How to Lose Baby Weight

Posted by  | Sunday, July 6, 2008  at 4:22 PM  
Here's the progression: 10 weeks pregnant, 20 weeks pregnant, two days before c-section.






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Whew. My face felt and looked like it was going to pop. Just take a moment to compare the three pics. I gained just shy of 40 pounds. The pictures below were taken when Laney was ten months old and they serve as an encouragement to you that you CAN lose that baby weight! I know you can!








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How do you lose these extra baby pounds? You know what I am going to say. We all somewhat know what losing weight demands from us, but oh how women loathe the sacrifice needed to reach our goal, except for the post-partum Mama. There is NOTHING more motivating than the everyday sweat pants, waving tricips, dimpled thighs, sprayed-on tight blue jeans, and the classic muffin top physique.

My post today is to remind you of the normal duties that we need to do to lose our baby weight, but also shed some light on some of the misconceptions our society has about eating healthily, that will also help you lose weight. Isn't true health what we really want? Don't we long for not only a fit body, but a healthy one at that? Or do we plan to address that when our cholesterol starts rising? Doesn't our health affect more than our appearance? What about our moods, hormones, or ability to fight colds and diseases? What does the Lord have to say about our affections for such a shapely body? I believe the Lord is honored when we care more about being good stewards of taking care of our bodies (aka: HIS temple for the Christian Believer). Desiring a hot body is not wrong, but we must be guarded that these thoughts don't consume our minds and become idols for us.

I vividly remember about a month after my c-section, just about the time my incision was healing up, getting out some jeans that were a few sizes bigger than I normally wore. "These are FOR SURE going to fit," I thought. I was SHOCKED that I couldn't even pull those things up past my knees. How discouraging. I had only two sweat suits that fit, we were on a limited budget, so a shopping spree was out of the question, and I just felt so "blah" and unattractive. I wanted to be one of THOSE Mamas that fit right into her pre-prego clothes in a month or two. Hahaha! Yeah right. Have you been there? Can I just encourage you dear sister if you're right in the thick of these feelings and thoughts? How do you lose your baby weight when you have a baby to care for? Let me suggest a few things that worked for me, but realize that every woman, metabolism, and body work altogether differently.


1.) Breastfeed: Breastfeeding will pull the weight off of you slowly but surely. The longer you breastfeed the more you'll lose. I breastfed/pumped for 13.5 months. Oh and practice patience. Yes, I said it. The "P" word. It took my body seven months to get close to my pre-prego clothes. I believe I was one size above what I normally wore at seven months after Laney's birth.


2.) Where are your eyes? Are you comparing yourself to other Moms you know? Are you envious of the trendy clothes that you can't seem to wear right now? Do your eyes go straight to your "needs improvement" areas when you look in the mirror before hopping in the shower? STOP. STOP! Stop critiquing yourself. Instead, resist and fight the urge to be so critical of yourself. I had to make a pact with myself and the Lord that I would NOT look critically at my legs, butt or belly in the mirror. I got so good at fighting that temptation that I didn't even look in the mirror at all upon entering the bathroom. It was as if there was no mirror in our bathroom. Protect yourself by thinking positive, motivating and encouraging thoughts.


3.) Goals: Do you have any? How realistic are they? Have you made any room for grace if you don't meet those goals? I'm one that has to have a goal in mind. I have to have something to look forward to, to get my tail going. Mine was a trip to the beach eight months after Laney was born and my brother's wedding ten months after her birth. Being in a bathing suit and having an already purchased ($120) bridesmaid dress in my pre-prego size were enough to help me choose wisely with what I ate and how I exercised. I used those as positive motivators and it worked for me. If you can't think of something to motivate you, PLAN SOMETHING! Everyone needs SOMETHING upon which to look forward.

