My Thoughts on the Postpartum Body and my Fave Workout App.


So I’m not one of those girls who has a baby, sneezes twice, and immediately loses all the baby weight. My body lovvvves the extra lbs it earned in my pregnancies, and always wants to hold on for dear life to those cherished extras (called love handles for a reason, ladies.)

I’ve truly accepted that I'm never going to look the same as I did before having babies. And I don’t want to or need to. I’m proud that I was able to carry these rather giant babies inside of me, and even though I wince a bit when I see the stretch marks on my belly, the extra skin, the cellulite, ALL THE THINGS, I am trying to re-train how I think about it, because those marks are all part of the precious map my body has journeyed in this season of parenthood. I'm not supposed to look like I'm 18 anymore. And I'm good with that.

All that being said, I am doing my best to keep up with my boys (because they are freakishly strong for being so young), and I do care about how I look (sue me, but I do), so I’ve been working working working on losing the baby weight. I still have a few stubborn lbs that are hanging on for dear life and sure, I could probably starve them off but gosh, that's just not interesting to me. Question for the universe- is it called baby weight if it’s been more than a year? DON’T ANSWER THAT.

This summer I have been disciplined without being particularly militant in my consistency (because there were mojitos to drink and pools to be purveyed), but I have prioritized getting myself to the gym at least 2-3x per week and taking care of this body of mine. It’s up to me to take care of this temple - not my husband, not my kids, not my friends. It’s my job to take care of me so I can live long and prosper and hang out with my great great grandkids when I’ve got good, deep wrinkles and quarters to fill their pockets with. I'm going to be such a weirdo fun granny, can't wait.


But I'll be honest. I can't always get to the gym. And exercising with my kids is hard. I still do it, because that just life when you're a mom - you have to figure out ways to make it work. So maybe it's not the best work out of my life when I take them on a jog with me (we have to stop A LOT - because they want to run, pick up pebbles, play with bugs, etc.) but it's better than not trying at all. And that's where I'm at. I try my best. However, I've also been using and loving the Sweat app because it’s reminded me of all the exercises that I should *know* to do, but never seem to remember when I’m at the gym on my own. I've done the BBG program and I am currently re-doing it because I want to get stronger and more consistent with it before I move on to the next program (which is BBG Power and it looks hard!) And by the way, this isn’t sponsored or anything, I’m just letting you know that this program has been one of the main things that has really helped me develop a discipline and see ever so small, but present, results. And no one can take that victory away!

If you’re in a similar life stage as me, with little people gathered round your ankles at any given time of the day, I’m just letting you know that you’re not alone! And what works for me, may not work for you at all, but keep trying things that make you happy, that propels you forward, that makes you proud of what you’re working toward! You are so beautiful, and all your intention and effort matters. Because someone has to dole out the quarters 75 years from now. And with a little luck and a lot of hard work and positivity, that’s gonna be ME.


Outfit Details:
Look 1: Yandy Sports Bra c/o (similar), Yandy Leggings c/o, Nike Flex Sneakers

Look 2: Yandy Tank c/o, Yandy Leggings c/o, Nike Flex Sneakers

I'd love to hear from you mamas - what workouts have worked for you in your postpartum journey?

Exercise Power Hour!


The weather around here has been whack. It warmed up about a month ago, and then the temperatures decided to plummet back into the 30's like a big fat April Fools trick. It's almost Easter and I fear my grass shall never been green again.

So even though it's been stupid cold (sorry, my New England friends, but seriously, people live in the South to be able to enjoy spring temperatures when it's actually spring, which it is now, so I have no idea what's going on) - but, we've been going outside anyway. Every day after the boys wake up from their afternoon nap, sometime in the 4 o'clock hour, we high tail it outside and move our bodies. I've started calling this exercise power hour, because even though it's not exactly enjoyable temperatures (and my flowers haven't bloomed so there's no yard decor going on), it's still so important to move and play and get some fresh air. For their sanity and mine - cabin fever has gotten real around here these last few weeks and we all need the sunshine, even if it is still bathed in winter's chilly breath.

