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Lose the Baby Weight Success Stories

What does it really take to lose those pregnancy pounds? Real moms fess up about how long it takes, what works and what doesn't, and their best advice to help you slim down too.
Lorri Christou Before & After Losing the Baby Weight Prioritize Yourself

Lorri C., 36
Barrington, Illinois
Before Pregnancy:
185 lbs. Gained: 60 lbs. Total Lost: 101 lbs.
Time: 3.5 years

How I did it: I lost the first 80 pounds over the first year and a half after my second child was born, strictly by changing my eating habits. I didn't follow a specific diet program, but I tried to be smart about my portions. Instead of a huge bowl of pasta, I made penne the side dish to a dinner of chicken and veggies, for example. I stopped drinking my calories -- I only drank water and milk. I also stopped eating after dinner, which prevented me from snacking out of boredom. Eventually I gained some of this weight back, and I knew I needed to start exercising as well. I started working out five days a week; after my kids (now 4 and 6 years old) go to bed, I'll walk on the treadmill at home, do a strength routine or an exercise DVD. We also walk and ride bikes as a family.

My smartest diet trick: Sitting down to eat real meals with my family. I realized I was constantly picking at my kids' leftovers, in addition to eating my own meals separately. Or I'd skip meals because I was running around and wound up overeating later.

What kept me motivated: My kids, specifically my daughter. I struggled with weight issues my whole life, and I didn't want her to grow up feeling self-conscious about it. When I was heavier, I lost my self-confidence, and threw myself into my kids' lives to avoid calling attention to me and my appearance. Now I love to go shopping, do my hair, wear nice clothes. I want my kids to be proud of me and think I'm beautiful inside and out.

My best advice: Don't be afraid to put yourself first. Because I worked full-time, I felt like I needed to be there for my children every second I was home -- I felt guilty going out for a walk for 30 minutes. Eventually, it hit me that they wouldn't love me any less and I wouldn't be any worse of a mom. If you're healthy and happy, it's better for your kids in the long run.