17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A little inspiration please!

Okay ladies, since four of us Tales girls have now had our babies it would be nice to get some inspiration about getting our bodies “back”. Now I won’t speak for them, but I’m ready to be inspired because a) I had my baby almost three months ago and it’s time to work hard for this body of mine, b) Tales girls ALL have great, healthy looking figures post-baby so maybe you have some secrets to share, and c) it is summer (and swimsuit season – ugh!) and I plan on spending tons of time on the beach with my little one. I’m ready for your best advice. And I’m not simply talking about losing weight. I’m also talking about getting my energy back and just feeling all around healthy! Here are some ways I’ve lost my baby weight so far, and maybe you can add to the list:

1) The obvious BREASTFEEDING
2) Not having time to eat (this is not a recommended way to lose weight! Any advice on QUICK, healthy meals and snacks to have on hand is greatly appreciated).
3) Bouncing and rocking my baby to sleep ALL NIGHT and ALL DAY LONG! This must burn a bunch of calories. At church last Sunday I think I bounced him almost the entire three hours! Little booger won’t let me sit down sometimes.
4) After this endless bouncing DS finally falls asleep on me (forget the crib, he’s not having it for this nap) and I realize that I’m STARVING… but it’s just not worth waking this sleeping baby to eat (also not a recommended way to lose weight).

What can you add to this list? What worked best for you? And how long did it take you to get your body back? Inspire me please!

****Please no “You’ll never get your body back”, “It’s gone forever”, “Just get used to those 5-10 extra pounds” or even "All my baby weight just slid right off. I didn't even have to work at it", etc. We’re looking for inspiration here people!


  • One word: stroller!

    In wet or too hot weather, take it to the mall! I know, how tacky is that, but it's large; it's indoor; it's climate controlled. Just leave the credit cards at home!:P

    (For those with multiple kiddos, make that "Baby Bjorn+stroller+jump rope tied to handle of stroller with remaining kids hanging on to it!) :P

    Getting moving, even smoothly like in walking, makes all the difference in the world! Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for energy levels!


    I'm a huge fan of the Baby Bjorn, baby sling or other such carry-the-kid contraption. (Each kid can be particular what they like. Katy was all about the BB, but Bobbie hated it & loved the coziness of the baby sling). Carrying them with you has layers upon layers of benefits.

    In regard to weight loss, that extra pocket of poundage that is their body is that many more calories you're burning as you go about your day. The babes themselves cry less from boredom etc for being carried about as you go thorugh your day. Plus it's mental stimulation for them. You can *feel* closer and more connected for having them on you (see stuff on Attachment Parenting for more on that.).

    Get out and walk!
    Keep your baby on you!

    Oh, and drink pleanty of water (not kidding; make a HUGE difference!), and try to go no more than two nights in a row without a solid night of sleep. (Have you dh take point with the infant overnight, if possible)

    I was able to lose all my weight after both kids, but really it wasn't that it just slid off. So, I hope that's inspiring!
    posted by Anonymous Naiah Earhart at 5/16/2006 02:17:00 PM  

  • yoga helped me a lot with baby #1.

    initially after baby #2 I did a little work out that I tore out of Prevention Magazine called BEACH BODY WORKOUT. It was basically pilates. It was a challenge and short and I could do it at home.

    I would say I did not feel ready to do cardio after baby #1 until she was 18 months old. With baby #2 I started power walking about 3 weeks after (my uterus was not happy)

    Still I am inconsistent with working out, but try to fit it in by taking stairs, walking the blocks instead of taking the subway (if it is nice out), etc.

    As for eating: I did eat less after kids b/c there is no time to eat. A few tips to watch calories: Remember not to waste calories on beverages! Sometimes for me a coke is my snack...that's it....b/c it is full of sugar and calories. It's not a coke AND ho-hos. (well, sometimes it is).

