I’m an emotional eater, which means my weight is always fluctuating. After years of struggling with it, I reached a comfortable size and I was managing to maintain my weight…until I got pregnant. Eating food became my top coping mechanism and I watched my weight spiral out of control because of it.
By the time I was entering my second trimester, I couldn’t comfortably fit the bulk of my clothes. Unlike my first trimester, when I could hide my growing bump in summer-friendly maxi dresses, I couldn’t fit the rest of the items in my closet by fall.
The daily struggle to find something to wear, was wearing me down! Clothes that used to fit, were now tight or in some cases, too small to even put on. Getting dressed was making me depressed. I needed to do something before the negative thoughts took over. I was beating myself down for not having control.
Even after updating my wardrobe, I still bullied myself about my weight gain. Instead of appreciating the process of producing life, I was disgusted by my physique. That was until I got my mind right and found my weight back!
Here are some tips to help you find your weight back as well.
Stress is proven to slow down your metabolism. Be considerate that the weight you gained during your pregnancy didn’t appear overnight, so it will take time to drop those extra pounds. In some cases, you might even gain some weight after giving birth. Just be patient with this journey and don’t give up.
Eat right and drink lots of water!
Junk food isn’t just cakes, cookies, and sweets. Be careful when choosing seasonings with too much sodium and stay away from carbonated beverages. Be mindful of everything you eat. your body needs maximum nutrition, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
According to Stephanie Victor. – a Registered Nurse, who is also a mother of two children and a Certified Personal Trainer, “when you’re breastfeeding, your milk is a product of whatever you’re ingesting. Of course you can treat yourself, every now and again, but it can’t become an unhealthy habit. You want to make sure you’re giving your baby the healthiest milk you can produce.”
Always choose the healthiest options, and avoid foods like:
• fast foods
• prepackaged foods
• cookies / pastries
• TV dinners
• processed cheeses
• sugary cereals
• soft drinks
Load up on healthy options like:
• lean meats
• nuts and seeds
For snack options, consider:
• tortilla chips and fresh salsa
• sliced cucumbers and hummus
• mixed nuts and dried cranberries
• Greek yogurt (preferably Chobani)
• air-popped popcorn
• string cheese
• dark chocolate-covered almonds
Exercise is necessary but don’t rush into a workout regimen. Stephanie says, “focus on eating healthy and stay active by taking walks with your baby, in the stroller. Don’t jump into any strenuous activity after labor. It’s best to allow your body to recover, especially if you had a c-section”. Stephanie continued, ”most doctors recommend for mothers who’ve undergone c-sections to wait at least 12 weeks before starting any high-impact exercises, such as running, HIIT and resistance or weight training.”
For mothers who deliver vaginally, the usual recovery process suggested by doctors is 6-8 weeks. However some moms may need additional time before postpartum exercising can begin. Don’t rush the healing process. Focus on bonding with your baby. Always ask your healthcare professional opinion before attempting to do any workout regimen beyond walking.
Once your doctor gives you the “okay”, don’t play! Challenge yourself to incorporate a daily, 10-15 minute workout into your schedule and increase the time as you get better acclimated to your parenting schedule and your body gets stronger.
Don’t waste your time with a waist trainer!
Contrary to popular belief, Stephanie Victor, RN warns MILFs to not be fooled by the propaganda! Whether you call it a waist-trainer, corset, faja, or girdle, she believes they’re so unnecessary! “Unless you want to look good in a dress for a night out. I don’t suggest extended usage”
A waist-trainer can give that hourglass illusion when a person wears one. However, Stephanie V. stresses that a waist-trainer won’t drastically change a person’s body shape permanently. “It’s unlikely to have a lasting impact. Once the corset is taken off, you’re body will not have that effect.” For a moms looking to get a snatched waist, Stephanie suggests improving your diet and exercising more often, not waist-training. “Abs are made in the kitchen.”
Physician, Natalie Nedley, DO co-signed Stephanie’s statements and added, “I do not believe in waist-training, its too constricting on your organs.”
Remember, the goal in the first 6-12 postpartum weeks is not to lose weight but to heal your body and care for your baby.
Every MILF is different so please consult with your doctor before you begin any kind of fitness training.
Be realistic with your weight loss goals and celebrate ALL WINS! Don’t be so hard on yourself! You’re doing the best you can, and you look great, right now. Appreciate your body in each stage, and you’ll reap bigger benefits physically and emotionally.
Also understand that pregnancy may cause your body to experience permanent changes like stretch marks, thicker thighs, wider hips, saggy breasts, etc. There will be things you won’t be capable of transforming without cosmetic surgery. Learn to except the things you can’t change, honor your body for bringing life into the world and love the new form your body is taking.
It’s not about achieving perfection. Just continuously work on becoming the best version of yourself.
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