Here are the 123’s of Mom Fitness that Will Surely Get You Back into Shape, As Told by a New Mom!
We get it – adjusting to motherhood can indeed be exhausting, giving you no time to get back into shape. Changing diapers, singing the baby to sleep, recovering from birth-giving, and fluctuating hormones can really drain you off of your time for yourself, which is why instead of working your head out to regain that fit, sexy figure, you’ll opt to catch yourself some zzz’s over anything.
Beverley Simpson is just like you – only she doesn’t stop where she is. As a new mom herself, she knows pretty well the struggles of juggling responsibilities and self-care and on that note, she created her own customizable combination of workouts and nutritional plans suitable for busy, stressed-out moms like you so you don’t have to start from scratch.
Sounds good to you? Scroll down below for some honest, tried-and-tested fitness tips you’ definitely find helpful:
QUESTION: How did you get into fitness coaching and personal training?
BEVERLEY SIMPSON SAYS...
I grew up in the Bay Area, California and wanted to chase the dream of being on Broadway. I packed up and moved across the country to NYC, attended a conservatory graduate school and started the audition grind. For me, I believed that my perfect acting job was on the other side of fixing my body. So, I dived deep into the exercise and fitness, and I took a personal training job on in a gym in Manhattan as my “day job.” While I was there, I fell in love with helping people on their wellness journey, and my pull to stay in the gym grew stronger than my pull to live in the audition room.
I believe that we must love the process more than the outcome in everything we do in life because we’re going to spend more time in the process than we are in the outcome. At the time I felt like I was leaving a narcissistic industry and I wanted to serve the people in my community who needed help, and I did that for many years until I got pregnant. My two daughters have been my greatest teachers in life. They helped me discover through three body transformations in a rather short period that I didn’t leave a narcissist theater industry. In reality, I had to deal with two decades of body hate and I found my calling to help an underserved community of women: moms.
QUESTION: What do you think is the biggest reason new moms lose their motivation to work out? How can they overcome that?
BEVERLEY SIMPSON SAYS...
Everything we do in life is habitual. If we really have built a sustainable habit, it becomes part of who we are and gets housed in our reptilian brain which is responsible for our fight or flight response. Literally, if we try to change the habit our brain will respond like it is a matter of life and death.
Motivation is usually the why behind our goal. Whatever is driving us to wake up early to get a workout in, or spending the time to plan out a meal, and then shop for it. Another word for motivation is willpower and it’s often used interchangeably with words like self-discipline, self-control, resilience, drive, and determination. We usually have to tap into our motivation or our willpower when we have to override an unwanted feeling of obligation, or we have to make a concerted amount of focused effort on a task, or we’re forcing ourselves to resist an action. The amount of mental energy and willpower it takes to do the tasks cause us to stop despite wanting to accomplish it. What’s worse is that consciously or subconsciously we attach the outcome the success or failure to our self-worth.
What to do when motivation fails us?
Whether or not you believe that we can increase willpower, there will inevitably come a time when motivation is lost, but here are 4 key strategies to rely on when that happens: B.E.L.L.
1. Build Habits
Many people operate with an “all or nothing” mentality which is part of the reason these massive overhauls on diet and exercise exist. However, these overhauls tend to be too restrictive and unsustainable in the long run which cause people’s weight to fluctuate up and down with those same 10-20 lbs.
Plus we have the urge from our reptilian brain to keep us stuck in the repetitive pattern because our brain thinks the uncomfortable change we're trying to impose is thratening our life. It sounds like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Your brain needs to see you BEing someone who works out in order to build the new habit.
The key to success is not the perfect diet or the perfect strategy; success lies in staying consistent with a program that works for you.
Our brain and bodies take the path of least resistance and our system automates our decisions into unconscious daily routines. Therefore, the people that have had the most success are the people that start with small attainable “easy” actions that they can easily repeat every day. These actions become automated habits that we can rely on when we don’t have the energy.
2. Execute 3 MITs
MIT stands for Most Important Tasks. It’s a concept Leo Babuta outlines in his books: Zen Habits.
Before you start your day or before you go to sleep at night, define the 3 most important tasks of the day. At least at first while you build this practice, pick the things that you know must get done. I like to pick at least 1 item that propels my goal forward, and the other two can be anything. Here is mine today: Edit my article, post on Facebook, and eat breakfast before getting on the train. Previous MIT has included: meditate for 5 minutes, get at least a 10-minute walk in, make a dentist appointment, call the doctor, pick one new meal to make this week.
No matter how small the tasks were, knowing I was successfully started to build my confidence and a positive momentum to keep going.
For more on this strategy, download the Find Time Blueprint, for a 3-part strategy on how to analyze and prioritize time and take some of it back!
3. Leave Behind Perfection
The ultimate goal isn’t perfect because that doesn’t exist. Often times we feel like we’re not motivated, but that’s because we are stuck in this “All or Nothing Mentality,” or sometimes it looks like “I’ll start over on Monday.” Getting to a place of good is good enough can often time be a game changer for us. If I missed a day or got 2 out of the 3 of my MITs done, I still celebrated the win and really clinically looked at the reason why one didn’t get accomplished. Usually, it happened because the task was too ambitious, took longer than anticipated, or life happened and my daughter got sick at daycare. Progress isn’t linear and those one-off situations are going to happen.
