First and foremost, I want you to know I am not a nutritionist, fitness trainer or physician. I am simply a mama who knows it is possible to get into shape after having a baby.
Notice how I didn’t say back into shape? I wrote these tips to help you achieve the results you desire NOW, regardless of where you started.
Have you ever been told breastfeeding alone would melt off all the baby weight?
I know I was told this multiple times by multiple people. And it simply wasn’t true. I found myself frustrated and annoyed. If it worked for her, why isn’t it working for me? You know, that mama comparison trap we all can fall into…
But then I sat down and really thought about it. Breastfeeding does burn calories, but it’s not going to magically tone up your muscles…
So I’m here today sharing 7 tips that helped me lose that last 5 pounds (2.27 kg) of baby weight (and even drop below my pre-pregnancy weight!) and gain my strength back.
You read that right, I’m in the best shape of my life LESS than 1 year after giving birth AND I’m still breastfeeding. PS – I don’t think weight defines being in shape, I’m the strongest and most toned I’ve been. And I’m not saying that to brag – simply to share what is possible. I’m not special, I just decided to prioritize my physical health.
(please note this is not an article that will give you some easy, magic fix to instantly losing weight. I believe in sustainable lifestyle habits that promote health and wellness).
Tip 1 – Don’t rush it.
Your body took 9+ months to grow that beautiful babe, it’s going to take some time to get your strength and physique back. It’s important to set realistic expectations.
Tip 2 – See a postnatal physical therapist.
It’s a great idea to make sure you don’t have any ab separation or other muscle weakness you should attend to first.
I personally had a long road with physical therapy after giving birth. I wasn’t able to work out (more than walking and my therapy exercises) for nearly 6 months (never mind the typical 6 week recovery period). It was incredibly hard for me to wait, but I knew I had to build myself back up slowly to prevent any issues down the road. I am so grateful to have found an awesome PT who helped me gain my strength back.
Tip 3 – Fuel your body with nutritious foods and drink a lot of water.
Do your research and hone in on your nutrition. Also, as they say, don’t drink your calories. Diet & exercise go hand in hand, so it’s important to prioritize both.
Meal planning and prepping can be game changers in this department. When you have a plan and the healthy groceries to go alongside it, you are way less likely to choose unhealthier options.
If you want to learn to meal plan for your family in under 10 minutes a week check out this blog post: How to Meal Plan for a Busy Family.
Tip 4 – Go on lots of walks with your baby.
Getting your body moving in a slow and safe manner is key and sunshine is food for the soul! Walks were my absolutely favourite in the early weeks with my daughter.
Tip 5 – Start small.
Start slow and have a plan. Work on building up your core muscles. They are the foundation that holds up the rest of your body. I never understood how important core strength was until I started seeing a physical therapist.
Tip 6 – Start a home exercise program when you have the clear to do so (from your OB or physical therapist).
I’ve personally tried a bunch of options. I’m admittedly very picky with my workouts. I get bored easily and need a lot of variety. After a few months, I ended up joining BeachBody and am extremely pleased with both their workouts and my results. They do a great job integrating cardio and weight lifting and I love that I can get a solid workout done in 30 minutes. (I am not a coach, just a satisfied customer and no I don’t drink their Shakeology). If you are interested in learning more contact me and I can definitely link you to some amazing coaches.
Tip 7 – Be consistent.
Develop a routine for looking after your body and prioritize your health. I love to refer to working out as “sweaty self-care”. Doesn’t that sound much more enjoyable? 😉
Whatever you do, don’t give up.
Find ways to make it fun and celebrate your victories every step of the way! The key to success with ANY goal is to break it down into actionable steps, right? And then celebrate the heck out of your accomplishments!
It can also be super helpful to find a buddy (real-life or virtual) to have an accountability partner and cheerleader!
As you can see it takes a lot of patience and some discipline, but in my opinion prioritizing your physical health is totally worth it.
What is your favourite home exercise program? Let’s chat below!