Weight Loss: Attachment Parenting Style

by Guest blogger on December 19, 2012

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Guest post by Kelli Roschak

Let me start by saying that I am in no way a professional exercise coach or have any kind of trained expertise in weight loss. I am just a new mom, probably like you, who needed to lose weight after giving birth to my beautiful baby girl.

I have struggled with my weight for many years. Growing up, I was very athletic. I started skiing when I was 2 years old which turned into racing that lasted up until high school. I was also involved in t-ball, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, track and cross country running. So needless to say I didn’t grow up having any kind of body or weight issues.

It wasn’t until my last year of high school that I gave it all up. I was tired and you know how teenagers are…I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. From that point on I pretty much stopped moving. Since I didn’t have a specific sport to focus on it didn’t even cross my mind to find another form of exercise. So, I started putting on the weight…20 lbs here, 5 lbs there and on and on.

Before I became pregnant I was on the BMI chart just about to cross the line from overweight to obese. Yikes right? But I didn’t really feel like that. I mean, I knew I was overweight but obese? I’d sort of tried to lose the weight over the years but never really went on any kind of serious diet. I would work out but could never stay motivated enough to get results any better than 5-10 lbs at a time and then I would put it back on and more usually.

Then I got pregnant and gained 50 lbs more. But to be honest, I wasn’t really worried about it. I had this feeling, even before I became pregnant, that once I had a baby things were going to change for me. I’m not sure why but I just had this gut feeling. Plus the last thing we women should be doing while we are building a baby is stressing out about the weight we are gaining and how we are going to lose it!

So now I’m a new mom basking in the amazement and joy of my new gift. Losing weight was nowhere near the top of my list of things to do. I just jumped into motherhood with gusto. I was in awe of this little being that solely depended on me to help her survive in this new world. I wanted to do nothing but make sure she felt safe and secure in every moment of her new life. She was only going to get the best from me as that was now my purpose in life.

I had decided from the moment I found out I was pregnant that I was going to breastfeed her. It was what my body was designed to do and finally I would get to use it for its purpose. I started wearing her close to my heart in a mai tie or ring sling. I was right there ready to respond to her when she told me she needed something. I was watching every move she made to try and catch her needs before she had to yell at me to do something. I was sleeping right by her side so she could nurse whenever she woke to hunger pangs or the need to know she wasn’t alone.

It was wonderful… really I couldn’t image doing it any other way. It wasn’t until a few months into it that I heard about Attachment Parenting and started reading up on it. Turns out, that everything I was already doing, instinctively, was right in line with the AP principles.

As I was reading and learning by doing, I found out that a lot of Attachment Parenting practices would help with my weight and overall health.

Breastfeeding

I’m sure you’ve heard that breastfeeding can help you to lose weight. It’s no joke…really! On an average you will burn 500 extra calories a day. Could be less or could be more up to even 1000 calories a day.

I’d have to say I’d rather sit in my rocking chair or lay in bed gazing into my little nurslings eyes and smelling her sweet smell than spend an hour or more running on the treadmill and/or driving myself mad on an elliptical machine…wouldn’t you? There will be no other time in your life that your body will be able to burn so many calories without you having to expend a major amount of physical effort and energy.

That being said, this is also the easiest time in your life to take advantage and do a little extra moving around to multiply that 500+ calories burned. Milk it while you can!

This doesn’t mean cut back on the calories you are consuming. Please don’t do that! You still need to make sure you are giving your body the fuel it needs to produce this amazing milk for your little one and keep you healthy and full of energy.

Bed Sharing or Co-Sleeping

Sleep is one of the most important things we need to stay healthy. It’s been shown that adequate sleep contributes to maintaining a healthy weight. Therein seems to lie the problem…being a new mom it’s impossible to get enough sleep right?

Thankfully, that wasn’t my experience. We bedshare, and I feel that we both get so much more sleep and she gets to nurse whenever she needs to. Half the time I don’t even know how many times a night she feeds because if I’m awake it’s only for a few seconds while she latches on. She almost never fully wakes.

Babywearing

Wearing your baby from the time she is born at least until her 1st birthday is the easiest, quickest and most enjoyable way to burn some extra calories. I gained 50 lbs during my pregnancy and by about 10 months I had lost 70 lbs and I attribute a large part of that to wearing my baby.

Your everyday activities can turn into a great way to burn extra calories with the extra weight of him on your front or your back while you’re doing them….the dishes, laundry and grocery shopping can all be done wearing your baby! Just taking a walk to the park using your baby carrier instead of simply pushing a stroller will turn it into an extra calorie burning session. He will also love being close to you and getting to see everything that’s going on from your same level.

If you were to start a conventional weight loss work out plan your trainer would have you start with lighter weights in strength training and slowly increase the weight over time as your body gets use to them. Well, your baby is a genius fitness trainer because she naturally will do that for you. As your body adjusts to carrying her around she grows and gains more weight to up the ante of your workouts with her.

Aww… your baby is so smart….yes the smartest baby in the world! She helped you gain all of that weight and now is going to help you lose it too.

 

Kelli Roschak was born and raised in the Mountain’s of Colorado and currently lives in the Bronx, NY. In 2011 she gave birth to her first child, a beautiful baby girl named Kayla. She is a natural parent at heart and so Attachment Parenting fell right into line with all of her motherly instincts. You can read more from Kelli on her blog www.newagehippymama.com

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