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I decided to start giving Everett some exercise pointers. I taught him how to do squats, lunges, push ups and planks. And since he loves to run, we sprint in between these sets and really get our blood pumping. And it's been SO much fun! Daxton just toddles around and watches us, but I actually picked him up the other day and squatted with him for extra weight and GOOD LORD. I could only do 3. That kid is hoss.


My activewear was sent to me by and I chatted about the line over on 5 Minutes for Mom. Check out the post I wrote about why moms should never apologize for living in their activewear! Because for real you guys. It's my mom uniform.

Happy Friday to you, friends! xx

How to Identify Abdominal Separation After Pregnancy.

Hi friends! My fitness inspiration friend Kate from BeyondFit Mom is back with another awesome post-pregnancy post, this time focusing on the abs :) Since I am eager to get back to exercising again, I figure I'm not the only postpartum mom who is a little stumped about the "safe" way to return to a work out regimen. I'm grateful that Kate is here to share her tips about how to repair the abs after giving birth.

What is Diastasis Recti?
A diastasis recti is a separation of the abdominal muscles, what many refer to as the “six-pack” muscles. This separation occurs along the band of connective tissue that runs down the middle of the rectus abdominis. This band of tissue is called “the linea alba, but we’re going to refer to it as the “midline.”

Some degree of abdominal separation will always occur during pregnancy. This is because everyone’s core muscles have to expand to give room for the baby to grow! During pregnancy, separation occurs down the midline as a result of the force of the uterus pushing against the wall of the abdomen coupled with the influx of pregnancy hormones that soften connective tissue.

60% of pregnancies the abdominal separation will be wider than 2 – 2.5 finger widths apart and you will be considered to have diastasis recti. Diastasis recti can occur anytime in the last half of pregnancy, but most commonly occurs after pregnancy when the abdominal wall is lax and the thinner midline tissue no longer provides adequate support for the torso and internal organs.

A small amount of widening of the midline happens in all pregnancies and is normal. In many cases this abdominal separation, also known as diastasis recti, will heal naturally post birth with no medical intervention, however, for many, the tissue remains too wide. A midline separation of more than 2 to 2.5 finger-widths, or 2 centimeters, is considered problematic.

What’s the Problem with a Diastasis Recti?
A diastasis recti can lead to pelvic instability due to abdominal wall weakness. This instability can create a number of problems.

These include:
- Abdominal discomfort with certain movements, such as rolling over in bed, getting in/out of bed, and lifting heavy objects
- Umbilical hernia
- Pubic symphysis pain
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Low back pain
- Pelvic floor dysfunctions, such as urinary, fecal and flatulence incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse

In addition, a diastasis recti can change the appearance of the abdomen. The skin may droop, and some patients may even develop an actual hernia through the midline.

Also, some moms may complain of continuing to look pregnant…. Even YEARS after having their baby.

How to know if you have Diastasis Recti...
1. Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Exhale and lift your head and shoulders off the floor – put one hand behind your head to support your neck.
3. Make sure you contract your rectus abdomens muscle – bring your rib cage closer to your hips, rather than just bringing up your head.
4. Place your fingers in a horizontal position across your belly button and feel above, over and below the belly button. Assess the width and depth of the gap. It is also relevant if there is a gap how firm or loose the sheath under the belly button feels.

Diastasis Recti Warning
The urge to return to traditional ab exercises like crunches, may be strong when you feel like you’re ready to workout again after having a baby, but if you have diastasis recti, you must be cautious about what time of abdominal exercises you return to.

Always be sure you’re engaging your transverse abdominal and be very wary of any ab exercises that increase the intra-abdominal pressure.

Intra-abdominal pressure is the real problem behind diastasis recti and the “mommy tummy”.

Pushing your body too far, or rushing into hardcore ab exercises could be doing more harm than it does good if you have diastasis recti.

Avoid: Any exercise that will cause your abdominal wall to bulge out upon exertion.

