Lost 100lbs, had a baby & gained it all back. Help?
August 29, 2012 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Before I had my child, I lost almost 100lbs. I have since gained it all back due to post partum depression. How do I get back on track with a child? More detail inside

I have always been really overweight, and in 2009 I started working out for almost two hours a day, 6 days a week. I had a partner, a personal trainer at a gym that I paid for on a weekly basis. I lost almost 100lbs.

The praise I recieved from family and friends was amazing. I started to love going to social events because I had tons of clothes to chose from and felt really confident for the first time in my life.

I found out I was pregnant right before my "goal date" and was devestated. I never reached my goal, but came within 15lbs of it. During my pregnancy I could no longer afford the personal trainer and gained 40lbs.

When my daughter was about 6 weeks old, I was only 15lbs away from the weight I was before I got pregnant and I was so happy about that. I developed really bad post partum depression and since have recovered, but now weight almost exactly the same I did before I lost weight.

I refuse to go to social events and have actually heard people say they can't believe how much weight I have gained. I am really ashamed and embarassed.

I want to get back into it, especially since I am about to see my inlaws who I haven't seen since I was at my thinnest, and I am so discouraged. My husband works night shift and I work day in order to not pay for daycare, we can't afford a personal trainer, I have no family or friends willing to care for our child for me to go to the gym... it just seems like all my cards are stacked against me.

Can anyone recommend a really good at home routine? An appetitie supplement to help me get started? Anything?
posted by AbsolutelyHonest to Health & Fitness (31 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Can you afford a jogging stroller? I have lots of friends who run 50 miles a week with kid in tow.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:30 AM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Honestly, 12 hours of working out is quite a bit for a new parent. Why don't you focus on the food side of things via diet modifications? I don't even mean jumping into that immediately--have you done any investigation into books on combating binge eating and using food as comfort? Geneen Roth has really good books on the topic.
posted by schroedinger at 7:37 AM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Many gyms have child care at the gym -- some free. Even if that isn't an option for you now for one reason or another, keep that in mind.

Post an ad on Craigslist to see if any other parents might be in a similar situation. You offer to watch their kid while they work out; they can watch your kid while you work out.
posted by Madamina at 7:38 AM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


no family or friends willing to care for our child for me to go to the gym

Are you sure?


New parent myself, and I've notice this from both my own experience and those around me with new babies drastically underestimating people's willingness to help, for free.

Maybe you are right, but as you've noted yourself you are coming out of a major depression and you might be making this true in your mind, while it is not the case in reality.

Have you asked all these people? have they said no? or are you just sure they would if you did? Because those are not the same thing.
posted by French Fry at 7:38 AM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm sorry.

Well, the good news is that you've done this once. You know what it takes and you know you are capable of it.

Some gyms have on site child care. Another option is to find another stay at home mom and alternate child care for gym/errands/what have you.

Also, could you possibly even afford one personal training session a month? A good one will write you a workout you can follow. You have the discipline and knowledge of the gym/exercises to do it yourself.

Also, you must have been following a diet before baby. What worked for you then? Can you get hubby or friends on board?

Basically: you have it in you. Dig deep to get back to that mindset. Good luck!
posted by murfed13 at 7:39 AM on August 29, 2012


YMCA gyms are often really good and have good childcare. Most importantly though - you don't even need a gym or to exercise yet to start getting the weight back off! Especially if you are approaching 100lbs to lose. Diet is everything right now and diet is easier at your current weight. Get on one of the many calorie counting sites or apps. FitDay, MyFitnessPal, LoseIt - all free. Count everything that goes in, no matter what. Get a good idea of your basal metabolic rate from any one of the dozens of BMR calculators online. Eat 500 calories below your daily requirements and aim for at least half a pound a week of weight loss.

I know it's hard with a baby to care for, but watch everything you eat. Be hyper vigilant about calorie content and packaging labels.

You absolutely do no need a personal trainer to work out, believe me. I've done it both ways and a self guided workout will be just fine. By the time you are ready to get on a 3x per week or more workout your daughter will be old enough that you will have many more options. Just get 35 or 40 pounds off through diet and light exercise like strolling baby and the real exercise can come later.

You can totally, totally do this. Congrats on baby!
posted by last night a dj saved my life at 7:44 AM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the advice. AFter my daughter was born, the company that I worked for folded and I lost my job and we lost our home. We moved into an apartment complex 40 miles away from any of our family and friends because it was all we could afford. Even if I did have family willing to watch her, it's impossible to do so during the week.

