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Mar 22, 2018, by Rebecca Jackson
If you haven't already, please check out my post about my pregnancy. Here is a link to it.
I remember when I was pregnant, worrying about the time I had to wait from when she was born until I could start exercising again. I talked to my doctor about having to wait. Because I stayed so active my whole pregnancy, my doctor insisted I wait 2-3 weeks after delivery. I brought in a list of exercises that I thought were very low key (and therefore easy), and asked about each specific exercise.

"Two to three weeks." he kept saying over and over again. I also noticed him eyeing my husband with an unspoken agreement that my husband was to stop me if I tried to workout before then.

How could I wait 2-3 full weeks? I wanted to work on getting my shape back asap.

Then, I had an unplanned c-section. Not only did I already have a diastasic recti (when your abdominal muscles split in half), but now, my lower abdominal wall had physically been sliced open to reach my baby. Those first 10 days were brutal. Getting up and down from laying to sitting to standing were some of the most painful and frustrating moments in my life. Exercise? Honestly, I didn't care anymore. All I wanted to be able to do was care for my baby. For those first few days, I couldn't jump up if she was crying, or bend over to change her diaper. I wanted to be that super mom that I always envisioned myself being.

For those of you who don't know me, I am a mover. I hardly ever sit still. I always am thinking that there is something to do…laundry, dishes, making the bed, meal prepping, organizing, and definitely exercise. I went from being able to do everything while pregnant to not being able to do anything. It was a huge change, but a good change. Because my c-section immobilized me to some regard, it helped really symbolize the fact that everything really was different now. I was not the same person anymore.

I am a mom now. For those first six weeks, I followed my doctor's advice. I only walked for exercise. I also continued to follow my rehab from the Tummy Team to help with my diastasic recti, and I wore a belly band/splint as much as I could.

January 1st was the first day I was to teach a class again. By then, I had lost about 20lbs of the 39lbs I gained. I knew I wanted to lose more and I was ready to start exercising and being more mindful of what I was eating. I started the 80/80 challenge; 80 squats and 80 push-ups for 80 days. It was insane to me how weak I was in certain aspects, and yet how strong I still was in others. I had to do push-ups on my knees for a few weeks, but by 20 days into the challenge, I was able to do a few on my toes again.

For the next 80 days, I taught my 5 classes a week which included HIIT, strength training, and pilates. I also aimed to run 2-3 times a week and do my own strength workout for 30 minutes 2x a week. I made sure the 80 push-ups and 80 squats were tackled every day.

Left: my before photo, one day after my due date.

Right: Here I am today.
It has been 80 days. I have a 4 month old baby. I am 6lbs heavier than I was before I got pregnant. My skin in my belly looks different. I have a dark linea negra down my belly. My diastasic recti is still at a finger-length split. My jeans still don't fit. I was worried before my daughter was born that I would not "get my body back." I was worried about how my husband would look at my body after the baby. I don't know that anyone could have convinced me before our daughter was here that I would feel the way I do now. I am not where I was before, but I'm a different person since becoming a mom. If I don't lose the last 6lbs, or fit into my old jeans, that's okay. This is my new normal. My husband still finds me attractive, and insists he actually finds me more attractive now. I will still workout hard to be strong and to set an example to my daughter that hard work does pay off.

Have fun & Be Active
Written by:

Rebecca Jackson
Rebecca is the Founder of Build It For Life.

Rebecca Jackson is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor. She is a working mom who believes that exercise should be part of everyday living. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington.