Congratulations, you have created the miraculous tiny human. You never imagined how much love you could feel for one person. The doctor has cleared you for exercise and you don't know where to begin. Celebs make it look so easy (hello, Chrissy Teigen in a belly shirt and short shorts one month after birth)! However, unless you are an actual celebrity or can hire a chef and a personal trainer, you are going to have to go through the slow and often painful process on your own. Here are 9 things to remember to get your pre-baby body back.
1. Your body won't be the same!
This is truly a hard one to accept but is SO true. After your pregnancy, certain things about your body may be different. It could be something as small as a few new stretch marks or something more noticeable like your back becoming slightly wider. Whatever the changes, you have to realize if you do make it back down to your pre-baby weight, it does not mean your body will look exactly the same as it did. Your body went through a huge transformation to bring life into the world, and looking different from how you were before is a testament to the change.
2. Breastfeeding alone won't help you lose weight.
Ever hear, "All I had to do was breastfeed and the weight just fell off?" Well, me too. But don't be surprised when you start nursing your baby and the scale doesn't move. Yes, breastfeeding burns up to an extra 500 calories per day but depending on your metabolism and what you consume in your diet, the only thing it's likely to do is provide nourishment for your baby.
3. Deprive yourself of nothing.
If you pick a strict plan that leaves little room for modification, you may be setting yourself up for failure. After the 20th day in a row of grilled chicken and veggies, you may reach for the takeout menu. Yes, it's important to focus on eating well, but you have to take time out to treat yourself. It's ok to have that slice of cake/donut/margarita. Don't beat yourself up, just take the day off and start back fresh the next day. One day won't ruin your diet, but remember not to let guilt turn one day into one week!
4. Realize it's going to take a while.
You may think that once you've hit your groove and are back into your routine, the weight will fly off. Yes, some of it will, but some of it will take its slow excruciating time. It didn't go on overnight and it won't come off that way either. The key is to stay strong and dedicated throughout the whole process.
5. Find a plan and stick to it.
It's cliché but diet and exercise are the key to losing weight. However, more important is to find the right plan for YOU. So Kim Kardashian used the ATKINS diet to shed her baby weight, but you may think the idea of cutting carbs will make you want to cut your wrists. Pick a plan that you feel you can sustain and has the type of food you will enjoy eating over a long period of time.
6. Ease back into your workout routine.
The worst thing you can do when trying to get your body back in shape is start off too hard core. Your body just went through the marathon of child birth, there is no need to try and run one right off the bat. Take your time. It may be best to start off with a quarter of your old workout. If you ran 3 miles, try 1 and see how it goes. You can set workout goals to build yourself up to your old routine, and you'll be back to your old fitness level in no time .
7. Enlist help.
Not the professional kind (though you may feel you need it when the scale hasn't moved in weeks), but your friends and family. Get them involved. Tell everyone and anyone who will listen about your fitness goals. It may seem OTT and they may be slightly over your 10th check-in at the gym, but having a support system that knows your goals is super beneficial. Their praise will motivate you to keep with it.
8. Ignore the haters.
Just as you need to let people know what you want to achieve, you also have to shutdown the naysayers. Don't let anyone tell you that having extra mommy weight is normal or shame you with backhanded comments about how you should be spending more time with your baby and not working out. Tune them out. You know what's best for you!
9. Don't give up.
When dieting, you are going to feel discouraged. It's inevitable, but you have to stay focused and continue inching towards your goal. There will be days when you feel like you'll never get there. Or the days where you've tried on your pre-baby jeans for the 15th time and they still don't fit! It's important never to give up. You will reach your goal and it will feel amazing.