    Also, if you want to have dessert, eat a small dinner or NO dinner. As long as you ate well for bkfst and lunch and had your vitamin, doing this every once in a while will not kill you.

    TIME. It takes time. And believe it or not after 6 months, your body lets got a little bit. It realizes it doesn't HAVE to have that fat their for the milk supply.

    And no your body will not return to it's pre-baby look. I still have a hood on my bellybutton and saggy boobs. And they are my battlescars.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/16/2006 03:49:00 PM  

  • I'm NOT going to mention that my weight slid off baby 1 and 2 (by 4 months) because that's against the rules. But with baby 3 it's been 6 months and I'm still hanging on to 8-10 pounds. My neighbor (also working on baby weight) and I try to go jogging twice a week at night. That's fun time to gab and having a partner makes you not wimp out. I really want to do exercise dvds on non-jogging nights, but I have to say with two other kids it is HARD. The only time is at night and by then I am so exhausted! So, I guess I would say to somehow hold yourself accountable for working out--be it a buddy to go with or someone checking up on you (unless they become annoying rather than helpful).
    posted by Blogger Katie at 5/16/2006 04:48:00 PM  

  • Here's the thing- give yourself some time. Yes, I eventually lost the baby weight and more, but I carried an extra 8-10 pounds for almost a year. It wasn't until Max started walking (and I started chasing) that I really dropped the pounds. I found that breastfeeding helps with dropping that first 5-10, but at least in my case I think it made my body hold on to an extra 5-10 "just in case".

    Other than that, the advice that Naiah and Kage gave is good - just move as much as you can! Take walks, take stairs instead of escalator/elevator, etc. And I found that "The Hundred" (pilates abs move that is KILLER) was a good quick abs workout that made me at least feel I was doing SOMETHING.
    posted by Blogger marian at 5/16/2006 04:56:00 PM  

  • Okay, I didn't lose all my weight before I got pregnant with my second . . . but I would have if it hadn't been for surprize little sister.

    I found the key is not to cut down on calories too much. If you do your body will hold on to the extra weight even longer. For a month I wrote down every single thing I ate. Every day. No cheating. And at the end of the day I'd write a sentence or two about how I felt. I didn't ever show the list to anyone else, it was just a personal record. It helped me to realize how much or how little I was eating and how that made my body feel. When I ate healthy, and enough, I felt good.

    As for working out I just made sure I got out of the house everyday. Go for a walk, around the mall, or target. Anything, for at least 25 minutes. The other thing we did was dance parties. My little googie loved to dance, especially if I held her. So that was a work out.

    Lastly, for extra skin, really just the extra skin that hangs off the stomach. You know when you start to lose the weight and it's just skin. Smear aloe vera all over your stomach, wrap it really tight with some plastic wrap, and leave it on for 20-40 minutes. Well you could leave it on for longer it's not going to hurt anything. Anyways, it just reminds the skin where it is supposed to be and gives it some extra moisture. Really helped me. I was losing weight but not inches and I started doing this once a day and within a week I'd lost 7 inches, in a month I lost 20. Just really helped. Not with fat at all, but with the extra skin.
    posted by Blogger Trivial Mom at 5/16/2006 05:07:00 PM  

  • I might try that extra skin thing...that's what I am noticing after baby #2...pizza dough
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/16/2006 05:28:00 PM  

  • I can't say that I'm one of girls that just has the weight "fall" off, but I have managed to lose my baby weight after each kid. I've done it 4 times now, so it gives me hope for the possibility of doing it again. I may be a minority, but I go from a size 4-6 to a 14 after a baby!!! No joke! I feel large and in charge :) I don't enjoy it, but I am HUNGRY when I'm pregnant. So needless to say, I have 40-45 lbs to lose after each kid. UGH!! It starts slow because I DO NOT lose anything while breastfeeding.....very frustrating. Breastfeeding is very important to me, so I just wait patiently and then go "hard core". For me, the no-carb thing really works. I do cardio 5 days a week for at least 30 mins and cut out the carbs. With baby #4, I dropped 45 lbs in 4 months. I know this doesn't work for everyone, but I have had success with it 4 times so I'm a believer. Now, I just eat smaller portions including treats and continue to exercise. It's tough with 4 little kiddos and a very busy DH (resident), but I sqeeze in what I can. It definitely takes committment and self-control. Not so fun all the time, but it's awesome to see progress! Good luck!
    posted by Anonymous 4girls at 5/16/2006 05:59:00 PM  

