The topic of how to lose weight after having kids has got to be one of the most discussed topics among me and my other mom-friends.
For many of us, losing the weight we’ve gained during pregnancy almost seem impossible. It has been the cause of frustrations, anger, and to some of us, even embarrassment.
Even though many of my mom-friends had alluring figures before pregnancy, not all of us are able to get back into shape. I have gone through yo-yo weight ever since I got married and after my pregnancies. Before I was pregnant with my first son, my weight has always been the same. Although far from what I would’ve liked, it has never really gone down, but it has never gone up either.
When I delivered my first, I was at 220lbs. I wasn’t worried about losing the weight because I have never been truly conscious about my size because I’ve always felt that we’re only as big/small as we want to feel. So being at that weight didn’t bother me.
What made me change my mind was the difficulty I had to go through of lugging all that weight while having a baby for the first time.
I hated how I can’t move as fast as I wanted, I hated how I could sit on the floor to play with my son but had to have help to help me up. When I decided to lose weight, it was drastic. I set my mind to it and I pushed through.
And I did it. I went from 220lbs to 130lbs in about 7 months. I wrote about it here if you want to read more on that.
Now I have 3 children and most of the times it feels almost impossible to try and lose weight when I have to do something all the time. It doesn’t really help that I’m a writer working from home who has to chase tight deadlines for days on end sometimes.
However, I realize, it is not impossible. It is not an excuse to let the weight pile on. It is not something that I couldn’t do.
I’m not sure how much this would help you, but in this two-part post, I thought I’d share the 10 top things I do to try and lose weight while taking care of 3 kids, working, and getting the housework done.
I’ll tell you now that most of the times it won’t be easy and it won’t take you 2 months or even 6 months maybe, to be in the shape you want, but I’ll also share on how I got through those tough days.
1. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself One of the things I learned to let go while being a mom and trying to lose weight is how I always berate myself for being fat.
I know I try not to make it a problem as I’ve said earlier, but I have my bad, moody days when I get pissed off when I can’t fit into my jeans, but I try my best to be careful to not let this get to me. I remembered when I was 220lbs and starting to realize how big I was, I was constantly thinking about how thin I was before, how I could wear that cute halter top that my husband bought for me during our honeymoon.
And I vividly remember how thinking about this just made me feel even worse about myself. The first step for me to losing weight was to love how I am now.
I strive to look better, focus on how I want to be, rather than how I was during my “heydays”.
2. Don’t Ever. EVER. Compare
With so many blogs, Instagrams, and Facebook pages of super super healthy moms who seem to be able to do it all, I admit it can be hard not to feel bad about myself.
I get envious of how some moms who also have 3 kids can fit into super skinny jeans and look gorgeous with those knee-length boots and cropped tops. Not only that, they bake gorgeous cookies, complete awesome Pinterest projects, and a champion in keeping their house spotless.
Then I realized that that’s them.
I know that that body is not mine (even though I can get it too). I don’t want to lose weight for the wrong reasons, least of all jealousy. I don’t want to lose weight to make other moms feel bad about themselves. I don’t want to lose weight because I want to buy a $200 slip dress. I want to lose weight because that’s what I want it for my body.
I’m not saying these super healthy moms are doing it to make other moms jealous because they’re doing it for their body too, but sometimes you can’t help but to feel envious because you’re not quite there yet (and it feels like you’ll never will!).
So I switched to following health blogs or websites more than I do of these super gorgeous moms with sleek abs. I still check their blogs for tips and tricks on working out or cooking or baking, but I don’t compare my home to theirs, I don’t try to pull off an outfit they just posted on Instagram.
It is completely okay to want to look like those gorgeous moms, don’t get me wrong. But you need to make sure why you’re doing it so that you won’t get frustrated when you don’t look like that after months of working out.
3. Use What You Have
I don’t go to gym. Ever. Okay, so I’ve been to one before, but I decided I didn’t like it.
I don’t like how I always feel as though I’m the fattest one in the room. I know it’s probably all in my head and no one really cared about my jiggling buttocks as I tried to do squats, but I don’t like how it made me feel.
I still want to lose weight, so what I did was, I place myself in my most comfortable environment where no one would judge – my home.
I could work out in an unwashed t-shirt and old sweatpants and no one is going to say anything. Since I don’t have the equipments that I need, I look for things I could use at home instead.
I used to use my kids play mat before I could get my own yoga mat. I used to fill water bottles and used them as dumbbells before I could the appropriate ones for me. As a matter of fact, there are many workout routines that don’t require any equipment at all. I would spend a little bit of time to find videos on YouTube for these workout routines and search some more on other health websites.
Though, I won’t deny that it does help to invest on several equipments such as dumbbells, yoga mat, or a resistance strap, but you don’t have to have all of them at once for you to start losing weight. As a mother of 3 on a tight monthly budget, I would think 100 times before buying these things. But I would get one whenever I can and use it in my routine before I could buy another piece of equipment.
4. Don’t Put It Off.
I think for me, if not many mothers, one of the toughest challenges in trying to lose weight is sticking to it.
Feeling dead tired after a day at work or having to chase around kids all day and getting housework done from morning to night is enough to make the thought of working out a dreaded one. I know this is easier said than done, and believe me, I have felt it thousands of times, but you just have to do it.
You need to find the time to do it. Even for 20 minutes.
I know it’s impossible for me to work out when my kids are asleep so I do it the moment they’re down for their afternoon nap or at night after they’re asleep where I can workout for a longer period. I would usually do light routines in the afternoon such as basic yoga poses, and concentrate on a full body workout at night.
At first I felt there was no way I could spend 20 minutes to work out when there’s housework waiting to be done because I usually get more housework done in 20 minutes when my kids are asleep than I do in 20 minutes when they’re awake. But most of the times, I ended up checking Facebook for more than 20 minutes after my kids are asleep. When I logged off and got started on the housework, I realized how I could’ve used that time to work out instead.
So yes, cutting down your time on the Internet really, really helps if you needed the push to start working out. My mother always says, “If you have time to watch TV, then you HAVE time.”
5. Pace Yourself
Many a time I set myself a goal that I want to lose weight this much weight by a certain date or month. And many a time I failed.
So, I switched from setting a goal of trying to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain date to a goal of how much I could work out in a day.
I would set a goal of completing how many reps for one routine. Say if I did 2 sets of 8 rep squats the last workout session, then I aim to do 3 sets of 8 rep squats for the next. It may seem like a trivial thing and a small accomplishment to make and achieve, but believe me you, it works in pushing yourself to reach the goal you’ve set. And without you worrying about it every day, you are losing that amount of weight you initially aimed for.
It’s often the case where mothers want to lose weight because they want to prove it to others as much as to themselves that they can still maintain their shape after pregnancies. I see nothing wrong with this because everyone wants to look good and I know and understand that. I would be lying if I say I don’t want others to look at me and wonder how I’m able to stay in shape after 3 kids. Just like everyone else, I want and love to look good too.
But you have to be careful not to make this your only goal and sole purpose.
Like I said, do it for yourself and no one else. If there are admirations, then it’s a bonus to keep motivating you to push harder. But don’t ever push yourself to lose weight because you want to look thin for others.
I’ll share more in the next post on how I push through the tough days and what keeps me going.
But first, why not share what’s your biggest hurdle in working out at home with kids?