RVA Parenting: Babies and weight loss, one mom's perspective - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

RVA Parenting: Babies and weight loss, one mom's perspective

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Tara Gray is a stay at home mom in Hanover county. She says she was a mom in her heart before she became one. Tara enjoys any opportunity to get outside as a family. Carytown, Colonial beach, Belle Isle or a picnic in Maymont. 

Pregnancy is an amazing, confusing takeover of the body you once knew. As each pregnancy is different so is each journey on getting what you feel is your body back. Speaking as a mom of three, having my children so spread out I have  three different perspectives after each child. My first pregnancy I gained about 35 pounds. I was in my very early twenties and age was on my side. I did not do anything as far as a diet plan and the only real exercise I did was while leisurely walking,pushing a stroller. Having a c-section, I accepted there is really no such thing as ever getting my body back. I seemingly bounced back though with very little effort.Second baby rounding my very late twenties, actually closer to thirty. I did not have a plan in place to get back down to my pre pregnancy weight. Truly, it was not a priority. I was content. My last baby I was in my middle thirties.Gaining about 35 pounds again.After having my third baby I actually had someone tell me oh, your not going to lose the baby weight. You are in your middle thirties kind of writing the whole idea off.I happily share that I did it by myself. No one told me what to eat,or how to work out.More importantly, I took ownership of it! 

Having my last child two weeks before I turned 34 was a lot different physically than the other two pregnancies. Age was not on my side. I felt it and saw it. About five months into my last pregnancy, in a fitting room having to buy a new bra. I was told that if I went up one more size I was going to be forced to special order.At barely five feet tall this will give you an idea of just how disproportionate I must have looked. I felt it too.That sent me into an emotional panic.Sparing the details,I will offer up that my husband was very quiet as I sobbed in the car ride home. I felt like I was in the middle of an alien takeover. Trying to just focus on the pregnancy I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me after my last baby was born.I knew it was going to have to be a priority this time!! Taking my time recovering. When I was ready I committed one hundred and ten percent. We bought a treadmill and going out into the freezing cold garage in February when my husband was home from work was my routine. It was so cold out there I could see my breath. I started with my winter coat on but by the end of my thirty minutes on the treadmill my coat was flung over on the floor. I was enjoying my time alone and starting to feel better and seeing results pushed me even more.I began to look forward to my nightly workout.Not really exercising much in my life, this was brand new. I have always enjoyed walking and being active but I was never one to join a gym.I did my own research as far as meals and what I could stick to. Eating mostly fruits, vegetables and proteins. I lost all the added baby weight plus more. I accomplished my goal in two months. 

I enjoyed the process though. It became a challenge to make healthy meals from an unhealthy craving. For example one day I really wanted pizza. I made mini pizzas out of an english muffin cut in half.Toasting it,a little bit of pizza sauce, a couple pepperonis cut in quarters and a sprinkle of Parmesan toasted was satisfying and under two hundred calories. I made my own vegetable stir fry. Fresh kale as chips with some seasoned salt tossing them with olive oil when I wanted a crunchy snack. They do stink up the kitchen though.. Frozen pineapple became a real treat for me.By that I mean slicing a fresh pineapple and freezing slices individually. Almost like candy. The key is do what works for you! Losing the baby weight is a great feeling. I did not want someone telling me what to eat or having to eat their meal plan with possibly foods I do not even like.I was never going to pay someone, a trainer etc.. or a gym program for me to lose weight. I got creative with foods. The foods and taste I like. It is mostly common sense.Some more examples would be, making lettuce wraps instead of using a tortilla, baking sliced zucchini in bread crumbs as fries I made several versions of a salad so I did not get bored.Buffalo chicken, etc...So many so that I joked to my husband on all my creations about opening a salad bar. I never felt deprived, because I did it my way. I was accountable to myself. No need for me to attend a weekly class or have a group weigh in. That was never my style. Again this is such a personal process. Some women enjoy the social setting of a gym or class. That is great if it fits you.Others really feel that support from others is helpful. This is not at all a do as I say story. I am not a nutritionist and I can only offer up that I was successful because I did what worked for me. I am not the type of person to need or want validation from a group. For others that is exactly what works best. The seemingly uphill battle is very possible. Stay positive, stay focused and again this is a very personal journey. I do not like the cookie cutter approach. We are all on different schedules, with different activity levels with varying taste in foods. You will feel great when you are losing your baby weight. For me it was rewarding and educational.Whatever your goal happens to be, the one thing I learned is I had to do it my way! Also do not compare to your friend or co worker. This is just as unique of an experience as your pregnancy. This takes dedication and work. No one knows you better than you so when committing to saying bye bye baby weight make sure it is a realistic exercise plan with healthy foods you enjoy.However, I did actually try some new foods I otherwise would not have to reach my goal. You can do it too!!

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