To all you readers, I know that I thank you every week — because I seriously do appreciate all your feedback — but this week I want to thank you even more for boosting my self-esteem on a topic that was so … well let’s just say, “odd.” Of course it would be my baby afraid of a shadow right? PS – loved the video clip!
This week, I want to sound off on the concept of getting your body back after having a baby. I KNOW, I know! This is the dreaded blog. EVERY DAY we see frickin’ pictures of beautiful models and celebrities staring out at us (Yes, I mean us!) on magazine covers everywhere touting how they walked the runway three months after having a baby. (Barf.) Or “Five easy steps to rock hard abs.” (Oy!) Or “Get your summer body in just three short weeks!” And blah, blah, blah, BLAH! It’s enough to drive a girl insane.
Well I am here to tell you the REAL DEAL! The truth — nuthin’ glossed over or retouched or lied about — I promise!
How long did it take me to get my body back after baby? Well, she is 17 months old and I am STILL workin’ on it! But I got it mostly back in a year. People may say, “What?! You look fabulous!” To you all, I say, “Thank you!” But you see, I live in an alternative universe. The HD universe where nothing short of fake perfection is appreciated and you’re 15 lbs. heavier on TV! And since I have had zero plastic surgery (No lie, I am like a frickin’ dinosaur in Los Angeles — rarely seen) every day gets a little more brutal!
FYI – I am no different than the next gal. I’m no stranger to weight issues. I’ve had cellulite since I was about nine years old. I have enjoyed the uber support of Spanx many times. My cups do not runneth over — I’m a fan of what I call the “holistic boob job” — padded bras have helped me out A LOT! (I pray that no one in the biz reads this!)
So having said all that, I am going to tell you the real secrets to getting your body back!
1) When you are pregnant and everyone says, “You look great! Eat what you want” and you think, “Ah freedom! Thank God I no longer have to hold my stomach in — I am eating for two, so yes I will have fries with that!”
My word of advice is: Drop that fry sista!
The sad truth? The easiest way to get your body back after baby is to not gain too much weight during your pregnancy! Sorry to say, it’s true. I told ya I was just gonna tell it like it is! I gained 40 lbs. — in Hollywood, that’s like 70. I only wanted to gain 30, but my butt had different ideas!
While you’re pregnant, I suggest that you eat like you regularly do. Yes you can eat a little more, but eat healthier for as long as you can. ‘Cause when those cravings kick in — and they will, especially at the end — GO FOR IT! You can splurge the last few weeks — you’ll feel like a blowfish anyway and food will be your only friend! By my calculations, if you ate well for most of your pregnancy, you can’t do that much damage in the last month! That’s what I did.
2) You gotta move as much as you can! Now for me during my pregnancy, I was so so sick in the beginning — like vomiting six times a day sick (Sadly, I do not exaggerate. It was so unglamorous!) — that the only thing I could do was walk when I felt up to it. When I finally stopped barfing, I walked even more. I promised myself that I had to at least do that!
Walking keeps your metabolism up — I mean it! It REALLY does! Plus, I started to feel better as the walk went on. And when Luna Marie was outta the oven, I kept on walking — every day! I just popped her into the stroller and off I went. I know, most people will say, “Walking? That seems like nothing. Shouldn’t I go to the gym?” Well, duh! Yes you should! But I live in the real world and we cannot always get there … so WALK darn it! Every day.
3) BREASTFEED! If you can swing it, this is an amazing way to get your body back ASAP! I mean when you start, you can actually feel your uterus contracting and shrinking, and I swear your thighs do too.
This is mostly how I got my body back in the first few weeks. Luna Marie was attached to me like a little Hoover vacuum — she nursed all the time! I swear after a few weeks, my body was feelin’ pretty darn good, even though I had NO sleep. I was shocked! Breastfeeding is not only good for your baby, but has many health benefits for the momma too!
4) Wrap your waist! I thought this was BS, but I was desperate so I did it anyway. I wrapped my waist in a velcro body shaper one week after my cesarean. I used the Baboosh Tauts belly wrap and I wrapped it tight, tight, tight!
