Archive | July 2016

A New Way to Spark Postpartum {and All} Weight Loss

Last week I had the honor of being featured as a specialist at an event called Mother Soulstice. The event was created to provide a space for women to find power in their journey of postpartum healing and change the conversation of how we view and treat ourselves. #inspiration I was asked to share my work in postpartum fitness and nutrition as a Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and while this was written for the women who attended, I couldn’t help but share this with all my followers {and beyond}. Because this information is relative to all mamas [and all women for that matter], and I hope it can make an impact on your life as well!

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When we become a mother, there is *so much* pressure to act like we’ve got it all together, to be perfect and to get our bodies and lives “back”. But what if we changed the conversation; changed the approach? What if instead of self-loathing our way “back”, we self-loved ourselves forward? Forward into a relationship with ourselves that embraced the changes we’ve been through {physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and in every way I can think possibly of} and focused on creating joy, confidence and energy through radical self-love and acceptance? What if the key to feeling good in your own skin RIGHT NOW and postpartum weight loss was by following that exact path? Would you take it?

WHERE TO START:

CULTIVATE JOY DAILY: When we experience a lack of joy at anytime in our lives {which we’re especially prone to postpartum as we step into a new life and way of being}, we tend to seek solace in food and engage in behaviors that aren’t actually supportive to our health + well-being. We crave sweets – namely baked sweets, chocolate, ice cream, soft + filling starches, ice cream and cheese. Behind each craving is a 100% legitimate reason that essentially boils down to an internal need that we’re neglecting; and cravings are one of the body’s only ways of telling us this. We interpret these needs as food-based cravings, so indulge in them, then still wonder why we don’t actually feel better afterwards (not to mention the shame + guilt cycle we enter into). Try this instead – CREATE A FEEL GOOD LIST. Write down as many things as you can think of – big and small – that make you feel good and bring you joy (physically and emotionally). It can be as simple as drinking more water and eating more vegetables at every meal to a spa day, date night (or sex!) with your significant other, meeting up with girlfriends, moving your body, meditating, taking deep breaths or reading a book. Anything and everything that makes you feel good that you could do RIGHT NOW. Then try to do at least one thing from this list every day and be sure to add in at least one thing (just for you) that you can look forward to!

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WHEN YOUR WEIGHT IS STUCK, LOOK AT WHERE IN LIFE YOUR “STUCK”: How often do we women find ourselves “waiting on the weight” before we fully embrace life and do all the things we want to do? Or how much time do we spend imagining how awesome life would be if we were 10 pounds lighter? 40 pounds lighter? Here’s the truth – you’re never going to get “there” – and even *if* you lose the weight you’d like, it doesn’t make your life full. Just as your body grows and regenerates every day, your soul needs growth as well. So I want to ask you – are you truly *living* your life right now or are you just surviving? Believe me, I know there’s definitely an element of surviving those first few months PP, but in order to bring ourselves out of the fog, out of the overwhelm, out of the wallowing in “loss” of self or body, we must (we must!) spend time cultivating the needs of our soul (see below for some ideas on this!) in order to become “unstuck” in negative habits, thoughts patterns and beliefs that ALL stall weight loss efforts. So if you feel like you’ve tried everything and are still struggling, maybe it’s not your outer body that needs addressing. As a fitness professional and health coach, I can tell you with 100% conviction that it’s not the physical landscape (ex. food and fitness) that needs changing in order to make that stubborn weight budge; it’s an honest look at what emotional weight (which I believe we all come to bear in some capacity as a mother) that we’re holding onto; the stories we keep telling ourselves about our bodies and the attitude in which we approach our life and it’s worth. We can’t keep waiting on the weight, waiting for things to slow down or get easier, for life to happen for us – every season has its struggles, every season passes in the blink of an eye. So instead of forcing change through nutrition or exercise, what if we engaged in self-loving practices that made our life full? And by full, I mean that it’s imperative as moms to take time for our own growth and care. Will (my son) fills up my heart in ways I’d never known or experienced, but that’s not a substitute for taking time for myself to recharge all the energy I output (physically, mentally, emotionally and on a soul-level).

FILL UP ON SOUL FOOD. Our soul foods are what really feed us and drive our happiness. They “fill us up” from the inside so that we don’t seek comfort, solace and fulfillment from the “outside” (in food or superficial things). Your SOUL FOOD includes:

  • being surrounded with loving, deep relationships (with yourself and others)
  • having a fulfilling, balanced work life and career (“career” being an interchangeable word with your life’s work and purpose)
  • self-care – simply put, caring for yourself daily; doing things that make you feel good + recharge your energy, increase your vitality and create mental space
  • engaging in a spiritual practice that gives purpose and meaning to your life

So if you’re frustrated and “stuck”, I encourage you to try these methods and take a look at your soul food. It’s a new path that involves loving yourself (as you are) and filling yourself up from the inside. It’s your answer to ditching diets, extreme exercise and actually getting the results you want. For reals. Let’s take up this new way together; change the conversation of how we treat ourselves so we can bring a fuller, more joyful self to every aspect of our life. You deserve it, mama. Sending love and light. -Whitney

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Did you like this post? Please share! If you can relate to it or have a comment/question, I’d love to hear from you! {whitney @ macksmo.com}. Together mama’s, we are stronger and we deserve MO(re). #macksmomma So much love to you, all my readers!

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