NOTE: If at any point through your workout you notice signs of core weakness, please consider a modification until the entire workout can be completed without any of the following:

- If you are straining from within your abdomen or pelvic floor during the exercise
- If you leak urine when doing any of the exercises
- If you notice pelvic or lower back pain during or after the exercise
- If you feel unstable in the core during the exercise
- If there is bulging or “coning” in your abdomen during the exercise

There you have it! Any questions you have or advice you can lend about your own experience with diastasis recti and postpartum fitness? I'd love to hear from you!

Many thanks to Kate for this one! You can follow her on instagram for fitness tips, encouragement and accountability :)

P.S. - Kate's 5 Fitness Tips for Postpartum Moms and the 5 Ways I Make Time for Exercise.

5 Fitness Tips for Postpartum Moms.

Happy New Year, friends! As I mentioned before the holiday break, I am taking some time with my new baby love, and I am sharing some posts from esteemed and treasured blogging + entrepreneur friends. Today I'm excited to introduce you to Kate, mom of two boys and founder of BeyondFit Mom, a postpartum weight-loss/healthy living program that combines nutrition, exercise and community to achieve health goals. I "met" Kate through the opportunity we had to chat with Jillian Michaels and I am thrilled that Kate is here today to share some of her fitness tips for postpartum moms.

New moms have a lot to think about: when to feed the baby, what to do if they cry… and how to get rid of those extra pounds packed on during pregnancy.

There is a TON of conflicting information out there about how to lose baby weight.  If you’re not an expert, it’s really difficult to know where to start. Especially when you’re sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, and already have so much else on your plate!

If you don’t know where to start (or if sifting through fat loss programs makes your head spin), you’re not alone.  But getting back your pre-baby body doesn’t have to be complicated….

Here are 5 easy to follow postpartum health and fitness tips to help you bounce back after baby….

1. Set realistic goals! 
When it comes time to get serious about losing the baby weight, make sure you keep your expectations in check.  It’s tempting to set unrealistic goals and then be frustrated when we aren’t where we “should” be. Although every new mom is eager to look like our old selves again, one of the most important things to remember is to be patient with yourself. Give yourself some grace and remember, it CAN be done… but it’s going to take time to get your body back.  How much time?  The National Women’s Health Information Center advises that about one pound per week is a safe amount of weight to lose postpartum, and will not affect your milk supply or the baby’s growth.  With the average woman gaining about 30 pounds during pregnancy, and typically losing around 18 to 20 in the first month, that final 10 pounds will push your postpartum fat loss goal to several months after baby makes an arrival.

2. Do it at home!
“Getting slim without the gym” has been favorite motto since becoming a mom.  As you know, there are some days when getting out of the house to exercise is simply not an option. The good news is that you can still get fit in the comfort of your home. Don’t despair if you feel like you don’t have time to get to the gym.  Remember, our goal is to do SOMETHING.  And you can get a fabulous fat burning workout in the comfort of your own home. Hold your baby and do squats and stationary lunges (no weights needed!) for your lower body, then lift your baby overhead (get ready for some giggles) to strengthen your arms and shoulders, or lay on your back and do “baby chest presses.” And during those precious 30-minute nap times, grab some dumbbells and get in a quick weight training workout while your little one sleeps! 

3. Lift Weights!
Speaking of weight training… if you’re ready to get your body back, cardio alone won’t cut it.  This is the most often missed secret in postpartum fat loss. If you’re wondering how to lose baby weight, you have to look past the cardio and on to the weights. The most successful postpartum training plan incorporates a balance of activities including leisurely walks, some HIIT, plenty of stretching, proper core rehabilitation (especially important for moms who have diastasis recti), and also weight training. Cardiovascular exercise may get you bigger or smaller, but you will stay the same shape - weight training is the #1 way to change the shape of your body.  I recommend that moms do strength training 3 times a week for 30 minutes to boost their metabolism and balance metabolic hormones that help burn fat long after your workout is over. This will go will a long way toward tightening and toning your body as well.  

