Q. My baby is now a year old, and I'm determined to lose my baby weight. In theory, my family agrees that this is a good thing, but they're hardly supporting me. My mother brings homemade cookies every visit, and my husband grumbles when I want to go to the gym. I need help to make this happen, and no one is stepping up to the plate.
A. Nothing but your determination and hard work will take off those stubborn post-pregnancy pounds. Sure, it would help if family members didn't put up roadblocks, but ultimately you need to succeed on your own. (Consider overcoming these obstacles as excellent training: As baby grows, there'll be even more treats around and even less time for yourself!) Which isn't to say that you can't turn your family around; you may just need to be more forceful.
Your mom: She's probably doing what she's always done -- nurturing you. So suggest some low-cal alternatives for her to make that will fulfill her need to mother you without sabotaging your weight-loss goals.
Your husband: You may never hear him utter, "Oh, honey, please take some time for yourself and go to the gym," so don't sit around waiting for his permission. Tell him at the beginning of the day (or the night before if he's the type who needs lots of advance notice) what your plans are, then go. Incidentally, he may not be grumbling out of selfishness but out of fear of the extra responsibility involved in caring for your child while you're slimming down. Help him help you by mapping out some activities to occupy father and baby while you're away. And check out mommy-and-me exercise classes -- Strollercize and all its variants can be seriously fitness-oriented without requiring you to get childcare.
Kathy Bishop and Julia Whitehead are the authors of The City Parent Handbook: The Complete Guide to the Ups and Downs and Ins and Outs of Raising Young Kids in the City (Rodale, 2004).
Originally published in American Baby magazine, March 2006.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.