You know how people talk about “losing the baby weight”? Well, I’ve got some of that, except for the fact that my baby isn’t really a baby anymore. I gave birth 13 months ago, so I guess this means I need to lose the toddler weight?
I tried to get my act together about 6 months ago. I joined Weight Watchers and got a gym membership and basically I’ve sucked. Weight Watchers is a great program and I’ve lost weight with it in the past, but I totally slacked. And the gym? Well, we haven’t exactly been best friends.
The problem? I’ve had such a hard time sticking with it!
I gained 55 pounds during pregnancy, but I still have a good 30 to go. I’ve dieted and successfully lost weight before (I lost 40 pounds in college following Weight Watchers), so what’s the deal? I know I can do this, but I’m just not.
Then I realized that the root problem was one of motivation. Usually when you try to lose weight, the end reward is that you’ll look and feel better, right? Well, I realized that for me, losing weight just means a lot of work and then getting pregnant a second time around and gaining it all back – no time to really enjoy it.
I’m 28 and would like to be done having babies around 30 (my metabolism and energy level isn’t getting any faster over here) and I would like Fern and whoever her future sibling may be to be pretty close in age. I said I wanted to try again when Fern was one, but the time has come and gone and I’m not really ready just yet – mentally OR physically. I was above my happy weight last time I got pregnant and I would really like to get down a little lower this time around. So basically the drill is: lose weight, then gain it all back.
Do you see where the lack of motivation comes in?
Well, my husband decided to get creative to encourage me with a little motivator (AKA: bribe). Now, I asked him if I could share this and he agreed, although we both realize that bribing your wife to lose weight may not go over well with readers and he (or I) may get some “hate mail”. I will preface this by saying that my husband and I have been together for 11 years and I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight during that time. When we first started dating I actually weighed what I weigh now, so I know he still thinks I’m attractive and loves me in every state, but I have a family history of diabetes and being overweight along with the fact that I just feel better and more confident when I’m not carrying around extra weight. Because of this he’s always been very honest with me about my weight and when it gets out of check he tries really hard to encourage me…not an easy task when you have a sensitive wife – he definitely has to tread very carefully. So basically, it was time to get on it. I had kind of given up and just hadn’t been caring what I ate and the result was pretty apparent – not just in my pant size, but also in my confidence level.
And so, there has been a bribe. We set a goal date together and if I lose the 30 pounds by my goal date, I get X amount of money. Obviously we make our money together, but it’s not like either of us can just go spend a lump sum on whatever we feel like without consulting the other, so making my goal would definitely be fun and I’m already thinking of ways to spend my hard-earned winnings.
I realize that this may be a little unorthodox, but people do “Biggest Loser” style challenges at their workplaces all the time and usually the end result is a cash prize, so why is this any different? Plus, I like that I have a set time limit so it doesn’t seem like I have to be dieting endlessly (although I really am trying to make sustainable changes in healthy eating and fitness) and the prize potential at the end makes it seem like a fun game instead of a drudgery.
So far I’ve lost four pounds and I’m already feeling so much better – much less tired and not so puffy and uncomfortable (my diet had gotten really carb heavy and the bloat was a result).
What’s your take on this? Have you lost your “baby weight” yet, or are you still working on it with a toddler? Would you resort to bribery to help you meet your goal? Any tips for good workouts or things that helped you?
Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments – and try to go easy on my husband!
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.
More from Lauren: