Losing weight is at the top of most new parent’s to-do lists. Right up there with getting more sleep, taking a shower, and drinking more than a lukewarm cup of water. This is especially true for new mothers, who in the span of hours go from adorably pregnant to obsessed with fitting back in pre-pregnancy jeans. Want to save yourself from unnecessary anxiety and regret? Read on for my tips on how NOT to lose the baby weight.
1. Accept that You Have Changed
We would never expect ourselves to snap back to the social schedule we had before the baby was born. Nor would we push ourselves to un-babyproof the house. But we expect our bodies to immediately return to the shape they were in before we went up a size (or two…or six…or twelve…it’s different for everyone!). We push our exhausted, recovering selves to shrink down into the outline of who we’ve become. And it doesn’t work!
2. Set The Example
You wouldn’t expect your infant to turn down a meal to stay in newborn clothes, but we do this to ourselves on a daily basis. Now more than ever, our relationships with food and our bodies must be focused on nourishment. Favor nutrient-dense, filling foods and prepare them for yourself lovingly. Be sure that you’re consuming enough, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Some days will be harder than others, and it’s important to allow ourselves some flexibility here. We just spent nearly a year growing another person. Our habits will not change overnight. But we must set a positive example of self-acceptance and healthful meal choices for our children.
3. Fresh Air is Also Nourishment
Have you showed your baby your favorite places yet? Spending time outside of the home as a family is essential. Going for walks is an excellent way to start exercising in a natural, enjoyable way. It allows you time to process the immense changes that have taken place in your life, and to connect with your body once again.
Are you ready to be your best self, for your sake and your baby’s?
This means learning to love your new physical shape, not trying to reverse the progress you’ve made. It means taking the time to choose foods that will support and nourish your body. It means taking a few steps outside to connect with nature and exercise. Things will never be the way they were before your baby came along, and you wouldn’t want them to be. Stop focusing on trying to lose the baby weight, and start living!