I’m five months into the new adventure of being a mommy to baby London. Words can barely convey what a true joy the last few months have been. My first experience was (like many parents) a trial by fire. This time, there is a sense of confidence having tread similar ground before, and over all I’ve been much more relaxed for the whole process. This goes for bouncing back as well. I’d love to give you a five point formula for how I lost the baby weight but the truth is that it has been a lot less straight forward than all that. Instead of striving, this time it’s all kind of taken care of itself. Here’s my take on losing the baby weight the second time around….
1. Start With a Good Foundation
I can’t deny that starting with the right foundation was paramount to a healthy pregnancy and recovery. Before I was even pregnant with baby London, I was in close to the best shape of my life. This came from working out with a trainer at least twice a week and staying active with zumba classes, juicing, and chasing around my little busy bee Sienna. As a result, by eating in moderation (this included my fair share of cupcakes) while pregnant, I was able to stay within healthy limits of weight gain. Compared to my first pregnancy where I gained 47 lbs, I only gained 30 lbs this time. That was certainly a better place to start.
|My favorite juices from Watts Juicery in Jacksonville, FL
2. Eat All the Things
I’d like to return to the concept of eating in moderation at this point. I believe in it. However, when you first begin breastfeeding, you never expect to get the appetite of a trucker. So in the first few months after having London, I pretty much did “eat all the things”. But this was completely normal because my body was healing itself and having to get use to supplying enough milk for my new rapidly growing baby. I guess what I’m saying here is that what’s most important is for baby to be nourished, and mom not to stress, the natural order of things will come to pass if you listen to your body and make good choices. This is not a time to diet.
Mindfulness is such a buzzword right now but honestly, this has been a valuable lesson for me in this season. I’m a planner, a dreamer, and I’m usually setting goals and ambitiously pursuing them. It’s easy to feel a little lost when you go from sixty to zero in a day. I chose to make this season about bonding with my baby, not conquering the world. I will cherish these intimate moments forever. Soon, my baby will be a toddler and she’ll be running around getting into everything. This time around, I’ve chosen to discard guilt and focus on the ones that that really matter, my family. My #goals will have their moment in the sun again. For now, I’ll be staring at my angel while she sleeps in my arms because that’s where she belongs. An amazing thing happens when you slow down for a minute and embrace the moment, you start listening to your heart and your body, and you make choices based on what you know is right, not based on the fear of missing out.
4. Do It Together
Usually working out is “my time” , but this first year of my daughters life leaves “me time” in short supply. I still need to work out for my mental health, but also because I do want to get back into the shape I was in before. In order to do that, I’ve made it a group effort. I weight train in my home during baby’s naps, or when I walk the big kid to the park. I do zumba like before, and now I also do yoga with the help of my favorite new youtube instructor. The point is, sometimes we have to embrace the “new normal”, apply a little bit of creativity, and have fun!
Because of these simple steps, I am pleased to say I was able to return back to pre baby weight by the time London was five months old, that’s half the time that it took before. The point here though, is that the amount of time doesn’t really matter. What matters is that baby and mom are happy and healthy. I would encourage every new mom out there to relax, stop being so hard on yourself, and know that in time things will get back to the “new normal”. A good friend of mine put it pretty perfect. “Saying you want to go back to your pre baby body is like saying you want to go back to your pre pubescent body. It is ludicrous.” It’s true, as women our bodies will change with age, and with children. The best we can do is make healthy choices, and stop trying to live up to some engineered ideal of what we are supposed to look like. Be healthy, and be happy. Let the social expectations fall away and listen to your heart. You’ll find your way.
Enjoy the Journey!
xo- Amy West
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