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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Post-baby body image

I had my first bad body-image day. It was the first day since having the baby where I didn't look in the mirror and go, "Okay...I look decent for only having a baby X weeks ago." I looked in the mirror and said, "Ew...that's gross".

It was one of those days that even though I was really going nowhere...I could find NOTHING to wear. I went up to my closet multiple times throughout the day to torture myself. I tried on every freakin' pair of pre-baby jeans/shorts/capris I had.

Some of them "fit", but by fit, I mean, I had to dance around like an idiot to get them up, suck in, and then button, and pray it didn't bust. After that, I had the most disgusting case of muffin-top I've ever seen. Maternity jeans just sag and fall down around my waist, now.

I'm at a really annoying in-between phase.

Every shirt in my closet hugs the wrong area. My stomach. Ew.

My thighs were already big, yet, they feel gi-freaking-normous after 9 months of pregnancy cravings gone-wrong.

My boobs...they're umm...big. Duh. But, having big boobs, and not a small waist at this moment in time, makes me look...

...well...

Fat.

I felt really fat.

I know I need to be more forgiving of my body. I know I need to give my body more time. I know it's only been 6 weeks and that I literally just hit the "Okay you can exercise now!" mark. I know what my body did over the last 9-10 months was an absolute miracle and I have a cute-little-face to prove it.

But the truth is, I'll never, ever get my body fully back again. I didn't ever have any great body to begin with, but...compared to this? I would totally take it back in a second.

Writing this makes me vulnerable. I realize this, and I hate being vulnerable.

All in all...I guess I just have a lot of work to do.

I remember posting this belly picture when I was pregnant with Miss E....and I remember feeling insecure because I felt I was in the "awkward" phase.


...and now, I'm NOT pregnant anymore...and, well... I look worse then that.

Oh, dear--God forgive me for posting a bra-less pic for the world to see.

So---here's the part where you tell me what worked for you. Did your belly ever get back to semi-normal again? If so...when? Is there hope? No hope? Should I write my pre-baby-belly a goodbye forever letter? What do I do about all the access around my mid-section....lunges? The not-so-good at exercising me needs advice.

Help...help...

I hate "fat" days.

Hmph.

45 comments:

  1. So honestly I can't identify with the I just gave birth and I don't like xyz but I can I identify with I don't like xyz.
    I love sparkpeople.com it's a website where you keep track of your food and excercise. I don't necessarily follow the caloric guidelines as closely but that's because the excercise that I log I'm always being told I've gone significantly over my goals for the week and I need to change them. I have a crazy work schedule so excercise is sporadic from week to week. I will say that being accountable for all this is what helps me the most. If not spark people there are apps that you can download to your phone to track stuff. Oh and sparkpeople has message boards of people who are going through similar experiences.
    I hate fat days as well. I happen to think you don't look fat and actually you look great, I mean you just gave birth 6 weeks ago!

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  2. ok, so I'm a slightly new follower, so I'll start by saying your baby is adorable. :)
    My first baby is 10 months old now, and I'm 10 lbs away from my prebaby weight. I SO know where you are. I did the same thing: every week, I try on my preprego jeans, skirts, etc. Don't worry, it'll come off eventually. And don't be frustrated if it doesn't happen as fast as you'd hoped. That's what happened with me. Also, don't go crazy over it. My poor hubby has really worried about me a few times. lol.
    I got the P90x workout, and it really has done some wonders. I can fit back into a few of my pants, skirts, tops, etc. Things are looking less flabby. :)

    But seriously, you really do look so cute. Give yourself a break. Enjoy your little babydoll and just try to stay motivated. The motivation is the hard part. Good luck! :)

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  3. It took me two years to really get my pre-baby body back, but that was partly because I did wussy workouts forever. Once I found the perfect cocktail of exercise, the weight (and my belly) fell off. I did get my real, normal body back. I was wearing a size 2 when I got pregnant this time! I think a combination of weights (I'm a big fan of light weights, lots of reps) and GOOD cardio (not walking...or even power walking...I'm talking kickboxing, spinning, jogging) is the key. Lots and lots and lots of water too! Good luck!