It helped to hold all those stomach muscles in and keep my organs in place after Luna Marie had pushed them all outta wack! I wore it for a little over a month — 40 days to be exact. I even slept in it! It was amazing how it sorta reminded my body how to get back to its original position. I swear by this thing and recommend it to everybody! It felt funny at first but after I got used to it — and saw that I could wrap it a little tighter almost every day — I was excited and just went for it.
5) Get thee to a gym! Whenever you can, alright?! I am committed to at least two times a week. When we get started, we wanna go crazy and often. But if you are anything like me, I can’t keep up that kind of rigorous schedule — I mean, I have a life! So I gotta come up with something reasonable — and SO SHOULD YOU! Otherwise you will burn out and get depressed and when we are depressed, what do we do? EAT!
Just set a goal that is R E A S O N A B L E! When you are at the gym — FOCUS! Set a time limit of only 45 minutes and don’t stop moving. Think ARMS, ABS and BUTT. If you hit those three, you will be all good!
6) Protect your back! Seriously this is SO important! Cause is it me or are these babies just getting heavier?! I do yoga religiously at least once a week, usually Mondays to unwind my back after a loooooong weekend of heavy baby lifting! It helps so so so much, and sets me up for the rest of the week. If you can get to a studio, GO! If not, you can check out my favorite DVD, Yogaletics, starring my man Kent Katich! It’s yoga for the real world and keeps my butt lifted and my back relaxed.
Finally, the truth? Doing all of this got me lookin’ pretty darn good but not quite back to my “TV series body”. I was still 8-10 lbs. heavier than my fighting weight. This is when I had to call in the big guns!
I heard about a food delivery service called The Fresh Diet and I thought, “Well, maybe?” I could at least try it and if it doesn’t work, I will try something else — maybe that scary Master Cleanse. Didn’t Beyoncé do that?
So online I went and signed up for just one week. I didn’t even know if I was gonna like it. But I did like the idea that I could go online and pick my own food! Remember? I am a control freak. The pictures looked good so how bad could it be, right?
I have to say, I was surprised — it was three meals a day plus two snacks. The food actually looked like food — and tasted like it too! Yummy. The best part is that every morning I would open my door and presto, there would be a little bag all prepped, just like some little diet fairy had dropped it off especially for me.
I just committed. I ate exactly what was in that bag, and only that. I thought, “I can do this for a week.” I also drank LOTS of water. The best part was that I didn’t have to think about what to make — I just opened the container and wolfed it down! I can be hard-core like that — but only for a short time.
Then after I had fed myself, I could spend my time steaming, chopping and puréeing Luna Marie’s food. I didn’t even have to think about me — I was taken care of by the diet fairy. After one week, I lost 4 lbs. I was shocked! How could that be? Well, I realized I had been feeding myself — and then eating little bits of Luna Marie’s food too!
Needless to say I was even more motivated. I signed up for two more weeks and at the end of it, I had lost 11 lbs.!
Then I went into my closet. The moment of truth had arrived — I needed to try on my pre-baby jeans.
I swear, it was if the heavens opened up, the clouds parted and I heard angels sing! THEY FIT! Not even an inhale and extra tug necessary! Momma was back to her original size!
At the end of all my work, I just needed that little extra push. I needed a lil’ help. If you do too, you can go to The Fresh Diet and type in the promo code CMARIE1 and they will give ya a discount! It can’t hurt to at least check it out right?
So there! Those are my secrets and tips. Oh! Wait, I forgot the last one.
After having a baby, there will inevitably be something on your body — a mark, a scar or some loose skin — that wasn’t there before. It can bum a girl out sometimes. When that happens, I remind myself that we are not made to be perfect. Nobody’s body is perfect! We MADE a human being for gosh sakes! Those should be badges of honor.
To expect ourselves — or anyone else — to be perfect is not fair. We ultimately have to fall in love with the imperfections. And then we can teach that to the little girls of America, so they too will know there is NO perfect body and to give themselves a break!
Take good care of yourselves ladies — ’cause if you don’t, who will?
– Constance Marie