Mandy Madden Kelley Baby BodyMandy Madden Kelley Baby Body

It’s been one year since we welcomed baby Kaia to the family, and I am so excited to say that my body is finally back to where I was before I gave birth. I wanted to share exactly how I did it, in case any new moms or those considering motherhood wanted some helpful tips!

1. The most important thing to help anyone who is looking to become more fit or lose weight is diet. For me, I personally ate clean, whole foods, that were as raw as possible. I stuck to an 80/20 ratio of eating clean 80% of the time, and only “cheating” on weekends. Here’s a sample day of food for me on a weekday: For breakfast, I’d have a smoothie. For lunch, a quinoa salad. I’d have soup, roasted veggies, rice and fruit for dinner, and have avocados, nuts, oatmeal and rice crackers for snacks if I was hungry throughout the day!

2. The second thing I did to get back to my pre-baby body was exercise. Again, my main focus was staying active on the weekdays, and resting on the weekend! Monday – Friday, I would usually do cardio. I like to walk, run or do the elliptical for 1 hour. Sometimes I like to do a hot yoga class to sweat and help flush out toxins. And somewhere within those 5 days, usually Wednesday, I like to work on my muscles by doing a Pilates class! Having a great variety helps keep things fresh and interesting so I can still enjoy the time, and can stick to it better!

Before: Left | After: Right

3. I think for new moms, this one is evasive, but a really important part of getting your pre-baby body back is sleep! I know this is hard when you have a newborn and seems almost impossible, but if you can nap at the same time with your baby, you’ll find that you wont be snacking as much because you’ll have more energy. You also will have a better mental state to make better decisions and avoid temptation! You will need this energy to keep up with the exercises program, too, and having the balance and sleep will help you be more present and be a better mom. It is also a good time to let your body heal (cell renewal). If you’re doing strength training (pilates, body weight exercises, or resistance training), this is when your muscles repair and rebuild themselves, allowing them to grow, which helps your body become more efficient at burning fat!

4. Diastasis Recti management: Many women experience diastasis recti postpartum, which is is what happens when your abdominals are stretched out and separated during pregnancy. It’s really common, but can be treated and you can make a full recovery! I wore a postpartum girdle, and went through physical therapy to recover.

Left to Right: 3 Months, 6 Months, 9 Months

5. The last thing that helped me get my pre-baby body back was consistency. There’s no magic pill, and this is not a plan that will allow you to see results within 1 or 2 days. Most of the time, the actions that get quick results are really not sustainable and are very hard to maintain, because it is so different from a practical lifestyle or what you’re used to, especially on top of becoming a new mom and adjusting to that life, time commitment and responsibilities!

Before: Left | After: Right

This is much slower, but sustainable because it is not a diet, but a lifestyle. You will start seeing real progress in 3 months. Be patient, and don’t give up. It took 9 months to grow a baby. Give yourself at least 9 months to recover. When I hit the exact 10 month mark, I was finally able to say I got my body back. It’s a journey not a destination! And remember – even if you don’t see the results immediately from eating a healthy meal or doing a workout, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that your body is getting stronger and healthier because you’re using it well and giving it the fuel it needs, which is also helping you to be the best mom you can be! 

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