How to lose baby weight without sweating it out the gym every day. Here’s my story.
I am now one year postpartum. It’s about time I get back into shape. Full disclosure: I have lost all (and then some) of my baby weight without much effort. I know, I know. Some of you might hate me. But somehow it happened. It didn’t happen overnight, but it all came off. So here’s my story. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I was about 10 pounds above my normal weight the summer before I got pregnant. I wasn’t working out and somehow it just happened. I started my P90X journey, which had worked for me before, in September. I found out I was pregnant in October. I continued it for another month or so, but my OB was not fond of that kind of workout at all. So I switched to running (until about 28 weeks or so) and barre. I did barre three times a week up until 38 weeks and I loved it. I really feel like it helped me throughout labor and most importantly my recovery. I felt great afterwards, and planned to start working out at at 6 weeks postpartum, but, yeah…life happened. Luckily, I was dropping pounds easily (Yeah breastfeeding!!). It definitely didn’t “melt off”, and I hit some plateaus but by around the 5 months mark I was back at my ideal weight again.
So, in what might be my most embarassing moment yet, I’m going to admit it – I have lost 55 pounds since giving birth. No wonder I was so uncomfortable that last month! Take the 10 pounds that I had added on before getting pregnant, and 40 pounds during my pregnancy plus another 5 or so and I am at my lowest weight since college, when, admittedly I didn’t have the healthiest habits. I can say it now – I was a Urec-aholic (that was the gym at my school). So, as a new mom I wondered how I would possibly lose the weight without the ability to work out for an hour every day. Here I am, a few days after giving birth. You can see that my face is still puffy, arms have some extra flab and I look about 7-8 months pregnant still.
Here I am about 1 month PP. I felt pretty good, but wouldn’t let my brother or sister put this picture on social media due to the “spare tire” I was still rocking around my mid-section.
At about 3 months PP, I spent a weekend at the beach with some of my best friends and man was it a blast. Buttt, I had to be in a bathing suit in a bod that I wasn’t exactly comfortable in yet, so I rocked a one piece and shorts. Standing on the beach next to my impossibly beautiful friends was not easy that weekend. I didn’t let it bother me much, but as a woman isn’t it our nature to feel self conscious? Here’s a pic when I was with my sister at the beach that same week. It’s a good angle, but you can still see my baby belly pooch!
Here I am at 5 months postpartum, finally feeling myself again.
At 9 months PP, I felt great, better than I felt (or looked) since those #healthyunhealthy college days. And for the first time in my life, rocked a crop top (sort of).
Now that my daughter is a year, I recognize that pretty soon, the ability to zap 600 calories a day while sitting down will be over. My goal is to get back into shape by toning up and building up my endurance again so that when that time comes, I won’t immediately start packing on the pounds.
So how did I do it? I’m not really 100% sure, to be honest. I’ll give you a rundown of my habits – maybe they will work for you, maybe not.
- Working during your pregnancy. I cannot stress this enough. I know it’s hard – you’re tired, huge and uncomfortable. But I really believe it was so incredibly good for me and my daughter, and helped me bounce back a lot quicker. Do something that you feel good doing – barre is amazing and there aren’t too many modifications while pregnant.
- Eat healthy (during and after your pregnancy). This seems obvious I know. But the one thing every says after you have a baby is what are we going to eat?! And it’s true. The hours blend together and before you know it, it’s dinner time and you’re all I’m going to eat a PB&J and then there’s that husband of yours giving you that look. So yeah, avoid takeout and eating junk food because you won’t have a lot of time to workout in the beginning. Here’s how you can do it:
- Cook lots of stuff before you give birth and freeze it. Soups, casseroles, lasagnas, etc. There’s nothing better than taking a healthy meal out of the freezer!! Lasagna may not seem like the healthiest option, but its wayyy better than takeout, so I consider it a #win!
- Make cooking a priority. By nature, we eat relatively healthy – my husbands not a huge fan of anything breaded or cheesy – doesn’t he know what he’s missing out on?! That has helped adjust our eating habits to mostly stir frys, grilled meat and fish and steamed veggies. I’m not going to lie – we eat some kind of carb with dinner every night. I probably could have lost the weight quicker if I went Paleo or carb free, but, I just had a baby and I wanted to eat normal. I truly believe that if you cook 90% of your meals at home, and exhibit portion control, you can eat pretty much what you want.
- Cook whenever you have time. When I was on maternity leave, if the baby was sleeping at 4pm, I was cooking. It didn’t always happen that way. But it helped if I got it done early some nights.
- Double your recipes. Leftovers are king when you have a newborn.
- Get outside. I did everything from working in the garden, to strolling outside with my daughter. Every little bit helped. The sunshine and fresh air were so good for both of us. And sometimes when she was napping, getting out in the garden was just what I needed. You don’t realize how many calories you burn that way! When she was a little older I started taking walks with her in the Ergo and both my dogs. By myself. Yeah, you can imagine the looks I got.
- When you’re ready, get back into the gym. I started slow (at 11 months PP). I started with a circuit workout that I had heard a lot about, but couldn’t finish it in one gym session, and only twice a week for the first few weeks. I’m up to three times a week now, which I think is enough for me to get back into shape. I’m able to complete the circuits in one gym sesh, so I know I’m improving.
- Cut yourself a break! Not everyone loses all of the baby weight and if you don’t that’s fine. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you should do something about it. But if you feel good, then all the more power to you.
I hope this helps! As a mom our bodies go through so much before, during and after pregnancy. It truly is SUCH a miracle what we can handle. So, if we rock a few extra pounds after creating a life, so be it 🙂 If we lose all the weight and hit the gym as soon as the doctor oks it, then GREAT. Just do what works for you. But be healthy about it, ok??