Parenting, Wellness

Losing The Baby Weight

Q: I have a three-year-old and my youngest is seven months. My pregnancy weight came right off after my first, but I just cannot seem to get these (substantial) pounds off after this second one. I’ve tried everything. Am I stuck with this?


I really do understand what you are going through. I too, have not gotten the baby weight off yet, but since my youngest is only 11 years old, it hasn’t been so long that I should start really worrying. (Cue the slow, solitary clap from the back row for my undaunted optimism.)

Your body has been through a lot. The effort of actually MAKING a person with your bare hands (uterus), be it your first or your fifth, is huge, leaving your body and mind SPENT. As your embattled self (and marriage) limped across the finish line by bringing said baby home you realized that that was not the finish line at all that you spotted. The race had just begun and what felt like mile 26 was just mile marker four pointing and laughing its ass off knowing that sleep was and remains but a distant memory and that the Dorito bag is now empty even though you just opened it. Your body has taken the wheel from your conscience mind. Buckle-up buttercup. This ride might get a little bumpy.

Your brain knows this. It’s been in survival mode, like a caveman, or graduate school. All that your ‘brain’ can handle right now is keeping your baby alive, zipping up your size 14 track suit and communicating through grunts and hand gestures. It does not have time to worry about why your Spanx keep rolling down when you exhale or how you could have eaten all of the chocolate chips meant for the “thank you” cookies to the neighbor who has mowed your lawn for those first two months. Meanwhile ‘self-esteem’ is holding prayer vigils that ‘motivation’ and ‘drive’ have not completely left the building and will report back to HQ once sleep returns. (Most likely they have fled and are traveling the world under the aliases of ‘dreams’ and ‘aspirations’.) So getting your body back, Step 1: Plan your meals. Even if that means planning to eat Pop-Tarts for breakfast.

If you breast fed, then you know that that helped a lot in revving up your metabolism, which unfortunately, also reved up your need for Ben & Jerry and their neighbor, Anything that is in the pantry. Step 2: Keep nothing in the pantry unless you detest it. Let’s face it, if we had our kids eating just quinoa and avocados, we might do less blind munching.

After the second baby, the first is often a toddler who has little plastic segregated prison-plates of Cheerios, snacky-snacks, McAnything, and pancakes. Step 3: try to watch any in-between meal munching, even if it seems small. You might not even realize you are doing it and ‘denial” is the dark side of the force and can hide the Little Debbie wrapper long before ‘willpower’ has even gotten to the party.

I am about as good at dieting as I am at taxidermy, and I really don’t believe that the concept works. But I do believe that there is something to this “eating less” theory for weight loss. So my final step is simple: Drink more liquor. Order something healthy at the restaurant with your cocktail and then have a martini for dessert. It has less sugar than the bread pudding and by the time you finish it you won’t even care where your other pair of Spanx is.

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