Mariah Carey is making news over how svelte she looks in a new ad campaign for Jenny Craig which she credits for helping her lose 70 lbs in 6 months after delivering her twins Moroccan and Monroe (DemBabies) 6 months ago on April 30th. Carey says she lost 40 lbs of waterweight, which I think include the babies and placenta too immediately post birth, and credits a strenuous exercise regimen and meals by Jenny Craig for helping her shed the weight so quickly.
Of course, tongues are flapping that she (as some have said of Jennifer Hudson too) likely had a tummy tuck after the C-Section and perhaps some other procedure to minimize the amount of food she can take in or tolerate, and THEN partnered up with a weight-loss company to market and make money off of the loss. I’m not going to jump on that bandwagon and go that far, but the truth is celebrities have chefs, trainers, nannies, tons of paid help and much more time than the average new mom. That being said, new moms, moms-to-be and the public in general should be wary and cautious of announcements like Mariah’s, because while I am sure she worked her butt off to look that great and lose all that weight, the fact remains she has a lot more resources than normal people. The message is to take it all with a grain of salt. No hating here, just keeping it real.
So I’m going to take one for the team and share my own story of post-baby weight and loss regimen as an average mom who doesn’t have all those resources.
After having two children already, my natural weight fluctuated between 130 to 140lbs which is about average and maybe slightly heavy for normal woman my height 5’3″. In February 2007 though, I weighed about 125 lbs, a weight I had reached after dieting, exercising and doing a 21 day Blessed Herbs colon cleansing system that had a 7day all liquid portion tacked on the end of it. I slimmed down to attend the annual carnival celebration at Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies because I had a very skimpy costume that I was going to wear in the parade and wanted to look my best and thinnest!
By April, I got pregnant and packed on 50 lbs by December 2007. I delivered my daughter, my third and last child, in December 31, 2007 and on January 3, 2008, I weighed about 165lbs after shedding the baby, placenta and the water weight. Because I had a c-section, I was forbidden from doing rigorous exercises for 6weeks so not to rupture my incision, so I did post natal videos at home and strolled the baby through the malls for about 30 minutes, about 4 to 5 days a week. I joined a group for moms called Stroller Striders which helps new moms get back into shape after baby. The group meets in area malls, and parks and do strength training with exercise bands and uses yoga mats and do ab training with the babies nearby or in their strollers. There are several other types of companies like Stroller Striders all over the nation helping new moms shed the weight. I highly recommend joining if you can.
I also breastfed which burns about 500 calories a day.
After getting cleared by my doctors after 6 weeks, I started doing Gaiam Pilates Conditioning for Weight Loss which is a 45 minutes full pilates curriculum every day in the morning or evenings. I started increasing my cardio to jogging and walking, then jogging and finally running for about 30 to an hour about 3 to 4 times a week. To mix it up, I’d do other cardio (I recommend Zumba, spinning or swimming).
For my diet, I cut back on carbs, and ate broiled fish and veggies for dinner. I avoided using oils in foods and to add flavor, I seasoned my food with lemon pepper seasoning, cayenne pepper, and other flavor enhancers. I ate lots of salads and skipped salad dressing, opting to just add a table spoon or two of Balsamic vinegar or spritzing on a few sprays of those low calorie dressings that come in a spray bottle on my salads. I avoided sugars and sweets. I stuck to 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day, maybe more on the days I did a lot of cardio so I had energy. I chewed on cinnamon gum which is a natural appetite suppressant all day and snacked on Grapefruit which is a natural fat burner and also suppresses the appetite.
That was it. No diet pills. No tummy tuck. No trainers. No personal chefs. Just sensible eating, exercise and the weight came off steadily, about 5 lbs a month. It takes 9 months to pack it on and folks can expect it to take about 9 months to come off.
Mariah may have taken a shorter amount of time to lose her weight because she had more resources and works in a field where she has to accelerate her loss. New moms shouldn’t beat themselves up because their post-baby weight doesn’t melt off as fast as celebrities. Slow and steady wins the race, moms! Good luck!
*Disclaimer: No money, product or any thing of value was given in exchange for mentioning any of the products in this post. Just sharing my honest to goodness experience.