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15 Surprising Ways to Lose the Baby Weight

Photograph by Twenty20

For some of us, losing those post-pregnancy pounds are much harder than we anticipated, especially the second time around. In fact we somehow manage to pack on the pounds (both physically and metaphorically) postpartum.

But what if I told you that there are some really easy ways to make your spirit lighter and to shed some weight post-pregnancy (or once your little one is too big for you to use as the excuse for the extra pounds you may be packing) and beyond? And perhaps the best part is you don't have to give up any of your favorite foods.

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1. Stop hanging out with "negative Nancy"

Stop spending your time with people who are quick to spew negativity your way. Let it go; and by let it go, I mean them, the relationship. Have a friendship that has run its course? One that depletes you rather than fuels you? Some relationships are only meant to last for a season. Free yourself of the sense of obligation and move on.

2. Purge your closets

Rid your closets and drawers of all those outfits you've been saving just in case. I once read that if you haven't worn it in over a year then it is time to let it go. Donate your (gently used) treasures and help someone else who might otherwise go without. While you're at it, tackle other spaces in your home. I love the feeling that comes with letting go of excessive stuff.

3. Forgive

Instead of waiting for an apology, make the decision to free yourself of the anger and hurt you've been carrying with you all this time

If you've been holding a grudge now is as good of a time as any to let it go (see a pattern here?). Instead of waiting for an apology, make the decision to free yourself of the anger and hurt you've been carrying with you all this time. Sure, you won't forget, but I'm certain your heart will feel less heavy.

4. Bake

Open up the box of cake mix and bake the cupcakes. Think about how much lighter your shelves will be without the boxes sitting on them. And how much more space is in your fridge now that you've used a couple eggs.

5. Walk away

Put down that little red shopping basket and slowly walk away. You were just at Target earlier this week and you don't really need any of that stuff anyway.

6. No more hoarding

Decide today that you will not save every single thing someone gives you. At the risk of upsetting your mother-in-law or your artistic toddler who rivals Monet, declare that you cannot possibly keep all the things. Instead give thanks and save the things you love (I know, I love everything my kids make, too). Snap photos and reclaim your dresser top.

7. Don't complicate exercise

Toss the weird workout contraptions you ordered after seeing them on Instagram or during that infomercial that was on during that 2 a.m. nursing session. Rejoice in the fact that you did not succumb to buying a Shake Weight. Find a way to move that makes you feel good. Go for a walk with your littles or join a yoga class at a local studio.

8. Do a social media cleanse

If you find yourself longing for someone else's grass rather than watering your own, it's time for an internal check.

Do you ever feel worse after spending time on social media? Log off Facebook, delete your apps for at least a few days and/or unfollow people that share things that make you wonder why you're friends again. Same with Instagram. If you find yourself longing for someone else's grass rather than watering your own, it's time for an internal check. It's your account, which means you pick who you follow. The sooner you stop consuming all the negative crap people are posting all over the Internet, the sooner you will feel a weight being lifted from your shoulders (so yes, you will feel lighter).

9. Put down the toddler

I know these little ones are so cute and we insist on holding them every chance we get because, well, they won't be babies for long. But goodness, threenagers are heavy. And while your arms may be super tone from all this schlepping, consider putting them down from time to time. Holding hands with your little is also pretty special.

10. Go pantsless

Pants are so restricting anyway and super uncomfortable right? They're also absolutely unnecessary when you're in the comforts of your own home.

11. Unplug

Give those thumbs a rest from texting. Put down the phone and look around. Look at that sweet babe in front of you; have a conversation with the people seated beside you on the sofa. Remember how awesome real-life human contact can be.

12. Say no

Trying to be all things to everyone can certainly weigh on you. Learn to say no sometimes. Doing so will make room in your life (and heart) to say yes to some of the things that really matter.

13. Go natural

Here's where the whole "less is more" saying rings true.

When faced with the decision like sleep longer or wake up earlier to do your hair and makeup, always choose sleep—especially if your kids are actually asleep, too. No need to get all glamorous for the school drop off line or to run errands. You are beautiful just the way you are. Who says you need to pile on pounds of makeup (unless that's totally your thing) to look presentable? Rock your zombie morning face with pride. Here's where the whole "less is more" saying rings true.

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14. Show some affection

Kissing burns calories so find your spouse and pucker up! Remind them that you still have eyes for them, even if you're completely smitten with the tiny human you share. Keep it PG though ladies, especially if you aren't ready for some postpartum action.

15. Cancel that subscription service

Once upon a time I was a sucker for a subscription service. I wanted to try all the things. And I typically ended up with much more than we needed. While carrying all those boxes inside from the door step could be considered a mini work out in itself, I've found that all that extra money I was spending on house products and organic snacks could be allocated elsewhere. Let go of at least one and start depositing that money you've saved in a special account geared toward a family goal or use it to treat yourself from time to time.

So while losing physical pounds from your body is great (if that's your goal), in the last few years since giving birth, I've learned that emotional and mental health is so important. The better I feel on the inside the more I'm able to focus on my outside, too, through nutrition and exercise. At the same time when I'm not feeling good on the inside it manifests in different ways, like me sitting on the couch eating a couple cupcakes or being short on patience.

Sometimes when we're struggling to lose some weight gained during your last pregnancy, we could use a few wins like these to get us back on track.

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