Post-baby body posts are tough. But I’ve gone through the process twice and I love to share what worked for me, what didn’t and how I felt along the way (to give some context to other moms who may be here looking for some secret: there isn’t one).
This was me about a year after having Hailey:
See that smile?
I was in a good place. I had energy, felt fit and my clothes fit well.
(That didn’t mean I didn’t still have areas I wanted to work on. In fact, a few days after taking this picture, I convinced myself I have mom butt — you know what I’m talking about — and geared my recent workouts towards toning it up.)
I always forget how hard it will be to sit the day after an intense workout that includes numerous squats, lunges, fire hydrants and one legged deadlifts.
Anyway, in the months after having my first baby, when I didn’t feel as fit as I do now, I wondered if people were being honest when they told me not to worry, that the baby weight would come off. Would it really come off for me?
It did. I credit 4 factors to making it happen for me.
My Four Keys to Losing the Baby Weight
1. Focus on being active.
Sometimes active means a solid workout, weights and all, but it doesn’t have to. It means walking to a friend’s house instead of driving. It means knocking out a plank while rolling around with the baby in the play room. Just like the old adage of taking the stairs instead of the elevator, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll burn a ton of calories, but moving should make you feel good and inspire you to continue making healthy choices.
2. Use food as fuel.
I remember when David and I dated long distance. On my long drive home, I’d “reward” myself with a treat, like a double cheese burger. What I sought as comfort ended up making me feel, well, gross. It just sat in my stomach. When I really started focusing on eating real foods, I noticed how energetic I felt and the craving for grease-soaked burger faded. It was like my body was finally running on high quality octane.
I remembered that when Hailey first was born and made sure to stock up on healthy foods. Though frozen pizza would have been an easy dinner choice every night, I knew it wouldn’t give me the high quality fuel my body needed. As any new mom will attest to, energy is a priceless commodity, so in the first year I really focused on eating the quality stuff, with a little wiggle room, of course.
3. Remember to hydrate.
I’m sure this isn’t news to you, but thirst can mimic hunger. Drinking enough water helps every single system in the body. I always knew it was important and tried to make drinking water a habit, but when I first was nursing Hailey, the thirst I experienced was unlike any I’d ever felt before. I was PARCHED. This is when I really got into a good habit of filling up a large water bottle first thing in the morning. Getting water flowing through me early in the day reminded me to keep it up throughout the day.
4. I’m a role model now.
I’m convinced that kids pick up habits from what they see, not what you tell them. My hope is that my kids will see me eating and enjoying fresh foods and do the same. I hope they’ll see me enjoy being outside and being active, and they will follow suit.
I also want my girls to see me being kind to my myself, in action and in words, so they, in turn, will be kind to themselves and their bodies. I’ve never had a stronger motivating factor to strive for a healthy lifestyle than my sweet baby girls.
What factor do you credit with keeping you on a healthy living track?