Hey there, friends! I’m officially 4.5 months postpartum after having baby #3 and I’m excited to share that I just finished the Glowbody PT 12 week post pregnancy plan! (I was so excited that I did a little leprechaun heel click and this photo was taken as I was landing.) I mentioned that I was doing it in this blog post (6 weeks postpartum update) and am so proud that I stuck with it despite a bad case of mastitis during phase 2, hand foot and mouth disease for the whole family during phase 2, moving across the world during a pandemic at the beginning of phase 3, and juggling 3 kids ages 4 during all of it. It wasn’t an easy plan by any means but it was incredibly rewarding to finish each 10-30 minute workout. I know that when I take care of myself I’m a better mom and human, and I’m so thankful that Ashley has created such an incredible plan that focuses on making your stronger, strengthening your pelvic floor, drawing your abs back in after they’ve been stretched, and making you a better version of yourself both mentally and physically. She takes the guesswork out of post pregnancy recovery and I liked being told what to do 4 days a week and just having to press play to get started. (Use code WHIMSY10 for $10 off an of the Glowbody PT plans if you’re interested in trying them for yourself.)
My Results and Review of the GlowBody PT 12 Week Post Pregnancy Plan
(Please note that every body is different and my numbers may seem high or low compared to you. And that’s ok! We are all built differently with different challenges and strengths, which is a good thing. I have a very athletic (as well as military) background and when I treat my body well it is mostly lean muscle. I spent over a decade yoyo-ing with disordered eating where I nitpicked and tracked every minute I exercised and calorie I consumed. My weight and body image consumed me and I was incredibly unhappy. Once I finally started focusing on physical performance, strength, and exercising for my mental wellbeing (running got me through the grief of losing my first husband in combat in Afghanistan in 2011), as well as treating food as fuel rather than the enemy (or the reward) things kind of fell into place. If you’d like to read more about my approach to eating and exercise (“everything in moderation” is my mantra) then you might be interested in reading this blog post on my health and fitness journey, or this blog post on how my mom set a healthy example. I also shared my experience on the Why Should I? podcast, and I talked about how stopping obsessing over diet and exercise lead to a much happier life. You can find that episode here.)
Anyway, this purpose of this post is to share my recent experience with a fantastic 12 week post pregnancy workout plan that I just completed! I feel so strong and empowered after completing the plan so wanted to share a full review with y’all today.
Here I am prior to getting pregnant with my third child:
Here I am right before giving birth:
And here I am 3 days postpartum with sweet baby Tate:
3 very different shapes but I’m completely happy in all three photos. It’s all just part of the process when it comes to having babies. I tend to gain a lot of weight when I’m pregnant despite working out and eating relatively well, so while the postpartum recovery can seem a little bit daunting at times I try to trust the process, not rush it, and make sure to give myself a whole lot of grace after having a baby. That doesn’t mean I’m complacent though, and that’s where the Glowbody PT post pregnancy plan comes in!
Here are the stats:
- I gave birth to 3 children in 4 years and 1 month. My first was a c-section and my second two were VBACs. I lost all the weight (and then some) after my first 2 children by mostly running (I ran a marathon a year after each of them). It normally takes me about 7 months to feel totally back to normal. Breastfeeding also takes the weight off of me. I nursed Jack for 13 months, Caroline for 17 months and I’m currently nursing Tate.
- weight pre-pregnancy: 127 pounds or so (I had trained for and run a marathon 3 months earlier so was very lean and built for that kind of thing). I had also just weaned Caroline the month before getting pregnant. I’m 5’5″ and my happy weight after kids is between 125-130 pounds. (Oddly enough, I weigh less after kids than I did before kids.) I don’t fixate on numbers and do not diet (I prefer to eat intuitively) and I know that my clothes fit how I like them to and I’m able to run and perform physically the way I like to when I’m in that range.
- weight when I gave birth: 178 pounds (~51 pound weight gain)
- weight when I started the Glowbody PT 12 Week Post Pregnancy Plan at 6 weeks postpartum: 151 pounds
- weight after completing the plan at 20 weeks postpartum (it took me 14 weeks to finish because of a week off for mastitis and a week off for our recent move): 134.6 pounds (16.4 pounds lost while doing the plan)
- while doing the plan I also tried to run 3-5 miles a week (Normally on the lower end. This is nothing compared to what I was running after I had my first two children. It’s been tougher getting back into it this time around.)
Before and after photos (taken at 5 weeks postpartum and 20 weeks postpartum):
So What Exactly is Glowbody PT?
