Postpartum weight loss is no laughing matter. Plus, I’m an unusual case.
After I had my first baby, I was lucky enough to lose every single pound of my pregnancy weight within two weeks postpartum.
The problem was that after the first three months of breastfeeding in the middle of winter, I’d gained 30 pounds.
I gained 30 pounds in 3 months!!!
[Insert expletive here]! I lived in yoga pants and even they were getting a little snug.
By the Spring, I knew I needed to do something but alone with an infant all day and no support system close by, I had a near impossible time getting to the gym or exercising.
I could wait until my husband got home, but after cooking dinner, putting the baby to sleep, and cleaning up the kitchen, I was down for the count.
You don’t know my life
I don’t know your life, but I’m painfully familiar with mine.
My life: Infant + 30 pounds to lose + a move across the world = chaos
Your life: Whatever you’re going through, I can’t begin to understand. Just know, you’re not alone.
I neglected to mention that in addition to having an infant and needing to lose 30 pounds, my husband and I also needed to pack everything from our apartment in the U.S. to move to Taiwan 8 months postpartum.
At this point, some would say weight loss was damn near impossible.
The move added a certain amount of stress to the mix too.
So, sometime after the 14+ hour flight from the US to Taiwan and getting settled in our new apartment, I had a complete meltdown.
It wasn’t pretty.
It was gloriously messy. Think big blubbering, depressed, swollen tear-stained face in full ugly cry.
Being vulnerable and honest gave me the clarity to see how I’d created every aspect of my life – the good and the ugly – was completely my own creation. That’s when I discovered my Creator Rule.
What is it?
I realized that I’d decided to do all of the following things:
- Marry this wonderful man.
- Have a baby.
- Quit my job
- Sell my house
- Become a stay-at-home mom
- Embrace a nomadic lifestyle and move countries every 1-3 years.
- Learn Chinese
- Gain 30 pounds
There it was. All of my decisions staring right back at me. It was all me. No one forced me to do anything. It was all my creation.
Once I fully understood how much control I actually have, I started making different choices.
My first choice was to create time for exercise. This required me to completely restructure the way we run our home. Here are the 6 changes I made in the first month:
1. Created voluntary (not forced or nagged) support from my husband, and I had to get my butt in gear to make exercise a reality.
2. Strapped on my Fitbit, and I made sure to get my 10,000 steps each day. I’d even take a walk after the baby went to bed just to get in the steps.
3. Linked my Fitbit to MyFitnessPal, and I started tracking my calories. I documented everything I put in my mouth and it wasn’t always what I ‘should’ be eating, but I tracked it.
4. Started taking my, then, toddler out for long walks in the stroller to help get my 10,000 steps.
5. Bought a Jillian Michael’s DVD and got some weights, and I used her nap time to get in a 20-minute workout 5 times a week.
6. Set my alarm clock for 5:30 am to make time for a 20-minute walk before starting my mommy and wife daily routine.
After the first month, I started doing 20 minutes of running! I found my stride, and it felt good (once it stopped hurting).
Secret Weapons to My Postpartum Weight Loss
These are the steps I used to lose the baby weight.
- Know exactly what you want to create.
- Do things you enjoy. Take the baby for a walk. Take the stairs whenever you can.
- Wear an activity band (I’m a Fitbit fan.)
- Cut out processed foods. It’s hard to do but once you stop eating all processed foods including sliced bread, coffee creamers, salad dressings, etc… you’ll see your weight start to just fall off.
Bonus: Drink your weight in ounces of water. Weight 200lbs? Drink 200 ounces of water/day.
Update 2017: After baby #2, I had 30lbs to lose. By just cutting out processed foods (almost all), I’ve lost 25 lbs by 7 months postpartum!
What is your secret to losing weight post-baby? Leave your tip in the comments below.