It’s hard to believe that seven months have passed since we welcomed our little angel into the world. Although these last few months have been life’s most fulfilling, they have also been the hardest. From an unexpected and painful c-section birth and recovery to baby’s hospitalization to a pandemic, time is flying by although I feel like we’ve been standing still.
During pregnancy, I gained a very standard 35 pounds and naively expected to be close to pre-pregnancy weight soon after delivery. So you can imagine my shock at 3 months postpartum when the scale I had put off buying indicated I was still 16 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight (wtf?!?!). I knew I hadn’t yet lost all the weight – after all, nothing in my closet fit, but I was legitimately surprised by how far I still needed to go. A few days prior, I had taken a photo of myself at the gym post-workout and I just didn’t look like myself. I remember feeling disappointed and probably for the first time in life, incredibly self-conscious about my body.
I knew I had to make a conscious and concerted effort to get back into shape or accept this body as my new norm (while kissing my wardrobe goodbye). I chose the former, got serious, and lost 16 pounds in just about three months.
I am not a fitness expert or nutritionist and do not purport to be. And, the reality is that some things will never be the same postpartum, but hard work and dedication pay off. So, here’s how I did it and tips for reaching your goal!
Fitness Tips & Habits:
- Make time to work-out. Being a new mom is hard. Being a working new mom is even harder, but we can all carve out 30 minutes to an hour per day. Since getting serious, I have worked out on average, 4-6 times per week with varying intensity, but always dedicating at least 30 minutes to some form of physical activity. Luckily, baby is super entertained by my at home workouts and we’ve gotten into a routine of having him sitting and playing close by while I work out. Another great time for a workout is whenever baby is asleep – naptime, before he wakes in the morning or after he’s off to sleep for the night.
- Change the way you think about working-out. Being a new mom or living under quarantine means you likely have to abandon your old work-out and gym routines. But thanks to YouTube and a variety of phone apps (Peloton, Melissa Wood Health, etc.), there are now countless ways to access guided workouts, so running aimlessly is not your only option. Thanks to a little suggestion from a friend, I discovered Sydney Cumming’s YouTube Channel and have been enjoying her workouts almost daily. Not only does she post a new workout every day at 5:00AM, but her workouts are never longer than 60 minutes, do not require fancy equipment and are all free!
- Be ready for your workout by changing into gymwear. Whether it’s when you wake up or the minute you finish your workday, I have found that immediately changing into gym clothes helps me to actually follow through with my workout. How many times have you gotten home, sat on the couch, scrolled through Instagram for half an hour, then given up on the workout. Do not procrastinate! During the workweek, I get home and immediately change into gym clothing so I’m ready to crush the workout.
- Buy cute and comfortable athletic wear. If you look and feel good wearing it, you’re more likely to find yourself in it and actually working out. No matter the activity, you should always optimize your level of confidence by wearing items that flatter you.
Nutrition & Food Tips:
- Eliminate unnecessary add-ons and condiments. One of the first things I did was forego sugar in my coffee. Then, I started looking at everything I ingested in the same way. Does that burger really need a slice of cheese? Do you really need butter on your toast? Does that salad really need an extra swirl of dressing or oil? The answer is likely no, so why not eliminate it? Before I knew it, I was easily cutting out unnecessary calories from everything I was ingesting. Remember: Every little bit counts.
- Cut carbs at night. I have always found that late night carb eating makes me feel extra bloated and sluggish the next day. So during the week, I’ve eliminated carbs from my dinner plate – no rice, pasta, bread or potatoes!
- Intermittent fasting. Rather than follow a rigid eating schedule, I have simply restricted my daily eating window to 8–10 hours. Coffee and other calorie-free beverages are allowed outside of the eating window!
- Water, water, water. I drink as much water as possible and make a conscious effort to substitute any beverage with water.