After unexpected health challenges, breastfeeding ups and downs, and struggles with my work schedule, the fog of new motherhood began to lift right as Emme hit the one-year mark in August 2013. I was mentally and physically ready to refocus on my well-being again, and for me, that meant getting back into a regular workout routine.
I did some yoga, tried various classes at the gym, and started running again, completing a handful of 5Ks and a 10K over the past year. In February, through my local mom’s group, I signed up to try Body Back — a fitness program for moms from Fit4mom, the same company that offers Stroller Strides.
[Body Back] is a results-based workout program designed for moms of any age. The workouts offer high intensity, interval formats that give a total body workout with an added combination of motivational support. Whether you just had a baby or had a baby 20 years ago, it will help any mom get her body back. Each session includes before and after assessments, 2 classes per week, Mama Wants Her Body Back DVDs, a nutrition plan, 1 red resistance band, and food journals. This class is for moms only, no children. It is recommended that you be at least 3 months postpartum before beginning this program.
I signed up for an eight-week session of Body Back after the initial trial class. Then I signed up a second time. After bouncing around trying various workouts, it felt like a good fit and a real routine. I enjoyed the classes, which were different every week and never boring; the instructors, who got to know all of us and were supportive; and the other moms, who wanted to encourage each other. And, even though I struggled to stay on track with the nutrition plan, I had solid results. I gained a lot of strength, lost a couple pounds, and felt good.
I fell off the bandwagon big time this summer. I decided against signing up for another session, opting instead to just “drop in” to classes when I had time. I wasn’t in the best head space, and after months of being in good workout groove, I was coming up with excuses to bail every week.
Around Labor Day, I started to feel a bit more motivated, so in an attempt to get back on track, I signed up for Body Back again. And in an attempt to stay on track, I’m going to post weekly-ish about my progress here.
The session began on Tuesday, September 16 in Memorial Park in La Grange Park. The first workout eases you in to the program—we weighed in, took measurements, and did fitness assessments. I love that while Body Back has a weight/fat-loss component, there’s a focus on gaining strength and endurance. We’ll do the same assessment in eight weeks to see how far we’ve come.
The instructor then passed out our materials and explained the nutrition program, which consists of clean eating along with portion control. The booklet includes recipes, a weekly workout plan, and space to track your meals. We also get workout DVDs, which have options for quick 20-minute workouts, so you can stick to the workout plan even if you can’t get out of the house and to the gym for an hour. Since this is my third session of Body Back, I was given the “Advanced” DVD. I already have three others, including one that is ab focused and one that is lower body focused.
Not pictured: My resistance band. I was too lazy to get it out of the car.
The bicep curls, push-ups, full sit-ups, and squat numbers are all based on how many I did in one minute; the run (high knees in place), plank, and side-bridge (side plank) were all held as long as I could. Seriously, the run is my worst ever. Sad face.
And that was it! It’s always that easy, right?
Saturday’s Weigh-in: -.2
On Saturday, we did a cardio-strength-ab circuit workout. Cardio included things like burpees, sumo squats, and power squats. The strength interval typically included an exercise that targeted more than one muscle group, so for example, we did bicep curls with a curtsey squat. Ab exercises ranged from basic crunches to fancy planks with leg lifts and knees to the chest. We did each exercise for one minute before moving on the next; repeated the circuit; then moved on to the next set of three exercises.
Our instructor provides modifications, and you can always work at your own level. That said, this workout was challenging and, for the record, typical. I remember when I took my first Body Back class, I was surprised that the class was so tough. But, it’s designed to push you and help you get your fitness to the next level.
Last Week’s Workouts
Monday, September 15: REST
Tuesday, September 16: Body Back Assessment
Wednesday, September 17: REST
Thursday, September 18: Couch-to-5K, run/walk, 35 minutes total
Friday, September 19: Couch-to-5K, run/walk, 35 minutes total
Saturday, September 20: Body Back
Sunday, September 21: Couch-to-5k, run/walk, 28 minutes total
This isn’t my best showing ever, but to be fair, I had a pretty bad head cold. My goal for week 2 is to continue with Couch-to-5k, but also add in the Body Back DVD workouts.
Last Week’s Nutrition
Last week was a mixed bag, nutrition-wise. I did go grocery shopping and spend the weekend making sure I would be ready to hit the ground running with healthy breakfasts and lunches this week though.
From left to right, clockwise:
- As a treat “for Emme,” I made SkinnyTaste Low-fat Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins.
- My typical breakfast: whole wheat English muffin, peanut butter, and banana.
- I made this Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe from Clean Eating magazine and took the leftovers to work for lunch twice last week.
- Healthy snack: string cheese and grapes.