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Dear Cassey: I just had a baby and now I hate my body.
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April 14, 2021

Dear Cassey,

I’ve been working on losing weight for years and it’s just steadily rising. Last year, I had a baby and now I’m at my highest weight ever. I hate my body and I cry when I look in the mirror. I don’t recognize myself anymore. I just don’t know how to actually start losing weight.

I’m definitely motivated. I just don’t have the energy and I really struggle with the eating part. It’s like I have no self-control at all when it comes to eating. I like soda and fast food way too much. I’ll make some progress and lose a little weight and then fall back ten steps and gain it all back and then some. It’s been years like this. I don’t know how to get out of this rut and make some real change. I just want to be happy in my body again. How could I get out of this rut, get some self-control with eating and actually start losing the weight?

Sincerely, 

Ready To Break The Cycle

Hey Ready,

I just want to say that I feel you. I don’t have kids yet so I haven’t been in your exact situation, but I know what it’s like to feel stuck and resent my body, and how it feels to get stuck repeating the same unhealthy cycle. How it feels to dread looking in a mirror. How it feels to want change so badly, but your body seems to sabotage every effort you make.

The most important thing here is to work on your relationship with your body.

I know it seems a little backwards to find reasons to love your body BEFORE you can change it, but this is what finally got me out of my own rut with nutrition and fitness. I had been cycling through hating myself, working out too much, eating too little, then giving up and gaining weight back, and repeat. FOR YEARS. Until I finally prioritized my relationship with my body.

So let’s start there! You just had a new baby, which is SO EXCITING! Women don’t get enough credit for all of the things our bodies go through when we, you know… CREATE LIFE. The changes your body went through may not be easy to swallow, but it’s proof that your body is incredible. It can do hard things and it can change. But most importantly, it’s supposed to be different.

Next up, sleep and stress.

It feels kind of silly to ask how those two things are going when you have a new baby, but it brings up two points:

  • It’s harder to lose weight when you’re not sleeping enough and when you’re stressed.
  • What you’re experiencing is NORMAL.

 

Of course you’re exhausted, emotionally and physically. New moms are seriously superheroes, working around the clock while their bodies recover. But here’s the thing. Hating your body is only adding more stress, and that’s hard on your body. It wears you out, affects your mood, and makes you depend on food for comfort. So before you do a diet and exercise overhaul, how can you manage your stress? Maybe it’s gentle exercise (walking, yoga, etc.), or journaling, reading every day, talking to a friend more often, or just getting some sunshine outside! I know it’s hard to carve time out for yourself, but it’s necessary. Even just a few minutes a day! Start doing little things for yourself, and I think you’ll feel a weight lift.

And then comes food and nutrition.

I know this is the part of the answer you really want, but here’s why it comes last. Everything else, your relationship with yourself, getting enough rest, and managing stress, are all the FOUNDATION. You can’t expect your body to change if you’re not giving it what it needs. It will absolutely sabotage you and resist change. You’re feeling tired and have cravings for a reason. If the foundation isn’t solid, nothing you build will stand.

Of course how you eat and exercise will help you feel even better. So again, prioritize a little time for yourself to get some movement in. Take the time to find something you actually enjoy, because that is what will stick! If you need something planned out for you, follow along with my Monthly Workout Calendars. And for food, it’s all about setting yourself up for success. Keep healthy food within reach, ready to eat with minimal effort. If you need help, check out the 90 Day Journey Meal Plan. Even if you’re not ready to follow along 100%, it’s full of super healthy, EASY recipes that will help you get started.

And finally, set appropriate goals.

Instead of saying “I want to workout 6 days a week, stop eating out completely, and lose 30 pounds,” break it up into small, non-weight goals. Like exercising 15 minutes per day. Once you achieve that, build it up a little. Or, a goal to only eat out twice per week or even just choose a salad as your side when you do. Meal prepping one meal a week is another good one. Think small, achievable goals that don’t take a ton of energy but build into big changes. And remember, no journey is linear. Expect setbacks and prepare for how to handle them. Basically, just keep going!

