The Bikini Athlete: A journey through motherhood

The Bikini Athlete: A journey through motherhood, getting her body back and feeling good about it

Today, I’m honoured to introduce a very good friend of mine; Kris J. Kris is a personal trainer, model and business owner (http://www.brasiliantan.is) from Iceland. Kris has also competed for over 5 years as an IFBB bikini athlete.

Last year, Kris gave birth to her gorgeous son Oliver Breki. I’m sure for many women who care about their health and physical appearance, having children can produce a whole range of emotions. For those whose physical appearance is their actual livelihood, the stresses and strains of staying in good shape (that are there constantly anyway) are only heightened. In this regard, Kris has been on a very special journey, and the story of where this has led her, is very inspirational.

Let me introduce Kris J;

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I wrote down a few thoughts that I have gathered regarding the challenges of motherhood and staying in shape.

My baby boy, Oliver Breki, has turned one year old. It is amazing how much my life has changed since he entered this world. No words can explain what it feels like to me to be a mother. The level of love I feel for this little boy is stronger than anything that I have felt before and the fact that this is someone who relies on me 24/7 surely changes my outlook on life. These last 20 or so months have certainly been an emotional roller coaster for me but I would not change a single thing even if I had the chance to do so.

For the last 8 years training and maintaining my physique and fitness has been an obsession of mine. I mean that in a positive way. I have put myself through a lot, made sacrifices and have constantly challenged myself as competitor, model and trainer. Some serious discipline is needed in dieting, training and everything else within this lifestyle and as a result I have become accustomed to thinking first and foremost about myself and what suits me. My fiance is a professional athlete as well and sees things the same way. That is probably one of the cornerstones of how well we fit for each other.

Nothing could prepare me for the challenges of being a mother. First the prenatal period and then the period after I gave birth. It took me quite some time to realise the changes that were ahead and that I had to put most of my plans on hold indefinitely. My mirror image soon became something different to what I was used to and that really took its toll at first. I developed a pre eclampsia and a lot of other stuff came up that made this a difficult period of time. A lot of questions popped up in my mind. Was I ever going to be able to engage in the fitness lifestyle again? Was I ever going to recapture the shape and physique that I had worked so hard to retain? I kept telling myself that in 3-6 months after giving birth i’d be back in top shape and everything would be back to what I used to consider “normal”.

After the birth of Oliver Breki the reality hit me. I was a mother and I was responsible for the well being of a toddler. I sincerely hope that no one chooses to misunderstand what I’m writing. I have truthfully loved every second of this process and would not want to change a thing but during this process a lot of thoughts flew through my mind. I was so tired. My skin was so loose. My mirror image was not what I had been used to. I did not fit into my clothes and the road back in to shape just seemed so terrifyingly long. Then the months passed one by one without me finding the energy or motivation to get back on track. I did go to the gym every now and then and I did try to eat clean food some of the time but what I wanted most of all was just to relax at home. To enjoy being at home with my baby boy and my fiance. Just be focused getting the grips of being a mother while my body recovered from giving birth. I’d have chocolate or ice cream when I felt like it and I really tried not to be too hard on myself. This was the hardest battle of them all. To convince myself that I needed to loosen up and that I needed stop beating myself up for not being back on track. It takes 40 weeks for the body to get ready to give birth. There is nothing unusual about giving the body 40 weeks to recover after birth and I finally decided to give in to that.

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Then one day I was ready. I just felt that I could increase the pressure on myself. My body was ready for the action and my son was also bigger and easier to handle so I could have a bit more space to focus on myself. This is the point I could create a routine where I could see to all his needs as well as eating clean food, training hard and doing the things that make me happy and healthy. The results followed. I love training and I love healthy food but I am not a naturally fit type of person. It takes hard work for me to stay in shape but I like the challenge. I’m not sure if I will ever again compete in Fitness competitions but I surely aim to stay in top shape and be ready for any new challenges or opportunities that come my way.

I wrote down these thoughts most of all to remind myself of this process and how motherhood has given me a new perspective. I hope there are some girls out there that can relate to or find strength in what I’m trying to say. You need to give yourself time to adjust to the life of being a mother and no one should feel shame or sadness during this process. Just enjoy this new role and give yourself some credit. You’re entering something completely new and you’re recovering at the same time. One day you will have the energy and motivation to focus on yourself. Your body decides when it is ready and you will feel it clearly when time comes.

It’s been 12 months since Oliver Breki was born and when I look in the mirror I am completely at peace with the person who is staring back at me. I learned during this process to embrace the changes and to be grateful for the experience. Most of all I am thankful for my little family and I look to the future with optimism and excitement.

If you have any questions for Kris, please send them in and we’ll do a Q & A. Kris regularly posts updates of her training and what she’s up to online. If you’d like to contact Kris or keep up with what she’s doing, here’s how: https://www.facebook.com/KRISJFITNESS/

https://www.instagram.com/krisj_fitness/

http://www.brasiliantan.is/

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