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Cheryl Perlitz


Your question:
I just had a baby three weeks ago and I've been eating and craving a lot of foods with sugar in them. Are these cravings from my hormones going back to normal? Before I got pregnant I weighed 227 pounds, and from being pregnant now I weigh 263 pounds. I constantly go into a depression state about my weight and start to eat unhealthy and sugary foods, and I feel unmotivated to lose it because of my depression. What can I do to get over my weight depression and get motivated to lose weight?


The expert answers:
Congratulations on the addition to your family! It's always exciting to have a new little personality added to the family dynamics!

However, I can also understand how you feel. I remember going into the doctor's office for the six-week post delivery check up. The bright young lady sitting next to me in the waiting room, looked at me and said: "So, when is your baby due?"

Getting back to normal takes time. What happens to a woman's body is an amazing preparation process for giving birth and for the possibility of nursing. It takes a couple of months for the hormones to stabilize (even more if you are nursing); and "yo-yoing" hormones show themselves in many different physical/psychological ways. Your body still doesn't know which end is up quite yet.

Quite normally, it will take six months to a year for the weight to come off. After all, it took that long to put it all on. You can shorten that time if you begin a proper diet and exercise program, but don't expect miracles right away.

Here are 10 suggestions to get you started:
Don't diet. start a life style change
Change your basic mindset. Thinking about food as fuel instead of recreation puts it in its proper perspective. Eating foods that are bad for you is okay once in a while, but not often. Strict diets are an invitation for weight loss failure. What does work is changing your lifestyle to include healthy foods and an exercise program.

You are what you think
You are not your body. You are what is in your body. See yourself as thin, and you will carry yourself that way. Write positive affirmations and tape them on the mirror. Remind yourself of what you are becoming. Instead of saying, "Hey fatso, you need to diet," say "I am looking great and feeling healthy." And you will.

There is no failure
If you think that you will never be able to have a piece of chocolate cake again, you will really get discouraged. You can cheat a little after you first start dropping pounds, HOWEVER, only cheat TEMPORARILY. Don't feel bad, just accept it and move forward.

Be patient
We always want to see instant results, but weight loss doesn't work that way. Take it one step at a time and the results will come. Stick with it and you will succeed. It's slow at first.. But minutes lead to hours, hours to days, and days to months. Before you know it you will be on your way to success if you just accept life moment by moment and learn a little patience.

Nurture yourself
Pamper yourself in ways that have nothing to do with food. Take an occasional nap, get a sitter and have your hair cut, or get a facial. Sit on the couch or take a hot bath. Start a small craft project, paint or sew. Just take the time. even if you don't have it. You MUST fill your own vessel, so you can give to your baby wholeheartedly.

YUCK. the scale
I just hate that scale that talks to you and says "You have gained 2 pounds." OUCH! Don't set yourself up for failure by weighing yourself too often. Weigh yourself every three or four days. Take a quick glance at it. Rejoice OR start again.

Pass the cake
You are stuck at home taking care of the baby right now. I know the pleasure that is lurking around the corner in the kitchen waiting to be enjoyed. Normally you can stay busy and get out of the house, however, you can't do that now. Instead, PASS THE CAKE. No, I mean really, pass the cake ... at the grocery store, on the counter in the kitchen, right out of your life. If one day, you walk into your kitchen and there is a big fat chocolate cake waiting there on the counter, talk to it, curse it, tell it who's boss. Imagine how disgusting it is. Walk it right out to the garbage can. Don't buy anything that will tempt you. just don't have it around.

Eat little and often
The bowl of nuts on the counter, the celery and green beans covered with oil and vinegar, string cheese, broccoli and fat free tuna salad all make your counter look alive. Pick a few of those and eat them as much and as often as you want. Then you won't be tempted by the bad stuff.

Watch sugars and refined carbs
Sugars and carbs taste fantastic BUT they make you hungry. Learn which carbs are good for you. Make a list of low sugar, and carb foods and put it by the fridge. Eat as much of those as you want. I was amazed to find that a sandwich wrapped in lettuce leaves instead of white bread, was amazingly good. Splenda is a great tasting sugar substitute.

Take a walk in the park
Starting an exercise program does not mean that you have to train for a marathon. Just push the baby around the park at a healthy clip, or go for a swim, and you will be mentally and physically energized. Try putting exercise on your calendar and take it as seriously as you would a business meeting. Soon, exercise will become habit and you won't feel healthy unless you do it. Start slowly. Most importantly just start. PregnancyAndBaby.com

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