5 Ways to Look Like Beyoncé After Baby (Guest Post)

Hey y'all! Happy Thursday! I hope your week has gone smoothly so far! Mine has been a bit hectic since I started my new job. I'm a creature of habit so I'm glad to be finding a schedule that works for me. 

I'm super excited to share a guest post from my friend and fellow fitness fanatic, Desiree! She's a Mom, a Contemporary Marketing Representative for Anhauser-Busch, she became NASM certified in 2008, she is an aspiring NPC competitor, she blogs over at the Hot Pink Kangaroo and she some how finds the time to stay in absolutely amazing shape. She's basically super woman. 



Her instagram is filled with tons of motivating and inspirational photos and I was absolutely blown away by her postpartum pictures. She is the epitome of a Super Mom and I was thrilled when she agreed to do a guest post for The Fit Chocoholic. Enjoy!

5 WAYS TO LOOK LIKE BEYONCÉ AFTER BABY

The tallest mental mountain many of us will ever climb is losing our baby weight. When you are pregnant, you can feel so out of sorts and so defeated already because of how your body has changed. Many women get to this point of defeat and then they just give up. They think this is how it is, they are physically changed forever and they go on with life without complete physical happiness. If this sounds like you, let this be a physical and mental guide up and over this mental mountain. Being Beyoncé-happy in your own skin starts in your head, so here are 5 ways to get you there. 

1) Ask For Help And Cut Out Excuses

Yes, Beyoncé has a gazillion dollars to pay for a personal chef and a personal trainer. Here's the gritty: Beyoncé's money has nothing to do with YOU and your work ethic and your results. You need babysitters, first up, so ask your friends and family for help. Schedule them daily or weekly to watch the baby while you take an hour for yourself. Whether you work out in a gym, at home, or in the African jungle, you will need 60 minutes to workout and refresh your mind. 

Build your babysitting army NOW. If you are a gym-goer and are fortunate to have a kids club or daycare at your gym, take your baby with you. I know it can be hard at first to leave your baby in the care of someone other than family. It was extremely hard for me and I waited until my son was 8 months old before I took him. He was aware enough at that age to realize I was leaving, and I had a tough time getting him used to the kids club. Take it from me- it's best to take your baby when he's very little so he can become use to the faces of the childcare staff. If you can only stand to leave him for 20 minutes at first, that's fine! Start somewhere. 


If you can't afford a gym membership, take a look at your spending. What can you cut out? Do you have a shoe fetish you can tame? Can you sacrifice a nail appointment and a few Starbucks runs? (Disclaimer: I would never tell a new mom to cut out coffee!! I'm just saying you can make your own at home). Find ways to cut costs and put that money towards your physical goals. 

Another option is home workout DVD's. Beachbody has a whole library of juicy workout programs. YouTube is filled with FREE videos. Jaime Eason has post-natal videos you can purchase online and Jillian Michaels has several videos available at Target. There are many avenues you can explore for home workouts. 

You will also want to ask your friends and family to prepare food for your family that you can freeze until you're ready to eat them. Stock your freezer full of nutritious, yummy casseroles and other dishes that you can bake or warm-up in a hurry. When you run out of frozen meals, ask for more. You will be tired and you will be busy. 

Ask for help, cut out your excuses. 

2) Focus On Core Work

The abdomen muscles are stretched to the max during pregnancy, and commonly that leaves women with Diastasis Recti, which is an actual separation of the abdominal muscles. While there are cases when surgery is needed to completely repair the separation, most often, it can be repaired by building the core muscles with abdominal exercises, and with Pilates and Yoga. Yoga is an "Om-mazing" way to de-stress and relax, and get a badass workout. Please, Please! Try a yoga class if you haven't before.



Simple core movements that are a great starting point are planks and side planks. Planks are simple, you get into push-up position, pull your belly button into your spine, and "flex" your abs to fire up your core. 


For a side plank, simply rotate your body weight onto your right arm and then onto your left. Hold for as long as you can, and build your time.  


To modify, you can do all these movements on your elbows.



