It’s not impossible. Truly it isn’t. I’ve done it 3x already. But it also depends on how badly you want it gone. It’s like losing any type of weight really, a great deal depends on your diet and exercise routine but what it comes down to in the end is mental prepardness and long term commitment.
A woman’s body changes a great deal thoroughout pregnancy and childbirth. You might never get to go back to the way things used to be. That’s okay. There is nothing wrong with your new mommy body. Accept it. But you can also accept that your figure and health can be better than it has ever been in the past! You don’t need to accept that things won’t be as good. Not at all. Wider hips, looser skin, tired joints, diastasis recti (what is that? There’s a post for another time. But you will definitely want to check into it. It’s the separation of your abdominal muscles and if you have it, will make it look as if you have a pernament mommy tummy even if you lose all the weight. Bright side, it is fixable!), and just a generally stretched out body can make you feel overwhelmed that things will ever get better. But they can and will!
Now, what I want to focus in on here is the mental aspect of the weight loss. There are a lot of practical matters to attend to in losing the weight but the first step is gaining and keeping the right focus. Side Note: If you are breastfeeding, cutting calories is a terrible idea and shouldn’t be done. But you can choose what calories to fill yourself with! You are a mama now. You spent 9 months growing a baby, don’t expect things to go back to normal in any less time. In fact, keep in mind that your body needs a full year to recover from pregnancy. This is a long term goal of losing the baby weight and should be taken one day at a time, slowly, without stress and anxiety. Your body will naturally shed the pregnancy weight and recover elasticity in your skin over time.
Okay, so we understand that we are looking at a lifestyle change rather than a crash weight lose program. No yo-yo dieting here. This is about finding a balance that will last you through your hectic days and sleep deprieved nights, keeping you sane and healthy. You have to make the choice, sometimes even on a daily basis, to think about your own health. To reaffirm your commitment to keeping your body at it’s best. This might mean that you take your baby out in the stroller to walk for the 1-2 hour nap instead of lazing around at home. It’s a sacrifice on your part but you will feel so much better for doing it. Or, knowing that you have a hankering for evening snacking, you make sure to have baby carrots on hand and keep the chips out of the grocery cart.
Kids have reward charts, maybe you need one too. Have a cheat day now and then, a cheat meal, allowing yourself to give in once and awhile will help to take the stress off. This is not a race or a competition. This is about finding and commiting to what is best for you and your life. That is different for every woman. You figure out what you want and then design a plan that will allow it to happen for you. The hardest part is sticking with the plan. After the initial honeymoon phase of inspiration wears off and you are left with the real work, you will need that mental determination and focus to keep you going day after day, knowing that what you are doing will help you be the healthiest you can be. Not to mention, setting an amazing example for your little one. Your healthy lifestyle and choices will become those that your baby sees and ends up copying. So, when you decide it’s time to start losing the baby weight, you can also know that this is a step forward in the future of your family. The healthy routine you establish will last beyond the final pound is shed if you let it.
So commit to your healthy future. Not just the 25-35 average poundage (and we all know most women gain over the 35lbs) that you’ve acquired over your pregnancy, but choose to make a lifestyle in which you and your growing family will thrive.