Pregnancy takes a hard toll on your body and mind. Birth takes a hard toll on your body. When you’re pregnant, you read all about how pregnancy affects your body and mind while being pregnant and after delivering your child/children. I never realized how hard I was on myself until I was giving out advice to a friend who had given birth six weeks prior. She was looking to immediately drop the thirty pounds she put on and wanted to know how I lost the weight I put on.
Besides all the things to buy, I bet a lot of women research how to lose weight after giving birth.
I told her good ol’ fashioned eating healthy, switching to a more Paleo focused diet, and moving more. She asked how long it took because she was looking to get back in shape really fast as she was not comfortable with her new body.
I truly didn’t know how to respond in a way that she wanted to hear. I remember those feelings – wanting to “get my body back,” and wondering why breastfeeding wasn’t taking off the weight as some of the reading I did would have me believe.
Where I Was
I’m a year and a half removed from giving birth and those feelings that I needed to get back to where I was. I couldn’t stand my belly. My arms were the biggest they’d ever been. My ankles always seemed swollen. My double chin was in every picture and I had no way of hiding it. I hated so much about my body, but I was in such a fog I couldn’t see how I could ever fix it.
Somewhere around eight months postpartum, I realized that this body I now have is mine. It has held life inside of it. It has grown that life into a beautiful six pound bouncing bundle of joy at birth. It went through a twenty four hour labor immediately followed by a C-Section. It recovered from that major abdominal surgery. It has continued to feed that sweet little boy and he is now a rambunctious sixteen month old weighing in at twenty-two pounds.
Beginning My Weight Loss Journey
When I began my weight loss journey in December of 2015, eight months after Rion was born, I was finally in a place mentally to begin a weight loss program. I decided on Weight Watchers at first, but by early 2016 I had switched my eating to a more Paleo focused diet. I have also done three Whole30 programs in there as well. My biggest struggle for me now is exercise. My biggest struggle before a baby was never exercise. I felt like I had a lot of free time and could wake up early and do my workouts. I don’t have that luxury now. We bed share with Rion and he’s not a very good sleeper. He would sense that I am not there in the mornings and immediately wake up.
I am wrapping up a month long fitness challenge with my moms group that has pushed me in ways I’d never push myself. Even though I have never met these women, they are pushing me and challenging me to be better in regards to fitness. I have learned new moves and a lot about how much my body can actually handle. My Fitbit is also keeping me on point. I am really striving for at least 10,000 steps a day and hoping to bump that up to 12,000 steps a day. It’s really difficult with a desk job and I am hoping once I begin to work at home I will be able to stand, walk, and do what I need to do more.
Getting to the gym we have in our building is tough. Rion doesn’t do well with John after he goes to sleep and cries for me. I give in 100% of the time. This makes it difficult for me to feel like I can go downstairs and get a workout in. I’ve started walking around the apartment and at commercial breaks during whatever show we are watching I do lunges, push-ups, sit-ups…whatever moves were chosen for the fitness challenge. Now that it is wrapping up, I hope I have done it enough over the past four weeks that I want to continue to do it!
Where I Am Now
I am no where near where I think I should be, but I am working on it every single day. I used to get completely frustrated with my lack of progress and completely give up on my goals. I haven’t done that yet. I haven’t been so frustrated that I stop what I am doing, give up, and put back on the weight I have lost. I have been kind to myself. I don’t know if it has come to me since becoming a mother, but I am working hard at improving my fitness and improving my mental health. I have lost thirty pounds in eight months and still have a ways to go before I will switch to a maintaining lifestyle. I’d love to lose another twenty pounds before becoming pregnant with our second.
I will begin a Couch to 5k routine tomorrow. I am really looking forward to this and hope by next spring I can run in my first 5k.
Another reason I am so focused on losing weight is my pre-eclampsia diagnosis when I was pregnant with Rion. While there’s no rhyme or reason to why my blood pressure skyrocketed, if weight loss could possibly prevent it in the future, I will do my best to get my weight down before becoming pregnant again. Weight loss may not prevent it from happening again, but I will know I tried my best.
It’s important to remember after giving birth, your postpartum body has done an amazing and tremendous thing. You are beautiful and the things your postpartum body has accomplished are beautiful. Be kind to yourself as you adjust to motherhood. Be kind to yourself as you learn to adjust to this new life with a new baby.