What happens to our bodies after we give birth?

Just to be clear, I lost the 20 pounds within 3 months about a year after I had my baby, definitely not immediately after I gave birth. This is my story.

Weight loss is such a personal journey, but losing it after giving birth is a struggle most mommies can relate to. Am I right?

What happens to our bodies after we give birth? Everything is stretched, more hairy, and just all over the place. And after birth, there is no time to recover or heal.

As new mothers, we are consumed trying to figure out how to take care of our baby and tend to forget about our own bodies.

I went through exactly that.

After I gave birth, I did not think about myself for months and I certainly did not think about my weight either. I was so focused on taking care of this tiny helpless baby.

Let’s be serious, most of you new mommies are going through the same thing. If you are, know there is a light at the end of the tunnel where life gets a tiny bit easier. For some of us it happens quick, others it takes a while. You can and will get back to thinking about your health.

After hard work and mostly being smart about what I put into my body, I was able to lose my baby weight. You can do the same for yourself and trust me, the results are totally worth being disciplined along with following other tips I will share.

If you are starting a weight loss journey, people will try to tempt you daily. The convenience of fast food will tempt you. Most of all, Starbucks will tempt you with its promises of sweet caffeine! Make sure your goals and mind are in the same place, they will help you get passed all the temptations.

Read on for more about my journey and hopefully, it will motivate you to make your own goals and slay them like I have!

Heads up! This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. 

I let myself go

For six months I really let myself go. I ate whatever I wanted. I was hungry my entire pregnancy, nothing fit in my stomach, only the baby. I missed eating while I was pregnant, it was not enjoyable since everything gave me heartburn or nausea.

So after I gave birth I made up for that lost eating time. I ate all the things I wanted and more!

I was also focused on figuring out how to breastfeed, to me nothing else mattered. Plus, my body was just trying to heal.

I thought about it this way: Its okay to let yourself go a bit – your body just did a miraculous thing!

I really needed that break, so I do not regret letting myself go so much. I just needed to focus on my baby and that is what I did.

First attempt at trying to lose weight

At six months postpartum I decided to start trying to lose weight. That was when I started the weight loss challenge with my family, read more about it here  The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight In 2019 Via a Weight Loss Challenge. While it really helped, it was not enough for me.

I was not making healthy lifestyle changes. I was staying usually at the same weight or losing a few ounces, but no major weight loss. Or at least not the progress I had been hoping for.

I had good weeks, but more bad weeks. I was always tired, most likely because I had a baby that kept me up at night and was working full time.

I do not consider this a fail at all, in fact, I went down about seven pounds in this attempt, which is okay progress. I was almost eight months into the weight loss challenge and was finally dedicated to losing more.

My real weight loss journey

When my daughter turned one, I saw myself and realized that it was time to stop using my baby as an excuse to keep letting myself go. It was a year later, my hair was in a bun 100% of the time, my makeup had been unused, and I had lost only seven pounds of my baby fat.

After planning a huge birthday party for my baby and having a more independent child, I knew it was time to start. So I began to think about ways I could really lose weight and make some serious changes.

One of my coworkers told me while working at the Pentagon, her and a group of people started a cleanse and they all saw huge results. It piqued my interest, so we read the book entitled,10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (affiliate link) by JJ Smith.

If you have read this post up until now, you may be thinking, ugh this is just a commercial, it is not, it is my 100% true weight loss story. It goes beyond this book, but this book is the critical platform in which I was able to change and move my life into a healthier direction.

There are two critical parts of the book, chapters three and four, getting prepared which gives you a grocery list and a guide on how to do the actual cleanse. While the whole book is great, these two sections will empower you to start immediately.

My husband, my weight loss partner

One of the best parts of my weight loss journey, is that I am doing it with my husband. He agreed to do the cleanse with me and to support me 100% on it.

My husband and I went to the store and bought everything on the smoothie grocery list. We bought me two large plastic water bottles for the smoothies; we bought my husband a huge plastic water bottle for increasing his water intake and we started on a Sunday.

There are two ways to do the cleanse, “Full Cleanse” or “Moderate Cleanse.”

As a breastfeeding mom, I decided to do the moderate version. The moderate version has you eat one meal a day, two smoothies, and snacks. It recommends a detox tea, but I did not drink it since it is not breastfeeding friendly. Instead I drank a low caffeine green tea.

My husband did the full cleanse, he had three smoothies a day, detox tea, and snacks.

I will be honest, my husband made all the smoothies and food. I did not have to do a thing except drink and eat. So have your partner make your smoothies as well, if possible! As a working mom, this was the best part.

I did not even have to think about what to eat or had much of choice to eat anything else.

We made our house temptation free of junk food. I deliberately did not have money at work so I could not buy food, even if I wanted to.

You have to do what you can to keep yourself on track! This worked for us.

Even more so, try to get your partner to do the cleanse and the weight loss journey with you. It is much easier when you have someone doing it with you. It also makes you accountable to someone. When one may be feeling weak, the other can be strong for both of you. Lean on each other for support.

Doing the cleanse for 10 days

The first day was rough, I wanted my coffee, sugar, junk food and all of the above that are not good for you. It was a Sunday, we decided to stay home so we would not get tempted out in the world.

During the entire cleanse and after, we had no junk food in our home or anything we could snack on, except our cleanse approved snacks.

