Just about every woman, struggles to lose the pregnancy weight after having a baby. I have seen many of them in my clinic. The first thing that most of them said to me was about the same:
“I am craving sleep, I am not having enough time for myself, not to mention about making time for exercise and eating healthily. My weight is not shifting anywhere.”
Although they followed the diet plans I prescribed and lost significant amount of pregnancy weight, from time to time, some would still say to me, “Do you really understand how difficult it has been for me?” I would answer “yes” because I believed I did; and now, I can truly empathize with these women after myself becoming a mother in April last year.
I was no different to them: being deprived from sleep, and having no time for myself. So, you are not alone! Here I will share my own experience in regard to this with others out there.
- I believe that many of us agree that becoming a mother is a wonderful thing; yet I won’t deny that it was hard to keep up with regular exercise and adequate sleep; however, making priorities for different things has helped me to achieve a lot of small goals. Here I am not going to share with you the healthy eating part, although it is equally important to regular exercise for effective weight lost. I am sure you had learnt enough about healthy eating in my clinic.
First of all, I focused on the bright side of the new change, that the new bundle of joy made all the different changes in my life and my body worth it. Then I needed the motivation, a priority list, and a list of steps to get things done…
- Almost all my time was simply spent on breastfeeding, sleeping, eating, and learning all different things that a new mother should do. I believed that exercise was the energizer for me when getting adequate sleep was more difficult.
No doubt that everything about the baby was the first priority; so I made my second priority healthy eating. The third was regular exercise, the fourth was quality sleep, and the fifth was time with husband.
How Did I Do It? – The Exercise Part
- I started out slow. Within the first 6 weeks after delivering the baby, the body needed to heal. Taking care of my baby and breastfeeding him frequently was enough exercise for me. I also tried to do some sit ups and light stretches whenever I was in bed. I am sure you know how easy it was for you to fall asleep in those days; therefore you must make an effort to keep up with your exercise plan. Exercise time doesn’t have to be separate from baby time. Some days just playing and carrying the baby was a good workout in itself. Whatever you choose to do, don’t over do it, and rest when you get tired.
Setting achievable goals or small plans and sticking to them will help to prevent setbacks. For example:
- walk for 5 minutes after each meal
- do 3 sets of stretches (10 reps each) when in bed
- I was becoming lighter and fitter as days passed by. I started doing yoga twice a week in June (2 months after delivery) in addition to the walking and the stretches that I had been doing. My time with the baby have been my exercise time too, as he’s very active and playful. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him if I am not fit enough. I started jogging and going to the gym regularly from September.
I Could Do It, So Can You!
- I weighed about 40kg before I got pregnant…I was 49kg in the week of delivery. I didn’t weigh myself after giving birth…and finally I weighed myself when I returned to work (2 months postnatal), I was 43kg. Eating well and regular exercise continued to be my lifestyle…and now my baby is 10 months old, I weigh about 41kg and I am a happy and healthy mother!
- A short note on the healthy eating part: DON’T deprive yourself from food, your body needs plenty of nourishment for healing, and you need the energy for different activities.
- By staying fit, you will be able to keep up with your little one’s activeness. Be positive, set goals and work slowly but consistently towards your goals, we can all stay in shape and enjoy every moment of motherhood.