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Confessions of a Naturally Thin Girl

I did the one thing a new mom should never do: I finally got up the courage to get on a scale. And now I'm about to admit the one thing a woman should never confess to anyone: The scale says I weigh 131 pounds. That's right, you heard me, Internet: 131 freaking pounds. To give you some context, I've weighed anywhere between 105-115 for the last 20 years -- I stand at exactly five-foot-one-and-a-half inches short, or five-foot-two on a good day. So considering my petite frame, I should weigh about 110, which is usually the norm for me. And here's the kicker: I only gained 27 pounds with my pregnancy. So needless to say, I still have quite a bit of baby weight to lose -- 20 pounds to get back to where I won't cringe at the sight of my naked self in the mirror, to be exact. Preston is five-and-a-half months old now, so what exactly is my excuse for not having lost ANY of the baby weight by now?

In a word: Karma.

Here's the embarrassing truth: I was never a worker-outer before I had Preston. What's the opposite of an athlete? I've also never been on anything resembling a diet. I did absolutely nothing to earn my size 2 frame my entire adult life; I was just fortunate to have a good metabolism coupled with a small appetite. I have always been able to eat and drink whatever I want (fries, pizza, burgers, booze, repeat), have always been able to get away with a less than rigorous physical routine that included, but was not limited to, lots of couch time and hours and hours behind a computer. If shopping was Carrie Bradshaw's cardio, hoisting cocktails at clubs till 4 a.m. was mine.

I was the girl you wanted to hate; heck, if I met my former self now, I'd hate me. But it looks like my good luck has finally run out, post-baby. So, that's where I am now. I want to make changes in my physical health -- it's not just about how I look, though that's definitely bothering me, but also about how I feel. And ever since I gave birth, I feel like a very out-of-shape, 35-year-old new mom who has trouble getting off the floor whilst holding her son.

To give you some more background, I have had a couple major injuries in the past few years that make caring for a baby a little physically challenging for me. In 2006, I had minor back surgery to fix a herniated disc, and in 2008, I had total reconstructive knee surgery to repair my torn ACL and meniscus. Both my back and my knee -- while far from perfect -- have held up pretty good so far, but as Preston is getting bigger and heavier, carrying him around is proving more and more difficult. And since I plan on having more kids, even more reason why I need to get my ass in shape, like yesterday.

But as a full-time working mom with almost no time for herself, when am I supposed to do that?

I recently convinced my husband that we needed an elliptical machine in our bedroom; it was the only chance I'd have of working out, I cried, because it's not like I have a couple of hours to piss away at the gym. (Uh, I've been on it twice in the month we've had it.)

But even more than making time to work out, I need to change my eating habits, and fast. Fries and pizza look a lot different on me now than they did before I had Preston. But the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is cook a healthy dinner; that's my time with Preston, my ONLY time with him during the week. And by the time he goes to bed at 9 p.m.(ish), I'm totally spent from a long day that started at 7 a.m. -- there's just no energy left to work out, plus that's when I usually do my freelance writing. So my only hope, as my husband keeps suggesting, is getting up an hour earlier to get on the damn elliptical machine, that I had to have, otherwise known as the elephant in the bedroom. An hour earlier? Why don't I just skip sleeping all together then.

If I could just turn back the clock, I would've become a gym rat in my twenties. I would've spent my weekends working out instead of nursing a hangover. I would've ordered salads sans dressing; burgers sans buns; side of fruit instead of fries. I also would've gone out with my husband again after our first blind date when I was 28 (we re-met four years later when we actually started dating). But then again, I really enjoyed my twenties.

But I know I can't turn back the clock, no more than I can reverse the aging process. And since my usual routine isn't helping me lose the baby weight, I'm seriously considering signing up for one of those nagging, over-commercialized diet programs like Jenny Craig, NutriSystem or Weight Watchers, to help jumpstart the process. Hey, if it worked for Valerie Bertinelli, why can't it work for me?

But before I do, I want to know what you did to lose the baby weight. How did you find the time to eat healthy AND work out with a new baby at home, especially if you're a working mom? Any diet or exercise tips you can share would be greatly appreciated. I promise to at least give them a try and report back here on how successful they were.

And if you've tried any of the above programs, which one would you recommend for a busy mom?

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