I have a confession to make. I read all of those celebrity “body after baby” articles while standing in the grocery store checkout. Even though they are complete and utter crap, they’re like car wrecks. I can’t stop myself from looking. So you want to snap back to a size two after you’ve had a baby? Here’s the secret: Start out by being 20lbs underweight for a normal adult female. After you have the baby, don’t breastfeed so you can take up smoking, quaff skinny lattes by the gallon and gulp green-tea diet pills. Hire a personal trainer to kick your ass boot-camp style every day for three months and a personal chef to prepare your ultra-low carb, high-protein diet. And just for fun, throw in a Master Cleanse and a few colonics to “flush out the toxins.” Do I sound bitter? Seriously, I wish someone would have told me how hard it was to lose weight after having a baby. My attempts to get back in shape and get off of ‘Team Chunk’ have been made all the more challenging now that my baby is an active toddler and work is going full speed. Prior to D2’s birth, I’d always been a gym rat and was able to sneak in 3-5 work outs a week. Then came baby and it was all I could do to drag myself for a walk a few times a week. I had a day of reckoning when I tried to fit in to a pair of old jeans only to find to my utter dismay that they were not even close to fitting. I definitely had too much junk in the trunk and it was a state of emergency. I needed to drop weight and I needed a plan that would fit in with my busy schedule.
Now I tend not to be a joiner – but this was a crisis so I put aside my reservations and signed up for Weight Watchers. A number of my co-workers had very successfully lost their baby weight with WW and as a nursing mom I was particularly keen to not be on a starvation diet. I am surprised at how much I love WW. It’s very sensible and I like that I can eat anything I want as long as I watch my portions and stick to the good health guidelines.
I then suspended my gym membership. Stick with me here because I know it’s totally counterintuitive. For the last year I’d been paying $100 plus a month for a membership I never used. I decided that I needed a fitness plan that I could do at home. My husband and I invested in a gym grade elliptical trainer, hand weights, exercise bands and a stability ball. In addition, I bought a few DVDS that that I fell in love with. I invested in the Physique 57 DVD set. If you’ve never heard of Physique 57 you are in for a (hurts so good) treat. The work outs are based on the Lotte Burke method, a ballet-influenced workout that emphasizes lengthening and stretching muscles. I also heart Lindsay Brin’s Postnatal Boot Camp. I love this DVD because there are a variety of intense workouts that are each no more than 30 minutes, perfect for the busy mom. I’ve just ordered the Zumba DVD and am really excited about giving that a go – though I am wondering how weird it will be to be having my own private dance party in my living room.
I decided long ago that slow and steady wins the race and to that end, I haven’t pressure myself to lose all of the weight in a hurry. In the 13 months since my son has been born, I’ve lost 43 pounds – all of my baby weight plus a few extra pounds. I’m now working to shed an additional 25lbs to get back to my college weight. It’s going to be tough but I’m in it for the long haul. I feel great and it’s good to get back into my old clothes. I’m getting compliments from friends and family, which is always a nice ego boost. I will eventually return to the gym one day, but right now this routine is working for me and my schedule. These days, I’m basically working out 3-4 days a week with a focus on making sure I work out on the weekends when I have the most time. With the help of Weight Watchers, I’ve gained a new appreciation for nutrition and the quality of the food I put in my body. I’ll keep you posted on my continued weight loss trials and travails. Tell me, what’s working (or not) for you? As a busy professional, how do you fit fitness and nutrition into your life?
Please note, I’m not getting paid to mention Weight Watchers or any of the DVDs noted above. These happen to be what’s working for me right now and I’d love to hear what’s working for others.