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  4. Hi - I used to know Declan and the Balla family many years ago, so I like to check your blog and see your adorable baby! Anyway, I have a 10 month old baby girl, and there is hope! I remember the nasty muffin top stage, and it is not fun! Breastfeeding and walking helped me a lot. I also stay home, and I used to take walks all of the time when she was little. That, combined with the many calories I burned breastfeeding, and I had lost all of my baby weight, plus some, by the time she was 5 months old. I am smaller now than I have ever been! I started exercising again, but not until a few months ago, and by then I had lost of the weight. Cardio is the best way to lose the weight...you need to burn the fat on top of the ab muscles before you can see them again! Have hope because little by little it will continue to disappear! Your body will never be exactly "right" again, because those little angels do a number on us, but it is possible to resemble your old self and fit into your old clothes. And just think...every feeding is also a work out! Congratulations on the little one!

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  5. I know I'm gonna be feeling your pain in a few months. I made the "mistake" of losing a ton of weight before I got pregnant. I had a few short months of "I'm skinny!" before the belly started growing, along with everything else.

    But I know I'll get back there, somewhere, near where I was. I think the trick is to try not to get back to *exactly* what you used to look like but to get to a healthy size where you feel good, whatever size that may be.

    Good luck!

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  6. Oh, girl... Just remember that when she's a toddler she will have you running all over the place and your problems will be solved, ha!!

    In all seriousness, from what everyone tells me your body is never quite the same after having children, and so like you said, be forgiving of yourself!

    I know this is not really advice persay, but want you to stay encouraged!! And hopefully the rest of the mommies in the blog world can help you along the way!! :) Love ya!!

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  7. oh girl do i know how you feel! but trust me you look beautiful! and i can't wait to hear ur comments on how long it takes to get rid of the baby bump!! and for what it is worth I have banned myself from my closet and went out and bought tons of sundresses! that helps :D

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  8. As a girl who's having the same exact feelings for very opposite reasons (you know) first of all, give yourself a breather and remind yourself that you are even more beautiful because you gave birth to an angel-baby little girl.

    Now. Now that you know that...

    Lunges, in fact, are an excellent strengthener for the entire body. They are also great core stabilizers, which helps tighten the entire mid-section.

    Planks are also an excellent core stabilizer and should be employed post-partum. It helps suck up everything in the middle and tighten it like a girdle.

    And then, all your basic ab exercises will help on top of those two.

    Also, walking is excellent cardio exercise. Shoot for at least two 20 or 30 minute brisk walks a day. You can even lunge during it while pushing the stroller. I do this A LOT with post-partum clients. It really works!

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  9. So here I was, reading that post, with this awful picture in my head (you're a very good descriptive writer, btw) and I get down to your picture and you look GREAT! Of course, I know you don't think so, but if it helps at all, I think so!

    I'm sorry I couldn't offer any helpful tips - I do have a semi-funny (to me anyway) story! When I was 15, my sister in law had a baby, and he came to stay with my parents when he was 3 weeks old for the weekend. I was pushing his stroller into church when this elderly lady came up to me and said, "Ooooh, how old is he?" I told her and she said, "My, you got your figure back SO quickly!" I was so caught off guard that I didn't even correct her. All I could do was smile and keep walking. :-)

    I hope you have a better rest of the week!

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  10. Hi Katie,

    Just found your blog today, and read a lot of your recent posts since you had your lovely baby girl. First of all, you look absolutely GREAT for a new mom. Trust. And we all have "fat" days, this just comes with the territory of being a girl ;) You seem like you are doing so well, and you should just be extremely proud of yourself. You will get your body back, but right now you have to focus on Emeline. You'll have all the time in the world to go to a bunch of Pilates classes, soon enough :)
    I've never had a baby - but I've seen many of my friends deal with what you're dealing and going through the SAME feelings of "ohmygoshiwillneverlookthesameagainihatemybodyboooooo". It goes away, just give it time. You look gorgeous anyway.
    Cheers,
    Penelope

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  11. I've never had a baby so I don't know exactly how you're feeling but I have been displeased with my appearance before. Just hang in there and I'm sure in time you'll get your body back to where you want it to be!

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  12. Hi Katie, I'm a pretty new follower of your blog. I think y'all are just precious! Please keep in mind that it took your body 9 months to make your baby... so it takes at least that long before you start to feel like yourself again. The best diet/work out will come when your chasing your little one all over the place:) You are a beautiful woman, and your body will feel like yours again!

