My Experience with Post-Partum Weight Loss

by fitforthesoul in


Hi there, lovelies!  And gentlemen, assuming you’re a male currently reading this. Smile Today I would like to talk a little bit about my experience with weight loss after giving birth roughly 2.5 months ago.  The reason for the topic being about “my experience” is simply that.  My experience!  It is not about what I think you should do in order to get back in shape.  Also, the following pointers are not scientifically proven absolutes that if you follow x, y, and z, you will be able to whip your body back into your pre-pregnancy shape.

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No, what I’m about to share is simply the things that have worked for my body and my schedule, and all I want is for you to be inspired by my journey and do what works best for you!  I know that it sounds rather cliché of me to say that, but my hope is that you will glean a little bit from me and others around you to make wise choices in order to lose weight.

Obviously all of these things have contributed to my weight loss post pregnancy, and I do believe that they will be helpful for anybody!  Yes, I’m looking at you guys too, male readers (just don’t breast-feed, see below).  However, do yourself the biggest favor and find the things that you enjoy to do when it comes to your diet, exercise, and all that good stuff.  This is one of those topics that have no absolutes in my opinion. Smile

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{3rd trimester} Oh my goodness, is that really me?!  That seems like a lifetime ago, hah!

Now with all that in mind…Let’s move on, shall we?! Open-mouthed smile

1.  Staying active during pregnancy

If you guys kept up with my pregnancy posts, then you might recall the fact that I was physically active throughout my whole pregnancy.  In order to keep up my cardiovascular health and stay in reasonable shape without overdoing it, I went to my local gym about 3 times a week on average because I alternated my cardio days with Ballet Body DVDs at home, which I kept up until the very end of the 3rd trimester.  During the 1st trimester I still ran and performed HIIT workouts that entailed quite a bit of jumping and strength training, but most exercises were done with my own body weight.

As my journey progressed I took it down a notch in the strength training department and challenged myself to elliptical intervals and the stepmill on most days.  The verdict in using those?  I loved them like crazy which I didn’t think was possible!  In my honest opinion, I would have to attribute my healthy weight gain of about 35 lbs. to those two machines and my muscle maintenance to the DVD workouts.

It’s obvious that if you are reading this after after having given birth already you can’t consider this tip.  But!  If you are contemplating pregnancy in the near future then I recommend that you give those a try just to see if they work for you!  It’s important to remember that maintaining a certain level of fitness is a lot easier than starting from square one.

2.  Breast-feeding

I definitely have to give breast-feeding some credit for helping me make my way to pre-pregnancy weight because it is known to burn approximately 500 calories extra per day.  I think I have 8-ish lbs. to go? I don’t have a scale but I checked the last time I was at my parents’ house.

Fortunately I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to nurse Selah and it has been wonderful!  I like the fact that breast-feeding is good for my body, hormones, prevention of post-partum depression and all that jazz as a result of bonding with my daughter.

But moms!  Pay attention to this slight tangent.  DO NOT FEEL DISCOURAGED IF YOU CAN’T BREAST-FEED YOUR CHILD!  Remember that there are numerous ways to bond with them so don’t let that guilt consume you. (I also love what this lovely fellow blogger had to say about her experience)  Also, there are plenty of other ways to burn up your calories and breast-feeding isn’t the be-all and end-all of fat burning.

3.  At-home workouts

Way back before I was pregnant I thrived on solely doing short workouts at home and then switched it up with a gym membership.  After about 3-4 weeks of giving birth I took it easy and started up really slow (and gentle because um, I was scared of hurting “somewhere” if you know what I mean Smile with tongue out).  I mainly did light routines that included exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, and reintroduced Ballet Body DVDs—really slowly.

I tried my best not to overexert myself and listened to my body because after a 3 week hiatus I felt a definite decrease in strength and endurance.  Not to mention, it is not wise to go full out from the beginning because we need to let our bodies heal from all the labor and all the sleepless nights.

Now I am extremely comfortable performing whatever my muscles crave and mainly stick to intervals like this one and the following one for cardio, and most of my own routines roughly take me anywhere between 14-20 minutes.

MLHIIT

And of course, in addition to all of that I’m still loving my Ballet Body DVDs.  I’m so so so sorry if I sound like a broken record but I can’t help it!  I am truly passionate about barre/ballet inspired workouts and can’t stop raving about them.  And don’t you worry about honesty from me, because I am in no way compensated to write this stuff.

For more exercise ideas that are super quick and efficient you may click on this link.

4.  Eating everything in moderation

Basically, I eat everything and anything I want in moderation.  Some days are better than others and I try to not let over indulgence give me a guilt trip, although honestly some days are pretty tough to win that battle.  I would say that about 80% of my meals are rather wholesome and filled with protein, veggies, and some carbs.

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The other 20% is made up of whatever is there and I see myself being a lot less pickier when Greg buys something like really oily pizza (ahem Pizza Hut), burgers, pastries galore, etc.

April 10-2013 (3 of 3)-3 Old photo of Urth Caffe’s cheesecake

I’ve been enjoying this way of eating because it helps me stay balanced!  Plus, if you’re a busy new mom you can’t be too picky about your food because you’re lucky if you can actually eat at a good hour, haha!

In order to keep my veggie intake manageable I try to purchase vegetables that have been washed and peeled already.  When Selah is being patient and watches me cooking, I take advantage of those times to wash and cut all my veggies and store them ahead of time.  I know that it’s a no-brainer tip but that step alone can cut down several minutes when Selah gets fussy while I’m preparing our meals!

5.  Enjoying life

Sometimes it is so easy to get wrapped up in my little bubble that is my home and think that I have to get a,b, and c done all within one day.  Thankfully I am often reminded to take it easy and enjoy the simplicity of life!  Instead of stressing out and being cooped up inside the house, I try to take daily walks with Selah and enjoy the great outdoors.  As I’m doing that I also get a chance to think about life, talk to God in nature, and pray for the people I see as I’m taking a stroll.

This small habit alone makes a world of a difference for a new mom as it keeps us stress free and much more balanced!  Stress free also means more satisfaction in non-food related things and less unnecessary weight gain.  I mention that last bit because believe me—it is a lot easier to walk up to the Lazy Susan and bust out Greg’s Doritos just because it’s there—a lot easier than if I were working outside of home!

Extra Thoughts

And last but not least, do not forget that weight loss after pregnancy will come in due time according to your own body’s chemistry. As much as you want to make it happen right now, it might just take several months or up to a year…But keep at it and don’t give up!

It is easy to think that we are supposed to drop the pounds within 2 weeks just because Hollywood deems that as normal. Word to the wise? That is not normal! Take your time and focus on becoming restored in your mind, body, and spirit.  The most important thing of all is, however, enjoying this precious time with your little one because you only get to live it once.

Let us remind each other to be thankful for what our bodies can do, and that no matter what size we may be we are still beautiful because we are uniquely and fearfully made.  I have to admit that it is not always a walk in the park when it comes to accepting myself for the way I look, feel, etc., but I realize more and more that it’s just a symptom of my own issues in not knowing my true worth.  And I am darn worthy in God’s eyes!  That’s all that matters in the end.

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Selah when we visited The Huntington

What other strategies would you add to this list?

Have you lost a significant amount of weight around a special time in your life?  If so, were you able to maintain that lifestyle?  How did you do it?

Do you prefer longer workouts or shorter ones?  Which ones have you seen rend the best results?

Love,

Ellie <33