One of my most frequently asked questions is how I lost the baby weight. It took me about a year to lose almost 50 lbs since the very end of my pregnancy, so it was definitely a long process, especially with breastfeeding and wanting to make sure my supply wouldn’t suffer.
I’ll try my best to share what worked for me, because I know a lot of mamas have a hard time getting back to their old self. We have so much more responsibility on our shoulders — caring for an entirely new human being’s every want and need at all hours! And a lot of us have mom guilt with spending time on ourselves, but it’s oh so important.
At the end of pregnancy in early December 2015, I was a whopping 194 lbs — heavier than my husband, who’s quite a bit taller too! You can imagine how that felt. I gained 35ish throughout the pregnancy, but I also wasn’t at a happy place with my weight before I got pregnant. I lost the first 20 lbs pretty quickly in the beginning, but after that it was a slow and tedious process, because I didn’t want to do anything drastic.
I lost about 2-3 lbs a month after the initial big weight loss from actually giving birth, which felt like eternity.
Now I’m around 144 lbs (5’9″) and feeling a lot better. That’s not to say I’m planning to stay where I am; I’m still a work in progress and have some wiggly bits I’d like to tighten up. Bikinis seriously make me SO nervous.
Have you seen my curated Shops? I regularly update the Women’s, Men’s, Baby, Maternity, & Home sections with items I either currently use or would love to try and think my Bond Girls would enjoy as well!
So back to the point of this blog post. The 3 main things that have helped me lose the baby weight slowly but steadily over the last year have been:
Changing the way I see food, and
Staying busy and out of the house.
Notice there’s no mention of the gym. I tried working out over the past year, but it just wasn’t something I could maintain, since Vienna is attached to me at the hip at all times. With our move in about a month, I’m hoping our parents will be able to watch her for short periods of time so I can clean the house, exercise, and get some work done fast and without interruption. Am I dreaming? 🙂
So I focused on my food intake, since I have to eat no matter what.
Sounds controversial, right?
With exclusively breastfeeding, I had an out-of-control appetite, again rivaling that of my husband. Obviously I had a lot of trouble losing weight in the beginning, because I was taking in way more calories than I was burning with the breastfeeding. Having a baby was a huge lifestyle change, and honestly, food was my comfort, so I let myself eat when I wanted to. Because of that, the fat DID NOT just “melt away” with breastfeeding, and I remember my OBGYN telling me I’d probably be hanging onto an extra few pounds due to breastfeeding.
I’m still nursing now, but it’s not as a main food source for my baby. Now it’s more of a comfort thing at night and sometimes during the day if we’re home a lot. My appetite has definitely leveled out, and I can eat my regular 3 meals with some healthy snacks throughout the day and feel satisfied. My boobs have also significantly decreased in size, since there’s not as much demand for milk production, woohoo!
I’m not hating on breastfeeding at all, and I hope to do it again if I get pregnant again, but it definitely made me hangry.
Changing the Way I See Food
Tying in with breastfeeding less, I started to look at food as a nutrient source instead of a comfort when I was feeling sad or overwhelmed, etc. That had a lot to do with becoming more confident as a new mother, and it came with time and practice. Again, having a baby was a huge lifestyle change, and we all turn to different things for comfort. For me, it was food.
Feeding Vienna solid foods helped me redefine food in a way too. Although I’m not the strictest with this, it helps me when I ask myself, ‘would I feed my daughter this food?’ I’m much more inclined to give her the more nutritious option than myself, so this mentality is helpful in a weak moment.
Lastly, after figuring out some kind of a natural rhythm between mothering duties and focusing on my career, my blog has in a sense helped me lose weight. It’s my creative outlet, my “other baby,” and I love the freedom it gives me to have one foot at home and one foot at work. It’s a documentation of my life, and it helps me stay aware of all the blessings over the years — pretty amazing!
Staying/working at home requires a lot of willpower to be able to organize yourself. And sometimes the hours run into days and days into weeks and weeks into months, feeling like you’re doing the same thing over and over again. Feed, bathe, diaper, play, sleep, again and again.
I highly encourage SAHM’s to have a little place for themselves to be able to do things they love and have conversations with other adults, whether it be some work on the side, a hobby, involvement in organizations, whatever. That’s what keeps me sane and (kinda) balanced, haha.
Going outside the home every day is so important, even if just for a short stroller walk!
So, I’m not sure if that’s what you expected for a post on losing baby weight, but that’s just me being real. Much love! xo