Please take note, I gained 70 lbs while pregnant. This isn’t me talking about how I am skinnier now than I was before I had my baby. Sorry, I’m not one of those miracle worker women who lose fat easier when they eat Twinkies and bagels every day and they just had a child.
I have to work on my fitness, and it’s a constant battlefield.
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So I want to share with you things that I have discovered on my journey to fitness, before our little babe, and now what I’m doing after to help shed the pounds. As you may have put together by the title of this post and the beginning paragraph, I still have about twenty pounds to go before I hit my pre-pregnancy weight.
And I’m not anxious, I’m not worried I won’t lose it, and I’m in no rush. Right now I’m focusing on staying healthy, happy, and keeping my milk supply going because there really shouldn’t be pressure on us women to lose weight quick and easy. Pick your pace, and follow these guidelines:
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1. Cardio is not the answer…
I know, it’s hard to hear.. Because cardio is the easiest way to work out. And if you do dance fitness of any kind (like me), it’s more fun as well. And that’s fine to indulge in that fun every once in awhile, but let the little voice in your head be telling you this tidbit every time you turn on that Zumba: There have been studies that show cardio is not the most effective way to lose that pesky fat on your thighs and back.
That’s right ladies, this is the reason why you get to a plateau with your body, even though you are running more and more every day.
I can attest to the fact that having your weight plateau is very very real. And I have had the most stubborn fat around. Until I married my husband, and he relentlessly drilled into my prideful head the facts of muscle building vs. Zumba (which I did religiously). I finally caved. And I started shaping my body the way I had always imagined.
All the years in middle school, high school and my beginning years of college where I played all sorts of sports and exclusively soccer… Wasted.
I could have been faster. I could have been stronger. If only I lifted weights in synchronization with all that cardio. I can now get just as fulfilling of a workout (if not more) by 15-30 minutes of weight lifting than I ever did with an hour of jogging. And see results the NEXT DAY.
This especially helps me with my postpartum self-esteem. Seeing such instant results was motivating for me as a mommy and wife and just for me. So if you are frustrated with your lack of progress, pick up them dumb bells and check out my next tip… And if you need a little help figuring out how to start weight lifting the right way, check out this YouTube Channel for their workouts to get started right.
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2. Form is everything.
So we have established that weight lifting is the best way to burn fat by building muscle. And in order to progress in weightlifting, you also need to build in the amount of weight you lift.
But wait, I don’t want to build “too much” muscle… ….. … (seriously though, who doesn’t want to be Arnold??)
I can promise you when you look up the female bodybuilders online and see their enormous lats, chests, and back muscles, that those professionals did not get their bodies by gradually increasing their dumb bells from 5 lbs to 20… They lift VERY heavy and also take steroids, supplements and/or testosterone…
You do not run that risk ladies. We do not have that natural testosterone in our bodies. So take a deep breath and challenge yourself with those 25 pounders! :0
But keep that form tight. Check out this article from bodybuilding.com about proper form. Especially the section on common mistakes made when lifting. We have had too many times where we see ladies and dear gentlemen at the squat rack doing what we call “good mornings” combined with some kind of squat and just sigh with this expression on our face…
For this reason, please at least look at this article about proper squat form for reference. And have someone nearby take a picture or video of you while you squat at the gym next time. (You’ll make a new friend! And if you’re both single, maybe you’ll get the first date outta it. ) 😉
3. Nothing is complete without the follow-up.
Every sale in this industrial world that is successful contains a follow-up after the sale. A workout a day and a burger by night will not make those love handles disappear. You have to follow up your bodybuilding with proper nutrition. But you know this, right? Eat your fruits and veggies and you’ll be fine. Get that salad the next time you’re at McDonald’s instead of that hot-n-spicy. Ladies, if you want to change, you gotta up your protein and fiber intake and lower your carbs and sugars.
I could write a whole book on nutrition, and so could the hubby, and we could write up an entire meal plan regime if you’d like. (just ask!) Instead, I’ll tell you the watered down version of our day.
75-100 grams of protein (eggs, chicken, low-fat hamburger) a day accompanied by a fiber sources for sides or snacks (almonds, veggies), oatmeal as a pre work out meal, healthy fats as sides or snacks (Greek yogurt, avocados or cottage cheese) and a half of a fruit a day (typically an apple or banana).
The above paragraph is not a meal plan for you to follow, but simply an example of my intake of food per day that has helped me lose 50 pounds of the pregnancy weight in 4 months combined with a work out regime. If you are interested in more meals that count macronutrients, check out my amazing friend @macro_miranda and follow her on Instagram.
I know I always say it but I love meal prep. I had everything ready besides the zoodles, which only took two minute to make. #whatsinmybowl 162g zoodles(sautéed with coconut spray seasoned with salt and pepper), 4oz ground turkey, 22g avocado, 50g bell peppers, 54g cherry tomatoes and one while egg. Macros P32/C14/F18 . . . . . . #zoodles #turkey #veggies #micronutrients #healthyeating #realfood #eeeeeats #eatwellbewell #feedyoursoul #feedfeed #food4thought #foodisfuel #fitfoodie #macros #macrocounting #macrofriendly #iifym #iifymgirls #flexibledieting #healthyfood #inspiration #fitnessmotivation #lowcarb #nodiet #eggs #healthyfood #balance #cleaneating #glutenfree
And please take note, we do cheat meals every week where we indulge in the delicious foods without regret. That’s why our recipes on this blog are soo good.
By me talking about what I eat I hope to just encourage you to be aware of what you might eat every day and if it is keeping you from your weight loss or just health building goals! Follow up is key, my friends. Don’t be your own worst enemy.
Ultimately, mamas out there, just love YOU and your bodies.
You don’t need the pressure of being perfectly skinny or fit after having a baby, you already have the pressure of being a perfect mom and perfect wife and all the other expectations you give yourself. Love YOU and embrace who YOU are! Just know, being healthy and reaching my health goals has made me more at one with myself and has been a major confidence boost, and I hope this article will help you find that boost for yourself.
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to see the prime equipment we invested in for our home gym instead of paying monthly for a gym membership, check out these links from our affiliate and start up your home gym today:
Punching Bag, Lifting Chalk, Squat Rack, Barbell, and Dumbbells. B is a huge quality product over price shopper so these are very nice and have been lasting us the past two years incredibly through every day work out wear. And by every day, I mean every. day. Hope they work for you!
And if you are worried about keeping your breastmilk supply up while nursing and working out, check out this herbal supplement and our chicken soup recipe that helps with sustaining supply.