Well, I followed a mostly primal diet while pregnant, not only to manage my weight gain but also because I feel my best when eating like a cavewoman. I included some Ezekiel products and oatmeal here and there which are not primal, but I felt like I needed the extra carbs to steadily gain weight. And of course I splurged on ice cream and other treats here and there, but I never made a habit of it. So while I am vain, I know it's important to eat healthy and gain the proper weight to support the pregnancy and breastfeeding afterward. I *wanted* to gain at least 35 pounds to have the healthiest pregnancy possible and to ensure I had adequate reserves for breastfeeding postpartum. So I gained 36 pounds and although my ass was larger than I wanted and I had bra fat, I was very happy with my overall weight gain.
Fastforward to today. How do I feel about my body now? I feel fantastic! I want to share how I lost the weight and toned up because I myself searched the Internet to find out real life examples of how women got their figures back. Don't get me wrong...I'm far from a Victoria's Secret Model and won't be donning a bikini any time soon. I have lovely stretch marks and cellulite dimples that I am learning to live with. But I think for a new mom two months postpartum, I'm doing alright. I lost 26 of the 36 pounds in the first month. I have lost five more in the second month so I still have five more to go. I do not believe in cutting calories (especially with breastfeeding) or depriving yourself when you are hungry. I would rather be healthy than thin (well, preferably both) and it's really important to me that my diet is balanced to ensure nutritious breastmilk.
I have found what works for me. I will say it is difficult to find the time and energy to exercise and prepare nutritious meals, especially when you are nursing and practicing attachment parenting. But if I can do it, so can others. Here is what has worked for me:
- following a primal diet - that means no grains and limiting dairy and sugar.
- consistent exercise - even if it's only 10 minutes a day, consistency will pay off.
- breastfeeding - burns up to 500 calories a day!