Do you remember the first time you looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “I wish I could lose my belly fat?” Or, “How do I lose my baby weight?” 

Remember the first time your ‘size’ or weight was brought to the attention of others?  

Know who the person who was ‘so kind’ to bring that to everyone’s attention?

I do.

I thought it was important for me to share my story because people who meet me now, might not realize that I struggled with being over weight, feeling like I was the “thick” one in the group of my “thin” friends and that I went through may “diets” in order to try to feel good about myself and in my skin.  Then add in pregnancy and trying to lose the baby weight!

**If you’re curious, you can jump right to my fitness transformation story!

Do family genetics play a role?

I come from a very short family. Now don’t confuse short with “small.” All of my grandparents stood no taller than 5’6”.  Both of my grandmas had weight issues and genetics passed on their wonderful thick thighs. 

My dad grew up with his mother struggling with her weight all her life. She belonged to weight loss groups such as TOPS weight loss program, Weight Watchers, did fad diets, protein diets, etc and rode her exercise bike. It was literally from the 1920’s! 

Conversely, my mom’s mom hated exercise and refused to do it.

My only shining example I had was my parents.  They both took an interest in exercise.  Fortunately,  my mom always made home cooked meals and offered fruit and vegetables.  I never heard her talk negatively about her body and there there never any fashion magazines in the house.  And my dad always told me how pretty I looked each morning before school.

Being Humiliated by your Weight

My weight issues started in high school.  For me, it was sophomore year in high school, in health class.  The teacher was doing body fat testing with calipers in front of the whole class.  When I walked up, one of the boys in the class coughed and said “75% fat.” I was HORRIFIED and completely embarrassed.

My struggles with weight loss, being able to lose stomach fat and how I perceived myself didn’t stop in high school.

Have you heard of the college FRESHMEN 15?  Where you gain 15lbs during your freshmen year of college.  This is something I swore would never happen to me.    

Even though I would exercise, those late night ice cream treats really did me in.  How did I not realize where my belly fat issues where coming from?!

Now some of you may think 15lbs is nothing. Remember, however, I stand at a very tall 5’ 1’’. That 15lbs on me looks much heavier than on someone taller.  

How do I lose belly fat fast?

After the trial of many fad diets (south beach, adkins, etc) and no success, I wanted something realistic to lose weight and lose stomach fat.  Not a diet, a LIFESTYLE.  With my parents financial support, that summer I started Weight Watchers AND KEPT IT A SECRET FROM MY FRIENDS.  I was totally embarrassed that the only people who knew where my parents.  

 

What I FINALLY learned is that no matter how much I exercised, what I put in my mouth played a BIGGER role in losing my belly fat and eventually in losing my baby weight.

 

I did great with Weight Watchers, I took the weight off and was happy for the most part. Then I went back to college. This year was better than my first year but I stopped following the system and definitely wasn’t in the best shape.

 

The following year I did a study abroad program in England. BEST experience of my life!  Even though I did exercise while I was overseas, the foods are very different, we spent 1 whole month traveling around Europe and I ate more foods to “experience the culture.” 

Moment of Realization

Honestly, looking back, I’m surprised my parents mouths didn’t drop open at the shock of what I looked like when I got back.  I was the heaviest I’d ever been. On my small 5’ 1” frame, adding 30 lbs wasn’t good. My parents never said anything.  

Needless to say when I got back home, I REALLY needed to lose my belly fat. At this point, I was at my heaviest EVER.  I remember looking back at a picture taken the day of my “homecoming” and was mortified at how fat my face was! After I saw those pictures of me I KNEW something had to change. 

That following fall I became a fitness instructor. This was more to appease the former cheerleader in me and keep me accountable to get to the gym. To get back on track with my food, I started following Weight Watchers and began regular exercise. Thankfully, I was able to get rid of about 15 lbs at this point and I was content in how I looked. I was no supermodel, but felt like “this is as good as it’s going to get so learn to be happy.”

My mindset when I was in high school and college was that I wanted to lose weight, lose belly fat because I wanted to LOOK GOOD.  Never once did it cross my mind to just be healthy.  

After graduating college, I got married and then it became time for us to start a family.  Honestly, I was so scared. I wondered what it would be like to take off the weight after having a baby.  

How do I lose baby weight fast?

When I got pregnant, I heard a lot of “you’ll never get your body back after baby.”  

I’m one of those people that statements like that I take as a challenge. Don’t tell me I can’t do something, because that makes me want to go out and prove you wrong.  Plus, I saw that statement as a fact that they gave up on themselves and that wasn’t going to be my story.  

