I was very concerned that after this baby I would never lose the weight.
For one, I’m 36.
Second, I always gain a lot of weight during my pregnancies (35-50 pounds).
Notice I didn’t write a blog post about “How not to gain too much weight during pregnancy”, because I haven’t the foggiest idea!
Exercising while pregnant makes me puke more. And my otherwise healthy diet goes out the window during the worst of the puking. I remember a stretch of several weeks when DH brought me a sausage biscuit and sweet tea from McDonald’s every morning before I got out of bed. Yuck. But it was the only breakfast I could keep down!
Additionally, this time I just felt … bigger and more stretched out. I felt very discouraged in the early postpartum period because of this.
It took me about 10 months, which is a bit longer than after previous babies, but I’m back in a size 6, which was my goal. Whee!
Here is how I managed to lose the baby weight. I hope it’s helpful.
Eat Healthy Fats
During my pregnancy and after, I ate lots of healthy fats. Coconut oil, full fat raw milk, grass fed butter.
I got NO stretch marks this pregnancy.
In fact, the only time I got stretch marks were during my 3rd pregnancy (the 10 pound baby), and those were very minimal. I credit the healthy fats with giving my skin the Vitamin A it needed to be elastic. (Eating those fats is more important than rubbing them on your skin!)
Some experts say that eating healthy fats helps you lose weight. I know one thing: When I’m eating fats, I eat fewer calories overall because I feel full more quickly.
Give Yourself Time
My baby was 10 months old before I fit into my old clothes. I didn’t have unrealistic expectations of dropping the weight in 2 months.
My goal was “9 months on, 9 months off”.
Weight loss should not be a focus during a woman’s season of pregnancy and lactation.
Keep it Simple
Before I got pregnant with this baby, I was a gym rat. Working out with weights 3-5 times a week got me down to a very trim, muscular size 4.
But that is unrealistic for my situation now. While I LOVE weight training generally and for weight loss it is superior to cardio, I find it too difficult to work out with weights now because it requires someone else watching the baby. Plus, my body is still a bit “loosey goosey” from leftover pregnancy hormones. I have to be able to work out WITH baby. Carving time out for lifting weights isn’t doable right now.
So I walk.
That’s how I lost around 45 pounds of baby weight. Just walking, with no other exercise. My neighborhood takes me about 15 minutes to walk around, and it’s very hilly. After just a couple of minutes I’m feeling the burn in my thighs.
So with a baby in the sling (and she loves our daily walks!) and a 5 year old in a stroller, it’s a very nice workout. (Sometimes I do it twice.)
The thing about 15 minutes is that I don’t procrastinate about it – even if I’m tired or super busy or feeling overwhelmed, I tell myself “it’s just 15 minutes” and I’m off. Of course the biggest key has been to…
Making myself walk daily was an important resolution for my Happiness Project. When you do something every single day you can’t let yourself put it off! It’s as automatic as brushing my teeth now.
And walking has to be the perfect exercise.
Walking clears my head and help me refocus if the kids or life or whatever is getting on my nerves. It snaps me out of a bad mood quickly and gives me a new perspective immediately. I often grab DH and have some alone time (well sort of) to talk with him. This is really good when we have something important or potentially difficult to talk about, because men tend to open up more when doing something physical alongside you (rather than face to face). I take one of the kids along with me if they need some extra one on one time. It’s a great way to get a kid or two outside if they’ve been inside too long.
Put Your Shoes On
FlyLady is right! Seriously, I am far more active if I have shoes on my feet. Try it.
Do Not Deny Yourself Real Food
One of the best pieces of advice I think I’ve ever heard about how to feed yourself postpartum? Don’t eat if if you wouldn’t be comfortable giving it to the baby. That means Taco Bell and Little Debbie are out. Pinto beans and steak and rice and avocados are in.
Eat to hunger. Don’t starve yourself or go around with low blood sugar.
… But Don’t Eat After Dinner and Don’t Be a Slave To Your Appetite
Try using a smaller plate. Studies show this really works. The plate I put my food on for dinner is actually a side dish plate, around 7″ in diameter. And when I eat breakfast and lunch, I often use a saucer.
Did you know that the size of American’s dinner plates have gotten progressively bigger since the 50′s? Guess what, so have our waistlines. Think like a French woman – have your cheese, your chocolate and your red wine – in SMALL portions.
Try brushing your teeth after dinner. This really works for me, because I am loathe to eat with a flossed, toothpaste fresh mouth.
Another thing that worked for me to question my appetite was to do a short, modified juice fast. I realized that I sometimes ate when I was actually thirsty. And sometimes I ate too much. And sometimes I ate when I was sad. I also found that I could distract myself and that my hunger was often “suggestible”.
What did you do to lose the baby weight?