My people, what’s good ?!? I am so glad that we are finally meeting! I’m Chaunte. Some people know me as the American Olympic high Jumper with those crazy abs, and some know me as the lady who received an Olympic Medal 10 years after the competition (Another story for another time. Truthfully, I’m still a little bitter about it), but to be honest my favorite title is being a wife to Mario and a Mommy to Jasmine, Aurora and MJ.
People who know me intimately, know that I love to talk and share advice on how to do things that seem ridiculously hard, by breaking them down into super easy-to-do steps. I’ve learned so many tricks over the last 11 years as I’ve ‘yo-yoed’ my body in between peak performance, and overweighted duck-footed-waddles. From that time to this, I can’t tell you how many women have come up to me asking how I got my body back after having kids. I can’t say I really minded having a little junk in my trunk, but with less than a year to qualify to compete on the World’s Largest Sports Stage, I had to learn how to shed that weight and shed it quick.
I know what ya’ll are thinking, most of that weight was the baby. No, ma’am! Being an athlete I have always had to keep lean and guarded myself like a prison warden from most foods with flavor. I had a permanent restraining order against fast food, fat food, fried food, soul food, sugar, saturated fat, soda or anything else with flavor. After a lifetime of rigid diets, when my doctor told me to eat whatever my baby was craving, I took that as gospel and that religion led me right to the doorway of every fast food joint imaginable. I smelt like chocolate, sweat grease, and bled gravy. Then, these children had the nerve to be born weighing only 4 and 5 pounds. All that “baby weight”, turned out to be “Mommi Weight”. LOL!
I don’t know if I am a glutton for pain or what, but for some reason my husband and I decided that I should try out for and compete in 3 Olympic Games while nursing one-year olds or with a toddler in tow. Having to force my body back into pristine shape in an impossibly short period of time has taught me a few tricks and life hacks that made that journey a little bit easier the second and third time around. My favorite trick by far is how I used water to help lose the 55 and 75 lbs that I gained with my last two children. So, in the spirit of loving to talk, I’m going to share my five faves with you right now. Don’t get it twisted, I also had a regular exercise routine, but closing the door on pandora’s Bento Box was hard and I needed help.
I nursed each of my kids for at least a year and when I first started working out after giving birth, I immediately noticed that my milk supply began drying up. I was sweating more and found it really hard to stay hydrated. Naturally I turned to Dr. Google, who prescribed a wide array of natural remedies to increase my supply. The only one that really worked was “drankin” (and I mean chugging) that H20. Drinking 1.5 to 2 gallons per day restored my supply, allowing me to feed my kids until they were full and still having enough to pump and deep freeze. This contributed to two great benefits.
- First, frequent nursing caused my uterus to contract helping it shrink back into my lower abdomen more rapidly and helped get rid of that, “I’m still 6 months pregnant” look that many of us have right after giving birth.
- The second benefit was that producing the extra milk burned tons of calories which helped me burn fat and slim up in general all over my body.
Thinking back to when I was a child I remember when I got constipated my mom would make me drink warm water. This would soften the stool and make it slip out more easily (Sorry for the gross visual imagery, I promise I wouldn’t share if it wasn’t helpful). Anyway, I was one of the lucky women to get hemorrhoids, so going number two was difficult and painful. In desperation to not make each morning stool an “epic event”, I experimented with drinking a mug full of hot water with either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar as soon as I woke up every morning. Not only did I notice that I would have easier and more frequent morning movements, but that I was beginning to drop the extra water weight around my thighs and hips. There is a whole science behind detoxing the liver and causing the lymphatic system to drain, resulting in a slimmer figure, but honestly, I didn’t care about any of that. I was just happy that it was helping me lose weight and reclaim the definition in my legs.
Now remember, I told you I had opened Pandora’s food box. My cravings for every “bad” food was through the roof. There was not an off switch to tell me, “hey you’re training for the Olympics now, its time to eat healthy”. I was very reluctant to put myself back into my self-imposed food jail. So instead of stopping cold turkey, I made myself a compromise. I would create a plate of both healthy and comfort foods but would control my portion sizes. As I starred down at this smaller plate, I knew I would still be hungry. So, instead of eating more, I opted to drink a whole glass of water prior eating, in order to trick my stomach into thinking it was full. To my surprise it worked. I ate my meal and enjoyed a second cup of water during my meals. I still do this till this very day. It’s not my husband’s favorite thing to do, but he saw the benefits, and now does to too.
Tip Number 4: Sweet Substitution
I’ve heard that losing one vice creates another. For me that came in the form of an addition to surgery Juices. I had completely given up soda, due to the high fructose content and replaced that carving with excessive amounts of fruit juice. Well, when you begin to nit pick about your weight, scrutinizing what goes into your body begins to become a regular part of your routine. I couldn’t lose the last 15 lbs and needed an extra boost. Desperate to lose the weight I began substituting half of my daily juice content with water. Within a couple of weeks, I dropped 7lbs just like that. So, I decided that I would allow myself one cup of juice daily and other than that I would only drink water. Just like that, the other 8lbs was gone.
As an athlete you become very in-tuned with your body. If you have a whole pizza the night before, you will feel it in your workout the next day. The negative impact that certain indulgences have on your body sort of becomes a guide, teaching you what to stay away from. Well, water had this exact opposite effect on me. Seeing that I was more hydrated than I had ever been in my life, I started to notice that harder workouts took less effort and that I was able to get further into a workout without extreme fatigue. Going into each workout hydrated allowed me to push more and burn more calories in each session. I would recover from workouts more quickly and sometimes could even pick up a second workout in the evening. This helped me lose the last 10 lbs and keep it off.
I hope that you find what I’ve shared helpful. If so, pay is forward and share this with a friend in need. If you’d like more, you can find me on instagram. As for blogging, this is the only place I will blog for now. Can’t wait to read your comments and connect with you. #Mommination is the best resource created for moms by moms!