The new mom admits that prioritizing fitness has been hard, but there are lessons she hopes her daughter learns about balance.
When trainer and fitness influencer Emily Skye first had her daughter, Mia, nearly seven months ago, she had a vision for how her postpartum fitness would look. But as most new parents find out, even the best-laid plans don't last long. "Honestly, I thought I might come back a bit faster [than the norm]," she tells Shape. "I've been training for so many years, and I had really strong abs before. I thought once my baby was out, my abs would go back!" (And truth be told, many trainers and docs are encouraging more women to work out to "prepare" for pregnancy—and to help them "bounce back" faster.)
As her loyal followers (all 2.4 million of them) know, things didn't go quite as she expected. But that's one of the great things about Skye—she didn't hide it or pretend things were perfect when they weren't.
What you don’t see in the left pic is my cellulite & loose/stretched skin. So I zoomed in to show you in high definition! In certain lighting and positions you can see them but most of the time you can’t. The more you look for these so called “flaws” in yourself or others the more you’ll find! My advice is to stop looking for them! I’ve noticed a fair amount of comments from women saying things like “you didn’t get any loose skin or stretch marks from being pregnant” - I did, but they’re just not obvious unless I take a close up pic like this! I couldn’t care less if my tummy stays like this forever - I’m proud of my body and love it for everything it does, ESPECIALLY for growing my little Mia. Some stretch marks, loose skin, or cellulite don’t make me love my body any less - quite the opposite actually. . Striving for mental and physical health and being the best I can is my priority and I hope it’s your priority too. . Remember, it’s not about who has it worse or who has it “easy” - those arguments will never help you, in fact they usually become excuses that prevent you from working towards the things you really want in life. Don’t give up on yourself before you even try! Dont compare your journey, body, life etc. to anyone else’s - focus on your own journey and be proud of everything you achieve. You are capable and you are worthy. . . 6.5 months postpartum . .
"I've always been real with my posts," she says. "But when I found out I was pregnant it was my goal to not just talk about the positive things." As a result, she's seen huge responses on her posts that show the realities of working out after having a baby—like the fact that sometimes the only time she can squeeze in a workout is at midnight. Or, you know, stretched-out skin.
"I initially was really scared about putting up things like that," she says of the stretched-skin photo she recently shared. "I thought people were going to judge me. But now I love doing it. The reaction is 99 percent positive, if not more than that. I have women—and men!—saying how much they love the realness. I'm happy in my decision to share it; it makes me feel good that other people are getting something positive out of it."
5 months postpartum progress! . It was hard to notice changes until I looked back to where I started. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself because I have worked really hard but I’ve been really balanced too. I’m not strict, still enjoy life (and treats) and I don’t spend much time away from Mia. The hardest part was the start when I first got the all clear to begin exercising at 6 weeks PP. I felt so slow & sluggish but I worked on it by doing my FIT Program about 5 times a week at midnight or so (after Mia finally went to sleep). I’m becoming fitter and stronger every day but I still have to be really conscious of holding my core tight when standing and walking around. It just wants to come “out” all the time. It was pretty big when I was full term so it’s no wonder it takes time to return back to normal. I just have to keep working on training my muscles to hold everything tight, with good posture and get my core strong again. - I’m getting there one day at a time! . Question for all the mums out there: How long did it take for your tummy to stop wanting to push/hang out? I know everyone is different but I’m just curious. . .
That includes her daughter Mia, whom Skye hopes to inspire with her serious dedication to fitness and resilience. "Before I had her, I was [working out] not only for me but to inspire other people to live an active style. That's even more important now," she says. "I'm trying to teach Mia the right things. I really try to show myself love and acceptance, even if I'm not happy with my body at the time."
She explains that she's learned that having a daughter means modeling a healthy body image and not making exercise seem like punishment. (In fact, sometimes Mia tags along with Skye to the gym so Skye can show her firsthand.) What she wants Mia to take away? "I love myself, and I train because I love myself," she says. (Related: Mommy-and-Me Workout Classes That Keep Your Fitness the Center of Attention)
Happy Monday/Tuesday everyone! I’ve been quiet on here because I’ve been really sick with a tummy bug but I’m on the mend now and I’m so excited to get back into my FIT Program. Being bed ridden has really made me appreciate my health (when I am healthy haha!) . I had to do a photoshoot today and while it was the last thing I felt like doing it got me out of bed and into the afternoon sun with @BabyMiaElise and it was just what I needed. . I try take something positive from every situation, even the not so pleasant ones and being sick has reminded me not to take my health for granted and to make the most of it. Super fit and healthy Em is coming soon! Who’s ready to become their fittest and healthiest with me? . . Trial my FIT Program for 7 days for FREE Link in my profile! . . #5MonthsPostpartum
That attitude has proven to be a big driver on days when she, like any new parent, is low on sleep and motivation. "I don't feel like working out most of the time," she admits. "I try to go into robot mode—I just do it, I don't think about it too much. I know that if I do it, I won't regret it," she says. "Having said that, I don't push myself too much. I sat around a lot when I first had Mia and I knew if I got out for even just a little walk I'd feel better—it's for my mind, mainly." (Related: This Mom Has a Message for People Who Shame Her for Working Out)
All in all, Skye seems to really get that self-care isn't just about finding time to exercise. "Sometimes I do choose sleep!" she says with a laugh. "I make a choice each day on how I feel. I know if I work out, I'm better able to deal with life and everything else—but if Mia isn't going to sleep on her own, I need to choose sleep."
When you’ve got kids, the juggle is real—but we’ve got your workout covered with the fresh tips and fitspo you need to reduce stress and feel your best.