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  13. Oh sweetie!! I know how you feel:) I got to that point and just went out and bought clothes that made me feel good!! Three months after having Emerson I went on vacation and I lived in maxi dresses!! I got my stomach back but I have been working out hard to get it!! After I quit breastfeeding I noticed I lost a lot of the extra fat around my stomach!!

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  14. I had the same day last week =/ It sucks! I wish I had some great advice to give but I'm sitting there right with you. I don't have my 6 week appointment til next Monday, and as soon as my doctor gives me the go ahead, I'm going back to the gym!

    Before I was pregnant I ran, and that seemed to keep my weight down and kept my legs/arms/belly toned, as long as I did it every day... Hugs friend!

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  15. I have no real advice since I have never been pregnant but I think we all have our "fat days". Just dont let it get you down in the dumps too much! You JUST had a baby... give it a little bit of time and don't stress about it too much!

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  16. I was waiting for this. :)

    Having done this three times, I've had quite a bit of experience with the post baby body. With my first (I gained 55lbs), and lost it all by the time she was 4 months old. I fit back into my clothes around then. FOUR MONTHS. And I was very lucky it only took me that long.

    With my second, gained 50lbs, and kind of never lost it. But that's because I went through a lot of stuff and ate way too many Doritos. When he was about 4 it was finally mostly gone.

    Now. My third. I HAVE TWO OTHER CHILDREN. Who keep me crazy busy. Plus my four day old baby went to the ER, so yeah. Stress loss. I gained 26lbs with her and lost it all by the time she was 10 days old. But again. ER.

    But. I SO do not look the same. She's 4 months old and I'm still wearing my maternity skinny jeans, because the muffin top is rather horrific. My boobs still rest on my abdomen when I sit down, and I won't even start about what my lower belly looks like.

    As a matter of fact, I'm gonna take a pic and show you. Because you LOOK AMAZING. We have babies, our bellies get funky, and it honestly takes about a year for our abdominal muscles and skin to realize we're not pregnant anymore.

    Six weeks is a tiny blip on the radar of postpartum weight loss. It takes time. And until then? Leggins and A-line dresses. Those two things are my salvation of cuteness right now.

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  17. I can't identify with this yet- but I know I will soon. All I can say is try to remember that it took you nearly a year to put on the baby weight, so be patient with yourself as you lose it. Although I know that is easier said than done. You look fabulous though. We are always our worst critic.

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  18. I'm your newest follower. Please follow me back at www.jessielynnsmith.com
    Thanks!
    Jess

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  19. You've officially scared me into never having babies.

    My friends have done P90x and it does wonders

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  20. Days like these are normal, and I firmly believe, it took 9 months to have a baby, give yourself that to get it back..

    I had a baby almost 10 weeks ago and I still have the hanging belly but am at the pre pregnancy weight...

    No real cure, it will come. Where I live they have new mommy groups and all the new moms meet and do workouts/walks that involve baby time at the local pool.. maybe check that out..

    You are doing awesome.. :)

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  21. As you probably know, everyone told me, "Don't worry about losing weight. It'll come right off with breastfeeding."

    And that didn't happen. AT ALL. I lost about 20 pounds by the time I came home from the hospital, and hadn't been able to lose a single pound after that despite running 3-5 times per week. It was SO frustrating to hate every single thing about how I looked and to not seem to be able to make a difference.

    Within two days of going off the Mini Pill last week, I had lost 5 pounds. I guess that maybe it was a coincidence, but I'm thinking not. I'm hopeful that getting the hormonal thing under control will help with the weight thing too.

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  22. Three and a half years later.. my body STILL isn't back to normal! I'm not always happy with my body, but I also realize that Aidyn-man was so totally worth it!

    I think you look fantastic! You'll be back to normal.. or the new "normal" in no time! Just keep lovin' that baby, and it'll all come into place!

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  23. Coming out of lurking...

    You look great! I hated it when people used to tell me "it took 9 months to gain the weight, give yourself 9 months to lose it." But it's the truth.

    ...Except I now have a 1 year old and I'm just now doing something about it. I'd kill to have some of my pre-pregnancy pants fit. I'm up 2 sizes.

    Cut yourself some slack! :)

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  24. Spin class! You burn 400-900 calories an hour! It really is amazing. And you can do all kinds of diets but what it comes down to is burning more calories then you consume. It is a deficit of 3500 calories to lose 1 pound so if you decrease you calories by 500 a day, you should lose a pound a week, which is the "healthy" amount. Eat things that are good and nutrious for your body and it will repay you. Good Luck!

