Getting back into shape – Post Baby Body

My daughter is now ten months old (actually eleven when this post goes online) and I still have baby weight to loose.

This is a shocking confession in times of “What is your excuse?” pictures found everywhere and Heidi Klum walking the runway for Victorias Secret eight weeks after giving birth.

Weights and weight

But I have come a long way since the Little Bean was born and even if I am not where I want to be quite yet, I have learned a lot about my body and working out with a little one around.
Before I got pregnant, I was at the gym about four times a week lifting (heavy) weights. Along with riding my bike to work and going for runs about twice a week that made up for an active life style.

Despite all this, I never had the “Perfect Body” as seen in magazines.
I love to eat, and even though I try to eat healthy most of the time, I have a big sweet tooth and enjoy going out for dinner either with family or friends. Cutting back on that was never an option.

I gained 15 kg during my pregnancy, which is considered within the normal range (I am 1,73 m). When I left the hospital after I had given birth, I had lost 5 kg.

Breaking the bad news to all the new moms-to-be out there: Not every woman just magically looses the baby weight if breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding will increase the amount of calories your body burns throughout the day, but it won’t exceed 500 kcal (estimated), being a lot less in the beginning.
500 kcal might sound a lot, but during pregnancy your body will loose muscle mass, and this, together with spending most of your day sitting and nursing the baby will reduce the amount of calories you burn compared to before pregnancy.

Of course, every woman is different. There are even woman out there who had to stop breastfeeding because they lost too much weight, but in the end it all comes down to this:

If you struggled with keeping your weight before pregnancy, you will most likely struggle with loosing your baby weight afterwards.
If you, on the other hand, never had issues, you will probably bounce back easily.

Of course, there are way more important things being a new mom than your weight. And I encourage you to take your time and stop stressing about your belly, but instead focus on resting and nursing your baby.

But if you are like me, getting back into shape will get more important as time passes. Much more than my looks it was my loss in strength and stamina that worried me.
I started panting when taking three flights of stairs, I wasn’t able to carry the groceries in bulk, and when starting to work out, the attempt to do ONE pushup left me in collapsing on the floor.

So building up stamina and strength were what I focused on during the following months.
After some time of just taking the baby for walks, gradually increasing their length, and after getting the permission from my obstetrician and midwife (very important, as there are changes in your rectus abdomini and your pelvic floor that have to have healed before working out), I started .

The first thing I did, nine weeks after I had given birth, was a DVD called “The Mami Fitness Box”, featuring Pilates for New Moms. After looking at the exercises, I figured they wouldn’t challenge me enough, but decided to give them a go anyway.
For the next three weeks I was sore in every part of my body. I don’t know if you ever did Pilates before, but it is way more intense than it looks.

In May, three months after giving birth, I started a three months challenge, the “Bikini Body Mommy Challenge” by Briana Christine. Apart from great exercises and and a meal plan (which I didn’t buy) she does hilarious YT-Workout videos, swearing, struggling and dealing with her kids while working out, making everything totally relatable.
And the best part: It takes 20 min every day, six days a week, but it is intense. Anyone can fit in 20 minutes of exercise.
I would work out when Little Bean was sleeping or even if she was around. She enjoyed seeing me workout, laughing at her sweaty mama.

Proud to say so!

I regained a lot of muscle mass and was even able to run 4 km without collapsing after the three months had passed, but didn’t loose much weight.
I guess this was down to hormonal changes, because once I had stopped breastfeeding after 5 1/2 months, the kilograms started to drop.

Looking for another challenge I signed up for the Blogilates monthly exercise plan.
If you are not familiar with her channel, go check her out. She is bubbly, sometimes crazy, very motivating and films short videos targeting special areas of your body. I still am addicted to her “Candlestick Dippers”, they worked wonders on slimming down my waist. Sadly, the whole concept didn’t work for me.
She adds a lot of variety, but I prefer to workout using weights instead of increasing the number of repetitions, and even though I could really see the difference after one month, it was a struggle to see it through.
You won’t need any equipment, but about one hour of exercise six days a week, and that was a deal breaker. I struggle with exercising in the evenings, I am exhausted and want to relax when Little Bean is finally sleeping. During the day, I don’t have one hour straight without her, and getting up an hour early was very hard, because she woke up at around 6 am.

So after one month, I quit. And with a holiday in France coming up, and a big exam afterwards, I haven’t managed to get back on track since then.

So here I am, at the end of November, trying to get back into a routine and loosing the last 4 kg.
I´ll keep you updated…

How about you: Do you struggle or do you loose weight easily?
Tips and experiences from fellow mums are highly appreciated.

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