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12 Thoughts From My First Postpartum Workout

Young woman at gym working her abs
Photograph by Getty Images

The last time I ran, I was eight weeks pregnant with my now six-month-old.

If you're quick at math or have any concept of time, you’ll piece together that it has been quite some time since I’ve been to the gym. Oh, the shame.

I had great intentions to continue working out during my pregnancy. And then, I just didn’t. By then I was in the throes of morning sickness and one week off turned into two and then three, and then … well, you get the picture. Sound familiar? No worries—I’ve already claimed team captain for Gym Quitter USA, so don’t feel too bad about yourself.

But I've finally made the walk of shame back to the gym.

It. Was. Rough.

In case you’re wondering how rough, here’s a peek into my internal struggle:

Tomorrow, tomorrow, is gym day. Goodbye, baby weight! I’m going to do this. I own that gym. Heck, I think I’ll sleep in my gym clothes so there is absolutely zero excuse when I wake up. I mean, I bought new shoes, a new tank and a sports bra that is magically containing my breastfeeding boobs. I’m going to look goooooood!

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I get logged into the treadmill and set it to a fast walk as my warmup. I’m following a 5K training app to ease myself back into things. I follow the prompts to walk, stretch, walk, run, walk, run, walk, etc.

My walk sequence is already done? I kind of feel winded just from that! I can run though, I’ve done this before. Shoot, I’ve pushed a baby out of my vagina, I can do anything!

Phew! This is really picking up. I hate running. Like, haaaate. Maybe I should look into BodyPump or MixxedFit instead of running. Hey, look, "Pioneer Woman" is on the TV over there. I’ll tune into that to take my mind off things.

Oh man, those enchiladas look amazing! I totally need to search that recipe and make those soon. Ooooh and homemade margaritas?! Sign me up!

If I could cry now, I would. But crying takes breathing and I can’t spare a breath.

Speaking of cold drinks, I need water. Bad. I can’t really breathe. I hate running. Totally hate it.

Ten minutes? What the what? I’ve only been at this 10 minutes. I’m dead. I’m going to have to take a nap when I get home. Who’s going to watch the kids while I recover? I should just hit pause now and go sit in the sauna until l need to get the kids.

No. No. No. You came back to the gym to be healthy. To get your groove back. You can’t quit now. Push it!

Thank God, I can walk for 90 seconds. This is so depressing. I used to run for an hour and now I’m running (more like slow jogging) for a minute and it’s totally crushing me. If I could cry now, I would. But crying takes breathing and I can’t spare a breath.

I stink. I stink at running. I stink at life. I stink at commitment. I literally stink too.

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You know what? I kind of like my baby weight. I’m soft and perfect for snuggling. Maybe I should scrap this whole back to running thing and take the kids out for doughnuts.

Five minutes left. A freaking miracle. I’m taking a selfie to show the world that I went to the gym today. #momrunner

I’m so awesome. I ran today. The amount of boob sweat I’m dealing proves it really truly happened. Go me!

And that was just Day 1. I can’t say it has gotten much better. I still have to pump myself up to even get to the gym and I’m not losing weight because I’m nursing and never lose weight right away.

I don’t fit in at the gym, but I’m there, and that counts for something. Showing up counts. I’m getting stronger and setting a good example for my kids. So, points for me! I’m back to the gym after baby and this mama is proud of herself!

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