pregnancy

Emily Skye thought she'd have a postpartum 'bounce back body'. It hasn't panned out that way.

As much as we wish it wasn’t, baby weight is still a source of stress and angst for many pregnant women.

There’s stress in gaining it and then being faced with the often overwhelming pressure – internal or external – to lose it again.

And that’s even if you’re not in the public eye, let alone someone who has made their living inspiring people to get fit and healthy.

Gold Coast trainer Emily Skye Anderson has built a fitness empire, with millions of women following her FIT programs and Instagram and Facebook pages, as she shares workout tips alongside photos of her fit, toned body. She’s become so successful, she this year debuted the Financial Review Young Rich list with an estimated wealth of $32 million.

So when she became pregnant with her first child, she had certain aspirations. A part of her hoped she might be the kind of woman who gains little during pregnancy and seems to effortlessly “bounce back” after giving birth.

I just weighed myself out of curiosity! ???? – I’ve gained 21kg!!! ⚖️???? . My pregnancy hasn’t really gone to plan as far as my fitness is concerned. – I thought I’d be able to keep up with my exercise until the end of my pregnancy but that did NOT happen haha! ???????? Due to a long term back problem (I’ve spoken about before) & sciatica I haven’t been able to exercise for the past 2 months as I was just too uncomfortable & it was starting to make my back & sciatica worse. I made the choice to listen to my body & stop. It’s only short term inactivity & there’s always time to get my fitness back later. . I really admire other pregnant ladies who exercise throughout their pregnancy, they’re awesome & I am slightly envious haha! ???? But for me it just hasn’t been possible & it doesn’t worry me at all! . I get messages from ladies everyday upset about the weight & cellulite they’ve gained while pregnant & I just want you ladies to know that gaining weight while pregnant is NORMAL – some people only gain a little and some gain a lot but it’s all “normal” – as long as your Doc doesn’t have any concerns of course! ???? . I am so blessed to be able to carry my little girl & I’m so excited to meet her within the next few weeks! Nothing can take away the happiness I have right now & I’m healthy & so is my baby girl & that’s all that matters. I don’t care about the fat I’ve gained, the swelling & cellulite etc. These things are not important to me. I have such an overwhelming appreciation for my body & the human it’s growing. ???????????? . Life is far from perfect & doesn’t always go to plan & that’s why I think it’s so important to focus on the good things in your life. Practice gratitude for all that you have & don’t waste time feeling crappy about the things you don’t have. Comparing yourself to anyone else is also not a good idea because we’re all different. . I refuse to beat myself up. I refuse to compare myself to others & I refuse to let these physical changes that some might see as “flaws” take away my happiness & neither should any of you. . ???? Sending love your way! You’re bloody amazing, don’t you forget that! ???????? . . ???????? #37weekspregnant . .

A post shared by E M I L Y S K Y E (@emilyskyefit) on

At the very least, she hoped she might continue her weight-training throughout her pregnancy and maintain some of her strength.

However, the 32-year-old, who is currently 39 weeks pregnant, realised weeks into her pregnancy that it wasn’t going to be the case. The first trimester of her pregnancy she was sick and unable to train. She could exercise in her second, but by the start of her third trimester, her bump had grown to a size that made it impossible for her to work out without pain. A back problem she’d had since she was a kid was exacerbated by carrying her bump, meaning she couldn’t walk far let alone run.

So how do you deal with being pregnant and not being able to exercise, when it’s been such a huge part of your life?

It hasn’t been easy, Emily told Mamamia, but she’s managing.

“A lot of the year I haven’t been able to do much, which is quite weird, because I’m used to consistent training,” she said.

“I thought I’d be one of those mums that could walk along the beach every day… but even with my back belt I can’t be on my feet for too long.”

Emily says this inability to exercise has also contributed to her 21kg weight gain – something she wrote about in a recent Instagram post at her 37-week mark.

“I did expect to gain weight. To be honest I didn’t expect to gain as much as I have, but I’m fine with it. I just think obviously my body is doing what it’s supposed to do, it’s supporting a life,” she told Mamamia.

“I know it’s only temporary, it’s not going to last forever. I’m looking into doing rehab next year when I’ve got the all-clear from my doctor.”

