Breastfeeding & Fitness

IMG_4688Breastfeeding and weight loss go together like peanut butter and jelly, at least according to anyone who claims to have known a mom who breastfed.

“The weight will fall right off” they say. Right, ok.

Sure, you burn more calories producing food for your baby – you are still feeding two people. But, the rumor that breastfeeding burns wicked calories can also make a new mom wonder what she is doing wrong when she doesn’t lose weight. And the last thing a new mom should feel is guilt for not losing weight.

For me, there was a brief honeymoon period where I lost weight and was able to eat a batch of lactation cookies a week. But, that changed pretty much as soon as I went back to work and had to stop eating dairy for the little man. I went from having no time running around at home to sitting for 8 hours a day, snacking and binging on Oreos (no dairy, hallelujah). It took me more than six months to get into a rhythm with my health and fitness.

As moms, we are expected to put ourselves last. But, in reality taking time to work on YOU is not only beneficial, it is necessary. You can’t drink from an empty cup. This is especially true for working moms who are doing their best to stay committed at work and being present for their family.

While I am still relatively new to this journey, I have learned some crucial tips to filling my cup back up and losing weight while also taking care of Mr. Little Man and keeping my supply consistent.

  • Make you a priority – you are worth taking the time for yourself. Your goals matter. Your health matters – to you and to your family.
  • Make fitness a priority – find something you love and enjoy – walking, running, dancing, weight lifting – whatever it is, find it and enjoy it.
  • Schedule your workouts and commit – being consistent is how you build a habit. If working out at night is something you struggle with, schedule you workout in the morning and set your alarm. If you don’t do mornings, get it in after work. Either way, schedule it and make it a part of your daily routine.
  • Plan your meals – on Sunday prep your lunches for the work week, portion them so you can just grab and go, boil some eggs, portion veggies and fruit.
  • Log everything – every bite you take, log it – even nibbles you steal from your kid’s plates. Pay attention to portions and eat your veggies and your fruit.
  • Don’t focus on the scale – focus on how you feel. If you just nailed your fastest mile, memorize how that felt and remember that feeling when you want to quit.

Next week, I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned on balancing diet, exercise and milk supply.