My pregnancy was truly, a breeze. I was able to work all the way through; I went to the gym daily and really felt great. I know most don’t have this experience but I did. However, I did gain weight with my baby, as I think most every mom does. It’s just a normal part of the process. I gained about 40 lbs. but looked and felt rather healthy. I was able to lose the first 10 within the week, mostly all baby. The next 20 over the next two months came off easily. The last 10? Yikes. It felt like the bad breakup that wouldn’t go away.
And I felt bad. I felt “not me”. I felt a little out of place. I’m sure you have too. But I also felt determined to be better. It was a feeling that I need to be stronger, need to be better. Because it became about more than baby weight or spare pounds. It started becoming about my long-term health goals, how and I going to perform for the next two-thirds of my life?
So here’s what helped me:
- Know Your Habits
Don’t tell yourself things like, “I can’t eat any carbs” or “there’s no way I can have any sugar”. While it’s true you may need to limit your intake, I found when I told myself no, I wanted it more. For instance, there’s no way my morning breakfast sandwich will become oatmeal. I like oatmeal but my favorite meal, is breakfast. I’m not going to try and change the way my body works and what I like. The reason; I can’t maintain that. I can’t maintain “no carbs” ever. But what I can do it limit it. So here’s my solution for myself. I do a breakfast sandwich or an omelet in the morning, for lunch I do a decent sized lunch of a chicken salad or something of a similar portion. Dinner is my smaller meal, I scale it down. Know yourself and what you can realistically maintain. I’m sure depriving yourself gets quick results but probably not lasting.
2. Replace Snacks.
When I’m tempted to get a snack after my main meal, or to go for seconds, I’ll opt for more veggies or a fruit. My weakness is carbs, the rolls, the breads and bagels. So instead, I’ll opt for another salad or something cleaner, even yogurt. I’ll stop and think about what it is before eating, i.e. cheese and crackers instead of the chips, etc. It’s the small wins and the little habits I’m trying to change.
3. Get moving!
Odds are, your baby loves walks. She loves the outdoors, the leaves, and the grass. Take advantage of this. Get that stroller out and go for a walk. I’ve been trying to incorporate more movement into my day. Too often I forget how great a walk feels when you’re done. We also started taking Chase hiking in a hiking pack for babies. This is a great way to get moving and have a lot of family fun.
4. Shakes are good!
I am NOT a big shake person, I’ll admit. The idea of getting a bunch of junk in the blender or tasting chalk in my drink makes my stomach churn. But here’s what I do instead. I bought a shake blender cup that includes the blender ball. From there, I just use core power because it tastes great and not chalky. When I hit an afternoon lull after lunch, before dinner, I’ll drink it and it gives me a second wind without causing any afternoon cravings. It’s also a great source of protein.
5. Focus on Stronger.
I used to get on the scale all the time post-par tum, wondering why the numbers weren’t in my favor one day to the next. Instead, I stopped that. First of all, it’s silly; secondly, it’s not effective. Every day, work toward progress. Every day, try and eat better than the day before. Focus on getting your body stronger, loving your body. Treat it well; get the nutrition you need because it makes you a better mom, a better wife. Focus on health and wellness because of how good it makes you feel. It should be less about numbers and more about strength. Be strong mama.