Also let me clarify that I do not expect to work out for several hours a day. I only get time with my son from 6pm until 8:30pm every night - I don't and cant sacrifice all that time with him. I'm looking to start a slow, but effective routine.

I have a gym in my area with child care but like I said before - we can't afford it. It's $50 a month for a membership and we don't even have internet or cable at our home because we had to get two cars.

As for the jogging stroller, I'm 285lbs... jogging isn't in my near future. I have been going for a walk around the complex every other day but getting my appetite under control has been horrible :(
posted by AbsolutelyHonest at 7:49 AM on August 29, 2012


Make healthy snacks easier to snack on. Have a tupperware of carrots easy to grab and snack on. Also Many YMCA have options/reductions for low income and unemployed ( and have child are) so that may be something to consider.
posted by raccoon409 at 7:55 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't have to jog with a jogging stroller. You can walk, too. I've started going for walks with my kids (used to sling them around the neighborhood, now they are school aged). When the summer finally ends in Florida I'm going to start C25K with them. Additionally, I've started walking the building at lunch (inside in inclement weather, outside in fine). I'll probably add weights in a few weeks.

I think it's great that you and your hubby have found a routine that works for you guys wrt work and child-time. Good luck getting back down!
posted by tilde at 8:06 AM on August 29, 2012


Can anyone recommend a really good at home routine? An appetitie supplement to help me get started? Anything?

getting my appetite under control has been horrible :(


I only have something to say about the appetite aspect of things. I am wondering how much sugar and simple carbs you eat? (Simple carbs would be things like white bread, regular pasta, etc.).

If you eat those types of food often, I'm wondering if you can make a switch to complex carbs and artificial sweeteners just to start. I am definitely not a low-carb fanatic who thinks carbs are the devil. I also think if you try to change too much at once, it will make it really hard to sustain and there's no point in making it that hard for yourself. I am just talking about really easy changes like switching from white bread to whole grain bread. From white rice to brown rice. Coffee with a few sugar cubes to coffee with Truvia. And maybe cutting down your overall carb consumption just a LITTLE. Like if you often have rice 'n beans for dinner, maybe have a little bit less of the rice and a little bit more of the beans.

The idea is trying to eat foods with a lower glycemic load. There are tons of sites online that show you that information for any kind of food. One thing to stay aware of is fruit. Try not to replace the sugary things in your life with too much fruit, and find out which fruits are more sugary than others. (Blueberries are a good option).

Just give it a try. You might be surprised what happens. A few years ago I cut sugar out of my life for a while for reasons that were completely unrelated to weight loss. I lost 20 lbs completely unintentionally, I was not starting out overweight, and because of metabolism issues that I have from childhood I am not usually someone who loses weight at the drop of a hat.
posted by cairdeas at 8:11 AM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


With one of these backpacks, I started hiking/walking all over the place with my baby, who loooooves being in it. (I got mine new for $100 on sale at a local outdoor store; check craigslist, you can find them even cheaper than that.)

Even a half-hour walk with the baby in the backpack is better exercise than you'd think, since the baby makes for a very effective weight. Like you, I don't have a lot of work-out options that don't involve taking my kids along, so we started doing a lot of walking and hiking. Even when my toddler moved at a pretty slow speed (and I'd have the baby in the backpack), I could walk nice long distances, if not at a very high speed. (Now I feel like we're constantly moving at a jog to keep up with the toddler.) It's also a nice family recreation thing on the weekends; we can all go to a local park with hiking trails, instead of trip 2,000 to Some Kid Thing that we're all bored of.

It frees you up to go a lot of places with the baby along that might be a hassle with the stroller (even lots of shopping!), and you can move at a faster pace, and over more uneven ground (like, you don't have to have sidewalks).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:14 AM on August 29, 2012


I can't search or link easily on my phone, but a couple of weeks ago the NY Times had an article summarizing the latest diet/exercise research. (I linked it in a previous comment if that helps locate it...) The takeaway was that exercise is great for you, but eating is the big factor in weight gain or loss. So sure, start walking or whatever, it is great for your health, but the key to changing your shape is going to be at the table.

There have also been fantastic comments and fpps here before on Health at Any Size - again, I can't link easily now but if you can find them I think you will find good information there.
posted by Forktine at 8:19 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


INSANITY is the best at-home workout I've ever lived through. It is pricey, but you only pay for it once and can use it however many times you want.

