It was about three months after I had my son that I took a look in the mirror and actually felt crying. I remember that day, I had bought some new jeans to meet my husband in (had to lay on the bed to zip them up). I hadn’t seen him since the day our son was born. The military had given him a two week break before going to Iraq and I was ecstatic to see him again. Even in my joy there was deep awkwardness and insecurity that I had not even known existed. I was exhausted, hungry, and 56lbs overweight. Before getting pregnant I was a slim size two, after giving birth I was lucky to fit in my sweatpants and they were tight. You see at some point that I just had a baby mentality does wear off, and you are left wanting to shed the weight and feeling at a complete loss on how to do so. It took some time but I finally figured out what works for me and what doesn’t, and after almost two years I am only 5 pounds from my pre baby weight. The shocking thing about that is that I didn’t lose a pound until about 6 months ago. I tried all the fad diets and none of them worked, I was about to buy diet pills (do not do this) when I came across a new approach to weight loss, and it works! So how can you do it? I will give you a few quick tips to get you started.
- Low carb diets do produce results, but you will be ravenous and will gain the weight back as soon as you eat a piece of bread. How do you combat this, eat plenty of fruit (fruit is high carb but your body knows what to do with it unlike grains and sugar) and veggies to curb those carb cravings and ditch the bread, dairy, rice, sugar, and soy. (Buy Local you can get good deals and you are helping your community)
- You must eat fat to lose fat. I know this is difficult for some people to believe but it is true. Saturated fat will actually help you lose weight. It has helped me a ton. Stay away from canola and vegetable oils, and choose coconut, olive, and grape seed instead. Of course there is always good old grease.
- Eat protein with each meal, which can be shrimp, chicken, bacon, nuts, and eggs, etc. A meal without protein is a wasted meal, you will not lose weight.
- Exercise when it works for you, I have found that walking and baby wearing can be awesome workouts, and it gives me time to spend with my son as well. Go outside and play soccer with your children or do some squats while wearing your newborn in a sling. This is a little more complicated but I fold up my diapers and then put a laundry basket on the other side of the room and jump shot each in. Then pick up the basket and proceed to changing table or stash organizer. It seems silly but there was a few more calories burned and you had some fun, the kids may even join in, fluffy basketball what can beat that?
- Do not overexercise. My mom does this, she will go run two miles and then do two workout videos, and of course she doesn’t work out again for weeks because she is too sore to move. So don’t overdo it, you will only succeed in injuring yourself. Another reason why to keep it simple, is that the stress you put on your body from overexercising will send a flight or fight response to your body making you release more hormones and sugars. Too much stress will also cause this response.
- Sleep! I know this is hard for us moms; sleep is a thing we dream about. You may not be able to get much shut eye when you have a newborn but once you have good sleep schedule get to sleep yourself. Turn off the TV and Facebook, and know that you are snoozing your way into a bikini!
- Be confident! If you feel bad about yourself you will not be able to get in shape, your mind is a powerful thing so get positive!
Being a size zero isn’t the only thing that matters, but being healthy for your family, having the energy to play with your children, being confident and looking good(even if it is only for the UPS man, gotta have your fluffy fix), these things are important. And the only way to accomplish them is decide to take some time for yourself and do what you need to, to keep you going strong. Quit giving your body the slip and promising to get back to it and just make a choice to be you again. I am happy to help anyone struggling or with questions.
Please remember I am not a physician, these tips are what worked for me, you should contact your doctor if you have health concerns or are beginning a new exercise or diet routine. If you are diabetic you can use many of the diet tips I offered but watch your blood sugar and know your triggers.