‘I feel fit and strong again as a new mum’: Sarah’s Wedding Transformation Week 5

I’m starting to feel fit and strong again.

As a new mum, this is an incredible feeling.

Having a baby, you’re pregnant for nine months and your body goes through all sorts of crazy, mental things.

Then essentially for months and months after you’ve given birth, your body is still repairing itself.

It really takes it out of you in terms of getting back in shape and feeling like yourself again for a good 18 months or two years.

Naturally, as a new mum, your body has changed so much that you’re desperate to get back to feeling like you.

You always think ‘will I ever be able to get back in shape again?’

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There’s so much pressure on new mums to be the perfect parents, career women and in shape right away, all at the same time, and it’s not achievable, especially if you don’t do it right.

It doesn’t help that you see people in the media who are portrayed as ‘look how amazing she looks six weeks after having a baby’. I just don’t think that’s fair as often it’s not realistic.

Seeing these new mums with flat stomachs after four weeks, it makes regular women feel like this is the norm for all women, but it certainly isn’t.

Your body has been through so much. I think it can take at least nine months before you’re ready to get back into anything.

If you’re training properly you can feel yourself getting stronger and fitter and you’ll intuitively know when you’re ready and feel confident to progress.

I’m such an advocate for not rushing that side of things after you’ve had a baby as you don’t want to do any damage.

Even to just be back on screen in Hollyoaks was a big deal for me after having my little boy Stanley.

I’ve been back at work eight months now and in that time with my own training and this online transformation programme at Ultimate Performance, I feel like I’ve made a nice bit of progress and I feel like ‘me’ again.

I feel like I’m now just at the right point where Stanley is 18 months old and I’m now starting to feel strong again and feel more like ‘me’ again gradually.

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How I gained my fitness back after my baby

I’ve had a lot of mums messaging me already asking me how I’ve got back to fitness, what I’m doing now and how I’m doing it.

During pregnancy, I tried to train and stay on top of it because pre- and post-natal fitness is important.

It’s so important to stay active during pregnancy – it has loads of benefits for yourself and the baby.

It also helps you get back in shape more quickly after you’ve had your baby.

I really wanted to and did as much as I could but I was so busy with work and travelling quite a lot.

In the end, from six months onwards I didn’t have time to train.

Post-natal, I gave my body time to recover from the shock.

I got all my clearances from specialists and doctors and them very gently started training again.

There’s always that thing in your mind where you think ‘am I ever going to be able to do that stuff again?’

The first you want to do post-natal is rebuild your pelvic floor as everything goes out of alignment. You can start doing this almost immediately from having your baby.

Nobody tells you how important this is, but I was able to start doing something beneficial before I could properly start exercising again.

There are lots of simple bodyweight movements you can do and getting your heart rate up with super low impact.

You can lift weights and keep your body strong when you’re pregnant – it’s the same postnatal. But you just have to build it up slowly, safely and gradually.

You listen to your own body once you’ve had a baby.

If you’re training properly you can feel yourself getting stronger and fitter and you’ll intuitively know when you’re ready and feel confident to progress.

You get to a point where you can start reintroducing weights and resistance until you can do everything again like before.

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Feeling stronger than ever

It’s nice for me to be able to do everything again that I could do before the baby…and more!

There’s always that thing in your mind where you think ‘am I ever going to be able to do that stuff again?’

Am I going to feel like me again? Will I ever get my figure back?

As a new mum, you do question all of these things at the same time as dealing with a new human child!

You’re adjusting to your body changing, sleepless nights, being a parent, all the hormones in your body.

It’s a massive thing. But I feel now having gone through that personally and now I know that you can get back to where you were and it really doesn’t take that long.

Our bodies are designed to be used and utilised to their full capacity and once you start doing that you feel the benefits that come along with it.

Eighteen months is not long in the grand scheme of things. I’ve not rushed. It is achievable with a child and a full-time job.

I’m so glad I did that because where I’m at now 18 months post-natal, I feel really fit and strong again now five weeks into this training with UP.

People think that training will wear you out – especially with a hectic job and family life.

But it actually has the opposite effect. You train and it gives you more energy. I feel so much better and I’m sleeping better too.

There’s a reason we’re supposed to exercise; all the positives that come with it aren’t just a coincidence.

Our bodies are designed to be used and utilised to their full capacity and once you start doing that you feel the benefits that come along with it.

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Training for my first photoshoot since becoming a mum…

My training in week 5 was a good build up to my photoshoot for a national newspaper.

This was the first shoot I’ve done like this for four or five years, and obviously, it’s the first since having Stanley.

I wanted to get every training session in I could because I wanted to feel as good as I could for the shoot.

It went really well. I felt amazing.

It’s all about how you feel – and I felt confident and I didn’t feel like I had to suck my tummy in or tense my arms.

It helps that the shoot was with a lot of people I know – I’ve worked with the photographer, the makeup artist and the stylist before. It’s people I’ve known a long time.

It helps having a team there to make you look good – you get your hair done and your makeup.

The photographer knows the best angles too – when people see the shoot, you have to take all that into consideration. It’s not like someone’s just taken a picture of me.

But it’s all about how you feel – and I felt confident and I didn’t feel like I had to suck my tummy in or tense my arms.

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I had got to a certain point and I was really pleased and proud of myself.

Then I got excited that I’ve got six or seven weeks of my transformation left.

I think I will be happy with the pictures. I saw a few on the laptop and I was pleased.

I guess it was quite a good indicator for me to see where I am.

I can see my body has changed since I started the online transformation, but like with everyone, I can see things I want to change.

I was talking to Mark and he says we will be able to start tweaking the training and make it more specific if I want a bigger bum or if I want defined arms.

I can literally order it in! It’s crazy that this is possible!

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