I can't make a good dietary supplement suggestion for you, but I can tell you what I take. I take a nightly cocktail of natural things like a multi-vitamin, omega-3 (which, during pregnancy, your baby probably "took" from you. A low omega-3 level could fog your mind/ affect your motivation and mood a little. Surely it has built back up since baby's birth, but Americans are notoriously low in Omega-3s with or without pregnancy), folic acid, green coffee bean extract, and fiber. You can get a few months supply of all this at Wal-Mart for roughly $20. Just taking 4-8 pills calls for a nice tall glass of water which will have a filling affect all its own.

Eat all day! Have 5-7 little meals and graze on them versus sitting down to three heavy meals per day. A daily diet consisting mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and a protein bar here or there with NO fast food or processed and packaged sweets has been the most rewarding to my feeling of well being and results on a data sheet.

I wish you the best in finding what works for you!
posted by acertainseason at 8:31 AM on August 29, 2012


Start small with changes that you know you can fit in your day and that will not cost you any money. Walking is free, and you can do it with your daughter. Counting calories is free, and it works for weight loss. Most importantly, find a community that encourages you daily.
I have just finished some big projects and found myself drifting, while I'm depressed that I've put on weight in the last year. I recently decided to start another food diary to count calories (I use My Fitness Pal, which is the best one I've seen, and also free), but I also joined the Metafilter team on Health Month, a website that is about wellness rather than weight loss. The latter is a really well-designed, cheap program that is about giving you the tools to be accountable in making changes to your life and converting them to habits. It's all about encouragement and no shame. The Metafilter team makes it personal for me- I feel like I know some of these people because I am on Metafilter all the time, so I'm making progress with friends. I've used food diaries to count calories many times before, but combining it with Health Month has proved to be the missing link to making me actually accountable and consistent with it rather than just caving to shame and discouragement after a few days. I still have to make it work long term, though.
Take care of yourself as well as you can. Only you can decide what that means for you.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:32 AM on August 29, 2012


New parent myself, and I've notice this from both my own experience and those around me with new babies drastically underestimating people's willingness to help, for free.

Just wanted to second this: babies/toddlers are awesome, and I keep offering to babysit for free just to get to hang out with them. You probably have friends like me, who have hit our "babies are awesome" years, but who (for various reasons) don't have one themselves, and would be happy to borrow look after yours.
posted by jb at 8:40 AM on August 29, 2012


Does your baby like walks in the stroller? There is a program called "Cardio Stroller" (cardiopousette where I live) that is great. Basically you take your child for a walk and do exercise using the stroller and the great outdoors as your gym. You can sign up for classes but it also something you can do on your own or with a group, no $ involved. If/when the snow comes it becomes "Cardio Sled" and you drag baby along with you. When the child is a bit older they can do the exercises with you. It's great for people of all sizes and fitness levels because you can go at your own pace and adjust as necessary. You'll find other videos on youtube with suggestions for exercises. The women in the first video are stick thin, but don't let that discourage you. I've seen women of all sizes out walking with their babies.
posted by Cuke at 8:52 AM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just wanted to throw this out there, in case it's a factor: if you're still breastfeeding, you may find it hard to lose weight. Yes, producing milk requires calories, but some women's bodies just hang onto fat while they're lactating, and it can also be really, really hard to stick to a diet because your body is screaming for more calories.

So, if you're nursing, be aware that you may be fighting a much harder battle than you would be otherwise. I don't think this is commonly known, but it is a true fact.

More advice: can you exercise on lunch breaks? That's the only time during the day that I have to myself (as a fellow working new mom) -- if running is out, are there stairs around that you can climb? I find that gives me a better cardio workout than just walking.

Also: protein! Lots of protein curbs hunger waaayyy better than carbs. Your meals should be mostly meat and veg, hardly any bread/pasta/rice.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:57 AM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


Get some exercise DVDs from the library for free. Get up a little earlier every day to use them. When you find one you really like buy a used copy of it.

Try making friends with other parents of young kids in your apartment complex.
posted by mareli at 8:59 AM on August 29, 2012


Oh, also! Easiest way to cut calories? 16/8 intermittent fast.

