Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting Back Your Pre-Baby Body: The Healthy Way

{photo found here}

Now that the babes out, we all expect to be able to leave the hospital in our pre-baby skinny jeans with six pack abs. Right?? Ha. Not so much.

I wish I could tell you that all the pounds you accumulated in your nine month adventure left with the baby on birth day. If that happens to any of you, please don’t tell me. I don’t want to have to hate you. For the majority of us “normal” folks, the quest to regain your pre-baby body is not an easy one. While my son is totally worth it, I never dreamed my squishy stomach and pregnancy booty would hang on for so long. However, with some effort and a little (ok, let’s be honest, a lot of) self-discipline, I am winning the fight to get my pre-baby body back. Before I get into my suggestions to help with your quest, I need to make a couple disclaimers:

1. Avoid quick fixes and unreasonable expectations. Fad diets may sound
appealing, but not only is it hard to continue with something that is so
extreme, the weight will never stay off if you don’t make a realistic lifestyle
change.

2. Put the focus on your health. Make changes to your diet and activity
level because it’s good for your body. The weight loss is obviously an awesome byproduct, but your main motivation should be for your health. Trust me, your body will thank you.

Now that that’s said, onto the tips:

- Cut out the crap: contrary to popular belief, not all calories are created equal. Eating fresh, real foods will be the biggest contributor to your weight loss. Eliminate processed foods with “empty” calories and replace them with fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Instead of reaching for crackers (even if they make health claims), grab an apple. Feed your body things it can use.


- Incorporate cardio AND weights into your workouts. Both will help to change the squishier version of you. While it’s important to get the calorie burn of cardio, training your muscles will firm you up and increase your metabolism.

{photo found here}


- 80% of how you look depends on what you eat. It’s true. You could run 6 hours a day and do 1000 sit ups everyday and still not have rock hard abs. The only way to completely get rid of the “pooch” (or butt, thighs, etc) is to eat right. Remember, keep it realistic. If you deprive yourself of everything, you’ll eventually find yourself binging during a moment of weakness. I give myself one treat a week. That way, it’s easy for me to be strict during the week knowing that if I really want it, I can have the ice cream I’ve been craving. I just have to wait for it. This also makes my indulgences much more satisfying.

{homemade granola with bananas}


- Don’t only focus on the numbers. You may lose your “baby weight” really quickly, but your body isn’t so much reflecting that. Or in my case, I’ve been fitting quite nicely into my normal clothes for months now (some are even getting too loose), but according to the scale, I still have 4 pounds to lose. Everyone’s body is different and everyone has different goals. Remember, focus on being healthy.

- Above all, be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself. Slow and steady wins the race right? Your body went through some major changes during pregnancy and you can’t expect it to revert back in an instant (I’m saying that to myself just as much as you guys!). Even though you may not be completely happy with what you see in the mirror, know that it is a more beautiful version of yourself because you are a mother.

{me and my babe}


If you are good to your body, your body will be good to you! If you have any questions or want healthy recipes, leave a comment or send an email (bellymamas@gmail.com). I’d be happy to help in your quest!

-Karlee

4 comments:

  1. first of all, that picture of you and your little babe is so cute! i love it.
    and secondly, thanks for the GREAT advice!! i need to implement all of them into my life.

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  2. OK this is an amazing post, Karlee. You have always been health-conscious and an inspiration to me. And I agree, we become more beautiful when we become mamas.

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  3. Why do I feel somewhat guilty when I read this? Ug, because I am not taking care of myself as well as I should be. But this definitely gave me more motivation. PS. you guys have done a fantastic job with this blog. i love your posts, and you are all such great and entertaining writers. Keep up the great work!

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  4. Such great advice! And lean muscle rips through so many more calories, even when you're just sitting there!! Woo hoo! And I agree, numbers shmumbers. You could line 10 women of the same weight up and they would look so different. If you like the way you look, that's what matters! Not a number! And our bodies were meant to carry children, not be a barbie :) I have made peace with my little reminders here and there that my body is amazing and strong and can create and carry life! ;) I'm sure I'll look at them when I'm 60 and smile.

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