My weight loss after pregnancy story goes a bit like this.
Due to some complications, I had to have a caesarean when giving birth to my second child. This made it very difficult to do much exercising after giving birth. For 3 months after my baby came into this world, I was told not to exercise as that could lead to a rip the stitches across my tummy. However, I did want to get back in shape. So as an initial step I thought it would be smart if I cut down on all the yummy, tasty things I normally loved to indulge in. I thought I was helping myself but cutting down on all the fat intake, so I stuck to the plain old boring veggies and all that jazz. But, after a few months, I realised that I hadn’t lost any weight.
You can imagine my anger and sadness when I found out that I had kept myself away from all those goodies for all that time, with no result. I hadn’t lost any weight. I was fat and unhappy. That can get pretty demotivating. But then again, looking at your weirdly disproportionate body in the mirror can be pretty good at reversing that effect. So I decided to do something about it and try something else to get in shape (at least a bit).
One piece of advice I’d like to give all you new moms out there is this – be patient with yourselves. It’s not going to be easy or happen quickly. Give yourself the time you need to achieve what you want. So once I made up my mind about this, the first thing I did was consult my doctor. I needed to know whether there was anything that I shouldn’t be doing, given the condition of my body and the fact that my body was needed by my baby as well. I also went through a lot of online blogs and websites (just like you’re doing right now) and read posts put up by other mums, doctors, nutritionists, and the like, about losing pregnancy weight.
One thing that made me happiest was that I didn’t have to give up on all my goodies. Obviously, I did cut down, but I didn’t give them up because giving up the food you like or that you’re craving may lead to extra stress which might make you consume more food and therefore cancel out what you’re trying to achieve. So I made sure that I ate those in moderation; very sparingly. I also made sure that I ate a lot of nutritious food so that my body was getting enough vitamins and minerals it needed to produce what it needed for me to nurse my baby girl. Believe it or not, breastfeeding actually helps you lose weight too as it burns calories. What I tried my best to make sure of was that I consumed less fatty foods and carbohydrates and more of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. In addition to this, muscle building exercises helped me a lot as well. The science behind this is that these exercises speed up your metabolism and so your body starts to burn more calories. The best part about this was that I didn’t even have to go to the gym. Playing with my little girl in my arms was quite a workout in itself – lifting her up, pulling her closer and then holding her further out; it’s like killing two birds with one stone – you bond with your baby, and at the same time you get your body in shape.
Apart from this, I made it a point to not be lazy. I went on regular walks with my kids, sometimes I’d go jogging in the morning, and one of the most fun activities I did was group exercise with some other new moms. As funny as it sounds, it was really effective, at least for me. I found that when you’re doing this in a group, you keep each other motivated, whether it’s due to your competitive nature, or supportive nature. You’re in the same boat, and you’re having fun with your friends, so why not? In addition, it periodically gave me some much needed time off from my mummy chores of the day.
My aim was never to reach size zero or anything, but I definitely did get in much better shape. In fact, I’d even say that I was in a better shape than I was before my pregnancy. I guess all the extra hormones do have some merits to their name. In the beginning it was a bit of a struggle, trying to balance taking care of my kid while also trying so hard to be conscious of my food intake and exercise. At some points I just felt like saying “So what if I’m fat? He’s already stuck with me!” A lot of the times, I just didn’t think about it because I was so preoccupied with more important things. But then, with the right amount of effort and A LOT of patience and motivation, I managed to figure out what worked for me. So I hope you do too, and I hope this was insightful and informative!