Fast 16 hours each day, and only eat during one 8-hour block. For me, that means I don't eat until noon, and finish dinner by 8pm. This is actually really convenient (and cheap!), because then you don't have to deal with breakfast in the morning. Just eat a healthy, substantial lunch and dinner. This is also great if you're one of those people who likes to snack after dinner, because it gives you a cutoff time and prevents extra calories in the evening.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:05 AM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Please please don't beat yourself up or listen to the critics -- you just had a baby! Ditto looking up the Heathy at Every Size movement for some support. Focus on general health first and the things you can do for free, like walking. Free sites like FitDay and MapMyWalk are good tools for tracking food and exercise. I also reference the National Weight Loss Registry for guidelines for achieving healthy and long-term weight loss.

Look for opportunities to work on building a local support network of people who are positive, who you enjoy doing things with regardless of anyone's size, and who will cheer you on when you're working towards a goal. I've watched various family members gain and lose lots of weight over the years, and one of the keys to success has been social support. If you can make it to a mom's group, library storytime, etc. once a week, go. I think it would help for you to know you're definitely not alone, either as a new mom or as a mom struggling with weight gain.

You're coping with a lot of tough stuff right now - take small steps and be good to yourself!
posted by hms71 at 9:10 AM on August 29, 2012


Seconding mareli. I have a Jillian Michaels DVD I like a lot (Banish Fat Boost Metabolism). I originally got it out of the library for a week, liked it, and then ordered a copy. It's probably a little intense if you haven't been exercising in a while, but she has a whole range of videos. I've also heard from friends that Windsor Pilates is great. Anyway, if there's a library that you can get to that has a good selection, you can try out a bunch of videos for free, and then choose the ones you like.

I jog, walk, and bike on different days, but workout videos are great for days when the weather makes it hard to work out outside, and for when I want someone to set the pace for me, so I'm less likely to slack off.

On a different note, to the extent possible, if you can work activity into your daily habits (walk to the store instead of driving, or drive to the store but park a couple blocks away, do light housework while watching tv instead of sitting for long periods) that can also really help get the ball rolling.
posted by pompelmo at 9:13 AM on August 29, 2012


I'm sorry, but.. WHAT? You've ~heard~ people commenting on how much you've gained? WTH? I would not be around people like that. If people feel good about cutting down others, they're just not worth your time.

Nthing the caloric intake thing. I lose weight by watching what I eat, period. Exercise for its own sake isn't something I enjoy. Try keeping things that you can snack on that aren't carb heavy around so that when you absolutely must have something right NOW you have something healthy to eat, instead of something that's easy but not going to help with your goal. Carrots, celery, fruit, cheese, beef jerky (if the salt isn't a problem for you). Make sure to drink lots of water.

rabbitrabbit makes a point I've heard before - that it's harder to lose when you're breastfeeding. I don't have a citation, but I know I've heard it multiple times before.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 9:20 AM on August 29, 2012


Seconding checking the local YMCA. Many of them provide childcare and also allow people to volunteer in exchange for a greatly reduced memberships. For a couple of hours of light work (like scanning cards at the entrance), you could have a gym membership and get out of the house (and have childcare while doing it).
posted by halseyaa at 9:24 AM on August 29, 2012


Looking up nutritional information for everything you put in your mouth can seem tedious but is actually really, really helpful. Once I know something has a ridiculous number of calories, especially fat content, I almost automatically either cut way back on it or avoid it altogether. And portion control really, really helps. Keep measuring cups and spoons out and get a small electronic food scale if you don't already have one (they're very inexpensive). Eat the recommended portion on a smaller plate (a luncheon or dessert plate) and see if you really are still hungry. Chances are that you won't be.

If you're nursing you're probably avoiding alcohol already, but just avoid hard liquor generally. It's all sugar and goes straight to your waist. Better to sip a (single, 5-oz) glass of red wine slowly with dinner (and drink the good stuff, not supermarket plonk).

A few "wonder foods" I love because they help with appetite control:

Almonds make a great snack and help curb appetite--they're filling and high in "good" fat and fiber. A typical serving is a quarter cup--don't overdo it, because they are almost all fat, after all--but I find that a handful of almonds as a mid-afternoon snack provides energy and satisfies any cravings I might get for a vending machine candy bar. Get the unsalted kind. I also like to put almond butter on whole wheat toast or crackers instead of regular butter.

Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber and are really tasty roasted. Apparently, they've also been recently shown to lower "bad" cholesterol and reduce insulin resistance (something that might also be making it hard for you to lose weight). I also like to cook them with brown rice, olive oil, garlic, and smoked paprika for lunches. And, of course, they're a main ingredient of hummus, which makes a good dip for raw vegetables.

