Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Weight Loss After Pregnancy


How awesome is it that my crappy camera didn't pick up the number on the scale!
Weight loss after pregnancy is hard. Really hard. And it certainly doesn’t help that everywhere you look there is another picture of a celebrity with rock hard abs, two weeks postpartum. Well, if I had a personal trainer, a chef, a live-in nanny, and a professional airbrusher/photoshopper, I’d look like that too. But I don’t.  However, I am now finally below my pre-pregnancy weight, and if I wear a loose shirt and squint really hard, I can almost forget about the muffin toppy paunch that’s sticking around like fruitcake in January.

Anyway, paunch aside (because I choose to ignore it), I am happy to have finally shed the postpartum weight.  And because you asked (okay, you didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway), here is what helped me with my weight loss after pregnancy:

No Set Deadline: I’m no good with deadlines. Deadlines make me stressed. Stress makes me eat. You get the picture. So I really didn’t push myself. Like reeeaaallly didn’t push myself. Okay, so this might not have been the best approach, because I probably ended up actually gaining weight during the first three months postpartum (I say probably because I never went near a scale- I’m not that stupid.)  I decided to go easy on myself, because after the trauma of childbirth and the sleep deprivation that comes with caring for a newborn, I just wasn’t up for calorie counting.  When I was ready (and by ready, I mean becoming a major chubster), I decided it was time to bite the bullet (instead of the bagel) and get thin and healthy again.

Coffee and Club Soda: Now before you get all judgey, no, I did not replace food with coffee and club soda. Ew. I love food, and I believe in eating a healthy, balanced diet.  My problem is deserts. My love for deserts knows no limits, and my husband will tell you that I once ate an entire cheesecake in one sitting. I admit to nothing.  Anyway, my philosophy is that I need to have some kind of treat every day. It becomes a ritual, a time to relax, and to be indulgent. I’ve realized, though, that this treat doesn’t need to be desert. So I decided to start having no cal or low cal treats. I didn’t drink any coffee during pregnancy, so sipping my travel mug of coffee every day has become my favourite luxury. And as a fun, fizzy alternative to water, I have Club Soda every so often. Sometimes I pretend there’s booze in it, just to give it that extra kick. Of course, I still do eat deserts (I’m not a fan of deprivation), but I’m trying to learn the art of moderation. I've come a long way since those cheesecake days.


Walks: Since my daughter was born, I have not only developed mom guilt, but also pet-owner guilt, because as anyone with a new baby and a dog knows, the dog suddenly ranks a lot lower in the pack, which is not easy on the dog. In an attempt to alleviate my guilt, and my dog’s self-esteem problem, I have been trying to get out for walks with the baby and the dog as frequently as possible.

Making Baby Food: I’ve always gone through phases of obsessing about nutrition, and then I’ll get lazy and go through phases where I’ll have pancakes for dinner. However, now that I’m responsible for making nutritional choices for someone who can’t make them herself, I’m super motivated to do it right, and to not feed her pancakes for dinner (too often). As a result, I’m in a nutrition conscious mind frame and that’s helping me eat well.

All these strategies aside, I think the main reason that I’ve been able to shed the baby weight is because I am in a positive state of mind these days because of the joy that my daughter brings to my life. So, I attribute my postpartum weight loss to her. But really, it's only fair that she be the one to help me get skinny, when she’s the one who made me fat in the first place.

24 comments:

  1. Congrats! For me breastfeeding zapped all my weight, it is when I stop nursing that weight becomes an issue again :( Boo.

    P.S. Hate those "Body after baby" features on celeb's. HATE THEM.

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  2. Yeah, I'm a little worried about that. I guess breastfeeding is probably the other reason I was able to lose weight. I'm still breastfeeding (well, pumping, but same thing) and I'm afraid of what will happen to my body once I stop! Some people say they gained weight, and others said that they lost weight. Here's hoping for the latter.

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  3. I don't weigh myself. As someone for whom numbers cause depression because they're too low or high (blog stats, annual household income or weight), I can't do it. I can get into the majority of my pre-pregnancy clothes, including jeans just fine, but I am much more womanly and less tight than I once was. And the fact that my abs are split open (diastasis recti) has given me a paunch that I have never had before. Sigh. I'm trying to remember that I didn't like my body when it was frickin' awesome, and someday I'll probably be saying the same thing about now.

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    1. I was always afraid that I'd get the postpartum paunch, and now that I have it, although I hate it, it's not as horrible as I'd expected. If I were single and trying to attract a partner, I'm sure it would bother me to no end, but my husband is stuck with me paunch and all!

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  4. Good for you for losing all that weight!! I, too, have always despised how the media singles out celebrities for their post-baby weight loss when, really, looking good is the ONLY thing they MUST do.

    Unfortunately, I've found that even though I'm ten pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight, my body just isn't quite the same. Oh well! The sacrifice pales in comparison to the joys of having a baby :)

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    1. Exactly. It's well worth the muffin top. Now, if only I could motivate myself to do some sit ups...

