I’ve been getting a lot of compliments in the past couple months over how fantastic I look after having my second child this past winter. I’ve been told I give others hope that having kids is not the end of your body, and I’ve gotten my fair share of open and, thankfully, friendly jealousy.
But, here’s the thing: I’m not on any sort of diet. I don’t have any special secret. I’ve simply been doing two things that are mainstream advice for staying healthy and getting your body back to pre-pregnancy weight.
1) I was able to successfully breastfeed. I can’t say the same for my first child, but she and I stuck it out for the second one. Following general/average calorie-burning numbers for this meant that without any exercise, I was burning the equivalent of a 30-minute run’s-worth of calories every day just making milk.
2) I exercised and didn’t over-indulge in foods (too much). My preferred method of exercise is running, and I was able to get out about one to three times a week, doing anywhere between 3-5 miles. This, plus carrying around my new baby everywhere helped me shed the pounds.
I was also patient. My general theory on losing pregnancy weight is that it took me six to nine months to put it all on, so it’s naturally going to take six to nine months to get it all off. I just needed to remain determined and keep up on healthy habits, and this theory has paid off following both of my kids.
And that’s it. Breastfeeding and Exercise (along with eating good-for-you food in moderation).
Now, at this point I’m starting to wean myself, so we’ll see how it goes. However, I’ve signed myself up for a half-marathon this fall, so training for that should definitely help me keep the pounds off, and I’m hoping to have the time to add swimming into the mix of exercise over the summer.