I was very physically active before having my baby. However, 6 months prior to getting pregnant I had not been working out or eating very healthy because of stress. The bottom line is I was not fit, I was thin. I got pregnant and ate as if I had never had food before in my life. There is nothing like pregnancy to bring out the real food obsessions in a woman. I ate everything and was always eating. I found that those around me wanted to fatten me up and were also very happy to get me anything I craved at anytime of the day. It was heaven and hell at the same time. I felt my body changing and I noticed that I had gained more weight than the average woman in the various trimesters of pregnancy. I was always looked at as normal since I started my pregnancy at 118 pounds and 5’7″, the doctors always told me that I was normal, never pointing out that I was still gaining too much weight for the number of weeks I was in my pregnancy. I knew it was wrong, but it felt so right to eat my worries away. I didn’t work out much at the gym because I was very nervous about everything about the baby’s safety.I walked a lot during the middle to the end of my pregnancy which helped a lot with the delivery and weight gain. Overall, I ended my pregnancy around 180 pounds! That’s over 60 pounds of weight gain!
I lost 8 pounds during birth, a few more pounds of water weight the weeks after the baby was born and was left with a lot of excess skin and cellulite on my arms and butt. Gross huh? This was a few weeks post pregnancy, if I had judged and given up on my body right there and then I wouldn’t have been making a fair assessment of my body. We all look kinda gross after having a baby. Maybe that’s because a human being was growing in our womb for 9-1/2 months!!! That’s right! It took your baby 9-1/2 months to grow inside you, stretch out your belly and make you hungrier than you’ve ever been for 9-1/2 months!! Clearly, we shouldn’t expect our bodies to return to normal in even a few months because it took us 9-1/2 months to get to where we are now!
A few things I did that help me were setting goals; lots of goals! I set my overall goal of losing my entire 60 pounds and fitting into my skinny jeans. I set a goal for each 3 months, since it took me 9 months to gain the weight I was giving myself 9 months to take it all off! I also set weekly and daily goals. I layed out my clothing in sizes from 10 down to 0/2 and only focused on the next size down as to not make myself feel worse. I also set goals to get to the next number on the scales e.i. get into the 150’s and then the 140’s.
My first step was allowing my body time to heal naturally. I won’t go into details, but I was comfortable to walk longer than a mile after about 6 weeks. I also wrote down everything I typically ate in a given day for a week and noticed a few simple corners I could cut, so that in turn I could cut out some unneeded calories. I did this whenever I hit a plateau, which all of will eventually hit when losing weight.
When you’re pregnant, people tell you how great you look and how you are “all belly”, then when the baby is born they are looking at you like an alien and wondering how long you will be “this way”. If they didn’t wonder, I sure did. Here’s a short roadmap on my trip back to my “normal” body. Luckily, I wrote down weekly what I did.
I started with walking and taking out a few calories in my diet. I did not diet. I became more mindful of what I was eating. From June -August, I walked outdoors with my baby in his stroller. I went from walking 1-2 miles 4 days a week to a light jog. When I felt more confident, I started back at the gym.
May 12, 2009- My son was born
June 2, 2009- we moved from the Bay Area to Southern California and I started walking outside with my son. I got to the 160’s.
July-August 2009- I was in a size 8 and in the 150’s
September I went back to the gym and started on the treadmill and the elliptical machine. My goal was to complete 30 minutes of rigorous exercise on these machines. Rigorous, not the “I-can-still-chat-with-you -while-working-out-at-the-same-time” type of energy level.
In October, I was stopped by a trainer for a free training session. I took him up on the offer and while chatting with him he told me that his services would run me about $1,200 a month! I didn’t think I was that far away from my goal that I would have to literally pay such an excessively high price. I thanked him for his time and told him that I would be fine on my own since I only had 30 pounds left to go and had lost 35 pounds on my own. He told me something that I keep with me and think about whenever I am hitting a plateau, ” You know how many women I hear that from daily that never end up losing their pregnancy weight? You’ll be back once you see how hard it is and how you need a trainer to get back in shape.” I turned to him and said, ” I can do it. I will do it. You have no idea what I’m capable of.” With a smile I walked away…