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Do I really have to do sit-ups??!! Entering phase two of getting my pre-baby body back

Erin Zammett Ruddy

As of last week, Nora is six months old and I have reached my pre-pregnancy weight. Yay! It was just in the nick of time. My goal was my friends’ wedding on July 10, two days before Nora’s six-month birthday. Six months may seem like a long time (I have two friends who were back to their pre-baby weight in three weeks!), but I am not in to breaking records with weight loss and I wanted to let myself relax a little before becoming slightly obsessed (which is the only way I know how to lose weight). With Alex it actually took me a whole year, so I’m pretty happy. Especially given the fact that for three of the last six months I was cooking, eating and writing about food. I am feeling so good I think I will keep going and shed a few more. Because, if I’m being completely honest, my pre-pregnancy weight ain’t exactly skinny, it’s just a number where I don’t hate myself. Anyway, I digress. Despite the fact that my weight is back to normal, my body is not...

I still have a soft belly that, if I’m not consciously thinking suck it in, Erin pooches out a little. Or a lot, depending on how much I’ve eaten. I live in fear of someone asking me when I’m due. Nick and I went out to dinner last week and while we were waiting for our table, we sat at the bar. I had a big glass of white wine. I was also wearing a dress with an empire waist, which is never a good idea when you have a non-flat stomach. I swear a table of old women were staring at me thinking, OMG, that pregnant girl is drinking wine!!! Or maybe I’m just delusional. Probably a bit of both.

To be fair, I’ve always had a belly. When I was a kid my nickname was belly-bob. I used to be really skinny all over with an ever-expanding belly. I could eat and eat and eat. I suppose it was kind of cute on a little girl. No so cute on a 32-year-old woman. Even when I was at my skinniest (first, when I was diagnosed with cancer, 2nd, on my wedding day) I never had rock-hard abs. Or even semi-hard abs. I’m going to assume that this is 50 percent genetic and 50 percent due to the fact that I loathe any type of ab routine. And, as you moms can attest, having kids has not helped my cause. But that is no excuse. At least not one that I can keep using in good faith (I still hear myself telling people, I just had a baby! But I didn’t just have a baby, she’s six months old…).

Bottom line: Now that I am feeling like I’m on a roll, I’m considering chipping away at this belly. I’m sure that it’s going to require sit-ups and exercise (I lost the baby weight without working out much at all, which leads me to believe that I could step it up a notch if I add in a little cardio). But, as I said, I hate sit-ups. I have considered having a third baby just so I don’t have to do them. And so, I am looking for alternative ways to work it off. Et Voila! I actually wrote a piece on things you can eat to combat belly fat. I worked on the story while I was pregnant (and alternating between shoveling cheetohs and bagels down my throat) and it ran in the March issue of Parenting. There is not a single sit-up suggestion in the entire article. It’s all about power foods and yummy things we can incorporate into our diet to help fight the belly bulge. Check it out! I’ve already re-read it three times since yesterday.

Also, just curious: How long did it take you to lose your baby weight? And how long till you felt you had your old body back? (If you’re looking for help, btw, Babytalk just kicked off an awesome online program to help new moms get back in shape.)

OK, I’m off to buy some green tea. And maybe I’ll try a sit-up or two.