When of the best experiences of my life (after college graduation and getting married) was the birth of my son. However, the road to bringing him into this world was not as easy or simple as I wanted it to be.
First of, let me tell you that pregnancy for me was not a fun, easy ride. Any woman who tells you otherwise is lying or has a super-evolved human body. Right from the beginning, I turned from a happy, go-lucky trainer into a mean, hormonal, hamburger and macaroni and cheese craving beast (well, at least that is my husband’s recollection of things). Not only that, but my weight sky-rocked fast, way beyond the doctor recommended 15-35lbs weight gain. Part of the excessive gain was due to hormones and water weight gain; the other part was due to my own darn fault (over consumption of sugary drinks and desserts did not help matters). To add insult to injury I barely exercised throughout my pregnancy (e.g. morning sickness for me was all-day event throughout the entire pregnancy).
I basically shucked away all of the advice I dispensed to clients throughout the years and just ate for two (two truckers on a cross-country trip). In total, I gained a total of 50lbs! Though my son was only 7lbs, the rest of the 43lbs weight gain came from too many trips to Chic Fil-A and Coldstone Creamery. This was crazy, I knew throughout my pregnancy to watch my calories and exercise, but I was in too much discomfort to perform either.
I needed to get back into my regular shape and fast, but I knew my prior fitness routine was not possible while taking care of my son-full-time. So I want to share with you how I lost ALL of the baby weight in 3 months without crazy dieting or stepping a foot inside of a gym.
Count Your Calories
I ate something with the recommended serving size and recorded the information. Yup, it is as simple as it sounds. The first couple of weeks were difficult as I tried to lie about how much (or little, depending on the day) food I consumed. After a while, I just recorded EXACTLY what I did, immediately after each meal so I would not forget.
Due to complications from childbirth (i.e. emergency C-section) and carpal tunnel in both hands, my planned postpartum exercise plan got thrown out of the window. I needed a new plan that still challenged my body, but was manageable. So I decided to walk, and walk A LOT. It helped (in a strange way) that my son hated to be placed down so I carried him everywhere, to the mailbox, up/down the stairs to change his diaper or outfit. In addition, my son started his day at 5:30am, which allowed my husband and I to talk hour-long walks before he left for work. Those walks allowed us to distress and bond as a family. In addition, that was the only thing we could do while we were so sleep deprived in the early newborn months.
Take the Victories along with the Setbacks
Most people thought I lost the weight due to breastfeeding; it helped, up to the 2-month point. I knew that fact clearly after a 2lb weight gain from binging on fruit tarts and Deli-sandwiches from Costco over a weekend. Some weeks were good and other weeks were bad (e.g. baby having teething pain and only 3 hours worth of sleep). I just knew that as long as I was consistent with my plan, the weight would come off eventually.
Weighed Myself Often
Weighing myself 1-2 times per week allowed me to be accountable to myself, especially on the days I felt was over-cocky or not encouraged-besides numbers do not lie.
Positive Support Network
In addition to my self-accountability I leaned on the support of my husband and close friends to help encourage and remind me to be active (even on the days all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and eat a pint of Caramel Drizzle ice cream). I received friendly encouragement throughout the journey reminding me that I was strong enough to conquer this challenge.
Here I am now. Back to my original weight and grateful for the experience.
I am human, just like you and understand how fitness is a journey, not a single stroll. Let me help you create a realistic and manageable plan to help you meet your wellness goals.
Denise Lee is America’s favorite medical exercise specialist. In addition to her personal training certification, she also holds a medical exercise certificate from the American Health and Rehabilitation and Professionals. She is active contributor on ideafit.com and co-host of the Dominate Fitness Podcast. She is the owner and operator of Pinpoint Training Services, in Alexandria, VA. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or her website.