Body After Baby (Part 1)

With Hollywood's recent baby boom, I can't help but notice the topics on most magazine covers: "How Kourtney Kardashian lost the baby weight" or "Gisele Bundchen's body after baby."  All I see is how flat Jessica Alba's abs are one month after having a baby or Victoria Beckham getting back to size zero eight weeks after giving birth. Even more outrageous: several Victoria's Secret Angels were famously known for getting back on the runway only weeks after having a baby! It's as if there is some kind of competition to see who can lose the most weight in the most freakishly speedy manner. Don't get me wrong though, this is not a debate on whether celebrities should or should not lose so much weight in so little time. I just purely want to point out that this topic of "losing weight postpartum" must be a big enough of a concern to most women to have the celebrity moms grazing the covers of popular magazines with with their svelte postpartum bodies. I'm sure with all the casting directors, critics, and paparazzi breathing down their necks constantly is more motivation than any of us "normal folks" will ever get to lose the baby weight. They just don't have the time to take it slow according to the one pound a week recommendation by doctors. Yeah sure they have the personal chefs and trainers and nannies to look after their babies while they work out but Personal chefs and trainers can't lose the weight for them. They still have to do the work just like the rest of us. In a way, they deserve to look great after the hard work they've put in. I mean Jessica Alba hit the gym two weeks after giving birth, Beyonce's fitness regimen starts at 5AM, Kate Hudson works out daily for 3 hours, Jennifer Lopez works out for 45 minutes to 2 hours 4 to 6 days a week, etc... Not to mention most celebrity moms are fit prior to getting pregnant and worked out for the duration of their pregnancy. Now how many of us can even match half the effort they put in after having a baby? I know I couldn't. I had tons of excuses for not exercising after having a baby.

Excuses, Excuses
  • I just had a baby. I need the rest
  • I'll lose weight from breastfeeding
  • It's too hot to exercise in the summer
  • Breastfeeding is too time consuming to have time to exercise
  • The baby kept waking up at night, so too sleep deprived to exercise
  • Ha! This is my favorite: my husband will love me no matter what I look like. 
 5 months after I delivered my baby girl, I just simply couldn't procrastinate with these excuses any longer. It's not even about losing the weight for vanity purposes anymore. It's about getting fit again so I can keep up with the kids. I need the energy to enjoy playing with them and caring for them. With the baby sleeping through the night on most nights, it was definitely time I set up some exercise goals for myself.
Realistic goals
  • Start off slow (this is my second c-section after all). I started off with stretching and yoga for 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week. 
  • Eventually I graduated to doing cardio for 15 minutes a day 2 days a week. After a month, I increased the cardio to 25 minutes a day, 4 days a week. 
  • Ab exercises: alternating between plank, reverse curl ups, crunches, side planks, etc. at least 3 days a week. 
  • Walk for 40-60 minutes outdoors pushing a stroller whenever weather permits.
It doesn't seem like a very strenuous exercise routine but every little bit counts. The hardest part is not coming up with a good workout routine, it is actually sticking to it that's killer. Fortunately, I do have reasons to keep me motivated and determined.

  • Bikini season: Ok, call me vain but I want to look good in a bikini again. I have invested in 2 set of really gorgeous bikinis and I would love to look great in it while frolicking at the beach with my husband and kids.
  • Shape: I'm going to be honest and come out to say that parts of me are just not where they used to be pre baby. Fellow moms should catch my drift on this. I'm not hoping to have flat abs but I am hoping to decrease the baby bulge a little. I'm not hoping for perky boobs again but to delay any further sagging. Not too much to ask for right?
  • Travel: A trip to Spain at 6 months postpartum really taught me how much energy I needed while traveling with a baby and a toddler. I need to stay fit so I can haul the kids and baby equipment up and down flights of stairs, buses, and trains. As much as I love to travel, there is just no stopping me.
  • Hot wife: Here is my vanity taking over again. I want my husband to still find me hot despite the fact that I did give birth twice. I know he loves me no matter what but finding me still desirable after all these years is just an added bonus.
  • Food: I exercise so I don't have to give up the foods I love; such as brownies and Mexican food. 
When to find the time
This is perhaps the most difficult part of executing my exercise plan. Time! Between cooking, laundry, baby, toddler and husband care, where am I suppose to find the time to exercise? Ha! But I do. I sneak in a 40 minute jog on weekend mornings when the household sleeps in; and sometimes getting breakfast on the way back. And yes, it is really hard sacrificing sleep to exercise. But the sacrifice is worth it looking into the mirror everyday and see results.

