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The Baby Weight Loss Challenge: Postpartum Workout

In January I shared with all of you my New Year’s Resolution to lose the baby weight.  I had recently had my third baby in 5 years and after gaining 55 lbs during my pregnancy, the weight was just not coming off the way I’d hoped it would. While there is certainly nothing wrong with carrying around a little extra weight after having a baby (you did just spend 9 months nourishing a child after all), there is also nothing wrong with wanting to lose that weight and feel “hot” again.  So I knew I needed to get to work.

I started working out with Casey, of CSWFitYoga, shortly after my 1st post.  Casey is a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach who offers on-line, personalized workout plans you can do in your own home (or in the gym…whatever your preference). You can read all the details about how the program works HERE, but basically Casey works with you to determine your fitness goals and then customizes your workout plan to fit your needs and fitness level.  Workouts vary daily (I’ve been doing the program for 3 months and have only repeated 1 workout in order to gauge how my fitness has increased), and consist of a variety of exercises including cardio, weight training, and resistance training.  As the name implies, Casey also offers yoga workouts as well.  To get a taste of what the program is like, try this sample workout.

dumbbellAfter not having worked out for quite a while, it was an adjustment to actually make time for myself and make working out a priority.  Having 3 kids makes it challenging some days and I just have to get creative.  One day I might get up early to work out. The next day it might be 10:00 p.m. before I get it in.  Some days my kids do my workouts with me.  There really is nothing better than seeing my girls “exercising” and wanting to get healthy like mommy! The fact that I can do the workouts at home is my favorite thing about the program. It allows me to have flexibility and makes it much more likely that I will actually get the workout done.  I also love the accountability Casey provides.  After every workout I email Casey to let her know I’ve completed it and how it went.  If I forget she checks in with me to see how things are going. Knowing that I need to let Casey know I’ve completed my workout is often what gives me the motivation to do my workout at 10:00. 🙂

I’m excited to say that after 3 months I have lost 15 lbs! Even better, I feel like I have so much more energy and I am so much stronger.  I started out the program using 3 lb dumbbells and am now using 8lbs.  I have more stamina and I definitely notice the difference when I’m playing with my kids.  Most importantly, I’ve gotten a lot healthier and am setting an example of health for my children.

3 months collage front 3 months collage side

I still have a little ways to go toward meeting my weight-loss goal, but today I wanted to share with you a few of the things I’ve learned on my journey so far.  Whether you’ve just had your baby or it’s been a few months (or years) since you put on the baby weight, try to remember these things when you start your own baby-weight loss journey:

Be Realistic.

We all have friends who look like they were never even pregnant just a few short weeks after bringing baby home from the hospital.  But the reality for most women is that it takes several months to lose the weight.  You will likely lose several pounds in the first 1-2 weeks after delivery, but the amount you lose just depends upon your own body.  Many other factors come into play as well: whether you breastfeed (some women find it easy to lose weight while nursing, others find some of the weight hangs on until after they’ve weaned), how active you were before/during pregnancy, and how much weight you gained during pregnancy.  There is no “right” amount of weight to lose and no “correct” timeline to lose it in.  Try to embrace your body where it is now and work toward where you want it to be.

Be Healthy.

In striving to lose weight it can become really easy to try to make the end justify the means. Drastically cutting calories is not the best way to lose weight and can harm not only you but can be harmful to your baby if you are breastfeeding.  Do your best to eat healthy foods and make it your goal to lose 1-2 pounds per week.  Casey offers nutrition counseling and can help you determine the amount of calories your body needs to perform optimally while still giving you your desired weight loss.  Also, do not beat yourself up about eating that piece of chocolate cake.  Some days it’s in everyone’s best interest if mama gets her chocolate!

Be Confident.

Your child doesn’t care whether you’re a size 6 or a size 16.  They love you because you’re their mama. It can be so easy to get caught up in our own self-image issues that we forget we have little ones who love us unconditionally. Take confidence in the fact that you are a remarkable woman and a remarkable mom, and your self-worth is not determined by the number on the scale.

One last thing…

Document your progress.

Be sure to take a photo of your front and side before you begin, as I did above.  After each month take a new photo and  do a little side-by-side comparison. When you’re in the middle of exercising and trying to lose weight it can be easy to fixate on the areas of your body you still want to improve.  You can lose sight of the great work you’ve already done. Documenting with pictures can help remind you that all the time and hard work you’ve put in is really paying off and motivate you to keep going.

With those things in mind, if you’re ready to jump start your own baby-weight loss challenge, I encourage you to join CSWFitYoga’s Kickstart Your Summer workout program. This 4 week on-line program begins May 1 and will include daily workouts, weekly meal plans, a private Facebook group for support and accountability, and more.  Be sure to “like” the CSWFitYoga Facebook page to get all the details when they are announced next week!

 

*This is a sponsored post. I have been given something, either payment or in-kind, to write it.  However, the opinions are solely my own.

 

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