4. Eat Right! 
Proper postpartum training must always be fueled by proper postpartum nutrition.  I see far too many moms trying low calorie, fat diets as they try to figure out how to lose baby weight.  Diets don’t work.  In fact, many times these types of diets make you fatter.  As a new mom, your body needs maximum nutrition to recover from pregnancy, refuel after your workouts, and if you’re breastfeeding, to provide fuel for your baby, so immediately dropping your caloric intake to an unreasonable level isn’t healthy, and may actually cause you to gain weight or do some long term damage to your metabolism. You certainly don’t have to count calories (in fact, I prefer to focus on quality over quantity). To give you an idea of what you need to sustain your baby while you are breastfeeding and safely lose fat, the National Women’s Health Information Center advises consuming at least 1,800 calories per day.  For a healthy baby AND momma, concentrate on well-balanced, healthy food choices that include foods rich in calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folate. Remember to focus on foods that keep your hunger, energy and cravings balanced.  If you do that, the caloric intake will take care of itself.

5. Find some accountability!  
Having social support, whether through friends, or family (or awesome women in an online community) is key to reaching your long-term goals. We are social creatures by nature, and we feel good when we have someone who listens and can relate to what we’re going through.  Consider getting involved with mommy and baby fitness classes (You can workout and bond with your baby at the same time) or join a group workout if you belong to a gym.  Group training- both online or in person- allows us not just to get a great workout, but to develop and foster friendships- many of which reach beyond the walls of the gym.  If you don’t have a local group, connect with moms in a similar situation as you online…. If you need a friend, I’ll keep you accountable! The key is to establish a built-in support system and to make sure you have someone to help you on your journey.

About Kate (aka BeyondFit Mom)
As a new mom, I know what it’s like to be a busy woman who wants to regain her body (and energy). I created BeyondFit Mom to give women the tools needed to reach their fat-loss, health, energy, nutrition, and training goals. It’s not about a quick-fix program that leaves you floundering after a few weeks. BeyondFit Life is about results now and in the future. It’s about ongoing support, learning, education, and information sharing so you can take your results “BeyondFit” and into the rest of your life.

I’m the founder of BeyondFit Mom, with a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science. I’m a professional fat-loss expert with years of experience in helping women shed body fat, boost fitness, and learn how to live a fat-loss lifestyle.

I’m also a mom to two little boys, and BeyondFit Mom is my other baby! You can read more about me here.


Thanks for sharing, Kate! Make sure to check out her instagram account, too - there are tons of quick fitness tips and yummy recipes that have me drooling :)

The 5 Ways I Make Time for Exercise (with a Toddler + a Baby on the Way!)

The battle for our hearts are fought on the pages of our calendars.
- Bob Goff

It's really hard to make time for exercise when you have a job and a family and hobbies and a life. It's just hard. It's taken me a lot of time to figure out how to implement time for exercise that works for me and my family. Usually by the time I "figure it out", everything changes again. Schedules change, seasons change, work load changes, my husband starts traveling incessantly for his work, and suddenly I'm back to square one. I'm certain I'm not alone in this constant battle for time and the need for more disciplined time management - but in the realm of exercise, it's become a necessity for me to figure out how to make exercise work within the available time frames that I actually have. Creating time for exercise is what has helped me regain my sanity and overall sense of good health since having my son two years ago. Like I said, this has been a loooooong road in figuring out what works, and I'm sure that I will undergo another season of "figuring it out" after I have another baby this winter. Navigating life with two littles is certainly going to be an interesting new challenge!

I wanted to share these few nuggets with you because so many people have reached out and asked me how I make time for exercise, even with a toddler (and even while pregnant!) While I certainly don't have all the answers, I am happy to shed light on what has worked for me over the past few years. I am so passionate about staying active because it's obviously good for my own health, but it's also one of the best examples I can set for my son and baby to be. Showing them that I care about my health, that I care about my well-being, and that those things are a priority will only set them up for a lifetime of good health success, too.

I also want to mention that I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, nurse, or anything even close -  I'm just a regular ol' mom. This is my own personal experience, and you should consult your doctor before making any changes to your own fitness plan.