I was on a medication a while back that for some weird reason gave me a heightened sweet tooth. When I asked my doctor about it, she recommended adding a little unsweetened cinnamon to my coffee or tea. The aroma is apparently an appetite suppressant. It does help.

Instead of a latte, I heat up a cup of skim milk in the microwave and steep a flavored tea bag like vanilla hazelnut in it and then add a little Splenda or honey. You could also do this with soy milk. Comfort food.

If I really want something sweet, two or three squares of a really good chocolate bar (like Vosges), nibbled very slowly, usually suffices. Dark chocolate is better for you, but a little bit of good milk chocolate won't hurt--my favorite treat is a couple squares of a Barcelona Bar (dark milk chocolate with grey sea salt and almonds). Just don't overdo.

Having sufficient protein and monounsaturated fats for breakfast keeps me from crashing later and craving sugar or unhealthy fats later on. I often have a half cup of muesli mixed with a cup of nonfat, non-high-fructose-sweetened vanilla yogurt. Whole grains are far preferable to processed "whole grain" cereal, which has to have the nutrients added back in, and it's easier than making oatmeal.

Sometimes I have an egg or two (they're good for you if you don't go overboard) and a slice of whole wheat toast spread very thinly with butter.

Oatmeal is also great, of course, especially if you add some cut-up strawberries and toasted walnuts. (Always toast the walnuts! So much tastier.)

Do you get your thyroid tested regularly? If not, you should ask your doctor about it. Make sure she knows you're concerned about your weight, because she can provide advice or test for factors of which you might be unaware.

And take your baby for a nice long walk every day (as someone else suggested, a jogging stroller is good for this). You'd be amazed how much good a walk can do, and you will feel so much better.

Good luck. I think people who comment on one's weight (especially how much one has gained!) are incredibly rude and presumptuous. But you've done it before and you can do it again, especially if you make changes to your diet and add exercise habits that are easy to keep up and can become more or less permanent and second nature. My brother is a fitness freak and does Insanity, but he's also a single, childless guy with a very uncomplicated life. A woman with a new baby--eh, I'm not seeing it. It might take longer, but it's better to make small, easy changes and make some real progress, however slow, than to go in all guns a-blazing and burn out because you're exhausted from childcare and the havoc your hormones have been wreaking on your body.
posted by tully_monster at 9:30 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have Walk Away the Pounds, by Leslie Sansone. It has an easy 1-mile step in place routine, people of different body types, and then 2, 3, and 4 mile after you get bored with that. Comes with a resistance band. The 1 mile uses her special weight balls, but I used 2 pound hand weights from Walmart instead. Was recommended to me by a nurse practioner.

Can be done in 1/2 hour (I eventually got up to the 3-mile, which may be a bit longer, but since you're walking in place faster, it doesn't seem too long). It's easy enough that you can stop it if the baby fusses and go back and pick it up. I lost something like 45 pounds in less than a year.

I was also counting carbs and following a nutrition plan provided by the doctor's office.

Both times when I gave birth, it took me almost 2 years to lose the weight. I had "helpful" friends take me to lunch when my baby was 3 months old and tell me how fat I was compared to my pre-baby weight. I was a size 12! So be gentle on yourself and prepare some neutral comeback to any anticipated comments. "Yes, I am working on this with my doctor, but thanks for your concern."

I have some other exercise DVD's but this one is the one I was able to stick with. She is very cheerful and perky, which can be annoying, but not as annoying as trying to do dance moves that make me pant and cry in frustration because they are so complicated and go too fast. Good luck!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:35 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just want to mention that data shows breastfeeding to be a GREAT way to lose weight link to studies and resourses. A nursing mom burns 200 to 500 cal more a day and in general can easily shed a pound a week through healthy food choices.
posted by saradarlin at 10:57 AM on August 29, 2012


First of all, as murfed13 says above--remember that you DO know how to do this. It is so hard to get to that place where your momentum brings you in the direction you want to be going in. Right now it sounds like you're feeling stuck, and you need to just keep trying things to figure out what sticks.

We've mentioned sparkpeople on the green before, and I suggest you head over there and get some support (see, for example, this message thread). The whole idea of sparkpeople is that you do tiny little changes, and eventually the sparks turn into a fire, right? So, start by just committing to drinking 8 glasses of water per day. Then add something, like getting some 2 lb dumbells and doing 1 rep of 8 curls with them every morning. The add something else, etc.

