Well we certainly can’t accuse anyone of saying motherhood is easy but the realization that losing the baby weight would be this hard somehow got lost along the way. However, what I can guarantee is that NO ONE said you might actually gain weight after the baby was born! Are you serious? Yep, you heard correct. It has become a “trend” of sorts that no mom wants to be a part of but is more common than you think…
- The first few weeks, most moms are living on adrenaline. The “euphoric stage” when you think; “I can do this. I can live on 3-5 hours of sleep through the night. No problem”. Then after a couple months you crash and you crash hard. Once reality sets in and the lack of sleep catches up with you, the fatigue sends you into a tailspin of quick, starchy carb loaded pick-me-ups that will give you the boost of energy needed, just to crash harder in the end.
- Lack of sleep. Well that’s nothing new; a mom that is sleep deprived. What a concept! However, no one tells you the direct correlation between not getting a good nights sleep and weight gain. Lack of sleep increases psychological stress that in turn can cause you to store more fat. Studies have shown that sleep can be directly related to weight gain and/or loss.
- Stress. Unless you are super human, there is no mom who doesn’t have some degree of stress in her life. Going from having just yourself to feed to taking care, feeding and raising another human being is probably the most stressful experience a person can go through. And to keep your stress company, comes cortisol, the “stress hormone”. Released by the adrenal glands, cortisol does a lovely job of increasing blood sugar levels, suppressing the immune system and best of all, storing fat. And because we don’t have enough after a baby, the primary storage place is right around the mid-section. Great.
Now clearly none of this is rocket science but sometimes a little in-your-face friendly reminders helps when you step on the scale and wonder… what happened? Remember, it takes nine months to put on weight, so if you are like the majority of moms out there, it is going to take about the same amount of time to come off. Put the magazines away with celebrities “success stories” and remember that there are tons of factors involved in their weight loss. Extreme, unhealthy weight loss is only going to bite you in the you-know-what once reality surfaces it’s pretty little face again. Be patient, be realistic and make smart lifestyle changes that will get it off and keep it off for good!