I don’t care who you are or how great your genetics are… having kids can do a number on your body.
Let me preface this post by saying – I wouldn’t change any of it. I am incredibly proud of my body and everything it has accomplished over the past three and a half years. I grew three beautiful babies in this body – in a very short amount of time. In my mind, that is absolutely incredible.
But… like many women… having babies has come with its fair share of body insecurities. Right after I had Caroline – it was especially hard.
When I would look at myself in the mirror, I hardly even recognized my reflection. I think many women go through this post-partum. There is a feeling of emptiness. The belly is gone, the kicks are gone, and all you’ve got left is this shell of a body. I felt literally and figuratively deflated.
I’ll share the numbers with you just so we can just be brutally honest here. When I got pregnant with Caroline (my third pregnancy in three years) I weighed 130lbs. When I walked in to deliver her, I weighed 170lbs. It was the heaviest I had ever been. Pre-kids I always weighed around 120lbs. So to be clear, walking in to deliver Caroline – in June – I had 50lbs to lose to get back to my normal self.
A couple days after I had Caroline, I stepped on the scale. I weighed 161lbs. She was 7lbs9oz when she was born, so I had basically only lost the weight of her and the placenta. I wasn’t happy. When everyone told me that the third baby weight would be the hardest to lose… I had no idea how true that would be.
July 4th rolled around – I was almost a month post-partum – and I finally decided to weigh myself again. I weighed in at around 152lbs. Yes, I had lost a significant amount of weight, but I felt sluggish, exhausted, and defeated. I decided then and there that I was going to take matters into my own hands. It was time to make some changes.
It wasn’t just about getting back to my old weight. No. It was about something SO much bigger. I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to eat better, feel better, and I wanted to set a positive example for my kids. Especially for my new baby daughter. When she looks at herself in the mirror, years from now, I only want her to see how perfect and beautiful she is. I needed to be a positive example of that.
That being said, I implemented a plan. I have had incredible results in a short amount of time, and while I know some of it is breastfeeding and my body getting back to normal, I also know the lifestyle changes I’ve made have played a huge role in my baby weight loss success. That is why I am sharing this with you.
I knew I needed to write this post when my dad walked in – after not seeing me for 3 weeks – and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Holy cow, Emily, you have lost so much weight!” My dad is probably the least observant person on this planet when it comes to looks. If he noticed a difference, I knew what I was doing must be working.
So here is what I did – step by step.
- I hired a trainer. Hiring Molly was above and beyond the best decision I made in my post-partum weight loss journey. I am the kind of person who will avoid working out at all costs. In this way I am the exact opposite of Ashley. I just don’t love it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the results – I just don’t love the journey. So for me, knowing that Molly would show up at my door – at 8am – every Monday, Wednesday and Friday was a game changer during my maternity leave. Molly is like this perfect, peppy, pixie cut, little ball of energy. No matter how exhausted I was, she was always able to motivate me into having a great workout. It is truly a testament to what an amazing trainer she is. Every workout we did was different, I didn’t need any of my own equipment, and she got my kids involved – which I loved. I am still working out with her 3x a week – and we do a mix of weight training, isometrics, and barre. What’s more – Molly has also helped me with nutritional coaching and she offers a whole variety of services. Check her out >>> here. If you don’t have access to Molly or to a trainer. Don’t worry. While it is amazing to have someone pushing you – there are so many other options. I highly recommend the BBG system via the Sweat App. I downloaded it when I first started working out with Molly just in case I had to miss a session. It is awesome and it is super similar to the work I do with Molly.
- On my non-training days I committed to cardio. This was something that was extremely hard for me (see above). I am so busy… we are all so busy. At the end of the day the last thing we want to do is work out – every day. But like Ashley always tells me – if you want it – you will make the time for it. It is so freaking true. Once I started seeing the results, it made it all worth it. On my non training days I try to do light cardio – either a 20 min Cody Rigsby Peloton ride, or I walk with our family.
- I invested in workout gear that made me feel good. I know this may sound silly, but I am always much more motivated to work out when I feel good about myself and when I feel like I look the part. That being said, I stocked up on all the cute and comfy workout gear I could from Zella. Think – exactly like LuluLemon – just half the cost.
- I followed a macro plan. Ashley and I have talked about the success we’ve both had with counting macros many times on here. Molly helped me come up with the right Macro plan for my breastfeeding body, and I’ve been sticking to it ever since. If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re not counting macros – I urge you to start. It’s a great way to keep yourself accountable, to feed your body what it really needs, and to see results quickly.
- I changed my snacking. I am self admittedly a horrible snacker. When I’m hungry, I always gravitate toward chips, crackers and (cringe) cheese balls :/, So by substituting carrots, cucumbers, and avocado for my more carby snacks – not only was I feeding my body better, but I was helping the baby weight come off as well.
- I kept breastfeeding and pumping. In addition to being awesome for your baby, breastfeeding also burns a TON of calories, and therefore I know it has been super helpful in helping me lose my baby weight as well.
- I cheated when I wanted to. When I wanted to eat the cheese balls – I ate the cheese balls. I just made it a treat and not an everyday thing. I think depriving yourself of everything you love when you’re trying to lose weight is pretty much the worst idea out there. It totally sets you up for failure. If I wanted a glass of wine, I had it. If I wanted to eat pizza, I ate it. I just made sure these things weren’t every day occurrences. Everything in moderation has been key for me.
- I kept trying on my old jeans. I know this sounds super weird. But it was actually some of the best motivation out there for me. It helped me to really visualize where I wanted to get to. I knew it would be easy to give up and to throw out all my old clothes. But I didn’t. And now that I am almost 40lbs lighter than where I started, I am so happy I stuck it out. The week after I had Caroline, I tried on my old jeans, and I could barely get them over my calves. Now they fit over my hips – but they don’t totally button. Seeing and feeling the progress has been motivating in such a huge way. I never could have imagined how effective it would be. So hang your old jeans in the front of your closet and try to keep getting into them. I promise – it works.
I’ll have you know – this journey is far from over. At 132lbs I still have 12-15lbs to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight. Maybe I get there – maybe I don’t. Now, more than focusing on the number on the scale, I am focusing on being strong and healthy for my kids. That is what is most important. I want to be a good example for them of self love. I want to show them how important it is to take care of their bodies. And last but not least, I want to be here for them in every way I can – for as long as I can. All of those things start with me being the healthiest version of myself, and I can truly say – every item in this post has helped. If I can do it, you can do it!!!
If you have any tips or tricks for living your healthiest life – I’d love to hear them!