You CAN and you WILL get out of this rut. Hopefully, these tips help you tackle what your body needs so you can get back to loving it!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

24 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: I just had a baby and now I hate my body.”

There are 24 comments posted by our users.

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  1. Annika says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I really like your style, ideas, videos, opinions and postings, I’m happy to have stumbled over your site. After I had my first child in 2019 I searched for a possibility to work out from home and get my post-partum-body a little bit in shape, not too much (hard to do with kids) but at least a bit. I looked up Pinterest and there was a 28-day-challange from Blogilates, I tried it out (it was really really hard) and managed only half of the workouts but I felt great with it and the results. Now after my second child in 2021 I want to get really back in shape and wanted to ask if you could do a post-partum-workout, the Beginner’s challange in the app is my actual program but I’d like some specific excersises against the split in my belly (Rektusdiastase). Thank you for your great work and motivation, it’s really helping me a lot =)

  2. Analia says:

    Hey Cassey!
    I love that I found your blog and videos a few years back. After I had my son it really helped me feel good about taking a little time out of each day to take care of me. The workouts were always a bit of a challenge but not too crazy so I was always excited to put on on my videos for the day and hear your encouraging words. Now I am pregnant with my second child and I was kind of sad not being able to follow along with the calendars anymore without a bunch of substitutes. I was wondering if you could make a pregnancy safe ab, oblique video or chart for the mamas that miss you (ME lol) those are the ones I don’t do anymore because I get bummed when I have to think of my own substitutes.

  3. Lacie says:

    Dear Cassey, I had twins 3 years ago and hated my post pregnancy body. I finally feel that I am in a place where I can start working out and trying to eat healthy again. However, I also work full time and commute to work. I tried working out when I get home but my boys, being toddlers, are into everything and make it difficult to even do a 15 minute video. I am trying to do it now after they go to bed so my question is: Is there an ideal time to work out? Thanks!

  4. I had postpartum depression really bad when I had my baby. It started about a few days after I came home with my baby. I had horrible thoughts of hurting them and would break down when my family mentioned my loss of independence. When my baby was 14 days old I made an appointment and saw a midwife, told her how I felt and what was going on and I was put on medication that was safe for me and my baby (breastfeeding at the time) and started therapy. What hurt was I told my husband and my mom and both denied what I was going through. My husband said get over it and my mom was a little support but she didn’t understand. It was later my mom sat down with me and said that she went through postpartum depression but they didn’t have the support they do now. Her friends and family came in to help her during that time. I’m thankful that I sought out help and I’m a big advocate of new moms seeking help when they notice the signs.

  5. Ava says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I bloat after consuming EVERYTHING. From drinking water on an empty stomach to a nutritious smoothie. I don’t know what I am doing wrong and I would love your advice.
    Sincerely,
    Plateaued Body

  6. Hungry Fan says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I love your workouts, plans, and I have been following you for years! Now that I am in college, I was so excited to finally choose the meals I wanted to eat and start your meal plans… however, I live in Colorado and your meal plans had stuff that we don’t get here in the Rockies: like fruit is only seasonal, seafood is expensive, acai isn’t really a thing here, and healthy (naturally grown produce) is hard to find or expensive as well. I really want to try your meal plans, but could you please possibly simplify them? Have cheaper options for college students? And/or make them applicable to people all around the US and not just California?
    Thanks Cassey,
    Your Hungry Fan

  7. Camille says:

    Dear Cassey

    Im writing this kind of late because I love reading your blog before I go to bed. BUT I HAVE A BURNING QUESTION! I have pretty severe digestive issues (constipation) and I have done everything in my power to fix it. I exercise well, I make sure to get 8 hours of sleep at night, I don’t eat gluten or dairy, I eat very healthy, and I drink plenty of water. I’ve taken probiotics and fiber supplements and nothing seems to work. My GI doctor just has me on MiraLax but it bloats me and I don’t feel great when I take as much as I’m supposed to. Do you have any suggestions on how to help me?

