You are a new mom. You brought a new life into this world after incubating and growing it for approximately 280 days. You haven’t slept more than 2-3 hours at a time for weeks, possibly months. You are lucky if you get to put deodorant on and wash your face, let along have a full-on shower. Your job is to make sure you, your baby and other members of your household survive these first few months of infancy.
And you are upset that you haven’t achieved the number one goal that you set for yourself at least 9 months ago and had repeated to yourself over and over again in the months leading up to the birth of your beautiful child? “I will lose the pregnancy weight. I will regain my girlish figure. Baby will sleep all the time so I can work out when she sleeps. The gym has child-minding. I can work out with out any issues. I will be back on track as soon as this baby is born.” And any other ways that you may have said it to yourself.
As a matter of fact, the number one goal that I hear from women who start to work out during their pregnancy is that they want to limit the amount of weight they gain so it is easier to take off after they give birth.
So, now that you have had your baby, what is your reality? Are you tired, overworked, underwashed and disappointed in yourself? Maybe you keep promising yourself that you will start your diet tomorrow? And then tomorrow comes and you are disappointed again that you didn’t start?
So what stops us from achieving that weight loss goal? And more importantly, what can we do about it?
#1. Stop what you are doing. Stop it right now. Sit down on a comfortable chair away from other distractions. Close your eyes and picture yourself in your favourite place, with your favourite people, eating your favourite food, doing your favourite activities.
#2. How do you feel after doing that activity? Did your weight enter into the picture at all? Or did you simply appear to be healthy and physically able to do whatever it was you were doing?
#3. Reframe your goals!
As new moms, your goals should be centered around your health and welfare; even when it comes to your baby. If you are drained of energy and find motherhood to be dragging you down then you need an energy boost! And coffee isn’t going to cut it!
So, instead of focusing on the scale, focus on how you feel.
Eating nutritious foods, and enough of them, provides important building blocks for you and your baby. Food gives you nutrients to build metabolically active tissue (muscle), enzymes to break down the nutrients, hormones and neurochemicals to help stabilize your mood and increase your mental clarity and the calories (energy) to keep you going!
Physical activity, no matter what it is, makes you feel better and more energetic! You can challenge your muscles to become stronger and stabilize your joints (prevent & decrease joint pain). Your neurochemical levels increase so you are happier and more satisfied. Your stress hormone levels decrease so that you are able to release fat from your body instead of storing it. You have the energy to meet the demands of having a baby and your muscles are tighter so, even if they have a layer of fat on top of them, you look leaner!
Here is what you need to remember:
Weight loss is a side effect of a healthy lifestyle. It does not define a healthy person.
It took you 9 months to put that weight on, it should take you 9 months to take it off safely. And if it takes you longer, don’t stress about it because stress hormones make the problem worse. Just keep being consistent and you will see results within your health that will lead to results around your waist.
If you need some help to get started with your post-natal fitness, feel free to download my new e-book, “How to Safely Kick Your Own Butt Back to Pre-Pregnancy Fitness & Beyond!’.
If you have any tips on how to incorporate fitness into your busy life, feel free to leave them below!
Leah Esplen is a certified canfitpro Pre & PostNatal Fitness Specialist PRO TRAINER, CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist and BCRPA Trainer of Fitness Leaders in Aquafit, Fitness Theory and Resistance Training who had the crazy idea that she didn’t know enough about health and fitness so she decided to go back to university and get her Masters degree in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology when her children were 3 and almost 2. She liked it so much that she decided to continue to teach in the department while running her own Pre&PostNatal Fitness and instructor education company, MommyMoves Fitness & Education, Ltd. Thankfully, her husband supports her many endeavours by cooking delicious and nutritious meals for the family! Her girls, Grace and Rose, started out as being colicky little beans who would never let their mother rest but have blossomed into active pre-teens who enjoy running, hiking, surfing, kayaking, snow-shoeing, taekwondo-ing and, above all else, swimming with their parents!