Glowbody PT is an online resource that I’ve been using for over 2 years now. It’s run by Ashley Keller, who is a fellow West Point grad. She was actually my late husband’s Plebe (freshman) when we were Yearlings (sophomores), which basically means he was her first line supervisor in the cadet chain of command. I remember being so impressed by her because she was on the triathlon team and was such a powerhouse and stellar cadet. She’s a world class triathlete and doesn’t focus on being skinny…she helps you get strong and toned and able to perform as an athlete…unlike many trainers that seem to be all about just being skinny for the sake of being skinny. I feel like such an athlete after finishing Ashley’s workouts, and that’s because she’s a true athlete herself and trains you to perform no matter what your workout goals are. (But don’t be intimidated by this! She’s as real as they come and is trained to meet you at whatever level you’re starting at.) Ashley has a YouTube channel where she shares free workout videos, and the first workout plan I did of hers was the free 21 day 8 minute workout challenge. (I blogged about that plan and those results two years ago.) The plan is clickable, meaning you just click the workout listed on the schedule and the YouTube video pops up. I fell in love with how quick yet effective (and simple!) the workouts were and was very happy with how it helped me get stronger and a firm everything up. When I got pregnant with my third child a year later I followed her free Prenatal workout schedule. I appreciated that the videos were challenging and she didn’t baby you despite being pregnant. I didn’t follow it exactly (like I have with the post pregnancy plan) but I liked having a plan to use and tried to do 2 of the workouts a week while I was pregnant. Ashley is an incredibly knowledgeable personal trainer (and has had 3 children in about 4 years too) and her specialty is pregnancy and post pregnancy fitness. I love her videos so much and since I always enjoy share what I love here on the blog and on Instagram it’s a natural fit for me to share Glowbody PT with you too! (This isn’t sponsored though, I’m just a big fan girl, can you tell?)
What is the 12 Week Post Pregnancy Plan?
After I gave birth to Tate (my third child), Ashley generously gifted me the 12 week post pregnancy plan (it costs $99) since my sharing has helped her grow her business. (She also gave me a discount code to share with y’all, so feel free to use code WHIMSY10 if you decide to purchase it for yourself. You’ll save $10!) I started the plan at 6 weeks postpartum and my appreciation for Glowbody PT has continued to grow. The plan comes with a booklet that breaks down the workouts if you don’t want to watch the video, it has helpful food and breastfeeding information, and you also get to join her post pregnancy plan facebook group which is full of close to 2,000 women who have done or are currently doing the plan. It’s a wonderful community where we celebrate each others’ successes and also are able and share struggles too. It’s a nice little resource to have, especially if you’re the kind of person that needs some external motivation to stick with a fitness plan!
The plan really focuses on strengthening your pelvic floor, closing an ab gap if you have one (diastasis recti), and flattening and strengthening you “mummy tummy” by reminding your core how it’s supposed to function. Kegels are worked into most of the workouts and my pelvic floor now has no issues at all! It’s safe for vaginal and c-section deliveries.
There are 3 phases (each are 4 weeks long) and you workout 4 times a week. The first phase aims to wake up your metabolism, the second phase focuses on leaning out and losing excess fat, and the third phase is for toning up. The videos range from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, so they’re relatively easy to fit into your day.
What Equipment is Required for the Workouts?
The workouts are designed to be done at home, though the schedule worked out so that for the first 8 weeks I did the Tuesday and Thursday workouts at the gym while Caroline was at school at the YMCA and Tate was in the child watch there too. Once COVID-19 changed things (we also simultaneously completed our Hawaii to South Carolina move), I completed the final 4 weeks all at home. All you need are some dumbbells (I only have 5 pound weights but think it would be good to have some 7.5 or 8 pound weights as well), a yoga mat, a kettlebell (10 or 15 pounds, or a dumbbell of that weight), and a stability ball (I don’t own own and just make due without one and modify the exercise a little bit). And good sneakers, of course!
Is this plan generally for people who were working out regularly before getting pregnant?
The plan starts off pretty slowly and I’d say anyone could do it whether or not you were active before or during your pregnancy. She gives you ways to make the workouts more or less challenging, so it’s easily adaptable for whatever your fitness level is.
“What if I’m 6 months/1 year/2 years/__ years postpartum? Can I still do the plan?”
I’ve gotten this question so much, and I’d say that if you have diastasis recti, pelvic floor issues, or haven’t gotten into working out since having children then you can certainly benefit from the plan! If you don’t have these issues or have already been strength training then I’d move on to the free 21 day 8 minute workout challenge.
So what’s next?
Now that I’ve finished the post pregnancy plan I’m taking 2 weeks off to focus on running. I need a little more cardio in my life because my lower belly is giving me trouble and I like to keep my body guessing. My goal is to run 15 miles a week for the next 2 weeks. I just don’t feel like myself running-wise and really want to get back to where I can easily run 7-10 miles comfortably at a time if I want to. We’re moving to northern Virginia in a couple of weeks and I remember how brutal the hills can be in that area, so I want to be able to do them without getting too winded. I’m so excited to run in DC again! After that I plan on completing the free 21 day 8 minute workout challenge (a 21 day plan where you do 1-3 8 minute workout videos on the days you exercise). After that I’ll probably take another running focused break and then I’d like to try the 10 minute plan, which is Ashley’s newest workout plan. I’m excited to keep getting stronger and progressing!
I ran a marathon around the one year postpartum mark after having both Jack and Caroline because I liked that challenge it presented me with. (Though it was tough to juggle with breastfeeding and young kiddos at home.) I’d love to do that again but think I may train for and run a half marathon instead. I’d love to get a new PR at that distance so maybe I’ll go for that some time in the winter or next spring!
I’ll be hosting a fun giveaway with Ashley on Instagram today (May 7th), so be sure to check today’s post for details! She’s also hosting a Mother’s Day sale that starts on Friday.
I hope this was helpful! Thanks so much for taking the time to read 🙂