A year ago, I got the exciting news that I was pregnant. You might ask yourself, “What woman wouldn’t be excited to get that news while trying to conceive?” My story, however, is about getting a second chance.
I am very fortunate to have had a healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby. But what makes my story unique is that from October 2008 to October 2009, I not only had a baby, but also got married and started an online personal training and nutrition business with my husband, Tim. Jackson Adam is our first child, but my fourth. I had my first three children in my early 20s, and now, in my mid-40s, got the chance of a lifetime to do it again – a little calmer, a little older and a lot wiser.
When my three children, Megan, Chris and Will, found out that they were going to get a baby brother, they were not as surprised as I imagined. I’ve always been the type of person to dive right into things with energy and passion. They’ve seen me run marathons and Ironmans, start up new businesses and get married. So, seeing how happy Tim and I were, they understood this to be the next step, and could not have been more thrilled when Jackson entered the world.
The boys are in and out of the house visiting all the time, and my daughter makes the trip from the West Coast as often as she can. In addition to the support of my children, I’ve had a phenomenal support group of friends and clients, many of whom I taught in fitness classes throughout the pregnancy. I’ve loved seeing how my story has inspired other women to take on new adventures in their own lives. With the right attitude, you can do anything.
Even with the support of my husband, children and friends, my pregnancy was still a challenge. Though I was excited to be expecting, I knew that there were risks involved, as there are in any pregnancy, so I couldn’t help but be a little fearful for the first trimester. I backed off high-impact exercise, and concentrated on keeping myself rested, nourished and healthy. But when I entered my second trimester, I knew Jackson was healthy and I personally was feeling more energized. I was teaching all of my spin, step and gymnastics classes, as well as coaching our women’s track team and doing my own running. The third trimester continued smoothly, and before we knew it Jackson was out – in only four pushes.
Tim and I feel so blessed to have this happy, healthy, giggly boy in our lives who is already growing up so fast. But it wasn’t easy and it continues to take a lot of hard work and patience to navigate our fast-paced lives.
I know my active lifestyle contributed to my success in getting pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and getting back into shape quickly. There is no question that the way I ate and my constant exercise played a huge role in bouncing back as fast as I did. Throughout the pregnancy I made sure to get an hour of exercise in each day, though, as I said, in the first trimester I avoided running and other high-impact exercises. I was also very careful with my diet and didn’t use pregnancy as an excuse to fill up on junk food. Instead, I followed the nutrition plan of our own company, Athlete’s Training Systems, which, along with cardio, strength training and yoga, was the key to only gaining 25 pounds and having no swelling. I can honestly say I came into this pregnancy physically fit and emotionally strong, and worked to maintain this strength throughout the nine months.
As all moms know, the challenges are really just beginning the day your baby is born. Often one of the toughest obstacles is losing the baby weight. Though I was careful to keep my weight gain to a minimum, it still took hard work to get my body back into pre-pregnancy shape. My ATS nutrition plan has helped by allowing me to follow my total calories based on my exercise levels and body needs.
Both my biggest challenge and biggest reward today is balancing time with my family, coaching clients, working on the business and doing things for myself. Yet, now in my 40s, I’m more laid back and I don’t sweat the small stuff. I’ve learned a lot through the years, and plan to take a different approach to parenting this time around. I’m more confident, more patient, but also probably a little firmer. For example, Jackson was already sleeping through the night at 4 months. Tim and I realized that it’s OK for babies to cry, and often he lulled himself back to sleep. As Jackson grows up, I intend to stick to us all eating the same meals. Whereas I used to bend over backward to accommodate three very different kids’ tastes, I hope to stand firm with Jackson, and I think he’ll be better off for it.
We also plan to be cautious when it comes to competitive sports participation. We’ve seen families become centered entirely on their children’s sports, at the expense of other activities. As athletes ourselves, we do hope that Jackson will develop a passion for one or more sports, but it has to be his choice and it won’t be a replacement for other family-time activities. Kids need to be kids.
I have had the opportunity to share with other women that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and realize that there are no limits. You don’t have to believe that you cannot lose the weight, cannot find time to exercise or cannot have another child. It’s all about the power of positive belief, and only you have control over your mindset. All of life’s challenges and goals require hard work and a positive outlook to achieve. However, with consistent behavior and perseverance, you can get there. My goal is being the best mother I can be – the second time around.
Getting back into shape
My Top 5 pieces of advice for new moms trying to get into shape:
1. Make sure you are eating enough for the two of you if you are nursing.
2. Take a walk/jog every day with the baby for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
3. As hard as it is, take naps when your infant sleeps – you’ll be less likely to skip out on a workout if you’re rested.
4. Try to get help from your partner or other caregiver so that you can take time for yourself to exercise.
5. Go out on date nights. Mom and Dad need to connect, too!
Kim DeMado lifts her 5-month-old son Jackson in the air while working out at the Bay Club in Portland. DeMado is a trainer at the fitness club and has been staying fit after becoming a mother.Staff photo by Brandon McKenneyKim DeMado often brings 5-month-old son Jackson to work with her at the Bay Club in Portland. Jackson is her fourth child – her first three are now in their 20s.