Of course, now that I had given birth to my son, it was time to get back in the groove and ditch the dreaded baby weight. Since I was still breastfeeding, I knew I could not do anything drastic, like skip meals or cut out whole food groups. I decided that meal prepping and pre-portioning my meals would be the way to go. I could portion my meals and snacks to make sure that I had enough nutrition to support my milk supply, but still lose weight.
I went out and bought a whole new set of Tupperware, lots of healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, fiber cereal, protein bars, frozen fruit, yogurt, etc. I weighed and measured everything out so that I had 3 small meals and 3 snacks per day that, that amounted between 1,800 – 1,900 calories. It was a perfect no-fail plan, because of how structured it was. I would eat one of my pre-portioned meals or snacks every 2-3 hours, so that I would never be hungry and my body had a steady stream to nourishment for milk production. During this time, I worked in a very nice fast-paced office setting with co-workers who were also very much into exercise and nutrition, so following my plan during the workday was a breeze!
However, following this plan at home in the evenings and on weekends was torture! For the first six months of my son’s life, my husband stayed home with him, which I was very grateful for. That also meant that I was on baby duty as soon as I walked in the door. I was also pumping milk every 2-3 hours, so between caring for the baby and pumping, keeping track of my scheduled meals and snacks was the last thing on my mind. Plus, who wants to eat pre-portioned meals after a long day at work?
My husband is an excellent cook and had dinner ready almost every evening when I got home. One of my favorites was a whole baked chicken with mashed potatoes, yeast rolls and homemade gravy. Then, he’d usually bake an apple or cherry pie with crumb topping for dessert, which I could never resist taking a few bites of after dinner. Although I was not eating horribly during this time, I would still feel guilty for not sticking to my pre-portioned meals and snacks and “giving in” to eating real food. Sometimes I would eat a healthy snack in the car on my way home so that I “wouldn’t be hungry” at dinner and turn down my husband’s cooking. Of course that never worked. In fact, I often felt even “hungrier” for his home cooking after eating the stupid snack! I felt like I just couldn’t win.