Ah, the new year. Time for resolutions and all that. Which, for 97.52% of moms, means it’s time to lose weight.
I won’t lie: I’m on the bandwagon. Mind you, my baby only just turned a year old, and considering I didn’t even start losing pregnancy weight till my daughter turned two, I think I’m doing pretty good already. I’m only 10 pounds over what I weighed before I got pregnant the first time. But I would love to lose some those 10 pounds. Plus 20 more to get me back to my pre-second-pregnancy weight. Okay, so maybe I’m not doing that great.
And now that the holidays are over and the New Year is upon us, there’s no better time to step up, shape up, eat healthy, and melt the baby pounds away.
And I’ve got a plan. Five of them, actually. I bet you’ve never tried any of these. But one of them is bound to work. Maybe.
1. Not eating after dark. Back in November, I ran into a friend of mine at the farmer’s market. She had a baby around the same time I did — a few months after I did, actually, but who’s counting? — but she had already lost all the weight and then some. She looked stunning. After I overcame my jealousy of her perfect hourglass figure, I asked what she did to lose the pregnancy weight. And she told me she had simply stopped eating after dark. She’d done it for health reasons — something about how in hunter-gatherer societies, people wouldn’t be eating after dark, and our metabolisms aren’t adapted to digest when the sun is down, blah blah blah. I didn’t really listen to the explanation. But the premise is simple: you stop eating when the sun goes down. Eat dinner early (ish), and don’t eat again till breakfast. Easy, right?
I’ve been doing it (mostly) since November, and it’s had no effect. This could be because I’ve been balancing it out with all those Christmas cookies and peppermint mochas during the day. Now that Starbucks will soon take peppermint mochas off the menu till next year, maybe I can take a break and actually get some traction from this semi-diet.
Or not. We’ll see.
2. Joining the YMCA. Do you think I can lose weight just by joining? I’m convinced that I can. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t mean just walking around with my membership card. I fully attend to go to the Y. Often. Because they have childcare. Free childcare included in your membership. I’ll go almost every day.
I just don’t know how often I’ll actually work out. I’m not sure that’s the best use of my child-free time. Do you think sitting in the hot tub could help me lose weight? Will being more relaxed because I have a few hours to myself every day cause my metabolism to spike? What about showering by myself on a regular basis? That will at least make me more attractive, weight loss or not, right?
I’ll work out too. At some point I will feel silly admitting to the childcare workers that I’m just there to sit in the hot tub.
3. Sleeping more. Sleeping better really does help you lose weight, and I’m determined that Teddy is not going to keep me up all night every night for years like his big sister did. She didn’t sleep all night (by which I mean five hours straight) till she was 3.5. He is not allowed to do that. Sucks to be a younger sibling and all, but he doesn’t get the free pass that she had. He’s over a year old, so it’s time to cut back on night wakings. Mind you, I’m not going to do cry-it-out — there are plenty of ways to ease into better sleep without hours of crying. I’m pretty sure. More on that later. In any case, longer stretches of good sleep will happen, one way or another. It’s for everyone’s health.
4. Chasing a toddler. Don’t you hate those women who have two kids under two and their youngest is a newborn and they’re super skinny, and they say it’s because they were busy chasing the toddler so the weight just melted right off?
The weight didn’t melt off for me, probably because my older kid is big enough that she didn’t need to be chased when my younger was a newborn. (Which was intentional, by the way. I planned them that far apart for precisely that reason. Who wants to chase a toddler when they’re nine months pregnant?) But now that my baby is a toddler, maybe I can catch this weight loss magic on the second wave. My toddler is fast. I must run and stop him before he eats something out of the trash can.
Or I could just sit here on the couch and send big sister to stop him. That’s much more fun.
Yeah, maybe this technique isn’t going to work out for me.
5. Weaning. Everybody talks about how breastfeeding burns calories, but the truth is it doesn’t burn that much. Not even when you’re breastfeeding multiple kids. And prolactin, the hormone that stimulates milk production, also stimulates hunger. So for some people (read: me), breastfeeding actually causes weight gain.
Will weaning help? Probably not, since I’m not going to wean the baby — er, toddler. Of course not. He’s only one, and I’ll nurse him at least till he’s two, probably quite a bit longer than that. No, I’m talking about big sister. She’s almost five. She’s done. I’m cutting her off. That’s all.
I highly doubt this will make any difference to my weight gain. But it will still be awesome.
I don’t know if any of these methods will actually move the numbers on the scale, but I’m pretty sure they’ll make me a bit healthier. At least they’ll make me feel healthier. Which has to count for something.