As Moms we have all been there, some of us struggling more that others, but we have all found ourselves at a point after having our babies where it is time to get our bodies back! A member of my TNT Team has recently found herself in that exact position. Total Nutrition Technology Health Educator, Stacey Gretka recently became a Mom again to a beautiful baby boy. Stacey is a perfect example of how a working mom of two can still keep fit. She can relate to all of us and definitely practices what she preaches. Her love for health and nutrition is inspiring.
Here are Stacey’s ‘5 Must-Do’s for your Post-Baby Body’…
TODAY IS PART ONE OF THE THREE-DAY-SERIES
After my first child, an amazingly-small-for-all-the-weight-I-gained, perfect-skinned little dependent, I found myself mourning what I used to be (all facets).
Among the myriad of changes shone the blaringly obvious lack of muscle tone, stretch marks, less-than-teen-perfect chest, and flat bottom. The changes greeted me every morning (at 2am when I stumbled across the house to feed her again), and lulled me to sleep every night (when I finally plopped into bed). I found making time for a workout challenging, but not impossible and decided on the combined stress-relief and muscle toning benefits of yoga. It was only twice a week, but combined with my TNT meal plan, I found myself slowly but surely losing weight. I thought I was moderately successful when my daughter reached 9 months of age and I had achieved my pre-baby weight. I thought, “so, I have a scale number I’ve been hoping for, but I still have a different body…”
It wasn’t until my daughter was 11 months old and we went to the beach that it really dawned on me: I FEEL better now than I ever have. I had lost another pound or two, but more importantly, I was much stronger… and my smile was genuine. There is a picture floating around out there on the web that opened my eyes to the fact that despite what my brain interprets when it looks in the mirror, I’ve worked hard and I look pretty darn good…
5 months later, I was pregnant again: Okay, so round one could be luck, or good genes, right? What about round two? Can I do it again? I worried about my skin losing elasticity, so I drank a ton of water. I worried about gaining too much weight, so I tried to monitor my gain (didn’t help – I still gained a whopping 52 pounds).
I worried about my daughter accepting the new baby, so I read every book around. I didn’t even factor in the total lack of me-time that would soon descend on me, or the lack of sleep that would come down like a hammer on my happy little family.
Despite my diligence to the simultaneous nap, I always found other things needed doing, and I came in last place on that list. Two or Three months after I had my son, I realized trying to force my old routine on my yet-again-completely-new life simply wasn’t going to work. Something had to give if I wanted to stay healthy and proud of myself.
On the whole, a healthy, happy post-baby body is critical for a wide variety of reasons. To name a few that played into my journey: my career hinges on me being a good example, I want to have energy and be strong enough to take care of and play with my children, I want to actually be attractive to my husband, I want to keep poor self-image feelings in check, I want to be a good example for my children, and I just flat-out believe in leading a realistically healthy life. Below I have compiled a list of the things I made a top priority in my search to achieve a post-baby body in which I could really shine and why each of those things matters so much.
1. Set Realistic-For-You Expectations:
Understand that it took you 9 months to create a human. In those 9 months your body reacted differently than your neighbor’s sister who is already back to pre-pregnancy weight only two months post-partum (or so it seems). Your organs moved to make room, your skin stretched to make room, your blood vessels expanded to carry a larger volume, your hormones increased to do their job for two, even your blood cells grew to carry larger amounts of oxygen per breath! To decide that your body will reorganize itself back to its original layout less than a month or two.
Not to mention if you are nursing…
Nursing postpones the need for the body to go back, and your body requires about 10 pounds of fat to produce milk. For as long as you’re nursing you can expect to lose weight thanks to the increased calorie output, but you can also expect to hold onto a minimum of 10 pounds. And not 10 pounds of muscle either… it’s fat. Flabby, squishy fat. Enjoy it though – it allows you to NOURISH your newly made human being completely for free! Anyway, the point is , remember when Kate Middleton stepped out of the hospital and still had a belly and all of the media was all over that? Yeah – that’s real life. And wasn’t she just stunning? So are you.
Check out the next post… Day 2 – how to involve your new addition & other practical, helpful tips!