Body after baby: Accepting the new you (while working to get old you back!)

Monday, June 15, 2015

On Saturday, my son turned four months old. We have a four month old! He is growing by leaps and bounds! He smiles and laughs and talks to us, and after a weekend that brought a lot of sad news locally, we are constantly reminded how lucky and blessed we are! 

So when I stepped on the scale Saturday and saw that I still have seven extra pounds of baby weight hanging around, I was momentarily discouraged. Does it matter in the grand scheme of life? No. Does it matter to me right now? Absolutely, yes. 

Let's talk numbers. I gained 33 pounds during my pregnancy with Henry. I stayed within the recommended weight gain of 25-35 pounds, but I was definitely at the upper end. Upon coming home from the hospital, I was super excited to see how much I'd lost... And was shocked to see it was only 7 pounds (Henry weighed 7 pounds two ounces!)! Luckily, the water retention went down, and at 4 weeks post-partum, I was down 20 pounds total. 

And then, the weight loss stopped. With 13 pounds to go, it seemed they were hanging on for dear life... And perhaps they were. I've always been slim and would consider myself fit, so with a brand-new breastfed baby in tow, my body seemed to want those extra fat stores. I resigned myself to the fact that those extra pounds might stay until I'm no longer breastfeeding, and I reminded myself that Henry is growing and healthy. 

And then... It was summer. Shorts season rolled in. And there's a solid chance I will end up in a bikini at some point. So those pounds started to frustrate me. And I decided I wanted to lose at least a few of them. But that, friends, takes a lot of hard work. 

As a fitness enthusiast, burning calories has never been an issue. It's calorie consumption that keeps me maintaining my current weight. So the hard work began. Eating cleaner. Cutting out some of the junk. Paying attention to how often I'm eating. Upping water intake. 

And with seven more pounds to go, it seems to be working, slowly and steadily. I've resigned myself to the fact that these pounds may stay awhile. I've accepted that my loose tummy skin will never completely go away. I can even handle having a little muffin top (for now!). Because our baby is incredible, and it's all worth it for him. 

So what do you do if you're in this boat and feel less than stellar about your progress? A few different things, actually! 

1. Buy a new pair of jeans, a new pair of capris, and a new pair of shorts that fit you now. Stuffing yourself in to clothing that doesn't fit will not make you feel better and will not motivate you. Chances are, you'll feel worse (and more discouraged)! Buy some items you feel good in now. Cut out the tags if you don't like the size. 

2. Workout when you can. Morning stroller walks are great. Free weights while baby is on the activity mat work wonders. Squat while baby wearing (hold on to baby!)! Have your partner or trusted friend watch baby so you can get in 30 minutes of cardio. It all adds up! 

3. Meal plan. I can't tell you how many times I've eaten some random, cobbled-together snacks since Henry was born and called it a meal. Plan meals out once a week, and make sure you have all the ingredients you need on hand. This might just save you from the ever popular potato chip/cheese stick/apple/piece of bread meal.  

4. Remember you just had a baby. Yeah, yeah, I'd do a lot better if I took my own advice. But it's true. It took nine months to put this weight on. It might take just that long (or longer!) to get it off. You had a baby! Go you! Cut yourself at least a little slack! 

Question of the day: How long did it take you to lose the baby weight? Or, what's a realistic timeline to lose weight in your opinion? Comment below and "weigh" in (See what I did there?)!


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