Guest Post by Kristin LaFave-Skahan
Having a child in my late 30s definitely made me anxious about the process involved in losing the baby weight. I’ve heard a lot of woman complain about a slowing metabolism as they age so I have to admit that I was really nervous that it would take me forever to lose the weight. I’ve always struggled with that extra 5 lbs, so after gaining 35 lbs with my son I was dreading the time and dedication it would take to lose the weight. Not to mention actually finding the time with a newborn to exercise and plan healthly meals for my husband and me.
A busier schedule means you need to stick to a schedule:
If you are anything like me, your life has undoubtedly become more busy after having a baby so it is all the more important to dedicate time in the day to exercise. It can be simply taking ten minutes to do stretches or taking a walk but it needs to be scheduled so that you give yourself that time everyday. If not, it becomes very easy to blow off to the next day and the next and so forth. If you don’t plan it, it most likely won’t become a reality. Once you start the pattern, you’ll notice it getting easier to do everyday.
A caregiver needs to be healthy:
It becomes so easy to forget about taking care of yourself after having a baby. My priorities changed overnight and my world became all about my baby. However, just like the instructions on the airplane about putting your own oxygen mask on first and then your child second, you need to be in good health in order to provide good health and care to your new baby. Making more deliberate choices about the right foods along with portion control and making efforts at getting exercise are all a part of being a great caregiver.
Accept help from others:
Trying to lose weight without the help of others is incredibly difficult. Add the stress and anxiety of a new born and it becomes even more difficult. I relied heavily on my husband, my family and my friends for support in losing my weight. My husband and I would go on walks together with the baby or he would help take care of our son while I went to the gym. Leaning on other new moms can also be of great emotional support as well as a great opportunity to swap weight loss advice. Also, as much as exercise is important, it’s equally important for you use this time to get in a nap or two!
Lastly, it will not happen overnight. I know we all hear those stories about how celebrities are back at their pre-baby weight in 30 days of giving birth. I wish we all had dietitians and dedicated trainers to make that happen. Setting a realistic expectation and accepting that it will take time and will take work provides you with less anxiety about having to do it quickly. I gave myself a month for my body to recuperate before starting exercise and then set a doable goal of 15 minutes a day to start and increased this over time. Trust me, if you make just a little more effort and dedicate time everyday, it can be done!
It took me 4 months to lose the 35 lbs and with continued excercise and healthy eating I’ve even managed to lose those annoying 5 lbs! It’s been 9 months since the birth of my son and I’m happy to stay that I’ve maintained my weight loss and I feel great!