One thing I want to talk a minute about is the post-pregnancy trap that I think a lot of us tend to fall into, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to bounce. You see all the time in the news and in the media, this celebrity bounced back so quickly after having a baby or, so and so looks so good immediately following birth. And I know, for me personally, I gain a lot of weight during my pregnancies. After both of my kids, I gained 70 pounds, with both of them. Even with my second, I was still eating right and exercising, my body just puts on a lot of weight when I’m pregnant. Both my babies were 10-pound babies.
And it’s pretty interesting for me, looking at the difference in my first pregnancy and my second pregnancy. After my first pregnancy, I was really, really hard on myself. And the desire to exercise and eat right didn’t really come from a place of love, it came from a place of almost self-hatred. And after I had my second baby, a shift took place in my head. And I told myself that, even if it took a little bit longer, I was going to do it the right way. I was going to try and love myself every step of the way, regardless of whether I looked how I wanted to look or not. And there were a few things that helped me that I wanted to share with you today.
One, I found a mantra that I would repeat over and over and over and over in my head. And for me, that mantra was, “It’s not a race. It’s not a race. It’s not a race.” And so, if I would look in the mirror and I think, “Oh my gosh, I still have so far to go.” or I’d look in my closet and I’d think, “Man, none of these clothes fit.”, I would just, instead of getting discouraged and saying, “Well, what’s the point anyway. I’m not making the progress I want.”, I would just say over, “It’s not a race, It’s not a race.” And I would remind myself that it’s a combination of all the small decisions that I make every single day that make a big difference in the end.
So I did a couple things. I would buy clothes at different stages. Not a ton of clothes. I wouldn’t spend a ton of money, but that way I at least felt comfortable in the clothes I was in and I could get dressed up and feel pretty and not, just have to wear sweats every day. So I do have a few different outfits in a few different sizes in my closet.
And I made sure that I didn’t compare myself to people on social media. You know you don’t know anybody else’s circumstances. Maybe they had an awful pregnancy and they were on bed rest for a long time, so they didn’t gain a lot of weight. Or maybe they’re just somebody who’s lucky and doesn’t gain a lot of weight during pregnancy. But the key was not to compare myself to other moms and their situations. And that made me … it was funny. It was like, once I stopped judging other moms, I was able to not judge myself so harshly. And once I started showing love and compassion to other people, I was able to show compassion to myself. It was a really interesting switch that took place.
And so, it’s important to keep track and be consistent with your nutrition, with your training. But I think it was also really important for me not to be so hard on myself, to show myself some love and compassion and to remind myself that it was okay to take a few minutes every single day to focus on myself. Whether that meant a five minute to bottle workout in my living room, or whether that meant taking a little bit of time after the baby went to bed to prepare some healthy food. I let go of that guilt, of spending time on myself and self-care. And I found that it just made me an overall, happier person. Which in turn, helped me with the weight loss.
So remember, everybody loses weight at different paces. That just because you gain the weight in nine months, doesn’t necessarily even mean you’ll lose the weight in nine months, but that the key is making small, healthy decisions the entire time along the way.
Your friend, Natalie