As new mothers, the shape and condition of our postpartum body should be about 112th on the list of concerns. We have enough to worry about and figure out, right? But it always inevitably happens. In our body- shaming culture tied to women’s looks, we glance over at the TV in between nursing sessions and realize we are now responsible, along with a million other things tied to raising a child, to slim back down to a perfectly sized fitness model by the time maternity leave is over.
Lucky for us, there’s an advertisement every other commercial of the newest weight loss fad. “Friends” are selling supplements to get the beach body back in record time. Fantastic! Great news! Because between two hours of sleep at night and a child literally attached to us more hours of the day than not, there is a TON of time to make our way to the gym, eat clean and raise children.
Miraculously, you have birthed an 8-lb baby after 10 months of gleefully eating everything in sight. That’s the good news. The bad news, your body is now a misshapen busted can of biscuits. Your breasts are leaky tube socks. The bags under your eyes are of epic proportions. Fear not tired mama, because I’ve compiled the easiest and most efficient ways to get back to our pre-baby selves. Read and learn my friends.
Tip #1: Eat only what you can prepare and reach with one hand while holding a baby in another (and also not drop scalding food on his or her precious head). What does this eliminate you ask? Sandwiches, tacos, soup, chips and salsa, the list goes on. What can you eat? Leftovers from your toddler’s lunch and what you can find within arms reach in between the couch cushions. That’s pretty much it. Some days it might be a half eaten fish stick, others could include some left over Halloween candy. Whatever it might be, gobble it. You must eat in order to produce milk!
Tip #2: Purchase a non-refundable two-year membership to the gym. Not because you will actually have the time to go, but because you will burn calories reaching for the snooze button as your personal training appointment whizzes by. You will also worry at least two pounds away wondering whether your husband will notice you purchased the platinum membership package that was a bazillion dollars more to incite you to go. Wouldn’t want to waste money on something we would never use! Wink, wink. Plus, the energy it takes to squeeze into pre-maternity workout clothes and sports bras will work up a sweat worthy of at least an hour on the elliptical.
Tip #3: Plan to give birth in the dead heat of summer. Even in the most air-conditioned of buildings, the tiny little oven you will be wearing on your chest, the stroller you will be pushing and the 15-pound diaper bag weighing down your shoulder, coupled with the post-partum loveliness of sweating buckets for no reason will cause the weight to melt off.
Tip #4: Take your kids to daycare. The stomach flu is only one toy lick away. Ten pounds were never so easy to lose…in two days.
Tip #5: Refuse to sleep train your infant. After a few weeks of little to no rest, you will get lost on your way to the refrigerator. You will forget how to spell F-O-O-D. It’s really a win-win.
Tip #6: Employ your spouse to physically smack any and all high-calorie food right out of your hand. The fiery fury you will feel when he does this for the first time and the effort it will take to salvage that smashed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup from the sticky floor is sure to shave off at least a pound or two.
Tip #7: Put any and all needed baby supplies on the second floor of your home. Between spit up, blowouts and outfit changes, you’ll probably log at least 142 flights each day. Your thighs and glutes will thank you.
Tip #8: Purchase a pair of yoga pants that are high-waisted and instantly slim you a size smaller. No actual yoga-ing needed. Easy. Done!
Tip #9: Have another baby. Baby weight be gone! It’s now a perfectly cute, and acceptable bump once again. Worry about the busted can of biscuits again in another 10 months.
In summary, you know what really happens when you don’t lose the baby weight? Nothing. Take it easy on yourself. Your husband will still love you, your friends do not care if you are a size 6 or 16 and your babies will adore you at any size. You are a woman that nourished and carried a baby. We are more than a size or a shape. Let’s all laugh at the absurdness of it all and give the body shaming a break.
And by all means, eat the Reese’s. You deserve it for God’s sake.