Weight Loss for Mom
Shortly before I got married, I stress ate like crazy. I didn't gain too much, maybe about 10lbs onto my normally 115-125lbs body. After my first son, I didn't really gain anything but the baby weight, and pretty much a week later I was back to my skinny self. When my husband and I started to discuss baby number 2, I thought it would be just as easy. You can laugh at me now. Even a month in, I already needed maternity clothes because I had bloated that quickly. I remember my husband, as many husbands, gave into my every craving. I thought, "hey, I mostly crave fruit salad.This shouldn't be that bad?" Wrong. I had a weakness for Chipotle's and Five Guys. And I discovered a love of steak and fish and chips. It wasn't long before I saw the numbers on the scale rising quicker than I would like to admit. Eventually, I came to a point where I couldn't even look at the scale at the doctor's appointment. As if this is a regular occurrence, the nurse allowed me to be weighed with my back to the numbers and disabled that dreaded BMI chart you get on your after visit summary.
I did know the number. I didn't want to face it or admit it. By the time I was admitted to the hospital for my induction, I was just over 200lbs. They let me whisper it when they asked. I had convinced myself that I was just housing the world's largest baby and I would be small as soon as he was gone and all petite again. After I birthed this nearly 8lbs baby and had come home from the hospital weighing 175lbs, I convinced myself that providing breast milk would accomplish my weight loss goals. Everyone says that's the greatest advantage for mom. Right? I wasn't losing weight, but I wasn't eating anything too ridiculous either. I was a "Leaker" (you fellow breast feeders know what I mean), so working out was both embarrassing and uncomfortable. You can't really diet when you're nourishing your child either, because otherwise your body couldn't keep up with the needs of your child. I had promised myself that when my baby was one and successfully weaned, that my body would be mine again and I would get back to my shape. I didn't feel pressure to lose all that weight from my family or friends. I felt terrible when I kept seeing moms on television that were 90lbs soaking wet a week after their child was born. But I was going to do this. And I was going to do this for my kids. And most importantly, I was going to do this for me.
I downloaded an app on my phone called Noom. This was the perfect starting point for me. It was free, unlike a Weight Watchers, and it only really required me to log my food and exercise and it would do the math for me. I use the pay version, which is still cheaper than Weight Watchers, and allows you access to forums with people like you to help motivate you and discuss your weight struggles. This was perfect for me,and the biggest recommendation for you to start off with.
I tried a few different exercises: Elliptical, just walking everywhere, anything I had free access to at home. Finally, I decided to try workout DVDs/Videogames. I'll start by telling you the results: After 6 months of workand weighing 176, I dropped 50lbs and have still managed to keep it off.
I read that this was a fantastic work out for all body types. I didn't want to splurge and drop big money on something new like this. So I went to Game Stop, bought a used copy of a Zumba game for the Kinect and had at it. At first, being in the awful shape that I was, I couldn't even do the easy mode of the 25 minute program. Eventually, I worked up to the hour long programs on easy. Then one day, I tried the hardest level and barely made it. But to me when you're working out and barely make it, that means next time you are going to own it. I was wrong; it took a week before I didn't want to die right afterwards. The next thing I know, I slipped on my "fat jeans" from my pre-pregnancy days. They barely fit, but I could suck it in and pull them up and button them. With a long enough shirt, I wore them anyways because I felt it was a proud moment. At that point, it seemed like it took no time at all to drop 35lbs.
I was bored with this, so I tried Insanity (more on this later). After that, I was up with the now toddler while he was sick and watching those early morning informercials. It was then I saw a new Zumba program called "Incredible Results". It was a step program. It looked fun and it definitely looked like something different. After battling with myself over the large sum of money that purchasing this would require, especially after previously purchasing Insanity, I opted to try it out. I never looked back from that decision.
These DVDs come with a recipe booklet (which I tossed because I'm a mom with 2 boys and a husband, and none of them would eat anything in there and we can't afford 2 sets of meals every meal.), the Rizer step, and a work out schedule. I started in hardcore with the "extreme 7 weight day burn", then started the regular "high weight loss" monthly schedules. Unless you're in decent shape, I would recommend starting off with the monthly schedule instead. It is very intense and your goal should be weight loss, not winning a competition. My favorite part of Zumba?It's fun,and you don't feel like you're working out.
