How I Kept the Baby Weight On

It’s one of the biggest shocks of new motherhood: you look in the mirror post-delivery and see a horrifying reflection. The weight you gained during pregnancy from that extra human growing inside you is suddenly gone! Your pre-pregnancy jeans are too big, your stomach’s never looked firmer, and you can’t seem to find any rolls on your back! Face it, you say to your impossibly lithe reflection. You’re just a thin lady with big boobs. 

I understand. It’s a problem many of us new moms face. It’s easy to be discouraged when the baby weight you just assumed you’d keep literally drops off your body overnight. But all those miserably trim moms out there should take heart, because I found a way to keep the weight on. I, too, once faced the uphill battle against weight loss, but here I am, the proud mom of a newborn, sporting a belly that still appears to be in its second trimester!

Your baby is what’s important. And what your baby wants is for
you to gain weight,
right now.

I’m no super-woman. I just worked hard and kept on track with a clear, methodical plan to retain all the pounds I gained during my pregnancy. A few tips:

Stay Positive

Don’t feel discouraged by the media’s constant pressure to gain the baby weight back immediately. Everything takes time! Each week, tabloids show us post-partum celebrities who defy biology, genetics, and physical reality to obtain that perfect zaftig shape a week after giving birth. Remember that these women are not like regular exhausted, spit-up-covered, leaky-boobed new moms; they have fleets of nannies to care for the baby while their trainers and personal chefs work on keeping them from losing that baby weight! You just had a baby, so give yourself a break. We can’t all be slightly overweight immediately after birth!

Stick to a Meal Plan

Work with your nursing body’s incredible, seriously-I’ve-never-been-so-hungry ravenousness, then push yourself to maximize calories. You may only feel like having an entire lasagna with a side of pizza at 2:00 a.m. as you stand before the open refrigerator, contemplating your fourth meal. But push yourself just a bit further: why not add some ice cream and Halloween candy to the mix? You’re stronger than you think!

Exercise

Take advantage of the brief moments in which you are not physically connected to a newborn who depends on you for its every need to focus on what’s really important: your weight! Try this 3-step routine: 1) Watch famous post-partum actresses on red carpets talk about how their bodies miraculously returned to full-figured perfection without any work, 2) eat your emotions, 3) repeat. We know it’s difficult to carve out time with a new baby around, but trust us — it’s worth it.

Motivate Yourself

Remember how I told you to stay positive by ignoring the media? I need to change that slightly: you should actually compare yourself to celebrity moms and pretend they’re just regular people. Regular people judging you! Doesn’t judgment motivate you? Doesn’t being criticized for the way your body looks make you want to work harder in a positive, not at all “GET OFF MY BACK I JUST GAVE BIRTH TO A HUMAN BEING AND I HAVEN’T SHOWERED OR SLEPT IN WEEKS AND I WILL CUT YOU” kind of way? Doesn’t it make you want to go right over to the refrigerator, weeping, and devour an entire tub of potato salad? I thought so. Great work; you’re on your way!

Keep Your Priorities Straight

You have a new baby at home who needs you to be the best, most loving mom you can be, and it’s essential to keep things in perspective when it comes to healthy weight gain. Your baby is what’s important. And what your baby wants is for you to gain weight, right now. Maybe you suspect that obsessing over your post-baby body uses up mental and physical energy that could be better spent on your child. Wrong! That’s the kind of thinking that made you lose all that weight in the first place, you skinny idiot! Your baby wants you to obsess over this stuff.

I know all of these tips can seem overwhelming, but I’m here to tell you that getting your body back to pudgy perfection is possible. Just remember, there is nothing more important for a new mom than achieving a totally arbitrary standard of beauty. Happy gaining!

* Note: I am not a medical professional, just a mom trying to tip the scales.               

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