Sunday, May 14 is Mother’s Day.
I remember my first official Mother’s Day. My daughter was born on May 31 so she was almost a year old. I was more concerned with how much weight I still needed to lose than any of the festivities that go with honoring mothers on their special day. I can’t say it made my day, and I definitely had my priorities mixed up. It kind of wrecked my first Mother’s Day.
Hello new mothers
If you’re like me you may be hoping to pull on those pre pregnancy jeans and zip and button them as though your body didn’t just complete an amazing feat in the last 9 months.
I know some women actually do deliver a baby and look like they were never pregnant, but alas, I had 4 babies over the course of 8 years, and never experienced that even once. Each time I delivered, I was left with a belly that looked as big as though there were still a full-term fetus in there. The only difference it was no longer firm, it was jiggly.
It wasn’t just the pregnant belly thing that had me worried about getting back my pre pregnant body, it was the number on the scale. Instead of losing all the weight gained over the last 9 months, the first time I stepped on the scale it was barely less than the birth weight of my infant daughter. Huh? How can that be?
Now, in retrospect, I realize that I wasted time worrying over something that didn’t matter. What was my hurry to lose weight? My body had just gone through something amazing; it created a whole new human being. Why didn’t I honor it for its marvelous ability to give me such a gift? Why was I unhappy with the way it looked?
It took more than a year to get off the weight gained while I was pregnant. I probably could have done it faster if I paid more attention to what I ate during the time I was pregnant. The truth is a lot of my weight gain with each pregnancy had nothing to do with the baby. I (admit) I looked at pregnancy as a brief period in my life where I could eat fully without any restraints. I’m going to estimate that my weight gain was 50% pregnancy and 50% letting go of any efforts to manage weight whatsoever.
In retrospect do I wish I paid more attention to what I was eating? No, I don’t. I just wish I had realistic expectations about losing weight after delivery. I would like to have cared less about a number on a scale and had more faith that I would eventually get back to that number.
If you’re reading this then you’re probably a new mother and you want a weight loss plan to help you return to your pre pregnant weight. You may want to weigh less than you did when you got pregnant and are looking for a weight loss plan to make that a reality.
Here is my suggested new mother weight loss plan.
- Accept that you’ll get to goal as long as you’re willing to give it as much time as it takes.
- Focus on nourishing food that leaves you completely satisfied. Eat food that tastes as good as it is good for you.
- Allow yourself treats; just not too often and stick to small portions
- New babies keep you jumping. It’s okay if you don’t have time to get to the gym or workout.
- When the new baby isn’t keeping you jumping, sleep. Sleep is important to weight loss, just as what you eat and how much exercise you get.
- Weigh yourself once a week about the same time of day, wearing the same clothes (or no clothes if you prefer) if you must. Weighing monthly may be more motivational because a longer time between stepping on the scale could result in a linear downward progression of your weight.
- Be as kind and loving to yourself as you are to that precious new baby.