The Super Cardio Dance party was fun. Even after all this time and knowing the routines, I still listen to the verbal cues because it's fun. Plus when you spend 80% of your day alone with a toddler, I use it as my daily conversing with someone outside of my family. The routines themselves range from "too easy" to "I think I twisted my knee". The killer part is when they go into "Cardio Blast",which is a high intensity minute that can sometimes feel like forever. Still unless you're a klutz like me, it won't hurt you until afterwards when you get that after work out burn. Also included in this disc part is the 20 minute "Quick Start" work out. It's not to strenuous, but you will have to restrain yourself from wanting to punch that Nick instructor in the face. When you watch it, you'll understand.
The next disc is the Zumba Step. Here you get the pleasure of having Beto Perez as your instructor for this disc. Next to Gina, he is the best. He is funny, and definitely has a personality. This workout takes a bit to get used to if you have 0 balance, like myself. Luckily, you get used to it. This is a more difficult and intense work out, but you do definitely see your results. Plus, this is my favorite work out disc because I just think that it's really fun.
The last disc is the 15-minute abs work out and the 30 minute dance party. The dance party doesn't have any verbal cues, so the first few times (and however long it takes you to get the routines down) you are completely lost. The ab work out is surprising. At first they tell you about how it's a chair based work out. What? That can't be useful at all. Don't worry, you definitely feel it in every inch of your legs and abs afterwards.
Overall, the only downside I saw to this work out was that you end up dancing to the music in your head afterwards and singing the songs out loud while doing dishes.
Before doing Insanity, I read that you shouldn't do it if you are "too overweight". My first reaction was "what is 'too overweight' that you can't do an exercise?" But I understood that maybe if you're at too much of an weight, that the stress of this high intensity work out would just ruin your joints and make you pass out. So I went with it anyways and when I had lost the initial first 35lbs, I decided to give this a try. I wanted something knew and something that would tone up all the work that I had already done.
I was wrong. I was so very wrong. I've never noticed a problem with my knees until doing this work out. I wanted to start to run, so this was a great idea since it was so cardio intensive that it might help the toning, weight-loss and my desire to start running. After the first week, I wanted to die and my knee was shot. I felt terrible during the work out, and I felt twice as bad after it. After I recovered, I retried the work out and nearly lasted the month. I couldn't do it, it was just too much for my knees. Plus, you're working out looking at people that are thin and muscular, where as with Zumba, their bodies were more of the normal person. I felt discouraged and I hurt like hell. It was at this point I went and bought the Incredible results. I don't like the feel of being a quitter, but I had to listen to my body.
I imagine it would be an excellent work out if you can do it. It was certainly intense and you didn't really get any breaks to actually quench your thirst in between. It is called "Insanity" for a reason. It just wasn't for me. That does not mean it can't be for you. Just beware, it is very intense on your joints. If that's a problem, than this isn't a work out for you.
I'm a Zumba girl. Between Noom, Zumba, and my Fitbit (a device that tracks your calories burned), I have achieved a great success. This is what worked for me. It was the most fun of the work outs, and today I can go out and train for a 5k without feeling terribly beaten down. For me, it was 50lbs. For someone else, it could be a lot more. The real trick is to find something you enjoy and stick to it. That's what will really work. I just hope that you guys found this helpful.
You don't have to be super skinny to be an awesome mom. You're not going to lose the baby weight overnight by doing nothing, however. I realized that I wanted to lose weight not to please anyone else, but for me. I also wanted to make sure that my children learned the importance of healthy eating and exercise so that they can grow up and be the healthiest versions of themselves. We are their first role models so if you don't want to do it for yourself, think of being able to run around with your children and showing them that you only have one chance and you need to be your healthiest so you don't blow it. I don't think we should be anorexic versions of themselves. I still enjoy fast food here and there and ice cream. I'm not perfect to other people, but I am happy with myself.