I'm sure every mom who has ever given birth understands and empathises with me when I say I lost weight post delivery after a LOT of struggle. There were too many obstacles and too many times when I felt like giving up, but I am so glad that I didn't!
Let me tell you my story - it goes something like this:
Due to complications during my pregnancy, I had to have a C-Section when giving birth to my second child. This made it very difficult to exercise after the delivery. For 3 months after my baby came into this world, I was told not to exercise as that could lead to a tear in the stitches across my tummy. However, I did want to get back in shape. So as an initial step I thought it would be smart if I cut down on all the yummy, tasty things I normally loved to indulge in. I thought I was helping myself by cutting down on all the fat intake, so I stuck to the plain old veggies and all that jazz. But, it was only after a few months that I realised that I hadn’t lost any weight.
You can imagine my anger and sadness when I found out that I'd kept myself away from all those goodies for all that time with ZERO result. I hadn’t lost any weight! Now, it was pretty demotivating for me. But then again, looking at my weirdly disproportionate body in the mirror helped me reverse that, and actually propelled me to do more. So I decided to do something about it and try another way to get in shape.
One piece of advice I’d like to give all you new moms out there is – be patient with yourselves. It’s neither going to be easy nor happen quickly. Give yourself the time you need to achieve what you want.
Once I made up my mind about this, the first thing I did was consult my doctor. I needed to know whether there was anything that I shouldn’t be doing, given the condition of my body and the fact that my body was needed by my baby as well. I also went through a lot of online blogs and websites (just like you’re doing right now) and read posts put up by other mums, doctors, nutritionists, and the like, about losing pregnancy weight.
The thing that made me happiest was that I didn’t have to give up on all my goodies. Obviously, I did cut down, but I didn’t give them up because giving up the food you really like or crave, may actually lead you consuming more food, therefore canceling out what you’re trying to achieve. So I made sure that I ate my favourite foods in moderation. I also made sure that I ate a lot of nutritious food so that my body got the vitamins and minerals it needed to nurse my baby girl. Believe it or not, breastfeeding actually helps you lose weight too as it burns calories (it's true!).
I tried my best to make sure that I consumed lesser fatty foods and carbohydrates and more proteins, vitamins and minerals. In addition to this, muscle building exercises helped me a lot as well. The science behind this is that these exercises speed up your metabolism, so your body starts to burn more calories. The best part about this was that I didn’t even have to go to the gym. Playing with my little girl in my arms was quite a workout in itself – lifting her up, pulling her closer and then holding her further out; it’s like killing two birds with one stone – you bond with your baby, and at the same time you get your body in shape.
Apart from this, I made it a point to not be lazy. I went on regular walks with my kids, sometimes I’d go jogging in the morning, and one of the most fun activities I did was group exercise with some other new moms. For me, this was super effective. I found that when you’re doing this in a group, you keep each other motivated, whether it’s due to your competitive nature, or supportive nature. You’re all in the same boat, and you’re having fun with your friends, so why not? In addition, it periodically gave me some much needed time off from my mummy chores of the day.
My aim was never to reach size zero or anything, but I definitely did get in much better shape. In fact, I’d even say that I was in a better shape than I was before my pregnancy. I guess all the extra hormones do have some merits to their name. In the beginning it was a bit of a struggle, trying to balance taking care of my kid while also trying so hard to be conscious of my food intake and exercise.
At certain points during this journey, I just felt like saying “So what if I’m fat? He’s already stuck with me!” A lot of the times, I just didn’t think about it because I was so preoccupied with more important things. But then, with the right amount of effort and A LOT of patience and motivation, I managed to figure out what worked for me.
That was my long and fruitful journey of how I lost my weight post giving birth. I hope you all have a similar story to share, and are successful in your missions too! Share this with other moms to inspire and motivate them on their journey!