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  5. Breastfeeding zapped me into shape with the first two, but not so much with the third, as evidenced by the fact that my dtr started playing with the flab surrounding my (ever-deepening) bellybutton while I combed her hair today. Sigh. I am happier than I've ever been, but I would like to stop needing to tuck my muffin top into my waistband when I sit down.

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    1. Yes, I'm a fan of the muffin-top tuck-in-able clothes.

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  6. The last paragraph of the piece is priceless! :)

    As a first-time Mom, I am hoping I will lose the rest of the weight when my baby starts to crawl/walk and I am forced to chase after her.

    Until then, I will continue the long walks, swimming and hot yoga...the scale moves so quickly up, and so slowly down!

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    1. I definitely do my fair share of chasing after the baby with all the crawling, but it's mostly just hard on my back because I am constantly picking her up and moving her away from all the dangerous objects she likes to play with.

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  7. That is awesome for losing all the weight! BF actually had the opposite effect of me. I lost weight once I stopped bf- strange! Congrats!

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    1. I'm hoping I'll lose the paunch once I stop breastfeeding because I've heard that can happen, but I'm more terrified that I'll put all the weight back on. I guess I'll find out soon enough!

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  8. Good for you! My youngest just turned five the other day but we all have gone through the struggle of losing those pounds :) After I had my last baby, I changed everything about the way i ate and still hold onto that five years later. I stopped buying/drinking soda, ate a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich if I needed a snack at night, replaced mayo with avocado. It's hard to do at first but eventually, it becomes your new lifestyle. Plus being able to indulge now and then is an awesome treat.

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  9. I am a big believer that being happy and a positive attitude helps with the weight loss. Keep on track. Enjoy a Skinny Cow ice cream at night for your snack. We have all been here trying to loose the weight. You can do it! Great post

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  10. Wow, congrats on maintaining the healthy lifestyle for five full years! And happy birthday to your 5 year old! It's great to hear about people who have been successful in maintaining their healthy choices. I'm so nervous that I won't be able to maintain it. Thanks for the motivation!

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  11. Congrats on losing the baby weight! I am doing it again for the second time. Of course I got pregnant when I was within 10 lbs of the last pregnancy. This time I didn't gain as much, but it seems to be harder to lose it. Perhaps I am older, or just busy with 2 kids. But I like the advice of giving yourself time. Its so hard being not being skinny again after 6 weeks. I have to remind myself that it took 9 months to put it on, so it will take some time to get it off

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  12. Good stuff... looking forward to reading more! Found/followed you from the TGIF Blog Hop

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  13. All good tips and boy have I been there. Four times! Coffee is definitely a helpful luxury for me too. This time around I also started taking a barre class (it's kind of a new--at least in Minneapolis--pilates/yoga/strength fusion. Anyway, I actually feel/look better than before I had those four kids. Can't complain!

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  14. Good stuff! I too am fighting this battle. Coffee has been wonderful for me too--feels like a treat (sort of?) and saves me some calories. Keep it up!

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  15. Stopping by from the TGIF blog hop.Kudos to you! I am still struggling (6 months postpartum)and can't seem to find my motivation. This post gave me some much needed encouragement, well that and seeing myself in a recent photo. Ugh!
    I have tagged you for an award. Come on over and pick it up.
    http://mamasmumbojumbo.blogspot.com/2012/07/im-liebster-blogger.html

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  16. Can I offer a suggestion re the club soda and pretending it has alcohol in it? While I applaud such a strategy why don't you get hold of some of those alcoholic swabs they use to sterilise the skin before a blood test and wipe the rim of the glass with one. This will make your soda actually taste like it has scotch in it. A friend and I worked this out as young twenty somethings when we met in the infectious diseases unit of a hospital. Terrified of catching TB from the TB patients we sterilised everything we used to eat. That was probably useless given TB is airborne disease but when we drank our coke from glasses we had swabbed we' felt like we were having an alcoholic beverage. Thus we finished off each evening together with what became known as Swab and Coke. Lovely! Just make sure the coke is diet coke otherwise it wont be the slimming treat you are looking for...
    PS you are welcome!

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  17. I didn't lose my weight or even make a huge attempt to because my focus was on my nugget. I swear when she turned one and started running the last few pounds flew off of me. Check out my blog about not beating yourself up over losing the weight. I breastfed and the weight didn't fly off me at all, it was actually the opposite effect! Now the weight and my gynormous tata's are gone!

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  18. It's wonderful you've been able to lose the baby weight! I on the other hand, have yet to lose that last 10-15 pounds I gained during my pregnancy with my daughter, who is now 6 going on 16. I'm currently journaling my journey to get back to what I once was. Feel free to check it out and give any tips you have on losing the weight @ http://kristinsgreenerlife.blogspot.com
    Love your blog. I found you from MBC. =)

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