Trim your post-baby belly

Fitness: CityLine host Tracy Moore on how she (finally!) lost the baby weight – and how you can, too.

Photo: Anya Chibis

I wanted to be pregnant the Heidi Klum way. All long limbs and skinny ankles with a perfect, tight basketball in the middle. Instead, I was pregnant the real-life way, with cankles and juicy thighs.

I treated pregnancy as a nice departure from my regimented on-camera diet. I lived it up with croissants and chocolate spreads. I may have had too much fun.

Gaining 50 to 60 pounds in nine months is shockingly easy. What’s insane is taking it off. Knowing that damn TV camera was lurking back at the studio, I got motivated fast.

I’d read about the mommy-and-me fitness classes in my neighbourhood, but pre-pregnancy, I was a workout fanatic and didn’t think that would cut it. Lucky for me, a mutual friend linked me up with a hard-core workout momma and, when my son was three months old, we created our own program in the park near her house.

We’d park the babies, then take turns running stairs, jumping rope, doing step jump-ups, push-ups, tricep dips and crab-walking. When one baby cried, the free mom would soothe him.

On returning to work after my six-month mat leave, I started jogging in the morning about four days a week at 6 a.m. before the baby woke up. I also re-introduced myself to a 24-hour gym, sometimes at 5 a.m. That’s when having a supportive spouse comes in handy.  Lio was always home in the mornings, allowing me to sneak out.

The first time around, I lost the baby weight slowly (it took a little over a year) and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, the weight didn’t completely come off until right before I got pregnant again. I figured a fitter starting point would help me in the long run. Or so I thought.

I ate like no one was watching for nine months. Recently, one CityLine audience member said, “My goodness, you were huge when you were pregnant!” Um, thanks.

Knowing I’d be back on-camera six weeks after Eva’s birth, I made a plan – fast. I convinced my husband a treadmill was crucial and at about three weeks postpartum, with my obstetrician’s consent, I started running 20 minutes, three or four times a week. On the other days, I did a 30-minute kettlebell DVD. The exercise, combined with a sensible diet from registered nutritionist Joey Shulman, helped me shed 30 pounds in three months. I stuck with this workout until the following spring when my scale got stuck at 150 pounds, still about five pounds away from my pre-baby weight.

My solution came in the form of a trainer named Stephanie Joanne. Stef has taken my body from good to glorious. She pushed me in ways I wouldn’t have if I’d been working out alone.

Twice a week we meet and focus on either the upper or lower body. Stef mixes it up every session, so sometimes I do circuits with high reps and lower weights, and other days I focus on a specific body part and lift heavy weights. The most important thing is she has figured out my psychology: a little obsessive, kind of competitive and very goal-oriented.
When I’m not with Stef, I’m running sprint intervals on our treadmill or taking a group exercise class.

My best advice for moms trying to get fit? Ditch the excuses and do anything active consistently. The payoff? Happiness, good health and rocking a bikini on your next family vacation!

Want easy ways to workout at home? Click here to get tips from Tracy’s trainer.