  • Awesome comments.. I agree with Kage on the whole substitution of food thing. I try to be balanced, of course, and I really love salads for meals, but I also LOVE desserts, so if I do decide to choose brownies instead then I try to let that be the meal, just as a kind of caloric compromise.. I mean just eat healthy meals around that. Also I think I am a grazer, I mean that I eat small amounts a lot in stead of large sit down meals.. we rarely sit down to eat.

    I really stay busy... and I think that with children, I try to run around my house when, for example, my daughter is on one side of the house calling for me, on another floor, and I am on the opposide side, I jog there instead of walking. Sounds weird maybe but I run around my house all day long! I guess that wouldn't work as well in a NY apartment.. but remembering to do little things like hold your stomach tight, stand up straight, and putting on my makeup alone make me feel like I lost a few pounds!

    I also loved using the Baby carriers as calorie burning weight!
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 5/16/2006 08:01:00 PM  

  • -Give yourself time, it took nine months for your body to grow, so I always say to myself give yourself at least nine months to get in shape after the baby

    -with my first baby in San Fran I started baby and me yoga and tons of walking and got back to my original weight. Yoga really helps me maintan my weight

    -with my second baby in Los Angeles I did
    stroller strides while he was young, which was great because you are exercising, chatting, and spending time with your baby all at the same time.

    -I just joined moms in motion to train for a sprint triathalon. I am not athletic at all, but I am hoping having a great training program and support from a group of women will help me get in great shape (maybe I will blog about it to inspire)

    - A good breakfast is really important for me to control my hunger. For my breakfast I always have an omega muffin (made from a bunch of healthy grains, but they actually taste good and have chocolate) and a glass of milk. The combination keeps me satisfied for most of the day

    -I try and choose a protein over a carb as a snack if I am hungry

    Oh how I wish I knew about the aloe vera trick from Trivial Mom, the extra skin/pizza dough remains no matter how hard I work out

    I don't love working out, so I try and find ways to get in shape that allow me to socialize and get in shape.
    posted by Blogger Tri Mama at 5/16/2006 08:13:00 PM  

  • I have to agree on the stroller, front packs, backpacks, all that stuff! Kids love to get out too! I have found it was a lot easier to get out after DD #1, but now w/ DD#2 it's a little more difficult.
    One thing I have found is to make a goal to do something everyday. WRITE that goal down so it is staring at you in the face and your DH might see it too and ask you about it. Doing something everyday doesn't mean going to the gym, or running a mile or so but it can be smaller things. While you are doing little chores around the house, take 5 mins and do jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups or anything! My kids love to watch me jump rope.(I do it where the public eye can't see me :P) You'd be amazed at the different things you could do in little spurts throughout the day. It also helps to go on a run/walk or something aerobic 2 or 3 times a week. I also agree that the buddy thing helps!
    I'm not a fitness expert but I decided after DD #2 that I would attempt a triathlon. I rallied my DH to do it with me so that is sure getting me into shape. I think if you sign up for anything 5K/10K/half-marathon, tri's or anything like that it gets you a little more motivated to do something. Esp. if you sign up with friends.
    Also, ALWAYS eat breakfast. I know things can get crazy BUT it is the most important meal of the day. It's what gets your body moving and you feel more energized. If your body doesn't get food in it in the morning or before a workout it goes into "shock" mode and does not let you burn calories/fat that you want to burn.
    Yummy easy snacks:
    yogurt w/ grape nuts sprinkled in it
    dried fruit
    trail mixes
    nuts (almonds are awesome for you!)
    smoothies (yogurt, milk, frozen fruit)
    Hope this helps!
    posted by Blogger ReeSesPcS at 5/16/2006 09:11:00 PM  

  • If you can, I would start "taking care of mom" time now. RIGHT NOW. I'm serious...start now!

