5 steps to losing weight the AP way

Attachment parenting II

Image by bricolage.108 via Flickr

I was a size 6 before I was pregnant. I don’t know what size I was immediately after birth, I just lived in old sweats (hah!) but when Baby was about 8 months old I celebrated getting into size 8 jeans! Now, I am a size 2. That sounds tiny to me. I am one size away from the infamous size 0. How the heck did that happen?!

This is controversial I know. There are two kinds of mamas out there, I reckon, the ones who didn’t lose the baby-weight and don’t want to talk about it and the ones who did lose all the weight and dare not talk about it. Anyway, I am going to break rank and brave the topic even though I am on the skinny-cow side. I am not crazy skinny, so don’t go getting jealous or anything like that. I am actually a flabby (non-toned) size 2 – if that isn’t too much information! And I am spotty and have a big c-scar, remember, if you need it for balance.

I have not dieted (certainly not with the intention of losing weight) and I don’t do any organised exercise… at all. So how did I do it? I credit Attachment Parenting. Here’s the rundown of what worked for me.

Weight loss the AP Way:

  1. Breastfeed at will/on cue: if your kid is anything like mine it will be a big challenge to consume as many calories as they are sucking out of us each day – and I, for one, love to eat! If I eat light for even a few days (and by light I don’t mean ‘less’ I just mean better quality/more greens, soups, salads, etc.) I find I automatically lose weight, without trying. This was especially noticeable in the first few weeks as my uterus contracted back into place, magically and seemingly overnight. And now, in the long term, I can see that breastfeeding is definitely linked to my new shape.
  2. Co-sleep: … which basically means you continue to do the above – breastfeed on cue – even through the night! Ooops, I just dropped some more calories just thinking about it, I think- and certainly without trying.
  3. Baby-wear: I have been pretty much exclusively wearing/carrying my baby since she was born. She is now 18 months old and at the 90% percentile for weight. I still carry her most places – if it is too far for her to walk or just easier to carry her. That has got to help, don’t you think?
  4. Walk: not strictly an Attachment Parenting practice but it definitely falls squarely within the Natural Parenting movement, especially if it is used as a greener alternative to driving. I love walking. For the longest time there, especially when Baby was smaller and hated to be in the car seat, I would just go for long walks – sometimes one or two hours at a time – with her in my front pack. I am not super fit, but I can walk and, again, I am sure this really helped the weight drop off.
  5. Eat Healthily: I try and eat as green, alkaline and fresh as I can… I am far from perfect, but I don’t eat wheat/gluten, dairy or meat and I limit refined sugar (the almost permanent stash of chocolate doesn’t count, right?!). The couple of times I got the flu, since Anya was born, I did nothing but eat ‘green’ for two or three days: all vegetable soups (with no carbs). I recovered quickly and I lost weight. You gotta be careful with this. You don’t want to lose too much weight when you are breastfeeding as it will affect your supply (it did mine) but eating healthily is always a good thing, to my mind.
So I lost lots of weight. Still, I want to acknowledge the role of luck in all this. This month I am this size, I hope it sticks but my love of eating has got me in trouble before, let’s hope I can keep balance, stay healthy and get way, way fitter so I can keep this trimmer figure which I am so enjoying (even now I don’t have the super-boobs, anymore).
Really this post should be about being healthy, the AP way. It is not about trying to lose weight, it is about doing what feels right for your family, going with the flow and taking care of you, too. If that so happens to bring a more optimised weight for you, hooray! I know plenty of hardcore AP mamas in all sizes and shapes. They nurse and baby-wear, eat healthy and still feel weight-challenged (and/or are happy and celebrating their womanly curves) so this is not a cure-all that works easily on everybody. But it worked for me. I guess now it is about finding what will work for you, but you can’t really go wrong with walking, breastfeeding and eating a diet with lots of fresh, green veg, can you?

