I add, all while smiling and chatting throughout the exercises [like seriously – how does she do it?]. Essentially, Rachel became my spirit animal and at that point, I set a personal goal to continue working out until the end of my pregnancy or when I was no longer able to physically do it. By some miracle, I was never got sick throughout my pregnancy. There were maybe one or two days where I felt tired, but the fatigue was early on and didn’t last very long.
Given my “Type A” personality, I am partial to and love a consistent routine and schedule. Since first joining Results Fitness in 2016, exercising has evolved into a huge part of my weekly schedule. Even after first learning I was pregnant, I knew working out and committing to time for myself [sanity] was not something I was willing to give up. My job can be overly stressful and in Results Fitness I found a supportive community and healthy outlet to release pent up stress and tension. Additionally, I knew navigating life as a new mom would somehow contribute to that stress, which further solidified the importance of sustaining the lifestyle I grew accustomed to with RF.
Total side bar: When it came to sharing the news with Coach Josh, I couldn’t do it and made my husband Seth, who is also a member at Results Fitness, fill him in when I was around 18 weeks. Side note – Coach Josh is an excellent secret keeper and never spilled the beans (not even to his girlfriend who is also my friend). Moral of the story – good secret keepers make for excellent coaches!
I didn’t start showing until 24 weeks and around that time, people at RF started to notice. Above everything else, the sheer enthusiasm and support from the RF community was unbelievable. Before “popping”, one of my biggest fears was feeling my pregnancy would “bring someone down” during partner workouts. However, never once was that the case. No one minded (maybe they preferred it since working out with me meant a little more rest time!). Plus, having fellow RF member Carlene Oliverio, who was due 1 week before me, proved to be a huge form of support.
During my pregnancy, I never had any concerns or fears when it came to exercise. In fact, I felt great most of the time but most importantly, felt even better after finishing a workout. That one hour of “me time” at the gym was something I always looked forward to each day, even when I started to pop (and then the secret was really out!). I also kept Rachel, my spirit animal, on the forefront of my mind to stay focused while honoring the promise I made to myself about not giving up.
As my pregnancy progressed and the end was near, the work outs became more challenging. Disclaimer, this was largely in part to me getting inside my own head. I can be very stubborn and would get frustrated when having to go down in weight because I was no longer able to do what I knew I was fully capable of. In theory, I was still doing the same exact weight but majority of it was in the form of my own body weight so ultimately, there was no need to get frustrated. Coaches Josh and Matt were outstanding the entire time. They always provided modifications, constantly checked in on me (especially towards the end) and kept me motivated to try my best – always. They knew I was still going to push myself (excluding jumping jacks or anything else I just don’t like) as I continued to grow and show.
I think I was squatting and planking my last few days away. My final workout came on July 1. Honestly, I was just too scared to keep going because the thought of my water breaking on the turf at Results Fitness left me feeling so embarrassed that I knew I would never be able to go back! I was proud for honoring the promise and commitment I made to myself and although I wasn’t going to the gym, I still took walks to sustain physical activity.
Seth and I welcomed our baby girl, Everly, on July 24 and because I ended up delivering via C-section, my post-partum activity was limited strictly to walking for six weeks. Those 6 weeks probably seemed to take longer than they actually did. On September 5, I went back to the doctor for my six-week check-up and was back at Results Fitness for 5:30pm class that very same day. Anticipating the workout to be a total struggle since I hadn’t exercised in over one month, I was pleasantly surprised. My first session back was not as bad as I anticipated and with the utmost certainly, I know this was because of my consistent workout routine leading up to delivery. Exercising had not only kept me in great physical shape, it had also prepared me for this exact moment. In addition to the Group Training I had been doing at RF, I started doing Semi-Private Training as well to help get back on track towards achieving my post-partum goals. The addition of the Semi’s was awesome, and I have never felt stronger in my life. Plus, I met a bunch of fabulous new RF people since I was attending new class times. Mentally and physically, Results Fitness was my saving grace during maternity leave.
Upon returning to work post maternity leave, fitting in my weekly workouts became the biggest challenge of my entire journey. As I mentioned before, I had become accustomed to my daily workouts and now had to balance work, motherhood, home life, and the gym. Although not without sacrifice, Seth and I figured it out and made it work. I do credit Seth for making the biggest sacrifice as he had to eliminate his daily two-hour workout sessions. Ultimately, we decided that although we may not be able to go as often as we had been, we would make sure we did our best. Our goal is to split the days, allowing each of us to get to the gym 4 days / week. For me, this means doing something I never in a million years thought I would: going to a 5:30am class. In the end, it works and helps me stay on track and make time for myself. Life isn’t perfect, and we don’t always quite hit that goal but collectively, we are always striving to get there!
Results Fitness and everyone in the community keeps me grounded. No matter what happens during my day, I can go there and leave it all at the door. I may not be the most physically fit or strongest person physically, but every time I am at RF, I feel like I have accomplished that much more for myself and it really makes me proud. It is crucial for me to not lose who I am and find the time to keep up with myself. And that, is how I continue navigating life as a new mom.
Are you navigating life as a new mom and finding it hard to balance everything? It’s important to carve out the “me time” and practice some self-care and self-compassion. If you don’t take care of yourself, how are you expected to care for others? Are you ready to discover your saving grace like Nicole and get #Momstrong? Let’s chat! Contact us to schedule a FREE and zero obligation Strategy Session with a coach who can help you do more with less time.