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Camille! I was in a very similar situation for months and i couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me! I also tried cutting out dairy and gluten but i was still suffering. To make matters worse my doctor prescribed miralax and told me to be on my way. I felt hopeless and miserable. Then i tried removing nightshades from my diet (tomatoes, pepper, potatoes, etc) and after about two weeks i was practically symptom free. Im not sure if that will be the case for you but i thought id share in case it helps! (I can do dairy and gluten in moderation now that my gut has healed a little)

  8. Maïwenn says:

    tra) weight can prove very difficult. Our body stores fat any way it can just to ensure the baby will have enough. Breastfeeding is absolutely amazing (I mean -we create A SUPER FOOD!) but it’s definitely something that can prevent you from losing weight. Worth knowing.

    That said, whether you breastfeed or bottlefeed, losing the weight can be hard. Our lives are completely different once we have a baby (mine is currently waking up as I write!). Your body’s priority isn’t necessarily your weight, and that’s okay. Your body just did something incredible, and continues to do so. I know body image isn’t easy for women, but it’s so much worse when you become a Mamma. You do you, girl. You are beautiful no matter what. Need proof? Look at the way your baby looks at you… 🙂 Sending lots of love and strength your way, Mamma. You’ve got this. And do not hesitate to ask for help, any kind.

  9. Kirstin Erickson says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I hear everyone talking about when you should and shouldn’t eat, like not eating after 8pm, or that calories count less in the morning. I get so worried that I’m sabotaging my health by having a snack before I go to bed, or that I’m eating meals at the wrong times. Can you help?When should and shouldn’t I eat, and why?
    Sincerely,
    Trying to Do the Right Thing

  10. Krys says:

    Sooo, I had to comment here. I’m pregnant with baby 4, I know the weight struggle, and eating properly. So much energy goes into feeding the littles, and then sometimes they eat your food too (if you haven’t had kids, don’t be scared, it REALLY is worth it and guaranteed to make you so. much. tougher. than you ever thought you could be. It’s a butterfly struggle thing, the beauty comes from the fight). But you ‘allow’ yourself more cheats because ‘you deserve it’…. except you don’t really believe it and judge yourself on every bite, before or during or after.
    That body relationship built on acceptance, sleep, and low stress absolutely comes first.
    Last year when Covid hit, I was lucky enough to go live out at a family ranch-don’t think glamour here, think pioneer living with plumbing. But there was so much less housework, and I just decided to eat what I wanted because I was in the middle of nowhere and no one could judge me. And I stopped judging me. And I lost 20lbs on Cheetos and wine coolers. I realized I needed that permission to relax and get rid of the internal audience at every meal. This 4th pregnancy is the healthiest one yet according to my blood work because after that period of rest it really was easier to start from the beginning and build on small goals: meal planning before grocery shopping, having a green at every dinner, etc. So if you need a break, give yourself a break. But a real one. Buy paper plates and don’t do dishes for awhile. Go sit outside and watch your kid play in the sunshine instead of staring at a house that needs to be cleaned. Pick 3 outfits and wear and wash those for awhile-you actually do far less laundry that way. And then, when you’re ready, pick ONE manageable thing a week. Your life will be so different a year later. Don’t rush it, take your time. You’ll be a year older anyway next year, who cares if it takes you a few months or a few years to get where your going. You’ll get there.

    1. Maureen says:

      I loved reading your post. From one Mama to another, thank you! ❤️

  11. Mia says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’ve started working out to your videos a few weeks ago and I absolutely love them. You have this amazing positive energy that makes these work outs worth it and keeps me going when my arms are dead and my legs are shaking. But I’m not actually sure I’m doing them right at all, sometimes I dont really feel any burn or anything when I’m following your videos and I’m confused as to what I’m doing wrong. My question is, how can I follow your videos more accurately? Or maybe do you have online classes I can join for you to tell me that I’m doing something wrong maybe?