I just weighed myself out of curiosity! ???? – I’ve gained 21kg!!! ⚖️???? . My pregnancy hasn’t really gone to plan as far as my fitness is concerned. – I thought I’d be able to keep up with my exercise until the end of my pregnancy but that did NOT happen haha! ???????? Due to a long term back problem (I’ve spoken about before) & sciatica I haven’t been able to exercise for the past 2 months as I was just too uncomfortable & it was starting to make my back & sciatica worse. I made the choice to listen to my body & stop. It’s only short term inactivity & there’s always time to get my fitness back later. . I really admire other pregnant ladies who exercise throughout their pregnancy, they’re awesome & I am slightly envious haha! ???? But for me it just hasn’t been possible & it doesn’t worry me at all! . I get messages from ladies everyday upset about the weight & cellulite they’ve gained while pregnant & I just want you ladies to know that gaining weight while pregnant is NORMAL – some people only gain a little and some gain a lot but it’s all “normal” – as long as your Doc doesn’t have any concerns of course! ???? . I am so blessed to be able to carry my little girl & I’m so excited to meet her within the next few weeks! Nothing can take away the happiness I have right now & I’m healthy & so is my baby girl & that’s all that matters. I don’t care about the fat I’ve gained, the swelling & cellulite etc. These things are not important to me. I have such an overwhelming appreciation for my body & the human it’s growing. ???????????? . Life is far from perfect & doesn’t always go to plan & that’s why I think it’s so important to focus on the good things in your life. Practice gratitude for all that you have & don’t waste time feeling crappy about the things you don’t have. Comparing yourself to anyone else is also not a good idea because we’re all different. . I refuse to beat myself up. I refuse to compare myself to others & I refuse to let these physical changes that some might see as “flaws” take away my happiness & neither should any of you. . ???? Sending love your way! You’re bloody amazing, don’t you forget that! ???????? . . ???????? #37weekspregnant . .

A post shared by E M I L Y S K Y E (@emilyskyefit) on

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Emily said while she accepts her body and is happy, she’s not without her doubts or insecurities.

“There are a few other women out there I follow who I think are amazing and they’ve had babies in the past or recently and they were able to keep their figure and their training throughout the whole pregnancy and they’ve actually managed to stay quite lean and didn’t gain much weight at all,” she said.

“They have the baby then they snap back to their original bodies within a couple of weeks. Some even the next day were walking out in clothes they wore before they were pregnant.

“When I saw this it even crossed my mind, I thought ‘I’m supposed to be a fitness expert and here’s me who looks nothing like that’, and I had to snap myself out of it because I know better than that.”

Emily said a part of her was envious, particularly of their ability to exercise throughout their pregnancy, but she reminds herself not to compare herself and her body to other women.

“You just can’t compare yourself to other people. Be happy for them and be inspired, but you definitely can’t compare, it only makes you feel bad,” she said.

“I’ll do the best I can knowing it’s my journey and it’s not the same as other people’s. That’s what I want to put out there to other women, I want them to always focus on themselves and their own journey, and know that they’re different and they can’t compare themselves to other people.

“I don’t walk around feeling perfect and not have any of these doubts. They do cross my mind. It’s how I live with it, how I get through it. I don’t dwell on it.”

Listen: Bec Judd and Monique Bowley discuss what to do in those final weeks of pregnancy. (Post continues…)

Emily says, however, the main thing that’s kept her going is focusing on the positives.

“Having a baby is a blessing. There are so many women out there who are unable to have babies. We are lucky to be able to be a mum.

“I know it’s tough. It doesn’t take away from the fact that pregnancy really sucks at times, but with anything in life I think you’ve just got to focus on the good things and be grateful for what you have got, rather than focus on what you haven’t.”

As for after her baby girl arrives – who is due to be born December 19 – Emily says she’ll be taking the gentle approach to getting her body strong and fit again.

“I don’t want to push myself, I’ll see how I go. I’ve never been pregnant before, so I don’t know how my body’s going to respond,” she said.

“I’ll be doing the training my new program is based around, the best way to get fit and healthy and lean and strong – that’s what I want to get to, but I know there’s a process to get there and I know it’s going to take time.

“I don’t ever want to be unrealistic and promote something unrealistic for women out there, because that’s probably the worst thing I could do. I want to be honest with people, and show I am putting the baby first, that’s my priority and it’s not about how I look.”

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