    Some women --most women--tend to take motherhood to the extreme and ignore their bodies, minds, and emotional needs. Just by asking your question, though, you have taken the first step.

    If you will set aside one hour each day for exercise (plus all the other wonderful advice above about eating right and what type of exercise to do), then you will be able to stay healthy. And thin. And happy.

    It's just that in my experience I have found that when I don't take time to be kind to myself and my body, then I end up being the depressed, no-fun, FAT mom that I am. But once I made that decision to take care of myself (finally! After 5 years!), I have found I'm happier, more fun to be around, I have energy, and I'm getting thin!

    Just make it a priority --you won't regret it...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 5/17/2006 07:08:00 AM  

  • With baby #1, I started taking belly dancing classes when she was 3 months old. It was not only great excercise, but really helped feel like I was in control of my body instead of feeling like my body was just good for incubation and milk production. I also left every class feeling more energized and alive.

    I also believe developing a pattern of healthy eating is REALLY important fo developing and maintaining energy (and losing weight). For me, this means never opting for dessert instead of a balanced meal. The rush of sugar into your blood stream causes a short "high" but will then leave your body depleted of energy in the end.

    I realized after my first and second babies, that even getting around to eating, especially good food was really hard. I ended up grabbing whatever was easy and stuffing it into my mouth. And usually the easy, fast stuff is really bad for you healthwise.

    So, I really try to have easy, healthy food readily available for snacking and keep the bad stuff out of the house. Pre-washed fruit, pre-cut fresh veggies, nuts, yogurt are staples. When it comes to lunch, I have found that making one big salad, or a large batch of grilled veggies at the beginning of the week works for me, Then I just eat the same thing for lunch everyday for a week. Trader Joe's also has great easy pre-prepared foods and their pre-cooked brown rice (60 sec in the microwave) is great and fast with some grilled veggies. Oh, I could go on and on about Trader Joes.

    Anyway, I really believe in eating healthy foods (fresh, non-processed, whole-grain, no crazy ingredients that you can't say) when it comes to overall health and energy -- not that I do it all the time, but I really notice the difference now when I cut out all the crap (and I'm not necessarily talking about dessert).
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/17/2006 11:10:00 AM  

  • Oh Carrie, you and I share a love for Trader Joes - I'm there once a week to stock up and it has changed my life. I have never bought something that I didn't love from there - it is an inspirational grocery store. And MOST of the stuff is pretty good for you.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/17/2006 11:57:00 AM  

  • Has anyone else ever tried the Aloe thing? The extra skin is killing me...
    All these tips are so helpful! I am not as disciplined as Carrie, so I am glad to hear that Kages method works too (I could NEVER skip dessert).
    After having my son 6 weeks ago, I am struggling with getting my hips back to place. Any suggestions on that?
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 5/17/2006 04:01:00 PM  

  • For Melissa....yes the aloe thing has worked for me :) It feels great. Ummmmmmmmm....SIX weeks!? Seems like you're asking a lot of your poor body. Have you even had your 1st post checkup? TIME my friend.....time. Walking is great for the hips.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5/17/2006 04:22:00 PM  

  • Sorry if I led you to believe that I skip dessert. That is totally not the case. I am pretty much a candy addict. I have really tried to get it under control, but the truth is that I don't have the will power to skip a meal if I have dessert. I would much rather work toward having more healthy eating habits. While it may not allow you to drop the weight as quickly, the long-term results will be there.

    and Melissa, seriously 6 weeks is such a short time. You have to give your body time so don't be doing anything drastic...yet.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/17/2006 05:23:00 PM  

  • Melissa, slow down baby. Your comments should be made at more like 8 months...or later.