The second day I was at work, I put my smoothies in the refrigerator and probably finished all of my snacks before the afternoon. It was as if I was afraid of being hungry. However, with the smoothies, meal, and snacks, I was never hungry. It was just my mind that was playing tricks on me. I was not hungry – I just wanted to eat.

The third and fourth day were much better. I remember distinctly having energy and being alert, I felt great! From that point on, the cleanse was pretty much on autopilot. I finished the rest of the days with no problems.

Everything just became routine. As long as I stuck to the guidelines I was given, I was okay. My husband had a similar experience, he stayed home for most of the cleanse to avoid temptation. But after the halfway point he was fine and he felt great!

Our exciting results after the 10 says

As a result of this 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, I was ready to keep moving forward with my weight loss journey.

I lost about 8 pounds and my husband lost about 12.

More importantly, we were able to cut out those really pesky cravings. By the end, I did not feel the innate need for caffeine, salt or sugar. That was the biggest gain from the cleanse. I also felt full of energy and ready to change my lifestyle.

My husband’s stomach felt much better after the cleanse, he has gastro issues, so that was a huge win for him. Of course, during the cleanse he did not get any heartburn due to the foods he was eating, but his heartburn is still well controlled. He also noticed his complexion clearing up.

After the cleanse

Both my husband and I kept incorporating smoothies into our diet, at least one a day. I ate fresh salads with fruits and chicken or chicken with veggies for most of my meals. Most importantly, I did not go back to eating the way I used to. After all of the hard work we did, we could not. So we stayed on track as best as we could, of course, we slip up every now and then, but it does not stop us from living a healthier life.

After the cleanse this is basically what I ate:

  • Breakfast
    • Green tea
    • Smoothie
    • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Lunch
    • Salad with chicken and fruit
  • Dinner
    • Chicken breast
    • Vegetables
    • Onions or red/green peppers
  • Dessert/Snacks
    • Popcorn (not the buttery type)
    • Sweet potato casserole
    • Apples with almond butter
    • Carrots/other veggies
    • Seeds and nuts
  • Drink as much water as possible!

I also gave myself the freedom to eat whatever I wanted on Sundays, it was after my weigh ins, so I was conscientious of what I ate. Then at work about every other week, we ate Pho, which was a real treat.

Keeping up with this routine is what led me to begin meeting my weight loss goals, while never feeling like I was starving or restricting myself. I limited the variations of what I ate, to make it easier to stay on track. I read it is okay to eat the same things.

I also tried to stay away from anything processed or packaged. Basically, everything was fresh, although we do eat frozen fruits and vegetables.

Results three months in

For the overall year and pretty much since I gave birth, I am almost down 30 pounds.

About three months in, I was down 21 pounds and I am still counting.

Given what my body went through, I am proud of my progress. I will post an update of my weight loss for 2019 soon.

To give you a little bit of a backstory, in 2016, I had gone through a significant weight increase when I was studying to get my Master’s degree. Since all I did was work, school and eat, my weight exploded. Then two months after I graduated I found out I was pregnant. You know what happened after that…

Other results:

  • We are teaching our daughter healthy eating habits
  • I can keep up with my daughter, who is constantly on the run
  • I am fitting into clothes I never thought I would ever fit into again
  • I wore a bathing suit for the first time in years
  • I weigh less now than I did pre-pregnancy
  • My family is more physically active
  • Our overall health has improved
  • We are getting sick much less than before

Physical activity for busy mamas

If you are a breastfeeding mama you know how much time it consumes you. My daughter is currently 18 months and I still spend most of my time nursing her when I get home from work. It is not even an excuse not to work out when your child is tugging at your shirt nonstop – it is just your new way of life.

Since I do not have time to work out when I am home, I walk as much as I possibly can.

For months, I parked far from my office building to get that pre-work/post-work walk. Instead of taking normal breaks at work, I squeeze in walking every free moment. I even use a restroom on the floor below me, just so I can make the most of my restroom breaks. I also walk up and down the stairs to get as many active minutes on my FitBit as possible.

Since walking is the only physical activity I can squeeze in, I do it as much as possible! Everywhere I can. My husband and I went to the park in the evenings to walk with our daughter and dogs when the weather was warmer. On our shopping trips, we walk laps around the store. If we go to a mall, we also do a few laps around there too.

If you are in the same boat, try it out. The walking really adds up over the day, some days I would have about half an hour to an hour of active minutes. That is really good, especially if you are not going to the gym or have a dedicated time to work out.

Final thoughts

When I first started my journey I thought losing even one pound would be impossible. It was impossible – when I did not do anything.

Once I set my mind to lose the weight and actually did things to make it happen, that is when I saw results.

It is not about drinking a magical smoothie, it is combining the tools you decide to use with the common sense you know about eating healthy and being active.

Incorporate your family into your weight loss goals as much as you can. As mentioned above, the more support you have the better you will do. If you have a bad habit, do what you can to stop it, take action, do not think you can stop a habit with willpower.

All of our food budget was spent at the grocery store so we could not eat fast food or junk food. We also limited our television watching and inactivity, we do our best to keep moving and are spending time with each other along the way.

I think we all have an idea of what to do to lose weight, but it is a matter of getting our heads in the right mindset to do so. The world is full of temptations and over the past few months, I have learned to say no. This worked for me, so find what will work for you and do it!

Best of luck in your weight loss journey! If you have any questions feel free to comment below or reach out to me by contacting the website or social media. I want to hear what you are doing to lose weight after giving birth. Thanks for reading!

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