Another great exercise is the V-Sit. Sit on your bottom with your knees to your chest and lean back slightly, releasing your knees, so that your upper body and upper thighs form a "V". Flex those abs again, pulling your belly button to your spine and hold as long as you can. Straighten your legs when that gets too easy. 

Along with core work, the upper back and shoulders must have special attention. Pregnancy can round the back and curve the shoulders forward, leading to muscle spasm and back/spinal pain. Focus on strengthening your back muscles and stretch your neck and shoulders every day. For this, Pilates and Yoga is also the ticket.

3) Change Your View of "Cardio"

Cardio is no longer the longest 45 minutes you've ever lived and suffered on a treadmill. There's not a new mom on the planet who has the time and the energy for that. Cardio is now High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. Without all the science-y talk about heart rate, HIIT will keep your heart rate in that "fat burning zone" where all the magic happens. You'll be done with cardio in 10-20 minutes and you won't know what hit you. Actually, nothing will hit you because you'll be flying. Think Bruce Jenner in the Decathlon, back when he was still Bruce Jenner. HIIT is sprints or intervals for short bouts, with a longer rest period in between. 

Have a 5 minute warm up, then SPRINT for 20-30 seconds. Walk a minute, or two, and then SPRINT again. Repeat until you've reached 10 minutes. Build your time until you can do this for 20 minutes, and then maybe 30 minutes. 

If you're doing your HIIT on a treadmill bump up your incline during your sprints. Build your incline, build the length of your sprints. Alternate between walking "hills" and sprinting. Get creative, and get tough. If you like running outside, find hills to sprint up. Find a track to run your sprints. Run the stairs at a high school or college football field nearby. 

If you don't like running, you can do "sprints" and "hills" on an elliptical. You can do "sprints" on a Stair Climber. Look up Bootcamps in your area, swim laps; find what you like, what you'll stick to. Push your limits every single day.

4) Lift Weights

Women tend to shy away from weights, so if you're still on that treadmill and you still don't fit in your pre-baby jeans, it's because lifting weights is the only thing that will change your body composition. You will lose weight if you run on a treadmill all day. But you will be a soft, smaller version of yourself. You're not trying to be rock-hard-bodybuilder-man-woman here, and you won't get that way unless you pump yourself full of testosterone. For your upper and lower body, lift weights that are heavy enough to do 10-15 reps of each exercise. If you can do more than 15 reps, switch to a heavier weight. You will begin to get "tone" in your muscle and your body SHAPE will change. Lift slow and steady, and you'll be in those pre-baby jeans quicker than Beyoncé can sing "Single Ladies".


5) Eat Healthy, Clean, Nutritious Food that Benefits You

There is a time and a place for juicy cheeseburgers and extra-whipped icing on a red velvet cupcake. But when you eat that kind of food every day, you will feel sluggish, which is the opposite of how you want to feel, right? Pick which day you'd like to have an Indulgence Meal. Go ahead and have TWO a week. But feed yourself properly because you'll need the energy and the stamina to keep up with your busy life and preserve your beautiful muscles. 

Eat whole foods from the earth, all kinds of crispy veggies and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats like avocados and nuts. Shop on the outside isles of the grocery stores: the produce section, the meat department and the dairy section. Limit your boxed treats, but remember you CAN have them. You're not on restriction here. You're a grown woman who can choose to eat "bad" or "good". You CHOOSE what to eat, but choose wisely. Work on changing your way of thinking from "I can't have that cookie" to "I CAN have that cookie, but I won't eat it TODAY". Use your mind to create willpower. Nothing is "off limits". You're not "on a diet". The word "diet" should only mean to you "the compilation of all the foods that you eat". Your healthy diet will sustain your healthy lifestyle. All the rest can quite literally be the icing on the cake. 

Don't ever beat yourself up if you slip, or get off track. That's part of the mental mountain. You will have days or even weeks, ESPECIALLY with a new baby, when you have to eat what's fast and the gym is the last thing on your mind. You will WIN mentally when you allow yourself to have freedom from regret and guilt. Push and continue to look ahead and at the big picture every day, your happiness and your confidence in your own skin will come when you are consistent. 


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