Chronicles of a First Time Mommy: Losing baby weight vs. getting back in shape

Ashley Smith

Losing the baby weight vs. getting back into shape. It sounds like the same thing, but as a first time mommy, you quickly realize how different they are.

I was fortunate. No, let me restate that, I was one of those freaks of nature who wore their pre-pregnancy pants home from the hospital. (Ok, please dont light this on fire and curse me out, Im going somewhere with this).

I gained very little weight when I was pregnant. I am a very healthy person and continued to eat healthy throughout my pregnancy. I craved asparagus for Petes sake. This continued until I failed my glucose test, three times. Yup, I, Miss Healthy, had Gestational Diabetes. After a series of mental and emotional breakdowns to anyone who would listen, I followed the GD diet, which I swear could be a form of torture. The 20 pounds I gained by my third trimester, quickly dropped to 12 pounds by the time I delivered my daughter, five weeks early and absolutely perfect.

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I lost 10 of those 12 pounds upon delivery and by the time I came home two days later, I was back to my regular weight. BUT I LOOKED LIKE A BIG MARSHMALLOWY BODY PILLOW SAUSAGE. Losing the baby weight DID NOT equal getting back into shape. Losing the weight was pretty easy. Getting my stomach, arms, and legs to look anything like they used to was the hard part.

I can happily say, 6 months later, I have my body back. Here are a few things I did, without joining a gym, or drastically changing my life to get there.

Breastfeed. You hear this over and over again. Its not only best for baby, but its best for you. If its not for you, thats ok. I wasnt sold on it while I was pregnant, but I am now one of those moms who will go breastfeed on the White House lawn for better laws. I swear it sucked the weight right off of me and toned my stomach.

Avoid junk. This is common sense, but its so hard to do. I eliminated fast food entirely from my diet. It wasnt easy. I think I even went through withdrawal symptoms from McDonalds French fries. BUT its worth it. I feel better and feel better about whats going in my body. I dont drink soda. We dont keep sugary crap in the house. I just stopped buying cookies, candy, soda, anything like that. When its not in the house I dont eat it, simple as that. I save those things for special occasions, and frankly I dont even want them anymore. I end up feeling sick after I eat them now.

Eat clean, go green. My husband and I chose to eliminate meat from our diets. This isnt for everyone, but try going meatless once a week. It will save money on your grocery bill and help the environment, too. Cut back on things like pasta, rice, and potatoes and substitute another veggie as a side a couple nights a week. These are little changes you can make to speed up the process from marshmallowy mommy to one hot momma.

Finally, work in fitness. I have no time to go to the gym. Its just not happening and I have accepted that. I used to stress over this and beat myself up. But working full time leaves me only a few precious hours each night. I dont want to spend any of them looking at grunting baboons or single 20 somethings checking themselves out in the mirrors wearing hot pants and making duck faces. Instead, I use what I have. I do workout videos On Demand that are free and under 20 minutes. I change it up every other night and do an ab workout that is 7-10 minutes on there as well. I feel good about myself and it has been just enough to tone up without having to leave the house. I put the baby in her jumperoo or wait until shes asleep for the night.

What about you? What has worked for you to drop the weight and get back in shape?

Ashley Smith resides in Berks County with her husband, Aaron; daughter, Gracie, 6 months;her dog, Sam; and cat, Jack, who runs the show. She is an English as a Second Language teacher by day at Wilson, and an amateur chef, yoga enthusiast, Modern Family fanatic, and first time mommy by night.Contact her at greenforgrace@gmail.com.