An automated habit based system is what helps give me the flexibility to handle the unexpected without flying off the rails.
4. Lean on Others
Accountability goes a long way and having a support system, workout partners, and/or a coach to carry you through the difficult patches make a world of difference. I’ve told clients on many occasions that showing up is enough because you will inevitably do more work than you would if you were doing it alone.
Motivation is fleeting, but having an automated system of habits to help push through those sticky times is crucial because honestly, loss of motivation happens to everyone. Losing motivation isn’t always a reflection of your self-discipline and doesn’t need to be attached to your self-worth. Sometimes hiring an accountability coach can be just the thing you need to take your fitness to the next level.
QUESTION: What are a few ways new moms can motivate themselves to get back into the gym?
BEVERLEY SIMPSON SAYS...
It really depends on the resources available to the mom. I have found that moms who can let go of perfection and give themselves permission to do just start and do 10 minutes a day 3 times a week. Done is better than perfect.
QUESTION: Why is it that some women lose the "baby fat" quickly after giving birth, but others never seem to get in shape again?
BEVERLEY SIMPSON SAYS...
When it comes to weight loss, there are 3 important considerations:
1) Calories 2) Hormones 3) Gut Health
In order to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit that isn't too drastic for the metabolism. Hormones need to be balanced in order for the metabolism to let go of the stored energy in the body, and our gut health has a profound effect on our hormones.
The calories spent in our every day is determined by the amount of lean muscle mass we have on our body, and so the type of workout that we prioritize will matter if we're chasing a physique change goal.
Also, our hormone profile changes after we give birth and sometimes what used to work before we were pregnant, no longer works. As we age our muscle and strength deteriorate, which impacts our system.
Stress and Sleep directly impact our physique goals, and that can be challenging for moms to manage.
QUESTION: How important is nutrition for a new mom who works out consistently?
BEVERLEY SIMPSON SAYS...
Very important and often times must be nuanced because these are athletic moms even if they aren’t competing for the sport they’re still considered athletic.
I’d want to know how the moms are doing with their goal? Are they happy? Have they reached a level of fitness where they are happy with how they look? Happy with how they feel? Happy with the amount of time they are dedicating to working out versus spending time with their family? Are they obsessed with food? Have they lost their period? Do they feel constantly tired or fatigued? Losing hair? Dry skin? Stressed? Sleeping? Those are the just the questions to ask off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are more.
A lot of important questions to review that comes from our relationship with food and exercise which is often the hard part. QUESTION: How can mothers avoid the body hate syndrome? Does this contribute to failure to exercise for new mothers?
BEVERLEY SIMPSON SAYS...
I think body hate contributes to misery, exercise as punishment, food obsession, and opens the mom guilt habit loop. This mentality and belief keeps moms trapped, stuck in perfectionism, and then it goes around in loops.
4 Tips on how to move past it.
1) Make time for self-care
This is especially important. I know we are all busy and stressed. I talked about how to make time in my previous article which you can find here. Find a way to carve out at the VERY LEAST5 minutes of time dedicated to refueling yourself because it’s not a privilege, it is a necessity.
Going for a leisurely walk
Getting your nails and/or hair done.
Mark Fisher from Mark Fisher Fitness said in a conference last weekend, “The poison is in the dose”. I’m not saying binge watch Netflix for hours upon hours daily to decompress. I’m talking about dedicating a certain amount of time to recharging yourself.
Think about how much more effective and giving you will be to your loved ones if you take time to care for yourself.
2) Talk to yourself the way you talk and think about your kid. No Kids? Your sister, your best friend or your younger self.
Notice and name the way you talk to yourself. Do you tear yourself down? Do you lift yourself up? Do you talk to yourself the way you talk to your kids? Your best friend? Your family?
You deserve the same regard and respect that you give your friends and family. Speak to yourself in the same way that you speak to them.
3) Buy clothes you really love and that make you feel good.
This is important. The same day I threw out the scale, I went through my closet. I held onto clothes for over five years that I haven’t worn because of reasons like: I want to fit into this again. This shirt doesn’t feel great on me, but it will when I lose weight. I love this top, but it has holes in it. I threw it all out.
It’s been FIVE years. Even if I get to a place where I can wear some of those clothes again, I’ll want to buy a couple new things now make me feel good. I don't want to wear a pair of jeans I wore years ago.
It doesn’t matter the size, just buy a few things that make you feel incredible. It will do wonders to your mindset.
4.) Clean Up Your Social Media Account and Unfollow.
Go into your social media accounts and unfollow every single person that makes you feel bad doesn’t serve you. It is not a judgment call about the people you are following, and you’re not saying their content is wrong or offensive. It’s a simple action for you to put your mental health first. You can follow them again later in the future, but for right now just unfollow the accounts that are making you feel bad about yourself.
Inspired to take up your gym shoes once again? Shed some post-partum weight off without any touch of body hate today when you learn more in Beverly’s full AMA Session here!