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  25. You look beautiful, Katie. You really do. And you already know to take it easy on yourself...it's just getting your heart to match your head. It just takes time. It took your body 9 months to grow that little sweetie, it's going to take awhile for it to go back to normal.

    Be gentle with yourself :o)

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  26. hey katie...

    i think anyone who has had a baby can relate to how you are feeling. there's no way around it...the stage after having a baby SUCKS in the body department. i remember crying A LOT over my horrific muffin top, my weight that tipped the scale only 10 lbs away from my husband's! and literally being unable to get my skinny jeans up my leg past my knee. VERY scary stuff. at least you can get yours on :)

    6 weeks?? gosh. give youself some slack. YOU LOOK GREAT!!

    for me, it was all about eating well consistantly. i tracked calories and did crunches/pushups/leg lifts everyday for about 20 min.

    now, after 2 kids, i'm smaller than i was before. i won't lie, though. nothing looks quite as good as it did before...it's all a bit squishier and dare i say saggier. but then i see 2 little boys running and playing and giving me kisses. it's is a small price to pay, right?

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  27. Hi Katie,

    Fat days happen to ALL of us...even those who didn't just have a baby.

    You are beautiful. Really, beautiful.

    My baby is 10 years old now BUT I have had two miscarriages in six months and my body was ALL OUTTA WHACK! I started running 30 minutes a day 3-4 times per week (after my hormones settled back down) and it has done wonders for me. When I first started, I couldn't run the whole time so I would walk 2 minutes and run 3 minutes. Just start where you are and work your way up.

    And remember, (assuming your hormones are level...which they should be) it all comes down to calories in vs calories out (or burned).

    Good luck and don't be so hard on yourself :-)

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  28. hi girl, first off you look VERY good for just having had a baby!!! even WITHOUT a bra!!! hehe and that is impressive...

    i can empathize with your frustrations.. fat days are the worst, and i've heard (though woudln't know from personal experience) that post pregnancy really just takes HARD work and TIME.

    my favorite exercise is crossfit and it really kicks your ass into shape. you should see if you have a crossfit gym around you and check it out (first workout is always free) i dont think you'll be sorry you did. it truly is amazing...

    ps your baby is absolutely precious. adorable.

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  29. First off: you look beautiful. And you're a great mommy, and you're doing everything right.

    Second: You'll get back to what used to be normal. I promise. I'm in better shape now than I was before I had my son (he's two) -- and you'll get there, too -- it just takes a while for bodies to readjust.

    Third: 6 weeks after I gave birth to my son, I was wearing a bikini at my mother-in-law's pool, and it felt so good after being pregnant for 9 months that I thought I looked awesome. And then my husband's aunt came over and made some comment about how much better she thinks I look when I'm heavier. And I was all... I hate you.

    All being said, don't feel bad -- you look great -- and you have a beautiful baby girl to boot! And I think other posters are right: we've all totally been there in some form or another, and we know it's hard!

    :)

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  30. You are not the only one that has had this problem, if that makes you feel any better. :) I gained 80 lbs with my first (went from 120ish to 200ish. YIKES!) So, I worked my butt off - I cut out carbs for months (I did South Beach, so I slowly brought good carbs back in) and got a personal trainer. It took about a year (I know that is so NOT what you want to hear), but it all came off eventually. Yours will too if you work hard at it! :)

    Oh, another thing I did was buy the intermediate clothes (I had to b/c I had to go back to work) and the second I got too small for something I donated it. That way, you don't have it around to put on if you gain a couple of lbs back. Good luck, you can do it!

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  31. Omigosh, you look GREAT for just having your baby six weeks ago! But, I know how those fat days go, nothing anyone says will make you feel better or fit in those pants you're dying to wear! I haven't had a baby but I have lost 20 pounds recently. The thing that really jump started it for me was cardio...I'm not much of a runner, so I just started my taking my dog for long walks. Maybe start there and then once you get into the groove and have the energy you could add weights and maybe job/run! If you want it...you'll get your pre-baby body back! :o)

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  32. Hun I know exactly how you feel. I felt like that the last two of my pregnancy. Now that I just had my third & this week I started the Insanity work out (made by the PX90 Guy) this week. I've already lost an inch on my chest, waist, hips & thighs. Everyday that I do this work out I tell myself that I want to be like I was before I had my first which was over 3 yrs ago.

