In the last post I shared about my fitness journey throughout the glorious 9 month pregnancy. Today I am going to share (picture heavy) about a 30 day fitness challenge that I took 8 weeks post-partum. I am not on any mission to loose weight or look slim and skinny. If anything then I am on a mission (if some would call it) to look stronger, fit and healthy. I want to be elated when I have to get up every time to attend my ever demanding infant. I want to feel like a kid when I have to play with him for endless hours. I want to balance work, personal life and my son in a Super Woman way. I want to have stronger muscles that remember to repair themselves in a much toned way after being ripped apart in the gym or doing daily routine activities. Basically I want to keep myself moving every time as much as I can. Now that is one heck of a Mission, wouldn’t you say? I don’t want to ever feel that “I have to” I always want to control my life to take care of them in a way where I always happily say “I want to“. For accomplishing all this I have to be superfit and I have to first love and take care of myself. I have to put myself first in order to take care of my loved ones and that is what I am learning again to do.
I am in love with my little Om so much that most of the times my attention gets shifted and geared towards him. Ofcourse I have to first cater to his needs and timings, which anyways is the part of the deal. I started my fitness challenge 8 weeks postpartum and honestly I just did not throw in a towel to a healthier and fitter lifestyle. I actually worked my way to it. I enjoyed my son OM and our time altogether. I am blessed to have help of my parents who are taking care of me and my family tirelessly. In order to get back on to exercise of any kind, first I started to re-listen to my body after I gave birth to my son, paid special attention to what I ate during the day and made sure everything I eat has the utmost nutrition since I breast feed and morsel of what I eat is a nutrition to my son. I do believe 100% that my pre pregnancy fitness level and staying fit throughout my pregnancy has helped me recover at a Mach’s speed. I felt more empowered and in control after my delivery. I took my time to rest and heal as much as possible, although what really worked for me was I kept moving and being active as and when I can right after I got discharged from the hospital. I am a person who cannot lie on the bed for hours, I have to move and occupy myself and that has worked wonders on my body and mind. I felt fit and stronger with every passing day. Also I need to mention that I am a vegetarian and do not eat even eggs. I also come from a culture which does not have bodybuilding or weightlifting for women that common. So what ever I have learned and practiced is through my study, learnings and persistent hard work. I have been into weightlifting since 8 years now.
Why did I start this fitness challenge?
Although I am very self motivated when it comes to taking care of health but after I had my baby I was advised by the doctors to take 4-5 months before I can resume any kind of exercise knowing that I am a weight lifter. I knew it was a more generic advice and I knew every body is different and everyone’s physical and mental ability during these times are also different. I wanted to get back to my strength training as early as possible. I believe that the body at rest can stay for endless hours at rest if you don’t push your limits. I was craving for running outdoors, I was craving for lifting those barbells and dumbbells and I missed those long massaging strches of Sun salutations. I was missing being in my workout gears. Basically I wanted to get my stronger muscular self back as soon as possible.So after my son was 8 weeks, I decided to take this fitness challenge and design my own workouts for every single day for the next 30 days to keep myself accountable. I have shared my fitness journey with detailed exercises on my Instagram account themelbacurean Instagram and Facebook Themelbacurean FB
I started with 30 minutes run/walk and was slow but steady. The first day I walked/jogged for about 3 km at a slow steady pace enjoying the awesome weather Melbourne had to offer. I cannot tell you how liberating and alive I felt. I felt empowered from within, stronger and positive that I am able to lift myself and push the physical boundaries beyond the usual norms. I started to document and log each and every day I worked out and detailed everything along with the intensity and recorder my feelings. After 10 days of consistent run/walk, I resumed my usual gym routine. It was yet another milestone of confidence I achieved since the last time I entered the gym was in the 39th week of my pregnancy. I have no words to describe how I felt. The gym is like my second home and who is not happy to be home? I started my regular workouts with lower intensity and made sure I did cardio before weight training sessions since I needed a lot of warming up of the muscles and also I was low on weight intensity. I continued this for two weeks and then finally I was able to take more weights, workout volume and intensity as per my body’s demand. My fitness challenge had cardio, hiit,yoga and weight lifting spreaded out on different days.
What did I learn from this challenge?
I regained my self and my power after I resumed my regular workout routine. I learned to push my self because there was no other way. Yes sometimes it was hard and it was a struggle but I had to push myself to take that extra step. It helped me realize that the limits can be crossed and conquered. I also learned to challenge myself. Every day I progressed not only in distance but in time. Even if it was just one extra minute that I ran I counted it a challenge because I was proud that my body was responding in a positive way and was helping me do what I wanted. I became more disciplined because I made my self accountable to log each and every day and shared my workouts on Instagram. It helped me become a more disciplined and persistent and gave me a mental clarity to plan the rest of my day properly. I could get more done with enthusiasm and lot more energy than ever before.Doing something consistently and worthwhile is always a struggle. When you overcome that struggle with effort, it becomes a story. The amazing feeling of pain and exhaustion at the end of a fulfilling workout session is totally worth it. I planned each day the hour of my time that I took before hand specially because I have an infant whom I need to make sure I feed and nap and take care of his times before stepping out of the house. This challenge helped me understand my daily routine with my son as well. I totally believe that consistency is a key to anything.
My challenge does not stop here, but from here on I rise up even stronger and fierce with all the fire I have for the rest of my life. Part of me wants to always be that Alpha woman who wants to handle her life by herself in every aspect of her life and this challenge helped me become more clear of that vision. I belive that health is non negotiable and you only get this one life to enjoy a good health. So why not go all out and do things that we love. Because good health and fit life are the essence of every thing. It does not matter if you are a gym lover or runner or sports person or a yogi. Do what ever you love but keep moving. Even if it is to take a nice walk around the block for 10-15 minutes every day, don’t let others limit your ability. Be your own judge and decide based on how your body responds. I understand every pregnancy and post pregnancy recovery is different. Mine was different as well and my body responded in a different way when it came to post pregnancy recovery. Now I am able to slowly shift towards my pre-pregnancy workout routine although I will still take some time before I start doing all of that. The simple reason, is I want to get the form correct and steadily build my stamina to it. I would be sharing picture of each day of this 30 day challenge and I hope you get some inspiration and motivation along the way. Feel free to drop in any comments or questions you may have and I will be happy to answer your queries. I am sure you all will enjoy my Post-partum journey as much as I did. So join me in my fitness revolution for a better, healthier and fitter you.