When you are trying to lose pregnancy weight, the number on the scales can be the number one focus.
So often, we think ‘If I can just get to this weight, everything will be great.’ You assume that after you lose pregnancy weight and hit that goal weight, you will be happier and life will just be better.
healthy_eatingAs with many things in life, this isn’t always the case.
First of all, the scales are not always kind to us (you can read more on why that could be here).
Often your body measurements are a better indication of how you are going than the scales are. Find out more on measuring yourself here.
This is often the case on our Facebook support group (join for free here), where mums often post before and after photos saying things like ‘I’ve lost 5kg but can’t see any difference.’
Focusing on how you feel rather than what you weigh can be an effective way of reducing the power that the scales have over you.
Perhaps your goal was to get back to pre-pregnancy weight but, try as you might, you just can’t seem to get there. This doesn’t mean you should label yourself as a failure and live a life focused squarely on that (possibly unattainable) number on the scale.
Or perhaps you do reach your goal weight, and then the reality is that in fact it doesn’t feel like you thought it would. You may have hit the magic number but then realise that actually your body doesn’t look like you had hoped that it would. Or you may find that reaching your goal weight doesn’t stop you from feeling certain emotions besides happiness.
Some things to remember before you decide whether to reassess your goal weight:

Your body shape changes post pregnancy

Your body has made another human (perhaps more than one). Is it truly realistic that we expect our body to snap back into the same shape we were pre-kids?
For many women, pregnancy widens hips, enlarges or shrinks breasts, adds wobble to stomachs, and can even change your shoe size!
So instead of thinking ‘I must hit pre-pregnancy weight to be happy’ why not instead focus on healthy eating and toning and see where that takes you?
Join us on the 28 Day Challenge where we guide you through, step by step, on meals, snacks and exercises to help you reach your goals.

Your fitness level may have changed too (for the better or worse)

It’s not fair to expect your post baby body to run the same 10km course that you used to straight away. Nor is it likely that you will be able to get to the same amount of Pump classes or Spin classes that you used to attend when child-free.
So what used to work for you before to tone up or lose weight may not be achievable any more. Be kind to yourself and don’t set unrealistic deadlines to be able to hit your old personal best.
Try our Post Pregnancy Exercise DVD which was designed specifically with mums in mind. All of the exercises are split into 10 and 15 minute segments which you can fit in when you can.

Short term goals are more rewarding

If you wake up every morning thinking ‘I want to lose 25kg’ it can be hard to stay motivated day in day out. That’s why we recommend short term goal setting, as it gives you a more bite size goal to focus on. It could be to lose 4kg per month; or to exercise 4 times per week.
Allow yourself the pleasure of celebrating these smaller achievements, as this will help to keep you focused on the bigger picture.

Your priorities may have changed

Now that you have created these tiny humans, all of a sudden your mindset changes from what it was before you became a mum.
Now you are thinking of the future and wanting to ensure that you fit and healthy enough to run around after your kids or you may want to reduce your risk of disease. For this reason you may decide to move your goal away from the scales to a goal of, say, improving your cardio vascular fitness (especially if heart disease is in your family).

Make sure your goal is realistic

Speak to your doctor to work out what goal weight is appropriate for you, rather than just pulling a number out of the air. Also if you choose a goal weight that is well below what you were pre-baby that can put a dampener on your motivation.
Even though it’s the weight you want to be, it needs to be something realistic that you can achieve. A goal doesn’t have to be set in stone, why not set an initial goal and then re-evaluate after 3 months.

Numbers on scales don’t equate to happiness

This is a hard one to get our head around sometimes. But the truth is that even women with a so-called ‘perfect’ body have issues around negative body image, or marriage problems, or kids that don’t sleep well, or they may find it hard to make friends.
A number on the scale isn’t going to solve all of your problems, so don’t give it so much power. Focus on success as a result of healthy eating and getting fit for your family’s future and the results will often come naturally. Join thousands of other mums just like you who are trying to lose their pregnancy weight by taking part in our 28 Day Challenge. Find out more and sign up here.
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And join our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges here