Kayla Itsines admits she "had so many mixed emotions" about getting back in the gym after giving birth.
The fitness star, who has over 11 million followers on Instagram, welcomed her first child with beau Tobi Pearce in April. About six weeks after giving birth to her baby girl, Arna, via C-section, Kayla received clearance from her doctors to start working out again. But, as she shares in a new piece for Women's Health, published Tuesday, she "felt apprehensive" about the idea.
Kayla tells readers, "I was so ready to move my body again and start regaining my strength, but I was also nervous because your body goes through so many changes emotionally and physically through pregnancy."
"Before getting pregnant, I never had any self-doubts when it came to working out," Kayla continues. "I've always loved exercise, and I kept resistance training until I was 38 weeks pregnant and doing low-intensity cardio up to the end. But for the first time in my life, I struggled through my workout—even though I was just walking on a treadmill at my own pace, about 2.3 miles per hour."
In her article, the personal trainer says that she attempted to do 30 minutes of walking on her treadmill, but only got to about 15 minutes. She shares that this was the first time "it really physically" hit her that her fitness level was "no longer the same as it had been."
"At the same time, I had an overwhelming feeling of achievement," Kayla writes. "Although the session was really hard, it sparked a new determination and motivation in me not to reflect on what I didn't do, but to celebrate what I did accomplish in that first workout."
This inspired Kayla to push forward in regaining and rebuilding her strength.
"I've always been motivated by improving my fitness in the gym, and now that I'm a mother, I'm motivated in another way: I want to show up and get my workout in because I want to be the strongest, most confident version of myself to be a good role model for my daughter," Kayla tells readers.
In her article, Kayla also shares motivational tips for getting back in the gym, including setting specific goals, finding a workout routine you enjoy, getting a workout buddy, acknowledging that there will be "setbacks" along the way, and getting a good music playlist!
To read more from Kayla, head on over to Women's Health!