Ok guys, you asked and I’m answering. Here’s how I’ve (almost) got my body “back” after having twins. Let me start by saying that I’m NOT an expert. I’m actually notoriously horrible at sticking to anything, have way too many weaknesses, and way too little will power. But I do think I’ve gotten in to my own little groove that’s worked for me, so I don’t mind sharing it with you on here.
I also want to say that I don’t think it’s important to put too much time or energy into forcing your body to do something that it’s not ready for, right after giving birth. The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your little one (or two or three!) and enjoy your time together, because it really does go SO SO fast. You’d be surprised how many things work themselves out with time, so please give yourself that time!
We are all different
One more thing – we are all SO different. No pregnancy and post-pregnancy experience is the same, or goes perfectly according to plan. There are some things in my pregnancy that were super lucky and easy – I was able to work out in the beginning of my pregnancy, and stayed pretty active. I got sick but the nausea went away right at 13 weeks! I kept myself busy with work and baby preparation, and loved my prenatal yoga class. However, twin pregnancies come with double the hormones, more growth, and increased risks. I developed gestational diabetes, but was able to find a silver lining in that it motivated me to eat healthier. Things took a turn at 28 weeks when I ended up in the hospital on bedrest, watching my muscles atrophy and getting soggy from the gross hospital food I had to eat for weeks. Then my babies came and stayed in the hospital for three months, which meant lots of time sitting next to their isolettes in the NICU, lots of take out and more greasy hospital food, and no time outside or exercising. Through that, I was also recovering from an emergency C-Section.
While body types and weights inevitably vary, I believe that we all have a healthy version of ourselves and a non-healthy version. I don’t think your goal should be to drop a certain number of pounds, but to be the healthiest version of yourself! Because the healthy version of myself still eats a chocolate chip cookie every now and then, and that’s ok! Because she also is starting to find healthy alternatives to satisfy her cravings, and reducing cravings in general. And now she’ll stop talking in the third person….
Excuse me, work out?!
In the months after the twins’ birth, I would have laughed at you if you told me to work out. It felt like the last thing I wanted to do. I didn’t feel healed from my C-Section, and couldn’t get to a place with breastfeeding where my boobs didn’t hurt. I was eating poorly and feeling the effects on my body and my mood. But you know what? I needed some time. Yes, I could have made better choices, but overall I was pretty maxed out.
When you’re ready to make a change
It wasn’t until the girls were 4 months old (which also happened to be the start of the new year!) that I finally felt ready to make a change. They’d been home for a month so we’d settled into a routine. I was feeling awful from the food allergies I’d developed from pregnancy, and also starting to feel like I was ready to get back outside and be more physically active. Since then, I’ve lost most of my baby weight and feel so much better about my body. It’s definitely not right where I want it, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come and feeling SO much better both in my mind and my body.
Here are the things that worked for me:
Eat BETTER. Wherever you’re currently at, do better! I think this is THE most important and impactful thing you can do, because what you’re putting in your body matters. And I’m not talking about weight, I’m talking about your overall health, risk for disease, mood, energy, emotions, etc. If you can even just tweak a few things, it makes a world of difference. I love the Whole30 concept, but didn’t feel like I had it in me to do a strict 30 days. Around the time I was trying to figure out how to approach nutrition, I met nutritionist Kelly Leveque. My sister had actually already sent me her book, so I was so excited to pick her brain. Her approach to diet and nutrition is honestly my favorite I’ve ever heard. I’ve combined her Fab 4 concept to my daily life, and Blake and I have become obsessed with her smoothies! She explains them in her book, along with tons of recipes. So, what’s ended up working for me is following the philosophy of Kelly Leveque paired with my favorite Whole30 recipes (these days I still love the Fast and Easy book!) and SMOOTHIES! If you make ONE change in your diet, just start having her smoothies for breakfast. I PROMISE you’ll see a change!
Set a goal or a deadline. For me, I needed a hard and fast deadline to work towards. So I did something crazy and agreed to a swim suit shoot on April 23rd. Now, I’m not saying you should commit to something like THAT, but having something to work towards prevents you from always putting it off til tomorrow. The photos in this post are from that shoot on April 23rd, with L*Space and The Shop Laguna. The girls at the shoot told me I was brave for doing it after having twins, and I joked with them that I was really just an idiot! But I’m SO glad I had something to work towards. Now that the deadline has passed, I’ve developed healthy habits that have stuck with me.
Find a realistic way to workout. I’ve NEVER been good at this, and it’s become even harder with juggling twin newborns and work. What I started doing is taking the babies on our usual evening walk to the park near our house, and then doing a workout right there in the park. The babies are stuck in their strollers (and think the weird movements we do are hilarious) and we bring a ball for Lo to chase around and chew on. The workout program I love to do this with is one by a friend of mine – the KATG (Kick-Ass Training Guide) by Danielle Pascente. The main reason I love these workouts is because they are super quick, effective, and can be done anywhere with hardly any equipment required. She’s designed her workouts to be done with your own body weight and utilizing furniture or things you can find around your house, hotel room, or park (dips on a chair, step-ups on a park bench, etc.) I’m pathetically sore after her workouts, and so is Blake!
If I miss the park for whatever reason, I can usually do a workout in my living room while the girls nap or play next to me for 20 minutes. I know this plan won’t work as well when the girls become more mobile, so I’ll readjust and find something that will!
Ok, if you that got really long and boring for you, here’s my advice in a nutshell:
- Set a goal.
- Workout anywhere using the KATG – Kick-Ass Training Guide.
- Have one of Kelly Leveque’s smoothies every morning, and implement ideals from her book using Whole30 recipes.
I hope that helps or motivates you in some way! Because I might need YOU to turn around and motivate me a few months from now ;).
**Photos by Brie Lakin
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