4.) Bye-Bye Little Debbies: These are the no-brainers that everyone knows you shouldn't eat. Get them OUT of your house. You MUST cut the majority of refined sugars out of your diet if you expect to lose your weight and have a healthy body. I stopped making sweet tea every week and replaced it with water. Try ice water with a splash of lime in it. Yummy! If you are dying for something sweet, use a HEALTHY sugar replacement, such as Stevia(poweder), 100% pure maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, rapadura (for baking), or sucanat (for baking). And remember, baby steps here. If you're about to lose your mind, eat a small dove dark chocolate piece until you can muster up the strength to eliminate it altogether. That's what I did. I stopped eating pre-packaged, processed foods, like cold-cereals, granola bars (packed full of sugar), and even cut back on some bread. I didn't cut all bread out, but I didn't eat it at every meal either. You don't necessarily need bread unless you are exercising a lot. I replaced my unhealthy snacks with fruits, cheese, glass of whole raw milk...etc. (living foods!)

5.) Exercising: I started really exercising when Laney was about six months old (June/July-ish). I walked five mornings give or take a day for about 45 minutes with Laney in the Ergo carrier. I would get up, eat breakfast, feed Laney her bottle of breastmilk, pump for 20 minutes since there was so much milk for the first feeding, and then we'd run out the door to go on our walk before the temperature got hot. Why pump for 20 minutes? That's a long story, but just know I had to succumb to the pump after three terrible months of nursing. Laney had a milk allergy and we didn't know it until after I was pumping full-time.


6.) Fats: Is your body getting enough good, saturated fats that your body needs every day? I bet you're thinking, "Hollie, I'm trying to lose weight, not gain weight. why would I EAT fat if I wan to lose fat?" This is by far the greatest misconception our society has nowadays: The Low-Fat/Fat-Free lifestyle. I can't emphasize to you how dangerous is living a low-fat/fat-free lifestyle. I could write numerous pages on this alone, and obviously, there's not enough room for that in this post, but I will touch on it with a few words. (Krista, maybe you could elaborate in your post?) This was the big eye-opener that I learned this past year. I had no idea and fell right into the fat-free lifestyle. First, PLEASE go out and buy "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" by Sally Fallon. Also check out Westen A. Price Foundation. I cannot stress this enough. You will learn so much!

"Creamy sauces, buttered vegetables, and ice cream taste good for a reason. It's not that your body is trying to torment you by making unhealthy foods seem delectable. Instead, your body is using your taste buds to signal what you need." (Eat Fat, Lose Fat, Sally Fallon)



"Starving yourself is counterproductive, since it signals the body to hold onto fats. When you eat sufficient quantities of the right kinds of fats, you'll notice that you can for hours without eating and without experiencing food cravings, because your body is satisfied and your blood sugar is stable. Nutritional satisfaction signals your body that food is abundant, so it releases fat stores. This is the key to weight loss." (Eat Fat, Lose Fat, Sally Fallon)


What types of fats are we recommended to eat?
-Coconut oil: The secret ingredient to weight loss. 1-1.5 tablespoons in a warm drink before EVERY MEAL.
-Avocados (or yummy guacamole)
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil (make your own salad dressings)

-Whole milk (preferably raw)

-whole fat cheeses, yogurt, and sour cream

-LOTS of butter (preferably from pasture-fed cows)

-eggs for breakfast-animal fats: especially fats from red meat, the skins (yes, skins!), (don't drain your meats)
Talk about a yummy eating plan!!!Upon reading this book came a HUGE realization that I was knee-deep in America's fat-free obsession. I am only skimming the surface and am leaving out important details concerning preparation of meals, so that's why you need to read this book.



7.) Snacks: Since making such a drastic change in your lifestyle all at once can be overwhelming, take it one step at a time. For me, since I loved to snack, I would brew a cup of hot tea mid-afternoon as my "snack". This was one of the main reasons I started to lose weight because it helped me stop snacking. It gave me something to do when I was figety and wanting to over-indulge in something sweet. I trained myself to drink my hot tea without sugar, but if you like sugar and don't want the calories, maybe use a HEALTHY sugar replacement (see above).



