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My Blog

January 2011

Losing Baby Weight is Tough...But Moms are Tougher!

Getting your body back after having a baby is tough… really tough.  Unlike the average person battling weight loss, new moms have sleep deprivation, hormones, breast feeding, lack of time, and a complete life change to make the process more difficult.  Also, it is the first time that many moms are carrying around the extra pounds, so they often feel like they are living in a foreign body.  It doesn’t help matters when we see celebrity moms parading around with pre-baby bodies just weeks after giving birth. So what is the best way to lose the baby weight?  I will share with you some tips that have worked for my clients.

Find Support
It really helps to know you are not alone in the weight loss process.  Find a workout buddy, hire a trainer, or find fitness classes with other moms.  When you are accountable to someone, you are more likely to stick to the plan.  After a sleepless night you may not want to work out, but when you have a trainer like me knocking at your door you will be less likely to call it quits.

Choose foods wisely
Feelings of stress and fatigue often lead to overeating, and if you are breastfeeding it may not be a good idea to restrict your calorie intake. If you are going to snack, make sure you are eating the right things.  Stock your kitchen full of fresh veggies, lean protein, and high fiber foods. If you have cravings for junk foods try crowding out the bad choices with good ones.  For example—if you eat a big plate of carrot and celery sticks you may not have room for that cupcake you were craving. 

Exercise anywhere and everywhere
Because you are often short on alone time, don’t wait for a quiet moment to exercise.  You may never make it to the gym. Take long walks with your baby.  Do crunches on your living room floor.  Invest in an exercise DVD.  You would be surprised how much work you can get done in the privacy of your own living room.  When I train clients in their homes the baby is often present for the workout, so there is no babysitter needed and no excuses not to work out.

Be patient
Don’t let the celebrity photos fool you.  They spend thousands of dollars on full time nannies, chefs, and trainers—not a realistic lifestyle for most moms.  On average, the weight will come off in 6 to 8 months (if you are active and eating right).  1 to 1.5 pounds per week is a healthy goal.  Having a realistic time line will take some of the anxiety away so you can focus on enjoying the time spent with your baby.

Yes, the process can be grueling, but by committing to a plan the pre-baby body is completely obtainable. Come on, you carried the baby for 9 months and gave birth, so you are capable of dealing with the greatest of life's challenges! 

Read about the journey of one of my clients, Laura Rohrman, and the steps she took to get her body back.

Need some inner strength? Try to Detach

The Yamas and Niyamas are the “don’ts” and “dos” of the yoga practice, a moral code of ethics which ultimately leads to enlightenment.  It is the 5th Yama, non-attachment, that has been on my mind this month.  In January we are leaving behind the holiday season in which we focus on the giving and receiving of material things.  We are also moving forward into a new year full of expectations and new goals.  We want to approach those new goals in a healthy way, with strength from within. To tap into that strength it is beneficial to ‘let go” or detach from the things in our life that we assume hold our happiness. 

Material items, loved ones, food, money, and career are all things that we cling to, that we try to possess.  Sometimes we even cling to expectations, memories, or beliefs. It is an illusion that by owning these things we can gain happiness.  With clinging comes the underlying fear of loss.  The fear of loss can make us moody, distracted, jealous, manipulative, and agitated. After all, we are constantly trying to protect what is ours. Who wants to live with that kind of baggage?

In the past, I have struggled with clinging to both my partner and my other career as an actor.  Once I realized that I cannot own either one of those things, it felt as if a weight had been lifted.  I can love and care for my boyfriend, but he will still live his own life.  My happiness does not depend on him.  I can still enjoy performing on stage, but the stage will not always be there.  My self-worth cannot be found in a performance.

By freeing ourselves of the illusion of ownership we gain a great sense of inner strength and contentment.  I challenge you to ask yourself: “What am I attached to?”

When you answer yourself honestly try this meditation:
Sit quietly and comfortably. Close your eyes and start to breathe.  Take the first few minutes to imagine the things, feelings, or expectations that you try to possess. See them in your mind’s eye.  After you have a clear perception of what those things are try to refocus you’re your mind on your inhales and exhales. Use this mantra as you breathe: “I inhale strength, I exhale to let go.”

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