Five Postpartum Holiday Survival Strategies

Ho Ho Ho holiday season. It has descended upon us.

You know what’s going to be really difficult this holiday season? Being newly postpartum.

It’s not a secret pregnancy has been hard on me physically and mentally. I’m less than thrilled with my weigh gain, the amount of stretch marks I’ve developed, and my new shape that I suspect will cause some permanent post baby changes. And if Little Girl comes early there’s a good chance well be spending Thanksgiving-ish in the hospital. If she comes on time or even late I’ll be postpartum for Christmas, no matter what, thank goodness.

But no matter when she comes or how you slice it, I’m going to be going through a major body image meltdown during the most difficult time of the year and I am NOT looking forward to it. And that’s really an understatement.

That being said, it’s going to be more important then ever that I try to have a healthy holiday season this year. Otherwise I will bet you money there will be multiple breakdowns in my future. They’re going to happen no matter what, let’s be real here. But I’d like to try and lessen my inevitable meltdowns.

So I’m slowly working on a plan that should help keep me mostly on track through the holidays and attempt to put the breaks on my break downs over my new and impending body. And I’ll be jumping into Friday Five with this post with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney so I can check out more ideas on how to keep myself fit, sane, and healthy during a difficult time.

1. Eat like a normal person on any other day. I am notorious for just letting myself go hungry all day on holidays so that I can stuff all the holiday goodies into me when it’s finally food time. This is the exact opposite of what anyone should be doing. Eat a normal breakfast, eat when you’re hungry, make healthy choices, and eat a normal amount of the holiday foods at said holiday meal. It shouldn’t be any different than any other day in terms of how and when food is consumed. But for some reason it being a “special day” makes the meal special and makes you believe you need to shovel it all in. Bad- no. So this year I’m going to make a concious effort to eat normally on holidays and not go crazy over eating. Plus that means leftover and then I can enjoy all the yummies for more than just one day.

Sorry pumpkin roll, you won't be invited.
Sorry pumpkin roll, you won’t be invited.

2. Modify recipes when possible. I didn’t go out of my way to tell everyone this at meal time, but the first time we hosted Thanksgiving after buying our house four years ago, most of my recipes were straight off It’s so easy to make a quick change to a recipe that takes it from fat laden belly bomb to half way decent for your waist line. And if it’s a quick and easy ingredient swap or two then why wouldn’t you just do it, ya know? So you can bet your bottom dollar that whatever dishes are prepared by me this year will be the healthier version of whatever it is. Sorry pumpkin pie made with vanilla ice cream in place of evaporate milk, you’re off the list this year.

3. Send some goodies home with everyone else. Those aforementioned leftovers may be delicious, but letting others take some home with them as well is always a nice gesture as well as a way to keep from continually eating. Yes, I would like to keep some, but I also don’t need ten pounds of mashed potatoes and half a turkey to myself. Share the love, share the food, save the waistline.

4. Don’t let the holiday SEASON be an excuse to overindulge everyday the whole season.  Enjoy the foods and special meals on the big days, then eat healthy in between. It’s one thing if you do over indulge three or four times between Thanksgiving and New Years, but all the days in between those BIG days should be NORMAL days. Eating healthy on all the in between days means you don’t really deviate from your normal and therefor you’re less likely to gain weight from having a handful of days where you consume a little more than average.

5. When else fails, keep moving! *sigh* There is no turkey trot for me this year. There is no Wonderful Run for me this year (reports here and here). But despite the fact that I cannot race this holiday season, I am sure as hell not going to just be a sedentary blob. I’ve been doing my best to keep up with walking when and where I can and I will hopefully be walking now until I’m cleared to workout postpartum sometime in January. Especially once the baby comes and I’m not lugging my giant, heavy belly around any more. Then I can even start at least power walking or doing hills on our treadmill.


I’m hoping that this will be a good enough plan of attack to keep me from struggling through postpartum weight loss and reclaiming my body smack dab in the middle of the crummiest time of year to be saddled with body issues. I will definitely need some solid encouragement and backing from my husband, friends, family. I’m nervous to have a new body after finally learning to be okay with this one after 27 years. But I’m hoping that these five things, plus knowing I’ve got myself committed to going from postpartum to 144.6 at Ironman Chattanooga in ten months will help me stay the course and not be too overwhelmed at all my physical changes to come.

How do you stay healthy during the holidays?

Fellow new mama readers (I know there’s a few of you!), what are you doing to survive the holidays? 

9 Replies to “Five Postpartum Holiday Survival Strategies”

  1. That pumpkin roll looks divine! I am certainly glad I had my babies back when living on Taco Bell and chocolate shakes during pregnancy wasn’t frowned upon, lol. You have devised some good plans up there. I especially like the leftover handouts. I do that every time I host anything now. My parents and kids appreciate it too so it’s a win win. Enjoy your holidays and congratulations on having a baby at the most festive time of year!
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  2. This is a great plan girl! I had baby #2 at the end of September last year so I definitely get where you are coming from. A big thing for me was also accepting how AWESOME my body was for growing and housing a tiny human, that is pretty amazing! Love your body today, love those precious moments with your baby, it all goes by so fast, don’t miss a moment of enjoyment 😀 And congrats again!
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