Weight gain is such a complex and personal thing. There are emotional, economical, and health factors that make it an extremely difficult life event; and that goes for anyone and everyone. Now you become a mom and then you throw in pregnancy, breastfeeding, having children back to back, sleepless nights, no energy and limited time for yourself, and trying to lose weight feels like a distant dream. Add in lots of feelings of hopelessness and guilt as that scale keeps creeping higher, mixed with you no longer being able to squeeze into your pre-baby clothes… And personal fitness starts to feel impossible.
That was my story. I hit my heaviest weight EVER just this past year when my youngest son was 4 years old. The weight I registered was more than when I was 9 months pregnant; pretty shameful for me. I won’t bore you with the million reasons why I let myself get there but I was unhealthy and unhappy with myself. When some health concerns started popping up, so I knew I needed to do something.
One day I saw a saying:
“Of course you would die for your children BUT would you live healthy for them?”
That hit home for me. Now was the time to put weight loss and healthy living into my main focus…for me AND my family. So what did I do? There are a number of things I did and numbers ultimately became the main focus to get me where I am today.
Number 1: Nutritional Facts DO matter; get your calculators out!
Those nutritional labels are there for a reason and you need to look at all the numbers. Calories, Fat, Carbs, Sugar, etc… they all matter. And serving size is also a sneaky little thing that you need to focus on (one small package could be 2-4 servings!). Everybody’s body is different and whatever you are focusing on, all the information you need is directly on these labels. These labels also put into perspective what you are really consuming. Once you start keeping track and adding things up, it is really an eye opener.
I focused solely on carbohydrates for my weight loss. When I started keeping track and doing some research…WOW…I was going WAY over the recommended amount for a 2000 calorie a day diet, and in turn I was going WAY over on calories. After some diet adjustments, I was consuming less, staying full longer and ultimately it was what my body finally responded to!
Believe it or not, my major diet change was what I was drinking! Moms, don’t forget to count the numbers in what you are drinking; liquids matter greatly! My coffee habit (1-3x daily) was actually loaded with most of my carbs and sugar for the day. I was able to find an alternative, switch easily and still get coffee coming my way. Just remember, everyone is different so find what works for you!
Number 2: 30 minutes a day
30 minutes browsing social media feels like a breeze; now make that a goal to move your body. Hop on a stationary bike at the gym, get your kiddos in the stroller and walk around the mall or the block, have a daily dance party in your basement (don’t worry, no one is watching), shovel, mow, walk up and down stairs in your house or walk around your house perimeter while your kids are napping – one of my go-to options. I aim for 30 minutes a day to get my heart rate up. Not only will this help with weight loss, it helps your mood, stress and your blood pressure.
Number 3: Find 1 friend
I was fortunate enough to have a friend to go through this weight loss journey with – she helped me kick my butt and keep it in gear. We traded recipes, had weekly weight check-ins, and walked together when we could. Having someone to talk to and keep me accountable has been truly motivating. There are tons of weight loss support avenues online. Find whatever works for you. All it takes is one person to help get you where you need to be if you are seeking it.
This weight loss journey is definitely one that is hard and, with the bumpy path of life, can change in an instant. Just know that this is a path that is ever so welcoming and you can always get back on the journey towards health. We as moms are only human; even though it sometimes feels like we need to be superhuman to get through the day. So be kind to yourself and know that your goals are always attainable!
You got this!