I didn’t have a set goal of exactly when I wanted to lose the weight since with a new baby I knew I would have more important things occupying space in my brain but I did know that I wanted to focus on being the best mom I could be and live a healthy life for my son. To me, that meant taking care of my physical health which meant staying active and not sitting on my butt all day and making sure I wasn’t living off on JUST Diet Coke. With my healthy lifestyle (and occasional diet coke), the weight came off a lot easier than expected. It took around 3 months for me to hit my pre pregnancy weight, and then a couple pounds more which was a complete surprise. I’ve had people DM me or friends/family ask about it and since I’ve always been super curious about how others did it, I decided why not share my own version? So here’s how I did it:
- Walking. Even though a full on sweat session shouldn’t be in the cards for a new mom, light walking IS allowed. As soon as I felt ready (maybe a little tooooo soon), I walked, first just up and down a street because it was all I could manage, slowly working up to longer distances all while pushing a stroller. Not only was it good exercise, it helped me bond with Connor and was a great way to burn calories without leaving him to go to the gym (which was my original plan…but it turned out that I couldn’t bear being away from him even an hour for the first few months). I also splurged on some cute activewear from Alo like these moto yoga pants and this (nearly sold out everywhere!) cropped top to further motivate me. Although to be honest, most walks take place in sweatpants but in the future, when I finally do go back to yoga class, I’m looking forward to showing off my new looks.
- Breastfeeding. Its’s not for everyone and plenty of moms have trouble with it due to no fault of their own. I wasn’t sure how naturally it would come to me and my mantra was (and continues to be): FED is best. However, that part of the fourth trimester went smoothly as Connor and I didn’t have a problem nursing which helped us bond and me burn calories.
- Eating habits. I took a week off of work after Connor was born. Yep. ONE WEEK. Obviously I was able to work from home which made all the difference as daycare didn’t feel right to me at that point (and still doesn’t TBH but that’s just how I feel, whatever works for you, may not work for me and vice versa—no judgement!). While juggling a full time editing/writing job AND a baby at home, I no longer had time for mindless snacking or the freedom to hit up new restaurants. And because I opted for quick protein fixes (like Costco chicken) for much needed energy, they turned out to be a much healthier option than say, a slice of cake. I also upped my hydration since breastfeeding made me insanely thirsty! Which in turn, helped me feel fuller, longer.
- Cuddling and playing. Born at nearly 9 pounds, Connor was already a slight arm workout but as his weight doubled (and tripled), carrying him has added some bulk to my biceps. He also HATED to be put down and I happily accommodated. They say baby boys don’t typically get as much snuggles as baby girls but that definitely doesn’t apply to Connor. And transitioning our carseat from car to stroller (we use this one) was also a workout for my arms. Now pushing 20+ pounds at not even 6 months, it’s no easy fit and there’s usually grunting involved. Also, Connor loves being held in the air which leaves my arms sore but of course I don’t mind…he loves the quality time and fun, I love seeing his smile.
- Being busy. This one might be “cheating” but between Connor and my job, I’ve been running here there, from Connor’s doctor visits and “culture-ing” him to my interviews to editorial meetings. I had limited time windows for a leisurely meal (i.e. when baby was sleeping), so I would grab something like a banana and go. I also had less time for baking so less goodies than usual were around my house to eat.
That’s it! Just remember I’m no expert and what worked for me may not work for you, especially if you had a difficult delivery. Everyone’s body is different and there’s no shame in that.