    And Carrie, I would argue that having your Wendy's fix is pretty much just like me replacing dinner with dessert! ; )
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/17/2006 06:11:00 PM  

  • Melissa-
    I have to chime in here and agree that you need to slow down. My rib cage is permanently warped because of 3 kids --I have an extremely short torso. So, I just have to live with the fact that my bras and shirts will fit differently.

    And for hips? Well, welcome to the world of "REAL" womanhood. Our hips going out is not only a necessity of bearing children, but in my opinion, I think it makes us look a little bit sexier. Remember all those old movies where the women accentuated their curviness? That was real womanhood. Not these stick Kate Moss figures loping around now-a-days. Think Marilyn Monroe. :)

    Don't worry. It just takes time. But please, please, please don't be upset when your body shape stays permanently changed. As my Grandma has always said:
    "I weigh the same that I did the day I married, but my body shape sure is different!"
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 5/18/2006 06:55:00 AM  

  • Oh oh. Apparently my comments have made me sound crazy. I'm not. I didn't realize the hip thing took so long. I don't care because of how it looks (who can tell they are a few inches further apart??? not even me) I am just frustrated with not fitting into anything - maternity or prematernity clothes. I guess I have to go buy different pants.
    Just to put everyone at ease, I eat more now than I did when I was pregnant (and that was a lot, but hey, I'm breastfeeding) and don't feel a speck of guilt. I try to be as healthy as I have time for, but like I mentioned earlier, I don't have an iron will. Ben and Jerry are my best friend. I haven't pushed my body into any workout - I feel caring for my wiggly energetic son is workout enough. And I still have a rather large "pooch". Happy about the pooch because as my son is growing like a weed, when people see my tummy they know he can't be that old and I still have my "baby".
    So is it too early to do the aloe thing if there is still fat there? I wait until there is just skin?
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 5/18/2006 08:26:00 AM  

  • Melissa,

    I don't anyone thinks you are crazy. We have just all been where you are and we know what it feels like and we know how it feels to want your old body back asap. It think that was the push behind the comments, not your "craziness".


    You are right. Your dessert exchange and my Wendy's fix (except now it's In&Out) could definitely be considered the same. The difference is, I don't consider my bad habit a part of my post-partum weight-loss program ;)

    I wholeheartedly believe in establishing healthy eating habits and the way this effects the way your body feels and acts. Doesn't mean I'm perfect at it at all. But, the belief is what inspires me to try to eat better and maybe it can inspire someone else out there too.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/18/2006 09:42:00 AM  

  • Meliss, go buy new pants, it will make you feel better. And it will feel EVEN better when they are too big in a few months.

    Carrie, doesn't post-partum mean the rest of my life? I will always be post partum....so I guess it's my "way-of-life" diet.

    And you are a great example of nutrition, even if it means making your children gargle wheat germ mixed with avocado puree' ; )
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/18/2006 10:41:00 AM  

  • New pants...hmmm, I have become a gaucho girl. They don't care how big my hips or tummy are.
    Oh Carrie...In&Out - so jealous! I would even break up with Ben AND Jerry for a little In & Out action...
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 5/18/2006 10:59:00 AM  

  • Melissa, I agree with Kage - go get a new pair of pants or capris or whatever. Even if you only wear them for a month or two, you will feel like your clothes fit properly even if your shape isn't your ideal yet. About 1 month after I had DS none of my pants, pre baby or maternity fit properly so I went and bought a new pair of jeans. I wore them for exactly 3 weeks when I discovered that they were now too big and I fit back into some of my pre-prego stuff. I felt a little guilty about my impulse purchase but ended up using them again when I got pregnant with DD - they were great 1st trimester jeans and great postpartum.