8.) I ate smaller portions and had a light dinner three times a week. Eat more salads with homemade whole-fat dressings. I also watched my carbs, even healthy vegetable carbs. For example: I would not eat big portions of mashed potatos, corn, and carrots all in the same meal with a glass of sweet tea. If I made a healthy dessert, I would allot for the dessert by not eating a lot of starchy veggies or breads during the day.


9.) Lastly, there will always be days when you take your out-of-town company out to eat,go on a vacation where you don't fix the meals,attend wedding receptions and baby showers, or have date nights out where you know you will not healithy. Sister, that's life. I tried my best to eat healithy while at home and when I went out, I didn't beat myself up for eating something full of sugar or something fried. I was, however, diligent to hop back onto my exercise and eating healthily once I got back home.


I hope I have helped you in some fashion or form to realign your thoughts to healthy ones, to motivate you to exercise and to prepare wholesome, nutritious foods for you and your family. I'm sure I said a few things without explaining them well, so ask away for clarification. Also, I want to know what has worked for you in losing your baby weight!!! Please! I pray the best for you and yours! Thanks for stopping by.









14 comments:

Robin Baker said...

great job! you look amazing. You will love this book if you haven't already read it... Perfect Weight America by Jordin Rubin. He is a messianic Christian and also wrote the Maker's Diet. Fresh, natural, local & organic. It's great.

Hollie said...

I love Jordin Rubin!! I have yet to hear of this book, so THANK YOU for telling me!

Teesa and Bill said...

Good job, Hollie! You look great. I also recommend a book called "Body for Life for Women." It's more for when the baby is about 10 months old or so, but it works great for getting healthy. Thanks for sharing.

Shannon said...

Very good and thorough post. Thanks! Teesa, I'm interested in that book; I'll look for it on Amazon.

KC said...

Way to go! I agree with you that current wisdom on fats is misleading. Good for you for going with what you know to be right!

The Fladung's said...

Thanks for the helpful and encouraging tips, Hollie! I LOVE Prayer of Hannah and am so blessed by reading it each week. The weight issue is one that hits so close to home for me (especially your point about needing to have goals, but ALLOWING ROOM FOR GRACE should you not meet those goals/take longer than planned to meet those goals). I so often struggle to accept my post baby body (I never even had hips until I had my first son!) and to be grateful for the body that the Lord has given me, but now I feel like I've been inspired once again to keep on keepin' on the healthy eating and excercising in order to maintain a healthy body and mindset. Thanks so much! Also, I'm excited to check out the book on the importance of eating fats...thanks for the recommendation!

marymstraits said...

The best thing that I did to shed the baby weight was running. I couldn't run very far at first, but I kept at it and am up to 4 miles at a 9-minute-mile pace.

I also have to say that nursing was a huge help--but you can't eat whatever you want while you nurse. I had a lot of women say to me, "Oh, you're nursing so you can eat whatever, right?" WRONG! I also found that when I felt the urge to snack, I was actually just thirsty. If you think you might be hungry, try drinking some water first! And eat SLOWLY so that you can listen to your body better--when you're full STOP EATING even if your plate isn't clean!

One thing that I've made peace with is the fact that I may weigh the same but my body at that same weight is just different. I still have issues with the stretch marks I tried so hard to prevent, but I try to see them (and other changes) as evidence of God's goodness to me. I do my best to exercise, eat right, and splurge every so often so that I don't get so "down" about the changes I see . . .

The McCurdy Family said...

I have a question that I have been trying to answer for a couple of years, since I had my third child. Exercise? When and how? After the first child, I worked out everyday, the second I did fine. The third and now the fourth I can't seem to work it into my schedule. Between homeschooling, nursing, preparing and cooking healthy meals, wise shopping and housekeeping not including a marriage to strength and a relationship with the Lord. Where do you work it in? Some of the things I have tried, walking with 4 children, work out videos in a very small living room, the list goes on. I would love to know some other mothers work-out schedules.

