Getting back into shape – Post Baby Body

My daughter is now ten months old (actually eleven when this post goes online) and I still have baby weight to loose.

This is a shocking confession in times of „What is your excuse?“ pictures found everywhere and Heidi Klum walking the runway for Victorias Secret eight weeks after giving birth.

Weights and weight

But I have come a long way since the Little Bean was born and even if I am not where I want to be quite yet, I have learned a lot about my body and working out with a little one around.
Before I got pregnant, I was at the gym about four times a week lifting (heavy) weights. Along with riding my bike to work and going for runs about twice a week that made up for an active life style.

Despite all this, I never had the „Perfect Body“ as seen in magazines.
I love to eat, and even though I try to eat healthy most of the time, I have a big sweet tooth and enjoy going out for dinner either with family or friends. Cutting back on that was never an option.

I gained 15 kg during my pregnancy, which is considered within the normal range (I am 1,73 m). When I left the hospital after I had given birth, I had lost 5 kg.

Breaking the bad news to all the new moms-to-be out there: Not every woman just magically looses the baby weight if breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding will increase the amount of calories your body burns throughout the day, but it won’t exceed 500 kcal (estimated), being a lot less in the beginning.
500 kcal might sound a lot, but during pregnancy your body will loose muscle mass, and this, together with spending most of your day sitting and nursing the baby will reduce the amount of calories you burn compared to before pregnancy.

Of course, every woman is different. There are even woman out there who had to stop breastfeeding because they lost too much weight, but in the end it all comes down to this:

If you struggled with keeping your weight before pregnancy, you will most likely struggle with loosing your baby weight afterwards.
If you, on the other hand, never had issues, you will probably bounce back easily.

Of course, there are way more important things being a new mom than your weight. And I encourage you to take your time and stop stressing about your belly, but instead focus on resting and nursing your baby.

But if you are like me, getting back into shape will get more important as time passes. Much more than my looks it was my loss in strength and stamina that worried me.
I started panting when taking three flights of stairs, I wasn’t able to carry the groceries in bulk, and when starting to work out, the attempt to do ONE pushup left me in collapsing on the floor.

So building up stamina and strength were what I focused on during the following months.
After some time of just taking the baby for walks, gradually increasing their length, and after getting the permission from my obstetrician and midwife (very important, as there are changes in your rectus abdomini and your pelvic floor that have to have healed before working out), I started .

The first thing I did, nine weeks after I had given birth, was a DVD called „The Mami Fitness Box“, featuring Pilates for New Moms. After looking at the exercises, I figured they wouldn’t challenge me enough, but decided to give them a go anyway.
For the next three weeks I was sore in every part of my body. I don’t know if you ever did Pilates before, but it is way more intense than it looks.

In May, three months after giving birth, I started a three months challenge, the „Bikini Body Mommy Challenge“ by Briana Christine. Apart from great exercises and and a meal plan (which I didn’t buy) she does hilarious YT-Workout videos, swearing, struggling and dealing with her kids while working out, making everything totally relatable.
And the best part: It takes 20 min every day, six days a week, but it is intense. Anyone can fit in 20 minutes of exercise.
I would work out when Little Bean was sleeping or even if she was around. She enjoyed seeing me workout, laughing at her sweaty mama.

Proud to say so!

I regained a lot of muscle mass and was even able to run 4 km without collapsing after the three months had passed, but didn’t loose much weight.
I guess this was down to hormonal changes, because once I had stopped breastfeeding after 5 1/2 months, the kilograms started to drop.

Looking for another challenge I signed up for the Blogilates monthly exercise plan.
If you are not familiar with her channel, go check her out. She is bubbly, sometimes crazy, very motivating and films short videos targeting special areas of your body. I still am addicted to her „Candlestick Dippers“, they worked wonders on slimming down my waist. Sadly, the whole concept didn’t work for me.
She adds a lot of variety, but I prefer to workout using weights instead of increasing the number of repetitions, and even though I could really see the difference after one month, it was a struggle to see it through.
You won’t need any equipment, but about one hour of exercise six days a week, and that was a deal breaker. I struggle with exercising in the evenings, I am exhausted and want to relax when Little Bean is finally sleeping. During the day, I don’t have one hour straight without her, and getting up an hour early was very hard, because she woke up at around 6 am.

So after one month, I quit. And with a holiday in France coming up, and a big exam afterwards, I haven’t managed to get back on track since then.

So here I am, at the end of November, trying to get back into a routine and loosing the last 4 kg.
I´ll keep you updated…

How about you: Do you struggle or do you loose weight easily?
Tips and experiences from fellow mums are highly appreciated.

