I have often wondered how many children Eve actually gave birth to. She must have been an amazing woman. Can you imagine what she would have looked like if she had retained as little as 5 pounds every time she had a baby? Yikes! She would have been one large woman! I don’t know how many children we’ll have. Not anywhere near as many as Eve did, I’m sure. I do know that if I had allowed myself to gain even a couple of pounds after every pregnancy, I would be significantly larger by now – 40 pounds heavier if I gained 5 lbs each time! Five pounds isn’t a big issue to me, but 40 is.
During my first pregnancy (Lydia, almost 12 years ago), I believed and observed the popular opinion that when you are pregnant you can eat whatever you want – and a lot of it. I also had people telling me about coming home from the hospital wearing their pre pregnancy jeans. Needless to say, it didn’t work out too well at all. I gained a total of 58 lbs during my 38 weeks of pregnancy. (This was partly due to fluid retention as a result of preeclampsia.) And I came home from the hospital wearing the same thing I arrived in. I hadn’t ever had to think about gaining weight or eating healthy and for the first time ever I desperately needed to do both.
Now that I have just had my 8th baby, I have learned quite a bit. My goal is to lose every pound of baby weight before I am pregnant again. I have discovered how much your diet effects not only weight gain, but how you feel while pregnant. Here are some of my secrets to losing it all.
1. Realize that it is a spiritual battle. As Christians we are quick to fling around terms like self – control in regard to so many things…..but hardly ever toward food. I find myself scolding my children for their outbursts of emotion while I am polishing off way too many chocolate chip cookies. I’m not saying that it is never okay to enjoy a chocolate chip cookie. (Thankfully, I don’t believe that at all!!) I am saying that we need to be careful not to be over indulgent in anything we do.
2. Read ‘Made to Crave’ by Lysa Terkeurst. This book is one of the most convicting books that I have ever read. It will change the way you think about food forever. She doesn’t give a diet or an eating plan, and she writes like a real woman who struggles like all the rest of us do. Reading a chapter of her book every morning after my devotions helps me to remember to eat to live, not live to eat throughout the day.
3. Make sure you do not buy a larger wardrobe! This is a huge incentive for me. I don’t allow myself to buy larger clothes because I don’t want to get comfortable there. I move my prepregnancy wardrobe back into my closet and spend the in between time wearing what I have that normally fits very loose. Seeing my clothes in the clothes is inspirational and always encourages me on.
4. Put a picture of yourself in your favorite prepregnancy outfit on the refrigerator. This is a great reminder that you might not really need the treat you were tempted to grab after all!
5. When you find yourself looking for something to eat, make sure you are not mistaking thirst for hunger. This is something I do often. I keep a large canning jar of my favorite drink (herbal tea with a dash of cider vinegar and stevia) in the refrigerator so I can have a glass of that before deciding if I need to eat something as well.
6. Base your meals around protein and vegetables. This will help you feel satisfied and not be hungry too quickly. Chose your carbs carefully and don’t overdo it!
7. Try to get some exercise. This is a really hard one for me! I seldom get time out of the house, so whatever I do needs to be with the children or in the house. My days are so busy and with being up during the night with a new baby, I’m pretty tired in the evenings. I find that once I do start to exercise, the weight comes off a lot faster, though. One of my favorite ways to get exercise is with Leslie Sansone’s in home walking videos. She is child – friendly and does not use foul language or coarse talking, so it is something the children can even do with me.
8. Don’t let yourself get discouraged by numbers. Emmie is almost 2 months old and I still have more to lose than I would like. It has been a busy 2 months and I have not done much intentional exercise. But the scales are going down. As long as the numbers go down down not up, I’m happy with that!
9. Set a non food reward for yourself. Make it fun! In the past I have gone to my favorite store to buy a new blouse when reaching my goal weight. One time it was a pedicure. Whatever it takes to encourage you to get rid of those last couple of pounds!
10. Create a plan and stick to it. I’m not going to come up with a diet for you. You need to decide what works for you. For me this means basically following the principles of Trim Healthy Mama, a low glycemic eating plan. I am a firm believer in a healthy eating lifestyle, not a crash diet. Sadly, I adore sugar. In order for me to regain my control over my sugar addiction, I have to give it up completely for a week or more. No cheating at all. Once I regain control, I am able to do treats on occasion, but I have to be careful to only eat a tiny bit and let that satisfy me. Know your limitations!
11. Work on a project. Spending time in the kitchen makes limiting what I eat especially difficult. Cooking for a family of 10 does require a significant amount of time, but I try to cook in huge batches and spend the rest of my time out of the kitchen.
12. Give yourself grace! Not excuses – grace! There is a big difference! The ladies from our church make some awesome meals for us when we have a new baby, for about a week. They bring amazing breads and desserts and all kinds of treats. I always look forward to enjoying these in moderation before diving in to a more strict eating plan a week or two later. If we go to someone’s house and they make us a meal, I will gladly eat what they serve without stressing about whether or not it is what I would normally eat. This does not give me an excuse to eat an extra dinner roll or the largest piece of cake. There is still a place for moderation.
So there ya have it. My top 12 hints in losing baby weight. 🙂 I would love to hear your successful weight loss tips!