Thank you Hollie for being so encouraging. You have given healthy advice instead of those crash diets.

Corrie said...

WOW, just what I needed to read today. Losing the last of my baby-weight plus a few pounds has been heavy on my mind and heart. Thank you for the encouragement and info!

marymstraits said...

About the exercise, I can imagine how hard it would be with four children! WOW! Plus, homeschooling! Impressive!

I joined the YMCA in the area after my son was born. At first, we didn't have the money for the family plan, so I just joined for myself. I would go either in the morning before every one was awake (they open at 5:30) or in the evening after bedtime (7:00) when my husband was home. We have since been able to pay for the family membership, which is great. When I'm not teaching, we make going to the Y a little outing during their child care hours. My son LOVES to go and play, and they have child-care for kids from 6 wks. through middle school age. I can imagine that getting out of the house with four is a huge production (I had 4 brothers and sisters growing up), but you might want to try either early in the morning or after bedtime. Even if you can't swing joining a gym, I know my husband lost 60 lbs. from running outside around where we live. It IS painful at times to do it early in the morning or at the end of a long day, but I feel so much better about myself for working out. Plus, I have a ton more energy when I go in the morning! And I know for me, getting out alone sans baby, even if it was to sweat, was great motivation! That's what worked for me!

Oh yeah, I also try to use my workout as a faith-building experience: I listen to worship songs while I run and sometimes pray for my family.

Christy said...

Hollie,
This post is so encouraging. My baby is just a few weeks shy of 9 months so I'm running out of time to use the 9 months up, 9 months down rule. It's so encouraging to hear that someone else, especially someone else who is as healthy as you, took a while to see the pounds go away. I too had very unrealistic expectations about how quickly I would lose the weight. I just have a couple of pounds to go. Lord willing, it will happen in the next couple of weeks.

Does anyone have advice for getting rid of the giggly-jello tummy? Even though I'm only a few pounds away from my previous weight, my stomach still muffin-tops over everything!

p.s. I took your advice Hollie and went walking this morning with my baby in the Ergo. Thanks for the idea!

Krista said...

I found that the only way I could really be consistent with exercise is to do it first thing in the morning. My goal is to jog for 30 minutes, shower, and have QT before Lydia gets up. Currently, that means I can get up between 6:30-7 a.m. However, there have been seasons where that meant getting up at 5:15 (or even earlier). I know that I cannot be the wife and mother God has called me to be without consistent exercise so I really put a priority on this time. I was definately not a morning person when I committed to this but, through the years, have definately become one and now cherish my time in the mornings alone with the Lord. As I jog I mediate and pray; then during QT I read and journal. At first it is very hard and very tiring to get up earlier to exercise but after a couple weeks your body will start feeling so much better! I find I have more energy overall and can be a better wife, working to strenghten my marriage when I exercise as well. (Although my husband does have a joke that I "morph" at night and become a zombie. It's true, by 10 p.m. I'm pretty worthless.)

I chose jogging because it is so easy to put on good shoes and walk out of your house and be exercising - it saves me time not having to drive somewhere and back.

ChezDeshotels said...

Thanks for the great info I am now just pregnant for the first time and I have had had to stop running I was running 2 miles a day or so, but now I walk 45 min. a day I am hoping I keep in the habit so I can loose weight I gain. Thanks for all the great advice. I agree with Krista I have to get up early and do my QT and exercise before Lydia gets up...Running/Walking was my only option because I could do it on my 10th of a mile driveway and can see Lydia's room, (my husband leaves at 4am for work) So it has worked for me. I have battled weight I have gained from a steroid medication I had to take beofre I got pregnant so I didn't get all of it off before pregnancy so guess I will have to work harder. Thanks for thw wonderful job each of you do in your contributions

The Simple Shepherdess said...

Krista's response to the "how/when to exercise" question is exactly how I have done it too. First thing in the morning...even though it's hard to train myself to do it. It's a must for me to be who I know God has called me to be as wife and mom.

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