All I knew was that I HAD to get back in shape after having a baby and lose my baby weight. If other women had been able to lose their baby weight, then I knew I could too. Since I was a fitness instructor and a personal trainer, I should be able to figure it too.

After I had our first baby, I was getting back to teaching fitness classes at the local gym. Instead of coming up with my own routine, I decided to follow the exercises from a workout program.

In my humble opinion, I never thought this program would give me any better results than what I’d been doing in the gym previously. It just made my job easier. 

Some time had passed and to my surprise, a lot of the participants in my class kept telling me how much they enjoyed the workouts and that they really felt like they were getting stronger and their bodies where changing. 

How long does it take to lose weight after having a baby?

Want to lose your baby weight? It’s not always easy and it can be discouraging at times.  But I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT!!

For me, I had definitely noticed how much I enjoyed the workouts. I also felt like I was getting stronger and the workouts just made me feel good!  When I went to buy new jeans (6 months after the birth of my daughter), I was shocked they had to bring me in a smaller size jeans than what I wore BEFORE I was pregnant! Shockingly, I hadn’t worn this size since high school!!

Also, my husband says to me, “Don’t stop doing whatever you’re doing.”  

I was thrilled with the results I was getting from this program.  Plus, compliments from your spouse are the BEST and very encouraging.  

 

After following this weight lifting fitness routine, I was in the BEST shape of my life!  Flat stomach, toned arms, strong and lean legs, I felt strong, less body fat than before I was pregnant.  I couldn’t believe it, I finally learned how to lose my belly fat AND lose my baby weight! 

 

I’ve had two more girls since then and I did the same program after each pregnancy and continued to learn more about nutrition and what my body really needs to be fueled properly.  Following each pregnancy I got in even better shape! It took me about 10 months to get back into (better) shape after each pregnancy. REALIZE THIS DOES TAKE TIME! Consistent effort will get you there!  

How long does it take for your postpartum belly to go away?

All those people who said you can’t get your body back and lose baby weight after having a baby were WRONG!  More than that, I realized I didn’t know all I should or needed to know to actually get results and this encouraged my journey to keep learning about fitness and nutrition.   

However there are some things you should consider first.

Make sure you check to see if you have Recti Diastasis.  

This is a gap in your rectus abdominis muscles.  Sometimes this happens to women after they have been pregnant.  If you have this, you MUST get this healed BEFORE you start exercising because some workouts can actually make this worse!  

I personally did not have this.  However, I have worked with other moms who have.  Here are some resources they recommend. Please check out these websites:

Core Exercise Solutions

Dr. John Rusin

Beyond Fit Mom 

 

Are you nursing?

I have many moms tell me they do not want to follow an eating plan because they are nursing.  However, a healthy eating plan does not mean you are cutting calories. Since you are nursing, you think you’d want to eat healthier for your baby.  You just need to learn what kinds of foods you should be eating and increase your calorie intake with healthy foods.  

 

Be REALISTIC!

Pregnancy weight takes 9 months to put on, so realistically, it will probably take a good 9-10 months to take it off.  Remember, losing 1-2lbs/week is ideal because your body can handle that change which means you are more likely to keep it off long term!

It took me 10 months after each baby to get back to where I wanted to be with my weight and feel comfortable in my clothes.  

HEALTHY > Weight loss

Maybe you’re at a point where you just want to “be thin” and you don’t really care how you get there, you just want to lose weight.  I get it, I was there before. You might have a temptation to go with a quick fix, fast gimmick, or anything that promises easy results without really having to change your lifestyle.   

But PLEASE I beg of you, focus on being HEALTHY!  And guess what? If you do that, the weight (actually the fat) will come off!!  If you focus on your health and eat foods that are good for your body, that nourish your body, that are natural, AND you exercise, you will NOT ONLY lose the weight (fat) you’ve been after, but your INSIDES will be healthy too!!!  

Even more than that….. IT WILL LAST!!!  This is something that you’ll be able to maintain and there won’t be any more ups and downs with your weight!  

Take it from someone who’s been through it and FINALLY ‘got it’!  Once I focused on health, there was no more up and down 10-20lbs with my weight.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Self image is a tough thing!  I’ve learned how to be healthy, take care of my body, I was introduced to personal development that helps train my brain to think positively, tune out the negativity of others, focus on self improvement daily vs comparing with others, and I’m super blessed with a husband who tells me daily I’m beautiful! 

I compiled some free resources into a 5 part email series that helped me along my journey if you’d like that!

Or if you want more accountability, work with me, learn and use exactly what I did to lose my belly fat, baby weight and make it a LIFESTYLE change and focus on health, then look at more info HERE.  

 

If this inspired you or helped you, I’d love to hear from you below in the comments!

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