Yonka Beckem, Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur and part-time Personal Trainer & Group Fitness Instructor, recently had a baby and below she shares her experience as a new Mom and inspires other new Moms to be patient with themselves and enjoy the process.
After spending the past seven months with the newest addition to my family, I have learned that letting go and going with the flow is the key to maintaining a workout schedule. For the vast majority of my adult life, I’ve had the privilege of spending my time however I wanted to, be it with my spouse, friends & family, work or the gym.
The addition of my precious seven month old, has certainly changed the way that my time is spent. I still do all the things that I’ve always enjoyed, but not as frequently. I still spend time with my spouse, however, those weekly dates are now monthly and we spend a lot of time at home with our little guy or we go out as a family. I spend time with friends and family on a weekly basis in the form of lunch dates, walking together, or just hanging out at the house.
The gym has become less important to me, because I can’t always get there. Between, being a full time Mom, wife & graduate student; entrepreneur and volunteer, fitting in exercise takes imagination and creativity.
I would love to go and spend an hour or two at the gym lifting weights and taking a class; but my schedule doesn’t permit it right now. I often do my strength and flexibility training at home. The workout can last anywhere from 10 minutes through a full hour. Most often, it’s closer to 15 minutes. I can be in the middle of a workout and my son either wakes up from one of his cat naps, or is tired of tummy time and wants to be picked up. I usually try to finish by strapping him to me in the baby bjorn. This works sometimes. Instead of being agitated, I attend to his need and continue the workout later. Most of my workouts include him. We go walking and running in the state park or at the rec. center, on inclement weather days. He’s usually very cooperative because the motion of the jogging stroller puts him to sleep.
There are days when I feel exhausted and just want to stay in bed all day. On these days, I just set goals of doing 100 push-ups, squats, dips and four 1 minute *planks by the end of the day. This is usually broken down into 25 of each exercise and a 1 minute plank when I get up out of bed, before eating lunch, while cooking, and before going to bed.
I gained 35 pounds during my pregnancy and have lost 15 thus far. The weight loss has been slow, but actually not my main focus. I appreciate how my body moves and all the amazing things that it can do. I’m impressed with my increased flexibility, the fact that I can still teach back-to-back fitness classes at the drop of a dime, consistently beat my 12 year old nephew in 1 on 1 basketball, out run my husband when I do something silly to him and he chases me, and feed my little prince from my body.
I’m truly amazed and in love with my body!!! It’s just a matter of time before I get back to competing in 5ks, half marathons and duathlons. Right now, I’m enjoying the fact that my body carried this amazing little being and I’m enjoying him thoroughly!
*The plank is an exercise that actually works the entire body but mainly focuses on strengthening the core (abs and back). It is done by getting in a face down (or prone) position. Draw the belly button into the spine, and lift up onto your elbows and toes. You hold this position for stated amount of time.