My entire life I’ve been very blessed to have a super-fast metabolism. I pretty much stopped my growing at age 17. From 17 to 27, I’ve been 5’7” and worn a size 2. I’ve always been able to eat whatever I wanted and my size never changed. I’ve always been skinny, never had a whole lot of muscle. I typically called myself skinny fat. I enjoyed running and the occasional workout with some weights but honestly I don’t really like exercising all that much so I’ve always relied on trying to stick to a healthy diet while not guilt tripping myself when I chose to indulge.
I found out I was pregnant at close to 8 weeks and I was 130 lbs. so I’m not sure if that was my true starting weight or maybe a little bit under that. Well, I delivered Teagan at 170lbs so I gained somewhere between 40-45lbs. Not the 25-35lb range the doctor gave me.
I was sick nearly the whole pregnancy so I ate what I could keep down and tried to get in good fruits and vegetables when I could but my goal was really just to get my baby some type of food. If that food was donuts and French fries, oops. In the back of my mind, I was panicking at each appointment watching the scale go up.
I didn’t realize what a mind f*ck pregnancy weight gain can really be. I’d never had to deal with this my whole life and it really screwed with me. I decided once I had her I was going to eat really healthy, strict with my indulgences and I was going to work out once I was cleared. I mean it’s what all pregnant women say when they are still pregnant right? I’M GONNA GET THAT BODY BACK! I’M GONNA BE A #FITMOM.
Yeah, I think for the majority of women, that doesn’t happen or isn’t a priority especially if you chose to breastfeed. I mean who has time to work out when a child is attached to your boob 70% of the day? I dropped a solid 20lbs by two weeks postpartum but after that it just wasn’t happening naturally or should I say as quickly as I expected. WTF, I was breastfeeding and walking every day, I didn’t get it.
About 6 weeks postpartum, I started a Diet Bet where you have X amount of time to lose X percentage of your body weight. So for this specific one, I had one month and I think I had to lose a total of 5 or 6 lbs. Well I did it but I did have to start eating better and be much more conscious of what I was eating.
Frankly, this whole weight loss journey was really confusing and difficult because I’ve never had to actively try to lose weight. By 4 months postpartum I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight but it wasn’t staying. One day it would be there and then a few days later I was 5 pounds heavier. I get with breastfeeding that will happen but I just felt like I had to do something more. Besides walking, cardio or any HIIT work outs were completely out of the question. I would jump and get a clogged milk duct and getting my “body back” wasn’t worth that much to me if it meant dealing with that issue.
After thanksgiving, Cary and I decided to do the Whole 30. The first week I was compliant and lost 5 pounds but my milk supply dropped big time. So I added back in some oatmeal and while it helped, my supply never recovered. It was then that I decided that nourishing my baby was 100% more important to me then the weight on the scale or how “hot” I looked. So what was supposed to be the Whole 30 turned into the Whole 14.
When I was still working, I couldn’t shake the mom guilt. Picking to work out over spend time with my baby just wasn’t an option for me. It just wasn’t higher on my list. I could always do it after she went to bed but I wanted to spend time with Cary and I had to pump for the next day and #sleep duh. I have no regrets about not working out more and spending all my free time with her during that time.
Since quitting my job, we’ve been eating at home almost every night and I cook pretty healthy meals and I’ve noticed a good change in my body and overall how I feel. If I want a donut or ‘pizza Fridays’, I indulge because I believe in the 80/20 rule. As for working out, I’ve been doing the Alexa Jean Fitness 12 week program for the last 2 weeks. I’d be lying if I said I do every exercise listed but I do most of them. Anything that requires any type of jumping I typically skip, again the whole clogged duct thing isn’t worth the risk to me.
They say to give yourself a break because it took 9 months to put it on, it will take you 9 months to get it off. While I’ve gotten it off, I can’t say I’m happy with where my body is at and how I feel about my body but I try not to be so hard on myself. I’m not perfect but I’m also not vain so if it takes me longer to get in shape that’s okay. It’s a journey and I will get there. Once Teagan and I complete the weaning process after she’s a year I’ll start to incorporate some HIIT exercises and get back to my running.
For anyone else struggling with postpartum weightless or body image, remember to give yourself a break. You have a beautiful baby that loves you no matter what and is here because of you and that beautiful body.