by QuickieChick Laurel House
Whether you had your baby yesterday or thirty years ago, it's time to get your body and mind back into shape! It's time to get YOU back. Heather Porter is a mother of four boys, and the author of Body Back. She also has an insane body and an enviably calm mind. I wanted to know how… SO I asked:
LAUREL: What are the 5 most important components to getting your Body Back after having a baby?
HEATHER: Try to get as much sleep as you can, your body needs to heal and rejuvenate. Grab any time you can to catch up, even if it is during the day when the baby sleeps.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep hydrated. If you are still breast feeding drink even more to compensate that extra loss of body fluid. Water flushes out toxins and your skin will benefit greatly. Try to reduce or better still cut out alcohol, sodas and caffeine, this will help get your Body Back faster. Think pure.
A healthy nutritious eating plan, not a fast diet and certainly not by starving yourself. Your body is craving healthy, nutritious foods to heal and rebalance. Wake up the metabolism by eating smaller (healthy) portions more often. Vitamins and minerals are needed!
Gentle exercise; start slowly once you have healed after the birth. Build up strength and stamina gradually. Look for opportunities in daily life to use your body; squat each time you pick something off the floor, march to the store with the stroller, climbing upstairs backwards and so on. There are many more ideas in Body Back. Find a form of exercise or sport that you can do regularly.
Exercise oxygenates the blood and is good for brain health too; the mind will regain its clarity.
Give yourself time to get your Body Back. How quickly you lose the excess weight will depend on many factors, including how fit you were before you before the baby. Consider how amazing your body has been and how your tummy stretched to make your little miracle. It is easy to feel down about your weight and shape post baby, therefore by keeping a positive frame of mind about it, you are less likely to reach for 'comfort food'.
LAUREL: Are there certain diets or fitness fads that work best for new moms?
HEATHER: Crazes come and go. One is the pre-made snacks and healthy 'bento boxes' of low calorie count. These snack ideas and separated boxes are also popular suggestions for how to pre-do kids snacks and save time for later in the week. Ideas for these are made so much easier to find, thanks to social media sites like Pinterest, where moms share their snack box ideas.
The guidelines of any nutritious weight loss plan should include dropping processed foods, eating fruit and vegetables and avoid having carbs at night.
LAUREL: Is it important for moms to stay alkaline?
HEATHER: When the body is more acidic it is open to various health issues from anemia to digestive problems. If the body does not get enough alkaline from the intake of food then it looks to its own supply, which would be our bones and teeth. Women are more prone to osteoporosis than men therefore it is vital to us that our body maintains healthy bones. Alkalizing helps prevent muscle cramps and combat fatigue. The best way to start the day is with hot water and a slice of lemon. This has an alkalizing effect and flushes out toxins. Many fruits and vegetables are alkaline forming.
LAUREL: Beyond the baby or child, how does a woman regain her sense of being a woman - focusing just on her, once she is a mom and a wife?
HEATHER: It is important to have 'you time', you provide the main energy of the family unit and if you are unwell or exhausted the whole pack of cards can fall down. If you had more time like you used to, what would you do? Go out with a girlfriend for dinner (let Daddy baby sit) and have a good laugh. If she is childfree do not fill her entire evening with your kids talk, engage your mind in something else too.
Other suggestions could include; relax in a nice bubble bath one evening with a magazine, feel the warmth on your skin. Treat yourself to a facial or a massage. Buy a nice scented candle, light it, feet up and read a chapter of a good book. There are always other things we feel we should be doing, chores are in sight, other tasks at hand. But sometimes we need to just sit and be. Recharge the batteries.
LAUREL: After having kids, how do you carve time out for your marriage and keep the spark alive?
HEATHER: This is very important; your children will grow and fly the nest. Don't be left with someone you have only been in parallel existence with for the last 20 years. You as a couple are very important. Go on date nights, get babysitters, talk about other things not just the detail of how you and the children spent their day. Of course sharing how you spent your days has value, as does his day, but bring in different topics also. What would you have chatted about when it was just the two of you? Get the babysitter to come half an hour early so you can actually get ready, change from the days clothes put some lipstick on. Leave the stress of the day behind you - which is easier to do than if you run out the moment the sitter arrives. Throw away bobbly old pajamas and buy a nightgown. Spritz some perfume over you and enjoy feeling feminine. Feel like a woman again and that will help keep your spark alive.
LAUREL: You travel a lot how do you stay fit and healthy?HEATHER: I try to swim everyday and I drink lots of water.
Stretches and lunges can always be done in a hotel room!
LAUREL: What is your go to beauty must?
HEATHER: I always clean my make up off at night and moisturize my skin. Vitamin E oil is my rescue remedy for tired or dry skin. I add a little to my moisturizer. If my skin is feeling really dry I gently massage the oil straight in. Drinking water is essential for good skin. A healthy complexion is not just about what products are used but also from within. Re-hydrate your face.
LAUREL: What is your daily diet must?
HEATHER: Green tea, I drink it through the day and it cleans my palette after savory food, therefore I don't crave anything sweet. It speeds up the metabolism and I love the taste, especially Jasmine green tea.
LAUREL: What is your daily fitness must?
HEATHER: A swim, like a frog I will try and find a pool anywhere I go.