I’ve never been much to diet, instead preferring to try and just eat healthy overall and exercise as much as I could. I had never been one to get obsessed with my weight, but after this last pregnancy, I started to realize that I was more hung up on my body than I ever thought possible or care to admit.
Week after week I would look at myself in the mirror and think, “okay, not looking too bad, I think it’s time to try on those jeans.” Week after week came and went and the jeans never fit. For many weeks I couldn’t even get them past my hips. It was then that I had started to realize that I had a bit more of an unhealthy view of myself than I thought. Before becoming pregnant, I would nit pick my body. Things like scrutinizing my tummy in the mirror, checking my arm jiggle, squeezing the skin on my inner thighs. It was never to the point where I felt I had to become obsessive about losing weight, and boy did I never feel the urge to crash diet. I love my food too much. But I guess I could say I was never fully happy and content with myself.
As I look at my body now though, and the clothes that it no longer fits into, I think to myself, a) I was a lot thinner than I thought I was and b) why was I ever freaking complaining? So while I’m happy with the 8 pound weight loss, and I’ll take it, I’m going to have to try to stay focused on just doing what I’m doing, slowly and sensibly. In other words, I don’t want to fall into the trap of tasting that bit of weight loss and hungering for more, quicker, faster, NOW.
So for now I’ll continue with what is working, and that’s consistent classes at Pop Physique, a barre method type of workout, 3 times a week. I tried running a few weeks ago and I’m just not ready. The girls hurt and bounce way too much for that business. Pop Physique is nice and low impact, but is obviously working. If you are interested in taking something like this, and don’t have a studio in your area, I’ve heard good things about the DVD. If you have a place like this locally, keep an eye out for groupons or call the studio and see if you can work out a deal. My studio for instance has a new moms special which makes it very affordable and much cheaper than a personal trainer.
As far as eating, since I’m still breastfeeding I don’t want to diet. I know there are options out there for breastfeeding mothers but I feel far too overwhelmed still to try and manage that. Plus, I really don’t feel a time crunch to lose much more soon. If after a year I still have some weight to shed, then I’ll try some form of dieting. But for now I’m sticking to my philosophy of 9 months on, 9 months off. Slow and steady wins the race.
If I do find myself needing to “diet”, I’ll go back to what has worked in the past and that was following the Jillian Michaels diet for 30 days. Before I read her book I knew very little about nutrition and the way my metabolism worked. For instance I thought skipping breakfast was the way to go, or if I was craving a candy bar I went for a Payday because it had peanuts and peanuts were good for you right? I seriously thought these things. After reading her book though I learned that starting your day off with a protein based breakfast is the absolute best thing you can do to get your metabolism going. So now even if it’s just a Greek yogurt cup or a hard boiled egg along with a piece of toast, I do my best to get some protein in my breakfast. Other than that I’m just trying to watch my portions and not go crazy on the junk food. Easier said than done, but it’s a goal to work towards, not perfect in a few days.
Everything you read says that weight loss is pretty much 80% diet and 20% exercise, and well who am I to argue with the experts, I would say that mentally exercise plays a much bigger part in weight loss than that. I have always found that when I am in an exercise slump, I eat worse and take care of my overall health less. When I get consistent workouts in though, my whole attitude changes. I feel more optimistic, want to make healthier eating choices, and just overall have more energy to get out and move even more. So if you’re wanting to shed some of that baby weight, my biggest advice is to start with moving, and then work on the eating. That’s really just my personal journey and opinion, but take it from me, it’s much more fun to start off with a walk outside with your kids than torture yourself with calorie counting and restricting cravings.
My friend Jules started her journey to get moving this year, and has so far walked every day in 2013. If you would like to join her on Instagram and share how you’re moving, the hashtag is #365body. And if you’d like to share how you’re moving this year, or on a journey to lose the baby weight, I’d love for you to share. Oh, and I promise to get back in the routine of responding to comments. I know I have been terrible the past couple of weeks! I am really sorry…