Losing Weight After the Baby

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With each pregnancy I have the best intentions to not gain over 50 pounds.  But somehow, no matter how well I begin, the big 50 seems to creep up on me.  I ride the weight gain train all the way to the delivery room.  With my third pregnancy, I held up my XL maternity jeans (in normal life I am a medium/6-8) and thought I was in a Subway commercial, holding up the massive jeans to demonstrate my impressive weight loss.  The only problem was that the jeans still fit me.

Do not fret.  No matter the width and breadth of the denim, the weight can come off.  With the first child the weight seemed to come off on its own.  Mind you, it was not upon leaving the hospital.  I came home and immediately weighed myself just sure to find that the pounds had melted away.  No, I was five pounds lighter than at my last doctor’s visit.  Yes, it was a bit disconcerting, especially with my extreme sleep deprivation and hormone fluctuation.  At least give me the boon of weight loss.  No such luck.

My daughter had minor lactose intolerance, which removed ice cream, chocolate, cheese, butter and milk from my diet.  With the first, a dairy-free diet combined with nursing was all my body needed.  I felt like after the first baby that my body had a memory of its pre-pregnancy shape and was therefore much easier to find it again.

On the second pregnancy, it is a little harder.  Your body’s memory of your previous self is quickly fading!  After three or four months and nothing in my former closet fitting, I cut my calories.  Not extensively.  I finally changed the pregnancy patterns that led to the 50+ pounds during pregnancy and did some minor exercises in my house.  At this point I had two children: an infant and an 18-month-old.  Everything was harder.  Give yourself time.  And especially make sure that you can maintain healthy milk supply while you shed pounds.

On the third baby I approached his first birthday and still had a predilection for elastic waistbands.  I needed both exercise and sensible eating and it took me almost a year to find the time and motivation to do this.   The only way I was able to finally exercise was to find something that I loved.  I enrolled in a Bikram Yoga class: hot yoga that feels oh so good.  It was exercise and a hobby.  After three children I needed both.

I did it.  I got my body back!   I have not done any crash diets.  I am not a diet person, especially not while nursing.  But for you and your kids, you must find yourself again.  Of course it does not have everything to do with your shape, but for me fitting into my old jeans reconnects me to me.

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