It’s the end of January which means by now you’ve probably been inundated with the latest diet plans, *magic* shakes, wraps, fixes, pills, the fast 10-minute workout to get your body back… blah blah blah. Each New Year we likely have a refreshed vision of our goals and perhaps a new set of resolutions which include new weight loss plans and how we can get our pre-baby body back. That also means that the fitness and diet industry have bombarded us with the latest and greatest of how we can achieve that body.
The diet & fitness industry have made BILLIONS off of you and I. The women who are freshly postpartum or who have had babies in recent years and are desperate for a way to lose that baby weight and gain some semblance back of who we used to be and what we used to look like before our bodies birthed those miraculous little humans. I’m here to plead with you to not go on a diet this year, to not buy into those shakes and to also not give up on yourself. There is a different way. Hear me out.
Before I got pregnant I was already well aware of the lies the diet and fitness industry spread through the media, big supplement chain stores and direct sales consultants. Fortunately I got well acquainted with lifting weights, a healthy mix of cardio activity and a balanced diet of micro and macro nutrients. When it came time for me to lose the 50+ pounds I had gained during pregnancy I already had a plan in place as well as a coach who believed in a healthy diet and lifestyle and not just a fad diet to get the weight off fast. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t second guess it. After 6 months of lifting weights and tracking my food intake through macro counting I was starting to become frustrated and restless with my very slow progress. My coach continued to work with me and encourage me. I saw what was being presented in the media and thought it might help me and I was tempted to give them a try.
But momma, I’m here to tell you, those things WILL NOT WORK. They were made and created for one solitary purpose: to make money. There are a lot of direct sales consultants who make their income from these products and to them I do not point blame. They are hustling for their families and I can respect that. But I beg even them to look a little bit further into the actual nutrition and products they are selling to moms who are hopeless and searching for an easy answer that will work with the chaotic journey of motherhood.
My postpartum experience enlightened me to the struggle that so many moms have. I quickly realized that losing weight after having a baby was much, much harder than I ever imagined it to be. Between hormones, a body that is hard to change after it’s been held hostage by a tiny human for so long, learning to breastfeed, balancing multiple children or learning to be a mom if it’s your first time… the thought of preparing healthy meals and still finding time to workout is daunting and overwhelming.
There is a way to be healthy and find yourself again. While you will likely never look or feel like your pre-baby self, you can create something even better. Because now you have these little people who adore you and look to you for guidance. Show them that being healthy is important and that there are no quick fixes to anything in this life. Here are some key things I have learned:
- Take your time–it’s not a race! Social media makes this difficult with postpartum selfies, but try to keep your mind on YOUR journey.
- Learn how to be a mom first, then when you’re ready, take baby steps.
- Hire a coach. A good coach believes in balance, there are a lot of women coaches out there who want you to be successful and not fall into a diet trap. I will always recommend finding a nutrition and exercise coach, but realize this isn’t a financial option for everyone.
- Learn how to make quick, easy, healthy meals. Pinterest can get a bad rep but it is a fountain of knowledge and find proper nutrition info if you can’t afford to pay a nutrition coach. The key is a healthy balance between protein, carbs and fat.
- Start making exercise a priority instead of an option. Ultimately, we want to show our children that it’s important to take care of themselves. We are the best example to them of what this looks like. So taking time out of our week to exercise shows them we care about ourselves as much as we care about them.
My hope for you is that you do not diet this year, but that you will find a balance between motherhood and being the best you that you can be. Maybe that starts with a walk around the block. Or with a new, healthier recipe for dinner this week. Whatever it is, give yourself some grace and realize that our children look to us for more than the desire of wanting to wear that bikini again. You are so much more than that. Say goodbye to the diet this year and hello to a new you who is healthy, uninhibited by social media and full of life for her herself, her family, and her children.