I might be ranting a little bit, but I’ve heard
a lot too much about this subject lately.
“You just lost all your weight because you’re breastfeeding.”
“It’s because you are a personal trainer.”
“You must have good genes.”
“You were always skinny, so it just melted off.”
Let’s be real…every pregnancy is different and every body is different. The changes your body go through in the 10 months of pregnancy and the months following are exciting, grueling, unknown, and miraculous. You would think that other moms would understand this, but for some reason they don’t get it either.
After you have a baby (or babies!) EVERYONE feels the need to comment on your body, even complete strangers.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved getting praise for my accomplishments. But when those compliments are followed by the aforementioned remarks, it really diminishes what I have worked hard for.
Yes, your body uses calories (possibly even stored calories) to produce milk to nourish your little one. However, the body then CRAVES to replace those calories through eating and constantly being hungry! As a breastfeeding woman, your body holds onto even more fat because it knows that in a moment of starvation, it needs to supply not only the mother with nutrients, but also the baby. So no, breastfeeding is NOT an easy way to lose weight.
Being a personal trainer helps because I do know what I am doing in the realm of workouts. Personal trainers struggle with motivation as well…especially moms! We have to plan workouts around the kids schedule, just like everyone else. We are exhausted from all night feedings, just like everyone else. I do not work out for a living; I have to make time for my workouts, too. There are times when all I wanted to do was sleep, but I made time for my goal. Staying consistent is most important. I knew I could commit to 2-3 days a week, but only 30 minute workouts. So I stuck to it and went hard for those 30 minutes. A lot different than my every-day 1.5 hour workouts from before, but this is the new me.
Eating habits change so much. I ate well during my pregnancy and increased my healthy fats intake to ensure healthy brain growth. My doctor recommended additional calories during different times of my pregnancy and adhering to that helped to keep my weight gain under control. Do not think that because you are pregnant you have an excuse to eat what you want. Please remember you are growing a heart, brains and cells. To set your child up for the best life, it is important to eat lots of vegetables and healthy fats, but feel free to indulge on that ice cream every now and then. After birth, I was eating a lot. Not only was I constantly craving due to breastfeeding, but I was working out as well. 2200 calories a day would be a lot for a normal person trying to lose weight, but it was what worked best for my body. The best part is I almost never felt hungry, and when I did, I made sure to eat. Listen to your body, it knows best.
Having good genes holds some merit. Some people have better metabolisms than others. That doesn’t mean that you can sit back and not do anything and still achieve your goals. A high metabolism can only do so much without the work ethic and healthy eating habits to back it up.
You’ve always been skinny. Just because I was fit before pregnancy doesn’t dismiss the fact that every woman goes through an extreme body transformation during and after pregnancy. My body is not the same as it was before. I’ve accepted that, and you should realize that. The goals I have achieved as a mom, mainly staying fit and losing the “baby fat,” are not based solely on these excuses. They are a result of sticking to it when things were hard, running when I felt like my insides might fall out, spending nap time meal prepping, squeezing in workouts when I could, etc.
If you MUST comment on a mother’s after-baby-body, please remember these thoughts. A nice “You’re hard work is paying off” does a lot more for her self esteem than discounting her with an “Oh, you must be breastfeeding.”