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1. Exercise Early.
This is my favorite tip. I have never been a morning person but have discovered a new love for the early hours of the day because I can have "me" time before my son wakes up. I wake up at 5:30am three days a week and exercise, no matter what. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are my days to leave the house early and get to a 6am workout at the gym. Lately I've been incorporating Pure Barre as well, and I'm getting dangerously addicted to those classes.

2. Get Out of the House.
It's really good for me to get out of the house for my early morning workouts, because I am much more motivated by the change of environment. If I try to do a workout DVD at home at 6am, I tend to get lazy and sit on the couch and scroll through my email and think of making a pot of coffee... you get the point. Getting out of the house causes me to focus solely on me and make the most of my time. By the time I get home at 7ish, my husband is ready to get out the door for work and my son may or may not be awake. This is one of the ways that we can tag team the parenting of the morning and it still allows me to get that exercise in. (In case you're wondering, Stevie works out the other two mornings of the week. I didn't want you to think I was stealing all the good days of the week for my work outs :)

3. Mix Up The Routine.
I get bored doing the same thing all the time. In order for me to stay motivated and excited about exercise, I have to do different kinds of workouts throughout the week. While I prefer exercising without my son in tow, sometimes I have to get creative and incorporate exercise into my daily life with him.

I mentioned above that I love my early AM workouts - I usually lift weights 1-2 times per week (my sis-in-law meets me, and we get to catch up with each other while we lift, which is super fun), I like to swim laps (very gently, I never actually put my head in water), and lately I've added Pure Barre to the mix and I've been at the Pure Barre gym 1-3 times per week. Cardio is obviously important, too, but I've been scaling back on super strenuous cardio since getting knocked up. If I have to exercise with Everett, I like to get outside and walk him in the Bob stroller. I also add on some squats and lunges mid-way through the walk, and he just laaaaaaughs and counts them out with me (we are working on counting these days). Between all of these options, I'm averaging about 4 workouts per week.

If it's a rainy day and I need to get a workout in during my son's nap time, I love the Tracy Anderson Pregnancy Project DVDs. I've also heard great things about her Post-Pregnancy Workout and her Method and Metamorphosis series. Plus, she's not an annoying person to watch on a DVD :)

4. Listen to Your Body.
This is a really important one. There are some days that my son is super active and by the time he finally goes down for a nap, I'm exhausted. In these situations, I am often challenged by feeling tired, but also feeling the pressure to "get in my workout" while he's sleeping. I've learned this lesson the hard way, but in these moments it's always better for me to listen to my body and lay down to take a nap. It makes me a better mom and it makes me less likely to injure myself.

On the note of listening to your body, I've had to make major adjustments lately because I am pregnant and my center of gravity keeps shifting. Lately I've been lifting weights a little less, and when I do lift I am doing much less weight. And even though I enjoy running, I don't run at all when I'm pregnant, because it's just too much pressure for me. I know a lot of ladies love to run late into their pregnancy and feel really good doing it, but I'm jut not one of them. I am a big fan of scaling back really intense workouts and using my own body weight for resistance. This is important all the time, but especially when you're pregnant - listen to your body! You know that "good" pain feels like and what bad pain feels like.

5. Create a Motivating Playlist (or Podcast!)
I kid you not - in the fall, I was listening to gardening podcasts at my 6am gym workouts. I'm a granny. But seriously - this was how I learned to take care of my roses and which vines to plant along my fence! I like to rotate between my hip-hop/R&B playlists, gardening podcasts, and church sermon podcasts (I love listening to Bethel Church and Bethel Atlanta :) And sometimes, I like the quiet and I don't listen to anything at all. This kind of goes along with tip #3 above - mix up your routine and you won't get bored.

There you have it! The 5 ways I've incorporated toddler-friendly and toddler-free workouts in my schedule. We all have different time constraints with how and when we can exercise, but I am a big believer in "where there is a will, there is a way". I hope some of these help inspire some creative exercise scheduling for you!

Questions? Words of advice/encouragement for me and other mamas who are reading this? Leave a comment below! I love hearing your feedback and I try my very best to respond to every comment :)