For the longest time I exercised at home after my kid went to sleep. You can do this too--there's tons of DVD set "programs" (like Insanity mentioned above) but also you can find free stuff on youtube. Or sparkpeople has their own video content too--little 10 minute things that you CAN fit into your day.
posted by gubenuj at 1:02 PM on August 29, 2012


I sent you memail.
posted by KathrynT at 1:27 PM on August 29, 2012


Seconding the idea that you do not need a personal trainer (nor a gym for that matter) to work out effectively. In any exercise program, there are two routines you need to build. First is weight training. The simplest and the least expensive is body weight training - Insanity might be a little too hard core but it's the same principle. To start with I would recommend the book 'Convict Conditiong'. No equipment to get (maybe a pull up bar at some point in the future). There are only 6 core exercises with differing difficulty levels. Can't do regular push up you say? Start with a wall push up.

Second is cardio. At your current weight (and presumably fitness level) walking would suffice for now.

Once you get the routine down for a couple of months, then it would be time to start elaborating on more complex exercises.

... it just seems like all my cards are stacked against me.
:(
That's your depression (or what's left of it) talking. Don't let it.
posted by 7life at 4:08 PM on August 29, 2012


I've found that the breastfeeding and holding onto weight holds very true for me, anecdotally.

As for appetite and cravings, I have taken things very slowly and done diet modification literally One Thing At A Time. Slow as anything, but for breakfast I started only eating one of two meals - bran flakes with berries thrown on top and whole milk OR a fried egg and cheese on a whole wheat toast - like a formula. That way every morning for breakfast, instead of fussing around snacking and trying to think of what I felt like eating, I'd have two choices, both lower calorie, both healthy, both with a little protein and some healthy fat to keep my going until my morning snack. Eventually, my morning snack became one of my homemade granola bars (300 calories) OR an apple and cheese. Just these two meals being made formulaic started me off with a healthy start instead of just heavy carbs or whatever that left me hungry. I tried stuff like yogurt but even that left my stomach eating itself by around 9am. I started using LoseIt and then switched to Daily Burn Tracker for my calories - I don't always stay absolutely in the limits of its recommendations, but since using it, I'm much more aware of how many more calories and carbs and such are in everything I was previously eating without a second thought. It's really been all baby steps for me. I don't have to be so formulaic anymore with my breakfasts - I'm often chugging a giant chocolate soy milk, berry, and banana smoothie before work - but I still pretty much stick with my same snacks: a handful of plain almonds, a granola bar, a cheese stick or two, or a tasty fruit. Having something on hand to snack on that isnt total hippie chow health food bland and that I actually enjoy eating has saved me from my normal snacking go to's like crackers or whatever. I enjoy my food a lot more and I never feel guilty about eating one slice of pizza or having something as long as I know what I'm eating and am cognizant that I shouldn't eat, like, three slices. :P I'm a good Greek girl - I can plow through an obscene three platefuls of pasta and sauce, a roll, and then have a bowl of icecream for dinner without batting an eye. So these small slow modifications to my diet have really helped me reign things in when I realized I was eating as much in one meal as I should in three. I always feel fuller now with more protein and less carbs, as well.

For workouts I initially did yoga and some postpartum ones online but, ugh. Boring. Repetitive. Too long for a workingmom with a three year old, a newborn, and a husband who is late at work every night. I switched to Mark Lauren's You Are Your Own Gym (book first, then IPhone app) on the recommendation of MeFites on some other fitness treads. The workouts are short, they are super friendly to someone who doesn't have a gym to go to (I can't afford one and I cannot possibly get up earlier than I already do in the morning) and who wants to start out slow. I just did as many reps of the exercises as I could according to the workout plans and slowly worked my way through. I'm no skinny minnie and I'm no Atlas, but I feel and look much healthier.
posted by takoukla at 6:36 PM on August 30, 2012


I just want to mention that data shows breastfeeding to be a GREAT way to lose weight link to studies and resourses. A nursing mom burns 200 to 500 cal more a day and in general can easily shed a pound a week through healthy food choices.


...yes and no. A lot of women, myself included, find it very difficult to lose past a certain amount weight while breastfeeding, either because our supply diminishes when we don't eat a certain amount, or it's just torture to not eat, or because we're too tired to exercise, or some mystery physiological processes that we don't quite understand yet.

So while it does burn calories, and it can help with some weight loss, a lot of breastfeeding women hit a plateau past which their body absolutely does not allow them to lose weight. Most moms I've heard this from say there are 15 or 20 extra pounds that stay on no matter what while they're nursing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:40 PM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


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