When you finally get into a new routine with baby, you make the
stupid decision to pack up all of your maternity clothes, and get ready to lose the baby weight. You will most likely be looking for some support, because let me tell you mama, losing weight is HARD.
After you have a baby, it can be hard to find time to use the bathroom, let alone find time in the day to work out. So how on earth are you going to lose the crazy amount (or maybe not so crazy for some of you mamas) of weight you put on while pregnant. My little girl was born in June, and I have a long
(I'm talking like really long, mamas) way to go to get back to the weight I was before baby numero uno. Like 3 years ago. Oofta. SO. I have decided to make a few changes in my day-to-day to achieve this goal. Keep in mind, I am no expert. HA. I am so not an expert. I'm just a mama with a couple of kids trying to feel better about herself in a pair of jeans. And if you're anything like me and don't want to be the hangry mama (who is now not only sleep deprived but food deprived)
then stay tuned for a few of my basic mama tips that might help you lose some weight and feel better.
This is the number one thing on everyone's list of getting in better shape because it is SO. IMPORTANT. And we're not talking a glass here and there. We're talking like a gallon a day. Drinking water not only detoxes your system, but helps with digestion, complexion, and energy. Plus, if you're like me and still breastfeeding, then you know that when you haven't had enough water, the girls don't perform. No bueno. Whether you need to use water bottles, a big jug, or your favorite refillable glass, just make sure you're getting in your H2O. I use a big cup with a straw, fill it up with ice and a few orange slices (or sometimes strawberries, blueberries, lemon), and I'm good to go. I know that if I refill it 4 times throughout the day I've met my goal-- I track my water intake on my phone, but you can also use a dry-erase marker/sharpie on your water bottle to track ounces that way! I find that if I'm reaching for my water first, then I'm less likely to be reaching for my true love coke that is in the fridge. Making sure that you're hydrated means that you won't be substituting with sugary, high calorie drinks instead. And yes, I do believe hell froze over as I wrote that.
Exercise is so personal, and because every mama has a beautiful, different mama body, there's no right way to work out. But there are some really easy ways to get your body moving that don't have to include an intimidating weight room or a crazy difficult tabata class. There are plenty of at-home work out routines that you can find (thanks Pinterest) and some mamas find a lot of success using certain apps that you can purchase. But if you're looking for some simple solutions to get you on your feet and help you move a little more, just do what your kids are begging you to do!
When your kids are watching their fave movie, get up and dance around with them during the songs. When you're planning a day at the park, find one within walking distance and load up the stroller. You can even just run around the yard, play at the park, or run up and down the stairs with them and they will think you are the COOLEST mom on the planet. This is something I've been trying to do more lately, and my three-year-old thinks it is the funnest. I know it's not always easy, and when we're tired, run down, or been with the kids all day, it can be the last thing we want to do, but getting our heart rate up while playing with our babes at the same time is such a great (and easy) change to your daily routine that is good for the body and the little ones.
Something that I have found makes or breaks my week of cleaner eating is prepping my food. I am a snacker. When I don't have something to grab quickly, we are all in trouble. So making sure that I have things in my fridge and pantry that are going to fill me up and satisfy my craving/sweet tooth/afternoon grumbles is crucial! Cutting up your fave veggies and setting them aside in a tupperware is like ridiculously easy, and if you have a yummy dip like hummus or tzatziki, it makes the fact that you're snacking on celery totally bearable. Try your best to set aside snacks that will keep you fuller longer to help meet your goals. Since my husband works later and isn't usually home by dinnertime, I also need to make sure that I have things prepped for dinners throughout the week, or else it's boxed mac and cheese for everyone! I will grill a few chicken breasts on Sunday night and cut up some for salads or rice bowls to have for lunches. I also invested in a cheap spiralizer for veggie noodles and surprisingly love them! Those are just a couple of examples of how easy it can be to switch it up without feeling like you're constantly chopping, juicing, or measuring every bite you take throughout the day.
This is so important and I can't say enough about it-- If you feel like you're missing out, you will definitely not stick with the clean eating. You need to make sure that you have enough of the things that you love in your diet that you won't be sobbing every time you see a buzzfeed tasty video scroll across your feed. Making substitutions for everyday cravings is great (like yogurt to curb a sweet tooth, or cauliflower mash instead of potatoes) but you don't have to cut out everything that is yummy and good in the world in order to lose weight. Balance! It's all about balance. If you need a coke during the day to survive, then guess what, the universe has decided you can have a coke. And so I do. Every day. If you know that you need to have a treat at the end of the night in order to eat clean during the day, then guess what, mama? Treat it up. By controlling your portion sizes, making cleaner food choices, and trying your best to eat right the majority
of the time, you're going to see results regardless of the indulgences here and there.
This tip doesn't have anything to do with exercise or food or fitness in general, but I think it is absolutely essential to making any sort of progress: be kind to yourself.
You are not going to see the results that you want right away, you are going to mess up and eat things that don't fit into your plan, and you're going to have days when, despite all your best efforts, you just can't make the clean choices. And you need to love yourself anyway. Love your body for what it did-- It brought life into the world. And if that means that it's going to take a little while for you to get into the shape that you want, then I think we can all agree that mamas deserve that time. Be kind to yourself. Don't push yourself too hard, starve yourself, or destroy your mental health in order to fit into a specific size. Focus on feeling better about yourself and your body and being kinder to yourself during every step of the way.
Being a mama is tough, and trying to lose weight while you're a mama is super tough. But making simple changes, moving your body a little more often, and treating yourself when you need it is going to make meeting your goals so much easier! Hang tough, mama! You got this. XO