After giving birth to my first daughter in April, I had the good fortune to start working off my baby weight in the promise of the Midwest’s fresh spring air.
No, I didn’t follow any particular diet. However, embracing motherhood and relying on common sense was my greatest aide.
Fortunately, I was able to give birth naturally to my beautiful, healthy girl who weighed in at a hefty 8 lbs, 11.5 oz! I’m sure her size, the calories burned during the birthing process, and my ability to breastfeed my daughter really jump-started that initial bout of weight loss. Throughout my stay at the birthing center, I chose items from the menu with lots of green vegetables and protein. Since I’d eaten so healthy throughout my pregnancy, I found it wasn’t hard to continue to steer clear of extra sugar in beverages. Denying all of the goodies in life wasn’t going to work for me though, but when I had dessert it was usually something small like one cookie. Of course, portion control is inevitably easier when someone else has control over the food!
After leaving the hospital, I had already lost close to 24 pounds. I had 12 more to lose to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight.
Time was not on my side as I dedicated every minute of life to my screaming newborn. Battling exhaustion, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with fancy diets that required counting points or tracking everything I ate in a log. Nor did I trust myself to complete daily, time-consuming exercise routines.
I have no doubt that breastfeeding aided in my weight loss. I was mindful that everything I chose was going into my baby’s body. That gives you perspective! As a vegetarian, I already enjoyed eating fruits and vegetables, so I had that going for me. My daughter seemed to get bellyaches whenever I attempted caloric caffeinated beverages or chocolate anyway. It was more difficult for me to get out of the house with a newborn and, ironically, shopping was easier that way. I couldn’t make a lot of impulse purchases when I was always focused on picking out the healthy foods I needed to pass on to my bundle of joy. Honestly, I didn’t have time to linger over the candy I so missed. I knew that eating extra dyes wasn’t great for my baby either.
Pushing baby out into the fresh air in the stroller or lugging her around in a baby carrier was a great workout. She and her huge diaper bag of stuff became my exercise weights! Her need for speed and motion, joined together with the fact that I have three dogs that also need exercise, made me get in three walks a day when the weather was nice.
I did my best to graduate out of the majority of my maternity jeans and sweat pants within the first few months after delivery. While those types of pants make a new mom’s life more comfortable, they can be a trap. They don’t necessarily allow your body to ‘feel’ your changing shape or let your eyes see if you’re making progress. Let the truth set you free, I say!
So, the fancy diets just weren’t for me. Maybe they’re not for you, either. In fact, I found out that motherhood has its own built-in weight loss routines and rewards!