Lauren's Postpartum Journey

Hello! My name is Lauren Jones, I'm a twenty-four-year-old mama of two girls, Caroline and Tinsley, a wife to a U.S. Airman and we are stationed in Oklahoma. We’ve adjusted to life with two little ones, but I’m still on a journey to be a better me. My girls are two and a half and ten months and let’s be honest my body was not the same after having them. I recently found my love for fitness after the birth of our second beautiful daughter and I am now on a journey to get the body I want and love.

I've always liked exercising. I was a competitive cheerleader throughout middle school and high school, but I lost track of my fitness around my senior year of high school. When I went to college and I only worked out occasionally and the freshman fifteen definitely got the best of me! I’ve never been "fat” and I have a very petite build, so whenever I gain weight you can for sure tell! Recently my mom started doing bikini fitness competitions. She is in her upper forties and has three grandchildren and watching her is what really motivated me to take a more active role in improving my fitness. I realized I could do anything I put my mind to if she could accomplish that!

Throughout my pregnancy, I watched online or tried to attend her competitions. All I could think about was how much I couldn't wait to give birth so that I could change my body to look like hers. I kept telling myself how I was really going to make an effort, for once in my life, to transform into the very best version of myself. Someone I could be proud of! With my first daughter, the weight just fell right off and I was astounded how fast I could fit back into my pre-pregnancy pants and shorts. However, with my second I found myself crying after about a month that my body hadn't changed back to how it was before.

I am a stay at home mom and transitioning from one to two kids was pretty difficult for me. On social media I made it seem so easy, but in reality, I was being held by my husband crying because I felt like a horrible mother. At exactly six weeks after giving birth to Tinsley, (my youngest), I found a gym and got a membership. Not only had I just given birth, and was weighed down by emotions, but I felt this immense pressure to change my body almost overnight, which is highly unrealistic. At the time, I knew next to nothing about exercise routines or fitness plans, and I hadn't stepped foot in a gym in probably three or four years. I kept to what I knew, did a few machines, some cardio, and left. After a few weeks of doing that I reached out on our military wives page and asked if anyone was looking for a gym or accountability partner. Luckily, for me, many people reached back out and I found the best gym partner and friend. My mom also visited and went to the gym with me. She showed me how to use every machine and the muscles each machine worked out. At the beginning of my journey I was having to get my husband to watch my kids while I went to the gym. I’d always wait until one of them or both were sleeping and then I’d rush off for an hour at the gym. Once my youngest was old enough I started taking them to the gym daycare. I recently finished the 75Hard Challenge by Andy Friscella, and within that challenge, you have to work out twice a day. I was about 3 days in, and then COVID-19 hit and all of the progress I made from then on out was by myself in my garage, or in my backyard. It wasn’t easy doing it with two children, but I made it work because I prioritized myself instead of anything else. I worked out instead of having alone time, I stayed up late or woke up early. There is always time, you just have to make your health and fitness priority.

For anyone reading this, if you're in my position where you feel pressure to change or you feel like it’s impossible, it isn't! You can do it! The biggest thing you can do is change your diet and incorporate basic workouts. Cardio will be your best friend! It took me almost an entire year to get back to where I am now. And in the beginning, yes, I was doing it for the body image. But it turned into so much more than that. I went to the gym or went for a run for my health and well-being, not only physically, but mentally. Whenever I skipped a day at the gym, or in my garage, it showed in my mood.

I hope you've taken something positive from this blog post today. I can't wait to bring you guys tips and workouts from here on out!

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