    It’s all a little confusing to follow sometimes and I want to get the most out of my workouts so that I’m not doing all of this for nothing you know?

    Sincerely,
    Very confused.

  12. Glo says:

    Someone once told me the sentence of a very educated and respected person that I forgot the name (…sorry !) who said “look at yourself in the mirror every day and say out loud : I love myself no matter what.” It’s hard, you may still cry by looking at you in the mirror and saying it but hearing these words out of your mouth will resonate in you in a way you can’t imagine. Once it does, you’ll not see your body as you don’t want it to be but understand why you feel this way in your body and all the things that Cassey told you to do you’ll do it naturally because you’ll put yourself first and do WHAT MATTERS FOR YOU. Don’t be scared to be a bad mum because only good mum ask themselves the question and doing what matter for you is being a good mum too : you’ll unconsciously work out to be able to play w/ your child longer, eat in a health way for your child health and eat more in family not on your own etc… Keep fighting it’s hard but life worth it !

  13. Discouraged and fatigued says:

    I kind of brike my body doing the ab portion of the 7 day challenge – my muscles are aching like crazy and I’ve got shivers/low temperature – I had to stop at day 5 and now I feel totally discouraged. How do I find a workout routine that allows me to progress and push myself without making myself ill?

  14. Riya says:

    Hey Cassey
    Could you please make a video on reduce breast workout please

  15. Cassidy Zollinger says:

    Dear Cassey,
    This is something that I’m ashamed to admit, but you’re such an empowering, positive force that I feel like you can really help guide me in the right direction. I started my fitness journey about a year ago, and for the most part I’m very proud of the progress I’ve made. I’m at a healthy weight right now, and I’ve gained a lot more endurance in my martial arts classes. However, I’ve noticed a lot of really negative thought patterns that I’ve had recently. I am proud of how much stronger that I’ve grown, but I am dissatisfied with the way my body looks. Not only that, but I’ve found that I am constantly comparing myself to other girls. This is horrible because the girls that I’m comparing my body to include my friends and even my own little sister! I need to break out of this negative cycle because 1) it’s emotionally harmful to me as it’s degrading my sense of self-worth and 2) we as females need to lift each other up instead of growing envious of each other. Do you have any advice for me?
    I love you so much!
    – Miss Trying-To-Not-Be-Jealous

    1. Sarah Hua says:

      Omg I feel the exact same way at times!! It’s so hard to feel confident when you are constantly not thinking you look good enough appearance-wise. I’m not Cassey, but I just want to tell you something I’ve always reminded myself- which is that even if you have days where you compare your looks to other people, you need to also be thankful for all the hard work you put your body through! You did mention that you’re at a healthy weight, and have gotten more stronger, and that is a milestone you should be proud of! I’m proud of you! Another thing is that we all compare ourselves to others at different points of our lives, including your friends and your sister. It’s normal for everyone! What I also noticed that is that the things you may be most insecure about often turn out to be what others love the most about you! Whoever and wherever you are, I hope these words have reached you and helped you in some way. I go through the same thing too so just know you are not alone 🙂

  16. Prisha says:

    Hi. I was just wondering what would be good workouts to lose thighs fat

  17. Vertigo Stinks says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I recently went to the hospital for dizziness and it turns out I have something called BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), which makes me really dizzy depending on the way I move. I have been following your videos for a few months and have steadily noticed improvements, but with this condition I don’t know if I’ll be able to work out for a while. I know you’re not a medical doctor, but any advice on pilates moves I can do that won’t involve too much head movement? I love exercising and want to keep at it!
    Sincerely,
    Vertigo Stinks

  18. milkymilquetoast says:

    I would also recommend this person check out @thebirdspapaya on Instagram for some positivity surrounding moms and their postpartum bodies.

