Mommy friends, please don’t hate me for posting this! I know how sensitive we are to weight issues, especially after having kids. Please hear me out.
When our precious newborns make their arrival we’re treading water to keep our sanity. Never ending diaper changes, worrying if our milk supply is sufficient, and if our babies are growing according to how the charts say they should be… all while our own basic needs are back burned. Prioritizing weight lose while so many other critically more important responsibilities need to be taken care of makes us feel guilty and stressed.
And despite knowing how much work newborns are we get judged by others, and we judge ourselves by how quickly we get to our old Selves. Maybe it’s because we secretly hope the mom next to us is slightly less capable of coping with the challenges of parenthood.
What is “our old selves” anyways?
We need to truthfully admit that we will never be the same again. Our lady parts are forever changed. Chiropractors become our best friends. Those books we wanted to read collect dust, replaced by a quick scroll on our Facebook feed. Date night with our partner is reduced to five minutes at the end of the day as we crawl into bed….and that’s only if we still actually sleep in the same bed.
We cling to anything that’ll give us a feeling of normalcy. Digging out our pre-pregnancy clothing out of the closet is unfortunately a marker we use. Our bodies have taken a beating for almost a year. Expanding in ways we never thought possible to nourish our babies as they grow in our bellies. Exerting incredible feats of strength during labor and delivery. Fitting back into our clothes gives us a sense that our bodies belong to ourselves again. The faster we get their the more imaginary mommy points we get.
So, how did I do it in 7 weeks?
1) For starters, I didn’t subscribe to the idea that I can eat whatever I wanted solely because I was pregnant. Fried foods and fast foods aren’t healthy for anyone, especially for expecting mommies. Our babies suck out all our nutrients as they grow, therefore it’s exceptionally important to replenish our reserves. Only real whole foods will do that. Following a whole food plant based diet was critical to my success of growing a healthy baby, and supporting my body’s needs. Over the course of the pregnancy I gained about 35 pounds, and my baby was born at 8 lbs 13 oz.
Eating this way didn’t require any extra work on my part either. I was already going to the grocery store and cooking. Making the choice to grab the leafy greens and lentils instead of low nutrient foods didn’t take more time out of my day. The time I spent inside the grocery store was actually reduced because I didn’t waist precious minutes walking through the long isles.
2) Nursing nursing nursing! Making that white gold requires energy. About 300-500 worth of extra calories a day. It’s a win win scenario. The baby gets all the benefits from drinking breast milk, while I get to burn calories by simply letting my body do what it was designed for.
3) Lastly, finding an exercise regiment that worked for me. My delivery was fairly uneventful, so I felt comfortable starting a light work out when my baby was 10 days old. This consisted of chasing my toddler, slow 2 mile walks with the stroller, and a little bit of resistance core training. Whenever I was able to carve out 10 minutes, I worked with the resistance band and the ab wheel. My work out history is somewhat active. I used to dance, kick box, and I ran one half marathon. From all the work outs I’ve done in the past, the ab wheel is my favorite piece of equipment. It’s cheap and works out all the core muscles. Doing 10 sets of 10 will burn the tummy! It fit in perfectly with my schedule too. I didn’t have to drive to the gym, and it really only takes a few minutes…not hours like a typical weight training program. Instead of getting a gym membership for cardio, I had my toddler to keep me active.
That’s really it.
My intention with posting this is to show what is possible when all of these elements come together.