Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Baby Weight

I know that it is usually January when everyone starts worrying about their weight but if you are expecting or are a new mommy then it is probably already on your mind. One of the things people commented most about after I had my son (besides how adorable he is) was my weight. It was suddenly okay for everyone to have a say. I’m not complaining, it was usually a complement, but often it left me feeling a little underestimated.
 “Oh you’re so lucky you got skinny again”
“Your one of those women”
“It’s because you breastfed”
All of the above is true but those aren’t the only reasons. I’m not just a genetic goldmine. I worked really hard before, during, and after my pregnancy to stay healthy. THAT is why my body returned to a healthy state so quickly. Now that we are ready for baby number two I have increased my working out because I want to be as healthy as is feasible before I get pregnant again. Today I want to share what I did to lose the baby weight. As a reminder, I am not a health care professional, this is just my experience and yours may be different.

I started with a healthy vessel.

It may be weird to think of your body this way but that really is what your womb is for your baby. Before my husband we decided we were ready to have a baby I already started eating healthy and exercising. I knew that when the time came I wanted to be fit. You have probably heard that you should start taking prenatal vitamins before you become pregnant; well the same goes for healthy eating and exercise.  I don’t want to stress you out at all, that’s worse for the baby than some ice cream I’m sure, if you are already pregnant and not in the best shape just start making an effort today. It is never to late to take positive steps in you and your baby’s lives.

I worked out as long as it felt right.

 I was regularly working out, hiking, and working on my feet at my job when I got pregnant. I had some fatigue during the first trimester but I took lots of naps and continued with my exercise. I stopped doing any weight lifting during the 2nd trimester as it began to cause me pain. I hiked and did yoga up until D-day. My work was very kind as to give me deskwork to do during the last month (mostly because my giant body took up a lot of space in the tiny kitchen). The point I’m making is I stayed as active as I could. Labor was like running a marathon for me. I have never been so exhausted in my life and I can’t imagine how I would have done it if my body wasn’t strong.

I did not eat for two.

                        I definitely had an appetite when I was pregnant but I used that to cram in as much nutrition as possible. I ate lots of greens with filling healthy fat. We joked that our son was about 80% guacamole because of all the avocados I ate. You should not restrict your diet when pregnant but you should gain weight at a steady healthy rate (just ask your doctor what that is for you). It’s okay to have cravings and enjoy yourself sometimes but keep the bigger picture in mind. You are turning that food into a baby!

I birthed most of the weight out.

            Eww. It is true though. I gained around 25 pounds. Minus my sons almost 9 pounds, the placenta, my new fabulous boobs, and all of the ehrm…. liquids; There was only around 7 pounds of actual weight left. I didn’t go near a scale for several weeks as everything was going back to normal but when I did I realized I was damn close to my pre-pregnancy weight. Then I looked down and realized weight and fitness were two very different things. I think a lot of women obsess about the number but it’s more about your body, you want to get it strong again. Mine had atrophied as my exercising decreased. I think some of my weight loss, was muscle loss.

I got the ball rolling again.

            As soon as I got the doctors okay, I started working out as much as was possible. This, of course, was much less than before but it is still important. The longer you wait the harder it will be to start exercising again. Even before my check up I started mommy and me yoga because it was gentle on the body and it got me in the right mind state. I definitely don’t do have the same time or energy that I did pre-baby but I still make an effort to exercise. Work out dvd’s are great when you don’t have time to hit the gym and I try to turn play time or rock the baby to sleep time into exercise.  You would be surprised by how motivating it is to do burpees while your baby laughs and cheers you on!

I loved my new body

            Love may be a strong word; I accepted my new body. I tried to find the things I did like (boobs!) and not stress about the things I didn’t (saggy stomach).  When our son was about 4 months old we took a family vacation to the beach. My sister asked me what kind of bathing suit would I wear? I told her “I’m wearing a bikini, I’m 23 years old.” I obviously wasn’t in great shape yet but no one packed up their beach chairs at the sight of me. I tried to play it cool but it was a big deal to me. I didn’t want to feel like everything in my life had to change by buying a one-piece with a skirt. This bathing suit style is great but a drastic difference from my usual string bikini. I was really scared to put myself out there. I went from having a pretty tight bod to, well, not. So I bought myself a nice black more full coverage two piece that showed off my knockers and I enjoyed myself, I really did. Your new body is amazing because it carried and delivered a child; that is way more important then how many abs it shows.

Pregnancy weight is different for everyone. Age, fitness level, your choices, number of babies and genetics all affect how your weight will fluctuate during and after your pregnancy. I did not mention breastfeeding as one of the reasons here because though it does burn calories it also makes you hungrier than a hippo in heat so I think it balances out. The biggest thing to remember about taking off pregnancy weight is to do it safely and not stress about it.

What helped you lose the baby weight?

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