Postpartum Fitness: Why I Stopped Looking at My Personal Trainer as a Luxury


exercise after baby

I’m going to be really honest about something – I was really scared of being pregnant because I was terrified that I would gain a lot of weight. When we found out we were having twins, that fear only intensified.

I’d like to think that I’ve always been a somewhat active person. This does not mean that I enjoyed daily runs or an extra long spin class. More often than not this looked like long walks with the dog, hiking, barre classes, or a “sport” such as golf. Basically, I like activities that trick you into working out.

When I met my husband, he was really into triathlons, and it was hard to find time to see each other because he was always training. I vowed I would never do a triathlon and yet somehow, over the next year of our relationship, I completed five sprint triathlons and 3 half marathons.

While swimming, cycling, and running isn’t something that I’ve stuck with, I did get really into Barre classes. I actually became an instructor and absolutely loved teaching my weekly Tuesday night class back in Charlottesville, VA.

I stuck with fitness classes like pilates, barre, and yoga for as long as I could while I was pregnant. Because I got so big so fast a lot of activities quickly became incredibly difficult. I was a bit disheartened but tried to give myself some grace as growing two humans is no small feat.

After the twins arrived, I was back at a pre/post-natal pilates class at about nine weeks postpartum. It felt good, and I felt safe knowing the movements were targeted to my (lack of) fitness level. After a few classes, I graduated to the regular pilates classes. I remember leaving my first regular class feeling entirely deflated. I modified or sat out of most of the class. My body wouldn’t cooperate. I could barely complete the basic movements that had been easy for me just six months earlier.

I walked home with tears in my eyes. Looking back, I was definitely a bit dramatic and irrational. I was only four months out from major abdominal surgery (aka a c-section), and I was sleeping approximately five hours a day. But I found it so hard to accept this new body.

So I did that extravagant thing and hired a personal trainer. I now employ a personal trainer and a nanny and a cleaning lady. I’m THAT person with hired help. Why as women/moms/wives is it so difficult for us to admit that we need help?

Haley is a gem. She’s keenly trained in pre/post-natal fitness and one hundred percent understands where I am and where I want to be. She’s tough but also kind. She pushes me past my limits while also serving as a therapist. She listens to my worries about raising kiddos while also holding me accountable to self-care.

I see Haley once a week, and she sends me workouts to do the other five days. I absolutely need that accountability. Initially, I wanted to do this because I wanted to feel like myself again. Let’s be honest, I wanted to LOOK like myself again, maybe even better! But as each week goes on, it becomes less about how I look and more about how I feel. I am doing this so that I can be strong for my kids. I’m doing this so that I can be healthy for my kids. I’m doing this so that I can keep up with my kids. But I’m also doing this for me. I’m doing this because it’s self-care.

And sure, I’ll take the added benefits of looking a little better in a swimsuit.



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