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  • I don't think it is a shocking confession… You shouldn't compare yourself to people such as Heidi Klum when it comes to losing weight. That's just not fair to yourself. I'm happy you found the motivation to get started with it (seeing as it's something you want to do) and wish you lots of luck. I have tried the Blogilates beginner challenge as well (though a long time ago, I used to do pilates regularly) but I've a hard time keeping up the hard work 🙁

    • It didn't shock me for sure, I know my body, but there is a lot of pressure to get back to where you have been before.
      Getting back into shape should be about fitness and nourishing your body, not the looks. I need my body to do the things I love, like hiking! This is what should count.
      And Blogilates takes a lot of determination, more than I thought in the first place.
      What Do you do at the moment?

    • That's some good thinking 🙂 honestly, I try to keep up with blogilates and do other dance-type of exercise/sports, because that's what I love.. dancing. All the other things feel monotonous and boring to me. Zumba, ballet, etc.. those things excite me more 🙂 How's the blogilates been going?

  • Yes! No excuses! I love that. Anyone can spare 20 minutes a day. Just take it slow, one day at a time and then you will get there. And I agree with Natasja, comparing yourself to celebrities is just not a good idea. I know us women can't help it but we have to keep reminding ourselves that we shouldn't 😉

    • Well, I am totally aware of the difference between me and Heidi Klum. One is me lacking nannies and a Personal Trainer 😉

    • Haha, exactly… xD wish I had those.. (though I don't have kids yet, so I could live without the nanny:P)

  • Oh ask about struggle..I work out hard and still struggle to lose weight but i gain easily 🙁 thanks for motivating post dear.. 🙂

    • Yes, I guess the saying is right: "Abs are made in the kitchen." And Watching my food is way harder than working out, I guess.

  • I know this is an old post but in some ways I can totally relate to this. I gained 12kg (I'm 164cm) for both my pregnancy but managed to lose all but 2kg within two weeks. I've always had fast metabolism but my body definitely has changed, a lot. Hubby and I used to hit the gym 6 days a week, working out with weights and lots of cardio but we no longer do that. Most of our spare moments are spent with the little one which something that we treasure. But it didn't stop some family members from poking fun at me. My mum actually pinch my flabby tummy in front of other relatives and said loudly what a terrible shape my body was in. It hurts especially it was only 3 months after birth but I guess everyone has an ideal body shape in their mind. It doesn't help that so many celebrities are showing off how impossibly fast they get back into shape after birth. But they have a nanny, personal trainer, nutritionist helping them which is a luxury that many of us can't afford.

    I guess over time my priorities has changed too, as long as I am healthy then that is all that matters. Would I like a bikini ready body? Of course but if that means I have to be on a diet and spend tons of time working out then I think I'll just stay comfortable at where I am now. My boy is 10 1/2 months old now and my weight yo-yo between 50-51kg and before pregnancy I was always between 49-50kg. I think it's pretty good but I do wish I have the same stamina as I used to.

    Sorry this is such a long comment, I do get a little sensitive about after pregnancy weight gain topics because..well, I guess I'm still a little hurt about being mocked at. I don't think any new mothers should be made fun of… 🙂

  • That would have hurt me, too. I remember tearing up when my husband looked at me the wrong way, even though he always made it crystal clear he loved my body as much as he had done before.
    No new mother should be made fun of. No one in general should be made fun of!

    I have 2 kg left now, too, but I regained my strength and stamina, and this is what counts. I still feel the need to lose some more and get firmer in some places, but I don't stress out. This will come with time and regular exercise, which I need to feel good anyway.

    One reason I wrote this post is to show other people that I struggle and that you can't expect to magically bounce back. I guess many pictures on blogs and social media suggest it will be that way, and I personally was very sensitive to what other moms looked like.

    Thank you for sharing your story!
    This post is my most viewed and least commented… Not many people are willing to talk about that topic, I guess.

  • This is a very good post. I always wondered about weight gain and lost during pregnancy. Thanks.

  • Thank you for taking the time and reading it.

  • Loved this post, exactly what i need to hear. I gained 15kg too, im a lot shorter 1.65cm but it seems its all bump/abdomen focused. Im noticing a lot of muscle loss though and my stamina is gone, guess this is what 4 weeks waiting for the baby to be born and living on the couch are to blame. Never had a weight problem before, but now at 32 god know how ill bounce back. Ill look up the DVD’s.

    • The last few weeks really take a toll on your body, and you will notice that after the baby is born I was completely off balance due to the lack of core muscles and 15 minutes slowly walking and pushing the pram left me exhausted. So it is important to start slowly and only start to exercise after you have fully recovered, which might take between six and eight weeks.
      I highly recommend Bikini Body Mommy, she has a lot of programs and is currently pregnant with her fourth child for getting back into it after you have had the clear from your doctor/midwife.
      You will do just fine!