Junk Food Junkie: Losing Weight After Pregnancy

Losing weight after pregnancy is no piece of cake. How can working moms juggle a full schedule at home and the office, and still manage to eat right?

When I first started breastfeeding, I tried to eat really well. I knew that eating a healthy diet full of the essential vitamins and minerals would not only benefit me, but also my son. (Even though studies show that I could probably eat a diet full of junk food and my milk would be OK–me, on the other hand? Not so much.) It was more about being able to keep up–eating right makes you feel better, so I thought I might be able to tough it through those sleepless nights.

Then I realized it wasn’t always easy to eat right. I did OK while I was off of work, but when I started back , my mornings were crazy, to say the least. I didn’t always have time to eat breakfast or pack a lunch, so I caught myself eating brownies, pastries, chips, pizza, and cookies throughout the day. (I work in an ad agency–wait long enough and food is likely to emerge.)

The holidays were crazy. We have one particular co-worker who makes amazing baked goods that started showing up more and more and, in addition, clients were sending us treats left and right. (Or, they were sending other people treats left and right, and I was pilfering them.)

A few weeks ago, in addition to my New Year’s Resolution to spend more time alone, I also made the resolution that I would try to eat better. It was finally time to start losing weight after pregnancy. Now, I didn’t make the resolution to lose 20 pounds by Valentine’s Day or ban all sugar from my diet. I just want to eat less junk and more fruits and veggies. Get some colors into my diet other than chocolate brown. Seems doable, right?

The first day was a bomb. I didn’t get to eat breakfast, and that amazing baking coworker I spoke about earlier? She made me a plate of delicious Christmas goodies that was sitting on my desk when I got back. I had practically cleaned the plate by midday.

A week later, I tried again. This was a renewed effort set off by an early morning step onto a scale. I didn’t like what I saw. I banned all snacks from my daily routine.

The day went OK. Owen hadn’t slept well the night before, so I started feeling woozy around 3 or so. I didn’t know if it was from hunger or exhaustion. My body was used to snacks and caffeine, and I had gone cold turkey. I started snooping around the office for some food. I found a contraband Coke and snatched it up. I drank it practically in one gulp. I haven’t had a regular Coke in like 10 years.

The day got worse from there. I had to leave early to go pick up my son to attend a function. So, I pumped in the afternoon, then headed out around 4 to pick him up. He was ready to eat when I got there, so I fed him. Then we went to our function. He got hungry while there, so I feed him again before we left. On the way home, I decided I needed to pick up a prescription, so we headed to the grocery store.

On the way, I realized I hadn’t eaten anything since noon (save for my contraband Coke, which probably did provide enough calories and sugar as a small meal), had fed/pumped three times, and it was inching toward 6:30. My stomach was growling audibly by the time I hit the grocery aisles.

So what did I do? I started hitting up the grocery store samples–tiny bits of chocolate chip cookies, some cheddarwurst, some weird pastry things. (I had two, and they weren’t even good.) Instead of taking a whole bunch of samples at once, I kept leaving and returning to the sampling area. I didn’t want to look like a hog, of course. Then I remembered my resolution to eat better. I headed to the produce aisle to get some romaine lettuce for a killer Caesar salad Jason makes, and saw some mango samples sitting out. I popped a few pieces in my mouth. “There, I got my fruit,” I thought.

When I got home, I felt horrible. Both physically and mentally. My stomach hurt from all the crap I ate, and I wasn’t hungry for a decent dinner. I felt bad mentally because dang–couldn’t I go one day without eating junk? But then I pulled myself up by my love handles. Tomorrow is just a day away–the sun will come out, and I can start again.

Losing weight after pregnancy is no piece of cake. How can working moms juggle a full schedule at home and the office, and still manage to eat right?

7 thoughts on “Junk Food Junkie: Losing Weight After Pregnancy

  1. Your experience with trying to eat healthier is exactly why I am afraid to try. Because I just KNOW that’s going to happen, and I’ll feel guilty. I’d almost rather just say, “The hell with it, I don’t have time or energy to worry about healthy eating.” At least I know I can stick to that.

    But I really need to live healthier, both for me and my family. It takes a serious commitment that’s renewed (or abandoned) with every bite, every meal, every bit of exercise or slacking.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I completely understand how difficult it can be to eat healthy with so many other things going on. The best way to still get all the nutrients that your body needs is to take a multivitamin. Try taking a multivitamin with a whole food based formula. I recommend you check out http://dontforgettotakeyourvitamins1021.com/DELPIDIO24763. Look at the ingredients and you will see that there is nothing in it that is artificial, and they have been working for me.

  3. Man, my office is the same. Wait long enough, and something pops up. Drives me nuts. (Then again, I don’t “have” to pop the crap in my mouth.)

    I try to take baby steps in improving what I eat. Throwing more veggies on something, choosing a slightly better option, water or diet colas, no sugar in my coffee, etc. I haven’t lost much more weight, but I’ve kept off what I have.

    It’s so hard, especially with my kids going through a “PB&J or Bust!” phase.

    But I stay committed to making slow changes because i want my girls to have a healthy perspective on food. Since I really don’t. 🙂

    Love this site btw.

  4. Anonymous says:

    When I first went back to work after having my son, I stashed a box of instant oatmeal in my desk. If I didn’t have time for breakfast at home (which was more often than not), at least I had a healthy option at work. I also tried to pack my lunch the night before while I was getting bottles, etc., ready for daycare the next day. It’s amazing what a healthier lunch you pick after you’ve just eaten dinner.

  5. Your post made me smile. I got through those breastfeeding mornings with Double Stuf Oreos I kept in the freezer. Together with milk, it’s the breakfast of champions!

    As I (slowly) got my act together, though, I started keeping shredded wheat and milk at the office, and I’d eat breakfast upon arrival.

  6. Your post reminded me of a time when I was preparing a healthy snack for Jonah. I was secretly popping M&Ms in my mouth, hoping he wouldn’t see and want the candy instead. Then I thought, Hey, I’m just cheating myself here. I felt pretty pathetic. That’s always stuck in my mind. Here I am, trying to make sure my kid eats healthy foods, yet I’m carelessly eating all the junk.

    But, you can’t beat yourself up about it. Every day is a new day to try again.

  7. I hear you!

    I was feeding Parker the other day and saw black specks in her squash – they were Oreo bits from the cookies I was inhaling – classy!!

    You can’t make it through a day, I can’t make it through a jar of baby food – Stage One no less!

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