7 thoughts on “5 steps to losing weight the AP way

  1. It works with 2 as well ;) I DO wish that I had have had a HAB or mei tai with my first though. I GAINED weight in my son’s first year (he was a refluxer, and I grabbed anything I could that was calorie dense so I could keep going, then added in caffeine so I could stay awake for the hours through the night), and although we wore him, co-slept, I BFed (till 13 months, and I was pregnant with my little girl) and we walked a lot (him to sleep, or at least not screaming!!)… but nothing shifted the weight. I was at my all time heaviest when I fell pregnant with my little girl, a little over 2 years ago and I actually lost weight while I was pregnant with her. I ended my pregnancy a couple of lbs/kgs lighter than I started it, and it dropped off afterwards (I went dairy free for my CMPI baby, started zumba, and when I walked my then almost 2 year old to sleep, it was with an extra weight strapped to me as well as a pram!)

    I still have a few pounds to shed, just so I can be lighter than before both kids and my hubby – who I’ve been with for 5 years! I’m happily in a size 9 in US sizing though, and I can’t argue with that!

    • Wow – go you! Yeah, that is the thing, I was happy in my size 8, too. I think that helps. Get happy with your body first, then the weight tends to follow, rather than the other way round.

      I love Zumba. I used to do it but am actually too unfit now. The last couple of times I went it almost killed me and I ended up with a dehydration-induced migraine. Sucks. So I still have a way to go to perfect health!!

  2. See, I do all of those and I’m still huge :( I found it really hard to shift the weight when still nursing #1 until he got to about a year old and started feeding a lot less. It’s like my body holds onto some (a lot of) fat just in case of famine, or something. At present I am a UK size 16/18 which i think is a US 12/14.

    Having said that, I do LOVE food and I find it very hard to stick to a healthy diet. I do slip quite a lot but by rights I should still be losing at least SOME weight with the effort I’m putting in. Sigh. Ah well, it’s worth it to be able to nurse my baby. He won’t be this little for long.

    • Hey, you might be right, now that you mention it. I lost the most weight in-one-go when I got sick and ate ‘all green’ (alkaline), basically veggie soups with no carbs, for three days. That cleared it all up but also made me lose weight rather rapidly which made my supply go down :( I really do NOT recommend losing weight this quickly while breastfeeding. It also had the effect (at 10 months after the birth) of bringing on my menses. I was fine with that – it felt like a return of my womanly self – but I was saddened that my supply was down not so much because their was less demand but because I didn’t take care of myself adequately. Baby still wanted milk but suddenly I had less of it. Although it is also true that at 10 months it did coincide with a slight dip in her demand, so I guess everything worked out fine. Who knows, maybe that is why my supply went down?? I do still have more than enough milk, which is good. But it is since my cycle has come back that I lost really the rest of the weight – so you might be right that it is the shift and lifting of the hormones that makes the biggest difference.

      In any case, my kid is 18 months old, now. This was not an overnight thing, at all. It took about a year for me to go down to my pre-pregnancy size (don’t know my weight). But the point is that I didn’t have to diet or do exercise to get there, it just happened naturally by living AP :)

      Sorry, that was a bit rambly. I guess I was working it out as I went along :p

  3. I never had problems losing weight after my 3 babies, and I have been asked several times if it comes easily for me, all the while I know they are thinking “that b*tch!” I put on 44 lbs with my first and was within 5 lbs of pre-pregnancy weight when I got pregnant with #2 when he was 12 months old. Then I put on 40 lbs with #2, which I had lost by the time he was 12 months old. Then, somewhere in there, I caught a couple of NASTY stomach flus and lost about 3 lbs each time, and the weight stayed off. Now, after #3 (which was another 40 lbs gained) my weight is lower than before I ever had kids and I vary from a size 2-4, depending on the fit.
    Definitely breastfeeding and eating healthy have had a huge impact on my weight. I also am a baby-wearer and my kids and I walk to the playground regularly, so that is extra exercise. I don’t really exercise beyond that (although I would love to try Zumba!) simply because I am so exhausted by the end of the day that I just crash and knit or read. Once my baby is older and not waking up at night, I should have more drive to exercise again. Maybe…

    • Ahh, yeah, sounds just like me. I put on about 45lbs, too – crazy! Well… the big difference in our story is that you have done it THREE times. Well done you. Enjoy time with your little ones! :)

  4. Pingback: Breathless « Loving Earth Mama

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