February 16, 2015

Swimsuit Season for the Post-Baby Body

About a week ago, I was reading Jane’s post on getting our bikini bodies ready for this upcoming summer. I hate to admit it, but she’s right: now’s the time. It seems a cruel joke that as the snow falls outside and our bodies beg for extra winter fat insulation, it’s time to start getting the fitness routine together. Losing that comfort cushioning is painful from all angles, and it’s not helped by the below-zero weather outside.

Being that this blog focuses on Princess Charlene, there are two sides of this to consider: everyone wants to know her routine so we can look as amazing as she does, but we also must remember that she is a new mom, dealing with the new mom consequences of working with a different body.

We all know that Charlene has an enviably trim physique:

Dayum. How many of us would love to get away with wearing something that skin-tight, while making it pass as elegant all at the same time? Answer: ALL of us. One has to wonder how she got to this body, especially when she looked like this during her full-time swimming days:

Don’t get me wrong – she looked amazing then, too. But different, am I right? In an interview with Vogue a few years back, she attested to the fact that she changed up her exercise routine once she saw that she was going to be in the media. Her main change was to give up the weight training in favor of more lengthening, toning exercises. The first things that come to my mind here, though she never actually says it expressly, are Pilates and yoga. The miracle combo, especially if swimming is added on (which, undoubtedly, it is for Charlene).

Now for the second side of this story. Charlene just did this:

Not just one baby. Two. Bless her heart.

The pressure and difficulty that new moms face to shed the baby weight is staggering, as if it’s supposed to be healthy – or even possible – for those pounds to melt away right after the baby pops out. At my own 6-week postpartum doctor’s appointment, I asked if I should be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by that point (I was looking like a Dr. Seuss character, mind you). The midwife looked at me in shock and said, “I’d be very concerned about your health if you were.” There’s a constant pressure for new moms, and Charlene has the unfortunate position of being in the spotlight, which must increase that pressure exponentially. But looking at pics from the engagements she’s undertaken since the birth, we’re all left scratching our heads: how did she do it?

It seems that Charlene may have employed some good, old-fashioned common sense to her postpartum experience, because she seems to have trimmed down pretty quickly, and more importantly, she looks radiantly healthy. For those out there who are itching to lose some baby weight in a healthy way, a few no-brainers are breastfeeding (which burns through calories like fire through paper), proper food (read: whole, real foods), and doctor-approved light exercise (like yoga, Pilates, walking, swimming).

None of us are quite sure how Charlene applies any of the above, especially nursing, which is absolutely nobody’s business except hers, the babies’, and maybe Albert’s, since he’d be on bottle duty. As for food, it has been reported that Charlene is a vegetarian, which is a great segue into eating a variety of healthy, real, wholesome foods (but don’t be a moron and replace meat with sugars or cheese, ok?). The exercise issue, though, leaves me a bit cautious – Charlene had a c-section, and I have zero experience with what that means in terms of postpartum exercise. My guess would be yes to all of the exercises, but only once the incision has completely healed and the doctor has given the green light, at least 6 weeks after delivery. Once the scar has healed, I’d assume swimming would be ideal for its low impact on the body. For Charlene, at least, this would be amazing for body, mind, and spirit.

Luckily for the rest of us, we’re not in the spotlight and can thus take inspiration from Charlene, without having to worry about cameras watching our every move. For me? I’m pasting that photo of Charlene in the grey dress up on my fridge. Gotta have a goal, right? Good luck to all of us out there who are unrolling our yoga mats in an attempt to un-clench our joints and tone up for summer! (Now if it would just stop snowing, I might actually believe summer is coming…)

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