You’ve endured a long nine months, full of awkward chocolate and bacon cravings immediately following a few months of morning, noon and nighttime sickness. And now, the end result is perfect – a beautiful baby that is yours, all yours. So, what will you do with that postpartum body of yours, and how will you get back to feeling like you – with glowing skin, muscle memory and a core to kill?

By following this guide of course, and realizing that your body isn’t just something you’ll get back, but one that has the potential to be the best, strongest and most empowered body ever!

A Real Fitness Lifestyle for Real Women

Forget about Beyoncé, J.Lo or Halle Berry, and especially forget about Victoria Secret models Heidi Klum and Gisele Bundchen, who seemingly lost every pound of maternity weight loss within six weeks’ time to be bikini ready for the catwalk. (Six weeks is actually the time you should rest your body and eat healthfully for you and your baby, not the time to kill yourself by limiting yourself to 500 calories a day and pushing your body past all limits.)

Take it One Walk at a Time

Everyone needs exercise. It doesn’t just do a body good, but after having a baby and experiencing a myriad of emotions you weren’t at all expecting, extreme fatigue and going through extreme physical discomfort from the birth experience, your body needs to recuperate slowly.

Exercise with ease, and try to walk each day. If you’ve had a C-section, this is especially important because your body needs to regain the strength it lost during delivery and post-surgery. Your muscles need to get a workout just as much as your mind needs a release from the stress of caring for your newborn, so walk.

Walk down the street and back again. Walk up a hill, or on flat terrain while your mother-in-law watches your newborn. Walk anywhere for as long as you feel comfortable and take it one step at a time – literally and figuratively, and enjoy each step of the way to a better you.

Eat Like a Cavewoman

Your great-great-great (you get the idea) grandmother didn’t have highly processed sugar cookies at her local grocery store to scarf down, nor did she have a fast food restaurant to manipulate her food cravings into submission.

What those cave woman ancestors of yours did have was poultry, berries, vegetables, and fruits – minus those pesky pesticides and artificial preservatives that prevent you from feeling and looking your best. Eat like you mean getting your body back by incorporating the main food groups, and adding protein with every meal, fiber throughout and complex carbs like it’s no one’s business. Eat like a cavewoman, and you’ll bounce back to your pre-pregnancy weight in no time.

Incorporate Pilates into Your Postpartum Exercise Plan

There’s nothing like getting your old body back in a fun and fearless way. Why not bring Pilates into your life so that you can keep up with your demanding feeding schedule, decrease those hormonal mood swings and burn fat off of your mid-section faster?

Pilates doesn’t just offer a unique way to ease back into exercise, but it also gives you the extra jolt you need to improve your posture, and allows your body to regain the muscular strength it lost while pregnant. Just go easy, and don’t push yourself too hard until you have permission from your doctor to increase intensity.

Something to Remember…

Enjoy the time you have with your newborn and each step of the way as you reclaim your body back. By easing into a fitness and workout routine, you can become stronger, wiser and look better than ever before.

Forget the pregnancy glow.  The true glow will come when you devote time to yourself slowly and day by day in order to take care of your body and mind. As you do, you’ll not just get your strength back, and decrease belly fat. You’ll also become a better mama for it!