This is a random and somewhat personal blog post but I have found myself wanting to hear and read other women’s stories of pregnancy, weight, and postpartum. So, I thought I would share mine.
First, I guess it’s important to note that even though I love to read other peoples stories of pregnancy, labor, parenthood, etc. everyone is so different – different body types, different babies, different backgrounds. This isn’t meant to make you feel good or bad about yourself or think you should have an experience anything like mine!!!
When I found out we were expecting Brooks last April I was training for a race and working out pretty hard 5 days a week (and in retrospect, probably not eating enough calories for my work outs). I had a couple people nicely tell me they thought I was a little underweight and sure enough my BMI was on the low side. So, first trimester was marked by dropping off my work outs to almost nothing after the race (too tired to check the mail some days), a thought that my baby is going to need some more fat to grow healthy and strong, and overall not much morning sickness. I gained about 10 pounds (they say nothing to a few pounds is the norm).
I got my energy back in the second trimester and stayed fairly active. I walked quite a bit (as you have to do when you don’t own a car!) and was able to swim and take spin class up until 37 weeks. I also ate quite a bit more than my usual and let myself splurge on some fast food and Dunkin’ Donut holes (oh and carbs were my best friend)! I gained a little over 40 lbs all together. Most professionals say to gain between 25-35 lbs for a healthy pregnancy.
Now on to the weight loss!
I was surprised how quickly the first 20 lbs came off. Brooks weighed 7 lbs 9 ounces and I was carrying quite a bit of water weight at the end of pregnancy (feet didn’t fit in shoes, couldn’t really see my arm muscles any more, etc.). After about 3 weeks my body felt good enough to go on longer walks but there was some persistent pain that stuck around that made me nervous to exercise too much (not willing to risk any long term damage in that part of my body!). However, after clearance at my six week appointment with my doc I was ready to hit it hard! I decided to make my goal 7 pounds higher than where I started which means I want to lose about 13 pounds. I have to say that my body type is a lobster tail (my sister taught me this hilarious term for people who gain weight in their butt and thighs). I was actually pretty thin (gasp!) right after my uterus shrank back, but my butt and thighs kept me far from any of my pre-pregnancy pants. My husband nicely told me, “you look great, don’t worry about losing weight” and I nicely reminded him that I have thousands of dollars worth of clothes in my smaller size… I think he recanted his statement.
Here are some things I am finding helpful in trying to loose weight:
- I am using an app on my IPAD called MyFitnessPal. I’m not too rigid with it but it does enable me to enter what I am eating and how much I am working out to give me a rough calculation of weight loss and overall health. I think it keeps me from eating too much sugar most days as I am a self-proclaimed sugar addict and typically overindulge with I am left home alone!
- A good friend got me some new/cute workout clothes in my bigger size. Let’s be honest ladies, nothing is more motivating than new clothes and I am able to feel good about myself not trying to squeeze my butt in to little clothes.
- Drink lots of water! I have never been as good at this as I want to be but breastfeeding leaves you SO dehydrated. Drinking water will help you feel good and eat less useless calories!
- Sign up for something fun in the world of fitness! It is always good to have goals and a vision of doing something hard in the back of your mind. I decided to try to get a certification to teach group exercise through AFAA. I paid the money and know I need my body to be in decent shape. I have a lot of studying and working out to do in the 25 days ahead!
- Celebrate the little changes! When I could fit back in to even my biggest pants that didn’t have a stretchy waist I was elated. It helps to wear those pants even when they are a little on the tight side. It’s just nice to notice a change.
- Spin! (or just get that heart rate up!) OK, I am a lover of spin class and have been for a long time. I love it because it is just about as intense a work out as you can get in a finite amount of time. The important thing is just to get your heart rate up. Home workout videos will do the trick too. I have found a couple Jillian Michael’s videos on YouTube that do the trick a couple days a week.
In all honesty, I still have a ways to go. I have lost 4 pounds out of 13 since I set my goal about a month ago. I have lost about a pound a week and hope to stay on this steady decline for the next couple months as I also work on eating healthy and getting stronger. I have some of my favorite new healthy recipes on here (lots of kale, quinoa, eggs, and veggies!). That’s all I have on the subject for now 🙂