After 30 years of searching, I've finally found the secret to losing weight without trying. It's not some crazy liquid fast or some overpriced shake plan purchased from the playgroup leader in an effort to make a new mom friend. And no, it's not breastfeeding. Turns out, the secret to losing the baby weight is simply being a mom with young kids.
Prior to my c-section, I was on bed rest for almost two months before my twins were born. I knew I had an uphill battle ahead of me just to regain full use of my muscles, let alone losing the baby weight. My c-section was unplanned, and during the three hours of trying to push with no progress, I pulled my back. I was cleared by my doctor to resume an exercise routine six weeks after my kids were born, but between my back, taking care of two preemie newborns and it being the dead of winter, losing the baby weight wasn't that high on my list of priorities.
As the kids starting sleeping more and the weather turned warmer, I tried to eat better and took a lot of walks, but still, most of my day was spent on the couch holding a baby and I was starting to look and feel a bit like a sloth.
Everything changed drastically once the kids started walking and eating solid foods.
Long extinct are my days of sitting on the couch screening Gossip Girl on my Ipad while the kids roll around on the floor. Toddlers who run in opposite directions means I'm basically living out Sophie's Choice everyday and getting plenty of cardio. Add a traditional Colonial floor plan into the mix, and I am lugging two kids up and down stairs multiple times a day for naps, diaper changes and clean clothes. My legs are constantly sore and my biceps have never looked better. Have you ever tried to wrestle a kid into his pajamas against his will? I'm breaking a sweat just thinking about it.
I used to forage in the cupboard for snacks all day long out of boredom. Now I'm lucky if I can scarf down a handful of Goldfish crackers without being under siege by kids who want to share my food, even though they have the same thing in front of them. Besides the occasional stress-induced cupcake that I gobble down while hiding in the shadow of the pantry, snacks are rarely worth the effort anymore.
It's even hard to find time to eat during traditional mealtimes. While the food snatchers are secure in their high chairs, constantly getting up for more applesauce, extra napkins or to retrieve a dropped sippy cup means my plate is usually still full by the time the kids are done eating. Screaming kids who want out of their restraints so they can go play doesn't make for very pleasant ambiance music when eating a cold dinner. Rushing through a meal isn't worth the trauma to my intestines, so gone are the days where I would clean my plate and then have seconds.
By no means am I suggesting that running around after my kids is all I do to stay healthy, I still try to get to the gym when I can find the time. But it's much easier for me to resist the temptation of grabbing a mini Halloween candy when I know I won't really get to enjoy eating it.
Without really trying, I'm back down to my pre-baby weight. I'm not saying this to boast- gravity is a bitch and everything on my body is about six inches south of where I'd ideally like it to be. I know being too busy to eat isn't a weight loss plan any nutritionist would get behind. But if you're a new mom wondering how you're going to lose the weight, try not to stress over it too much. Like me, you may find that being a mom means you're on a diet without even knowing it.