The Secret to Losing the Baby Weight- Part 1
I recently had a mom ask me what was my secret to losing the baby weight. As moms, haven’t we all asked that very same question? Maybe not out loud, but we have all definitely thought that at some point and wondered what another moms “secret” was to losing the weight. I hate to be the one to tell you, but there is no “secret” except to BE PATIENT. Now you are probably thinking “oh great I, don’t really care what else this person has to say,” but hang in there with me.
One thing my husband had to remind me about time and time again was that it takes almost a year to put on all this extra weight and chances are it’s going to take at least that long, if not longer to lose it. But what’s even more important than being patient with yourself, is remembering that you are unique; your journey to lose the baby weight is going to be different from mine or anyone else that you meet. It will be different for every pregnancy that you have as well.
I have heard a lot of people say that breastfeeding is the secret to helping you lose weight; while it does help some moms lose the weight, it doesn’t magically erase the weight for others. Some moms simply cannot breastfeed and therefore don’t even have that option to help with their weightloss. If breastfeeding helped you lose all of the weight instantly then that is amazing and I’m a bit jealous, because some moms like me still had to wear maternity clothes months after giving birth because they couldn’t fit into any of their other clothes.
Let me share with you a little bit of my story. I gained 60 plus pounds when I was pregnant with my little man. I say 60 plus because for all I know I could have gained more than 60 lbs., but once I saw that number on the scale I couldn’t bare to see it rise any higher so I simply never got on the scale again. Once I got my appetite back, after the horrendous morning sickness (or in my case all day sickness), I couldn’t stop eating day and night. I even slept with a bag of goldfish next to my bed so I didn’t have to get up and make myself a snack every night. Although some nights I was so ravenous I would make bagel bites at 3 in the morning. The last two months of my pregnancy I swelled up so big you could barely see my ankles. It basically looked like I had elephant legs because my calves and ankles were so swollen they were almost a big as my thighs. Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but that’s what it felt like to me. Once I gave birth to my precious 8lb 6oz baby boy, I assumed that the baby weight would float off effortlessly. I was wrong about that. I was shocked that I still looked pregnant several months after giving birth; No one prepared me for that.
I never thought that I would get my body back and it’s true I didn’t, but what I have now is better. What I mean by that is, my body shape has changed since I had my baby. There is no way to “get my body back” because that pre baby body doesn’t exist any more. Having a baby changes everything in your life especially your body. Now I am not saying that you can't lose the weight or ever look good again because that is far from the truth. Suprisingly I am back down to clothing sizes that I could only fit into when I was in high school and I am in better shape now then I was in college. Moms you can be fit, lose the weight and look AMAZING!! Don't be suprised after you lose the baby weight if some of your old clothes still don't fit you anymore because your bosy shape has changed. Things shifted around when I was pregnant and have settled in different places. My hips are wider, my boobs are smalle, my waist is curvier and don't get me started on the stretch marks! I am learning to embrace my new body shape. Don’t get caught up in wishing you looked the way you did in the past, but instead embrace your new body shape, whatever that looks like for you.
I also want to encourage you to look at the big picture. It’s not about losing the weight and fitting back into your old clothes. Yes those things are amazing, but the thing to remember is that a healthy and fit lifestyle is more important then your clothing size and your weight on a scale. I don’t know about you, but I want to be the healthiest that I can be for my son. I love that I am able to keep up with my very active toddler. Having a child is not an excuse for me to not exercise, but rather it is the biggest reason why I need to exercise. I want to continue down this path of health and fitness so that I can be an example to my child of what it means to take care of your body.
While I cannot offer you a magical secret, tomorrow in Part 2 of this post, I will share some of the tips and tricks I used to lose all the baby weight. Keep in mind that it took me until my son was 9 months old to lose most of the baby weight and start feeling comfortable in my own skin again. And it took me until he was 15 months old to really tone up and get into shape. That is way longer then I thought it would take. I had a lot of hard days along the way where I was discouraged that I didn't see results right away, but I kept pushing forwad and I am so glad I didn't give up. It doesn’t just stop once you get the results that you want because you need to remain active to live a healthy and fit lifestyle.
My Progress in Pictures:
I was 7 months pregnant when we had our maternity photo shoot with Erin Purchase (If you are looking for a photographer in the South Florida area she is amazing). This was of course before all of the swelling, when I still looked cute. I also had my makeup done for these pictures because I needed professional help to hide the bags under my eyes! Jauquese Knowles is a fabulous makeup artist in South Florida and made me look flawless! She airbrushed and added lashes; the whole 9 yards!
Remember how amazing I told you Jauquese Knowles was? Well, my makeup is not all she did for me while I was pregnant. She airbrushed my pregnant belly for holloween. The funny thing about that night was that some people didn't realize it was my real belly. The horrible thing about that night is that I was looking and feeling pretty rough since I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy.
Yikes! I was looking rough at the end of my pregnancy. I was so ready to have my baby boy at this point, yet he stayed in there another 5 days after this picture was taken.
This was our first picture as a family of 3! I was very swollen, still looked pregnant, and was wearing a maternity dress. My husband is the only person who has ever seen this picture because I was too embarassed to show anyone what I really looked like leaving the hospital. But I felt like I needed to share this picture with all of you because I want to be real and honest in my blog. This gives the most accurate picture of where I started on my journey to lose the baby weight.
This was almost 2 months after my Little Man was born. I was still rocking the maternity clothes at this point. Amen for those stretchy waist bands!
This was almost 6 months post baby. I was squeezing back into some of my regular clothes at this point but still had more weight to lose.
This was my husband and I celebrating our 2 year anniversary. At this point my baby boy has just turned one and I lost all the baby weight, but wanted to tone up and exercise more.
And last but not least these are current pictures, almost 18 months after giving birth to my Little Man!
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow, where I will share all of my Tips and Tricks for losing the baby weight!