    Also, I tried trival moms saran wrap with lotion thing last night and this morning. My husband probably thinks I'm nuts but i'm going to do it anyway - even if it only helps my skin "remember" an inch or two, that's enough for me!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/18/2006 12:58:00 PM  

  • I know you guys already mentioned this, but nursing made my metabolism go into overdrive and I not only lost all the weight but a little too much as well.

    I am a big fan of eating well, like carrie mentioned-fresh, non-processed, organic stuff (more vitamins and better for you and tastes better too) and no soda-has a lot of high fructos corn syrup which becomes fat because the body can't break it down.

    Weight training really increases metabolism and burns fat and helps to re-tone streached out pregnancy muscles. Even just light weights make a big difference.

    Plus I like Yoga and Pilates
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 5/18/2006 03:22:00 PM  

  • For Carrie and Brandolyn...the best multivitamin out there??? I've done Superfood for a while..love it, but it's hard to take because it has to be mixed with liquid. I just need a quick vitamin, anything you've loved????
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5/18/2006 04:55:00 PM  

  • I am now 19 months post-partum and finally smaller than pre-pregnancy. What helped...getting a trainer at the gym and Weight Watchers Online. Just wish I would have done both sooner than 4 months ago. The trainer has not only been motivation but also accountability to watch what I eat and to take the time to work out (I am being weighed and measured every 2 weeks). Weight Watchers has helped me control what I eat and start cooking more healthy.

    But like everyone else has said, losing the baby weight and getting your shape back is a long road that for most takes a lot of work.
    posted by Blogger Elise at 5/18/2006 08:33:00 PM  

  • Anonymous who asked about vitamins--I have to say that I haven't ever taken a multi-vitamin. I figure if I am eating healthy and am eating a wide variety of foods, I should be okay. When I feel like I am deficient in an area, I try to compensate with the appropriate food instead of a pill. This may very well be flawed reasoning, but it's what I do. I know a lot of people do take multi-vitamins--hopefully someone will chime in for you.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 5/18/2006 09:16:00 PM  

  • I don't really take multi vitamins either. I am currently taking prenatal vitamins and just got the target brand because it had the right amount of folic acid (not too much). I just try to eat a balanced diet and include a lot of different colors of fruits and vegetables. I heard those supperfood ones are great though. Sorry to not be of more help.
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 5/18/2006 09:23:00 PM  

  • My doctor just told me I need to be taking Iron - a multivitamin is great, but the most important for post-preg bodies is Iron. He said it takes 1-2 years to replace the iron in our bones that we lose during pregnancy. Not sure if that is true...but take your iron!
    Another thing I have heard (could be a rumor, or someone trying to sell me a perscription multivitamin) that the vitamin at Costco that a lot of people take (Centrum maybe?) doesn't really do any good. It's packed so tight that your body can't break it down and absorb the goodness before it disposes of it. Not sure if that's true...
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 5/18/2006 09:38:00 PM  

  • Melissa, there is definitely a science to vitamin taking. Like, taking vit. D with Calcium will help it absorb. My sis-in-law always had specific times of day that she took specific vitamins. It was quite the regimen, and only gave her poor DH a nose bleed. I don't think he participates in that program anymore.

    I took a prenatal vit. on and off. If I wasn't keeping my food down, I would take one, but if I could eat, I skipped it. I also took calcium while nursing b/c my midwife said nursing really strips you of that.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/19/2006 05:12:00 AM  

  • Right now I'm taking a PN vitamin (perscribed), but I LOVE the Whole Foods brand of multivitamins. I don't know if Whole Foods is everywhere, but I really felt like they worked. It seemed like my body felt better when I took them (and I've tried a lot of brands). I just took them in the morning with a small breakfast. Anyway... don't know if that helps Anon.?
    posted by Blogger Beth at 5/19/2006 12:51:00 PM  

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