You’re walking in a clothing store, pushing your stroller. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and cringe. How did you gain so much weight and how in the world are you going to lose it? You feel overwhelmed with your relentless schedule with baby. Finding time to exercise is an utterly depressing thought. How do you lose your baby weight without losing your mind?
Take a deep breath mom and relax. You didn’t gain those pregnancy pounds overnight and you won’t shed them overnight either. But you will drop every last pound if you follow these three easy principles until you reach success:
1. Make gradual adjustments. If you try a radical diet, you’ll probably stick with it for a few days or weeks, but after a while, you’ll be back to your old eating and exercise habits. It’s better to make small incremental changes that last. If you love having sugar with your coffee, have one teaspoon instead of two. Maybe you order large fries and a large soda at the drive through. Switch to small. Constantly make gradual adjustments and stick with them until they become your new normal. You want to gradually change your lifestyle to line up with healthy choices.
2. Be solution oriented. Prepare to face food temptations, exercise excuses and days where you fall off the wagon. Problems are inevitable. It’s how you face them that will make all the difference. When you’ve got PMS and chocolate on the brain and you eat too much, don’t wallow in your failure. Regroup and make healthy choices the next day. If you have to drop the gym because it’s too expensive, don’t give up on exercise. Get an exercise DVD and work out at home. Be creative and always push for a solution.
3. Visualize your success. Can you see yourself at your ideal weight? Maybe it’s a physical picture of you before baby. Maybe it’s a better body. You can cut out a picture of someone’s body from a magazine and put your head on it, or even make a virtual you online. Let that visual picture of the new you motivate you to make sacrifices today so you can enjoy that body tomorrow. Picture yourself every day at your ideal weight and imagine how good you will feel in your new and improved body.
When you think of losing weight after baby, don’t let your mind dwell on all the obstacles. Focus on making positive changes every day and keep hope alive in your heart. Take some advice from Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Practice good habits and enjoy the benefits of healthy choices. You’ll lose your baby weight in the process without losing your mind.