    Someone once told me that it took 9 months to gain & make a baby. It'll take 9 months to get your body back. I'm not sure if thats true or not but I'm trying my best to get my body back when I got married.

    BTW You baby girl is sooooooo CUTE! :] Girl you look so much better than I do! You look AuH MAzInG for just having your first baby!!

    Take it easy and walk everyday & eventually the weight & the belly will melt off. :]

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  33. I am feeling the same way. My wardrobe right now totally sucks, since I don't want to wear my maternity things anymore and I can't fit in my pre-pregnancy stuff yet. You should be happy you can at least fit in your pre-pregnancy stuff at all, I can't even get mine past my thighs.

    I pass the 6 week mark next week and you better believe my butt will be in the gym... or at least that's what I plan on doing now we'll see if it happens. :)

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  34. I can't add anything to the "post baby" body but I definitely know how it feels to have gained weight and just feel gross.

    I work out all the time, but I eat terribly. My biggest tip? Try to eat as many veggies as possible. They fill you up, they're low in calories, and they're good for you! Want to reach for chips? Slice up a cucumber instead. You can still dip it in some low fat ranch dip or dressing, and you're eating cucumbers instead of chips!!

    Good luck, I know you can do it!

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  35. Katie, you look GREAT!!! I am at that awkward stage of pregnancy right now. :) Almost 13 weeks along! :)

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  36. Oh Katie,

    I know how you feel. My little girl is almost 4 months and I feel the same way. I hope to use some of the above suggestions too ;)

    PS - you do look good for a lady who just had a baby! Keep saying that to yourself :)

    Take Care,
    Lisa

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  37. Jillian Michael's workouts are awesome!

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  38. You must not think you look that bad if you are posting pictures of yourself. And the whole "I will never get my body back" thing is kind of a croc...if you want something bad enough you CAN do it! Don't be so hard on yourself. Your baby and your hubby love you unconditionally and that is all that matters =)

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  39. You know, I think it's perfectly okay and normal to have these days after having a baby. It took me 3-5 months before I could squeeze back into any of my pre-preggo clothes. And I never got down to my pre pregnancy weight after Kyra was born. Probably b/c I got pregnant with Kylie after 11 months. But since having Kylie, I have started to feel better about my body. It's DEFINITELY not what it was 4.5 years ago, but I'm finally at peace with it.

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  40. Please don't beat yourself up. I'm 20 months post-partum and still hate my body. It will get better and now that you're going to be home with little EmeKay you can incorporate fun things to do together to exercise and feel better about yourself

    You're a beautiful girl and are highly motivated. It will al be OK!

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  41. First off you are so beautiful and second off, you are only 6 weeks after having that beautiful baby girl. It will all be okay and you will be able to see the new you before long.
    I can't tell you about after having a baby but I know how it is when you are unhappy with yourself. We are trying to lose weight now and it is so hard. You will get there though. You are a very determined lady!

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  42. You look great - you just had a baby - you need to give yourself some credit - the body is an amazing thing - you will feel back to normal soon.

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  43. I can't offer you any help here, but I hope you find a way to make yourself feel better soon, and your muffin top days are gone! ;) I'm sure it doesn't help that it's so hot outside, so you don't WANT to cover up and feel like your clothes are clinging to you (at least I don't). I do think you need to be more forgiving, though...you did just have a baby, whether it be a day ago or weeks ago...you're a work in progress still! Try to keep your head up! :)

    Sorry I couldn't be of more encouragement. :(

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  44. Oh honey, I feel your pain. But, it IS possible to lose that weight and look/feel great! I had a baby 11 months ago, and have lost 35 pounds from the "before" baby stage. I was overweight before getting pregnant. I had no problem shedding the 37 lbs I packed on during pregnancy, but was not happy with my body BEFORE pregnancy. So, I joined Weight Watchers, and seriously, within 8 months I had lost all that. I am still going (although I need to step it up and get back with it!). It is something easy to do when you have a newborn. Also, Jillian Micheals Shred is helpful too-doesn't have to be consecutive-just as long as you are doing something. And that is easy to do with a baby when they are sleeping.

    Good Luck!

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  45. I think you look great and really have nothing to worry about. I know this is late and you posted this ages ago but I think you were just having a bad day. Being a mother of a 6 week old will do that to you :-) Keep your chin up!

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