So, baby Bea is officially six weeks old, which makes me officially six weeks post partum. (See babe, I can do MATH!) And for me, the five-six week marker is usually when allll the bad feelings about my post baby body start to set in.
At this point, all the baby belly swelling is down, leaving you with the floppy leftovers. If you are breastfeeding, then your supply has evened out but, at least for me, you are left with a lovely, all-around puffiness that I suppose comes from some sort of water retention? Or maybe it’s the hormones? My face gets all soft and round with the hormonal changes that come with the early days of pregnancy and breastfeeding, but then eventually evens back out. So weird.
As an added bonus with my boys, I started losing my hair like crazy around week three which left me standing in the bathroom, holding clumps of my hair, sobbing. This time around I’m super pumped that I’ve kept all my hair (and then some), but I have experienced crazy dry skin which is super bizarre for this grease ball. Shedding hair, shedding skin. It’s all gross and relative.
These sort of things can really get a girl down and, trust me, they do. I start to hate walking by mirrors at this point which is just super because guess what covers my bathroom wall from one end to the other? Ding ding ding! You guessed it! A colossal mirror that lets you see your own reflection, even when you sit down to use the restroom.
Someone shoot me. Please.
I think a lot of things when I get to this point post baby. Things like: I need to go for a run, stat; Why does this happen, whyyyy?; and I should really eat one more burrito. IT’S FOR THE BABY.
But one thing I’ve never, ever, ever have thought, is that I need to go on a diet. Never have. Never will. Now let me tell you why.
I have pretty strong opinions about food and eating. I think things like: Chocolate and peanut butter makes me gag! High fructose corn syrup is not a real food! Brussel sprouts are delicious!
That sort of thing.
But I also find diets pretty crazy. I passionately, strongly, emphatically, whole-heartedly believe in eating all the food that is food, in moderation, and not eating the food that isn’t food. Period.
So I eat carbs and cheese and french fries and salt, lots of salt and I don’t worry too much about it. Because I also eat all the leafy greens and lentils and whole grains and omegas and fruit that I can possible get.
I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t eat meat, but I do eat fish occasionally because I like it and it makes me feel good and I know it’s good for me (that’s basically the filter I run all my food decisions through. Except doughnuts. I eat doughnuts because they are doughnuts.)
I don’t eat high fructose corn syrup. I don’t eat anything fake (non-dairy creamer is flammable, did you know that? As in, there is something in it that makes that stuff light up like gasoline. Not. Good.) I eat butter not margarine. I eat eggs not egg replacement. I eat my veggie burger on a bun. And when I bake, I use whole wheat flour and cane sugar or brown sugar (less refined). I don’t buy low-fat or fat free. Instead, I buy full fat items that are made up of the good fats.
All of these decisions are part of a well balanced diet of real food, eaten and enjoyed in moderation. Life is meant to be lived, and I’m a huge believer that if you ain’t eaten the carbs then you ain’t livin.
But that’s just me.
So no, I don’t diet. I do think carefully about what I eat. I do try to make well researched, well reasoned decisions. And then I eat the food and enjoy every second.
Here is the thing, quick fixes aren’t solutions, they are short cuts to a dead end. Our bodies do an excellent job of working properly (For the most part, there are always exceptions!) when we provide them with good fuel.
I’ve also noticed that my weight and size aren’t really affected by what I eat as much as they are affected by what I do, meaning: exercise. I 100% believe that the best way to keep your body looking and feeling healthy is by exercising. I have to exercise to stay healthy and feel good, I just have to. I wrote more about this in my post about Fibromyalgia. But exercising is also how I stay fit.
My fitness routine includes a variety because I get bored easily with my workouts. I do yoga weekly. I run when it’s warm outside because running in the cold absolutely crushes my will to live. I also weight train a few times a week.
I did all of those workouts while I was pregnant, and now that I’m officially six weeks out, I plan to hit it hard again. Because, while I might be frustrated with my post baby body now, I know it doesn’t have to be like this forever. And it won’t. I’ll continue to eat a balanced, plant based diet that happens to include fun things every now and then, and the rest I’ll leave up to my yoga mat and dumbbells. They know what to do.