Fem365: Fitness. Food. Femininity.
In case you missed my weekly perinatal fitness series, here are the posts!
- Pre-pregnancy fitness and video
- First trimester fitness and video
- Second trimester fitness and video
- Third trimester fitness
- Postpartum fitness
One of the hardest things about shaking the extra baby weight is the lack of time and energy to put thought into yourself. When I was a new mama, I was overwhelmed with adjusting to life with a newborn and I was consumed with the many facets of motherhood, so I wasn’t able to put a lot of thought/effort into self-care and reverting to my pre-pregnancy weight.
I know that’s the case for many other new mamas. Add a major life adjustment (the baby) + lack of sleep + lack of time for self-care + casseroles and desserts from well-meaning family and friends and what do you get??? A recipe for extra “insulation” that you may not want or need!
Go easy on yourself. You just had a baby… You deserve time to rest, relax, and focus on what’s really important — the new addition to your family. When you are mentally ready, and when your healthcare provider has given you the green light for exercise, I recommend gentle core strengthening exercises such as those described in last week’s postpartum post, as well as walking. Babies LOVE walks, especially when they get to cozy up next to mama. I used a Moby Wrap until my son was 4-5 months old, and both of us loved it. Carrying the extra weight (of your baby) amps up the intensity of any workout, whether it’s a walk or even cleaning the house… So think of your baby as built-in resistance training.
Then there’s the food issue — a VERY important (possibly the most important?) thing for you to monitor when it comes to losing the “baby weight.”
Of course you need to be eating enough good, quality food to sustain a rich supply of breastmilk, and you will be HUNGRY. Like a wolf. (I was!!!) I encourage you to stock your kitchen, your bedroom, and the nursery with healthy snacks that you can reach for at any time during the day or night. Make sure they are easy to access and prepared ahead of time. When Aunt Lori’s cookies are staring at you during your 2AM feeding, you are going to reach for them rather than a carrot hidden in the back of your veggie bin that still needs to be peeled and cut.
So here’s what to do: Freeze Aunt Lori’s cookies (making THEM a bit harder to access). Or give them away. During the day — when you have a few spare minutes — wash/peel/chop/clean and prepare fresh veggies and fruit, hardboiled eggs, and a few fun dips (such as hummus, salsa mixed with tahini, or guacamole with lots of lime in it). Put these items at eye-level in the very front of your fridge. Make a big batch of trail mix or granola and package it in individual re-usable containers. This helps with portion control! Place these little bundles of energy and satisfaction in your bedroom and/or the nursery.
For lunch and/or dinner, take a tip from new mom Amy Green (author of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free) and prepare salad ingredients ahead of time… Enough to last you for a couple of meals. Just grab a handful of pre-cleaned this, a sprinkle of pre-cut that, top with a protein, and you’re ready to go. Click here to read Amy’s recent blog post about her “at home salad bar” and her postpartum weight loss journey to-date.
Of course you’ll need some dressing to go on those salads! Click here for a few of my favorites: Smoky Orange Vinaigrette, Better Balsamic, and Creamy Salsa. Of course they’re all gluten free and dairy free… You don’t even need to wonder, with me!