  19. Unknown says:

    Dear Cassey,
    How do I deal with my family pressuring me to eat more unhealthy than healthy food. I have been working out since December and I finally feel like I’m starting to see results. I have always struggled with my weight since I was little. when I was in 3rd grade I suffered from an eating disorder ( anorexia) due to emotional stress. I would not eat sometimes for days because I would get horrible stomach pains. It got to a point where my Aunt had to take me to the Iospital because she could see I was in pain, the Doctor that came to check on me said that nothing was wrong. So I was discharged but these stomach pains would not stop. My body changed so much I lost so much weight from my body that I was able to see my ribcage and all my bones just by doing the smallest possible movement. My mom then talked to me about what was going on and i slowly started eating again. But this soon became a problem when I became very chubby. Then sixth grade came along and I was horribly bullied because of my weight I was sometimes told to ” kill myself” and “no one would love me because I was fat” and I took these words very seriously. And my mental health decreased so much that I started binge eating. Then 7th grade came along and my body was still the same so I made the choice to start sucking in my stomach and this continued until this past year I’m currently 15 so its been years, but this was the only way I felt confident in my body. But it wasn’t until this past summer that I really tried to workout and change but this motivation didn’t last long. I feel that one of the things that made me keep losing motivation was my family. They would tease me and make jokes like “oh you can’t eat this because your on a diet right.” because of phrases like these I lost my motivation and I thought it would be impossible to lose weight. This really affected my mental health because I would stand in the mirror and pick on myself telling myself that I was fat and that this was the way I was going to be forever. My struggle with my metal health got the best of me when I made the decision to not eat. This only lasted 3 days when my mom forced me to eat which I’m thankful for because I believe that I would still be starving myself. But anyways after this I fell back into the unhealthy eating habits. I was an active person because I had just joined my High School Volleyball Team I started noticing changes I was feeling good until after Volleyball had ended. I fell right back into these unhealthy eating habits and I was at my heaviest ( 155 lbs) so I decided that in December I would start to change. I started working out everyday and eating more vegetables and fruits and less refined carbs. And I didn’t see change but I still kept going but then I started seeing that my pants were fitting a little bit better and this gave me more motivation. Then I started doing your monthly calendars and that’s when the change started to take shape pants that would not go past my thighs were finally closing and i was so happy to show my mom the progress but she wasn’t as happy as I was she said that I needed to eat more and that I need to stop. But as many times as I reminded her that I do eat she just kept telling everyone that I do not eat and that I’m starving myself and this began to make my mental health go down again I started crying myself to sleep and sometimes I was very close to just throwing away all my progress but I stopped myself and reminded myself of why I began this journey and I kept going and I would continue to see major changes on my body my stomach fat was going down and I was looking so much more healthy and lean and my weight went down I am currently 122 lbs and I want to keep going but my family is always targeting me about my healthy eating and just on my body. They dont know this but my mental health is probably at its worst. But whenever I see your workout videos and hear your motivating words I feel like I can do anything so thank you. But anyways my question to you and anyone who is reading this is how do you get past all the negative words people would say to you?
    Sincerely ,
    unknown
    P.S sorry for my long comment/ question.

  20. Anon Mom says:

    My only child is a fifteen year old. I remember being pregnant with my child like it was yesterday. I hated my body during and after. I wish I could go back in time just so I could have enjoyed the experience instead of being miserable, and only focusing on the way my body looks. Ironically, because of my eating disorder (I am a binge eater), I became fatter after I had my child. That is all I can say.

  21. Destiny says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I don’t like the size of my glutes. For me, the glutes are the first place I gain weight so sometimes my butt ends up having more fat then I would like. I have no idea how to reduce butt fat since more butt exercises just make my butt grow even more. Is there anything I can do to reduce butt fat?
    Thanks,
    Wants to reduce butt fat

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