When Allie takes her long nap in the afternoon (usually about 2 hours), I would sneak in some cardio that doesn't make too much noise such as jogging around the living room, or hula hooping. Baby's nap times are also good for yoga or Pilates. It's a good way to enjoy some quiet time and recover some sanity. This is not to say that I get a full 2 hours to myself everyday but when I do, I make the most out of it. Chores can be done later because as soon as I tuck in Allie for her nap, it's ME time. Oh how I love me time!
Well, after all that's said and done, how am I doing now that it's already one year postpartum? I now weigh 10 pounds less than I did pre pregnancy. The baby bulge definitely got a lot smaller, still don't have a flat stomach though. I've stuck to my 25 minutes of cardio, 4 days a week. On rainy days I jog around the house. On sunny days I wake up before the hubby goes to work to jog outdoors. I walk to the grocery store (1 km from my house) for groceries every chance I get. The ab exercises are always done immediately after the cardio so I don't put it off 'til...never. Now for the real excitement... In April, I will be adding a dance class to my fitness regimen. Not just any dance class, but a belly dance class. Yes, you read correctly! I will bare my stomach in front of a class of 10 hot, young, skinny, childless, women and learn to belly dance. But I will save that for another post, for another time. Now, I just want to pat myself on the back for 6 months of hard work and dedication.   


  1. Love this post! This is so inspiring!
    I've been on the 'Excuses' list forever...
    my son is over 3 now...I really want to get back into a fitness regimen! I think my hardest thing is time (40+ hours of work, 24/7 mom, cooking, cleaning, laundry...) since ME time doesn't seem to exist unless I'm up in the middle of the night! like now, writing this post! My goal for the rest of this spring break vacation this week is to start my long missed yoga! I think now at least my lil guy can watch or do yoga beside me :-) Going to a studio is out of the question still, since it's so time consuming, so I'll try online yoga! Oh how I wish there were just a few more hours each day, so I can accomplish my crafts & hobbies, yoga, bake organic yummy foods :-) I may not be able to get back to my 4-5 days/week hot yoga routine pre baby...but I'll start off with 2/days a week first! Thank you! Part Time Nomad.

  2. Thank you Mummumbaby! (That's a cute name) Yeah, full time working moms have it really tough. I've been there and I still shudder at the thought of it. Between working, chores and the constant guilt of not spending enough time with your little one, life can get chaotic. But you know what? The laundry and the dish washing can wait. Your emotional and physical well being is much more important. But I'm glad to hear that you can finally take the first step to get back into exercising. I know it's not the best idea but maybe you can put on an educational DVD for the toddler while you do yoga for 40-50 minutes. Or have a playdate with a buddy for an hour or two so you can catch a break. While the kids play, adults can have some time to talk about adult stuff. Just an hour can do wonders to boost your energy and mood. You son will grow up and become more and more independent. You will have more and more time for yourself when he gets older. Just hang in there for now and don't give up just yet. Let me know how it works out for you.

    1. Thank you! PTNomad :-)

      Almost forgot to say: Congratulations on your dedication the past 6 months! You really do deserve a pat on the back! and a treat to the spa! hehe...
      Glad to hear you are doing well!

      Thank you again for the inspiring post! *_^