After giving birth to my first child, the baby weight came off fairly easily and I was able to return to my normal shape within a few months. It wasn’t so easy after my second child. In fact, I never quite got back to my pre-baby weight or shape. I had a few years before baby #3 made her way into the world, but by that time life was crazy and chaotic and before I knew it I had resigned myself to my “mom bod” for the rest of my life. But then I met a woman who had six kids – yes, that’s right six children – and still showed off a rocking bod. I asked her what her secret was and she told me a few. Shockingly, they were pretty simple, and while it took some time, I’m happy to report I am very close to rocking a pre-mom bod of my own.
3 Tips to Bouncing Back After Kids
1. Find Ways to “Micro-Exercise”
Getting in shape with three kids can’t be something you devote yourself to wholeheartedly, because – let’s face it – you have kids. But there’s always those small pockets of time that you can do a lot with if you get creative. When you show up 15 minutes early to pick your kids up from soccer practice, you can walk around the field instead of going to hang with the other moms – or get them to walk with you. If you have groceries in the car (especially milk) use large cans or milk jugs to “pump some iron” while you are waiting. When you make it a priority to micro-exercise, it’s amazing how many creative ways you can find to pack in a few minutes of physical fitness. While being a mom to three kids is exhausting and it sounds so much nicer to use the free time to take a nap, it turns out that getting active for a few minutes actually gives you energy rather than drains it.
2. Ditch the Kid Foods
This may be the hardest one of all, but also the most beneficial to the whole family. From breakfast cereals to chicken nuggets, kid foods are not only easy to prepare and serve, but they are also the least nutritionally dense foods there are. As time-consuming as it may be to make a meal, it’s even more time consuming to make one thing for the kids and something different for yourself, which is why we often end up eating kid foods. About the only way to avoid this is just to bite the bullet and ditch the kid foods altogether. When you make a commitment to do this, you will most likely find yourself coming up with creative ways to serve healthier foods faster. For instance, for breakfast, you can whip up a giant batch of banana protein pancakes on a weekend and freeze them for a quick meal during the week. You can also make large crockpot meals and freeze extra servings to heat up during the week as well.
3. Don’t Give Up
The problem with getting fit after having kids is that you are fighting a combination of your body not bouncing back as quickly as it did after baby #1 and a lack of time to really devote to getting in shape again. The key is to just keep making small changes here and there that will end up resulting in major changes over time. Just don’t get discouraged, and DO NOT QUIT.
Change is not going to happen overnight, so don’t beat yourself up if you only lose a few pounds in the course of a few months. The point is to make small, sustainable changes, not drastic changes you can only manage for a week or two before life with littles rears its ugly head again.