Friday, August 19, 2011

Post Baby Weight Loss: My Experience

Not too long ago, I asked you guys to help me shape my expectations about post-baby weight loss, and you delivered.  In an effort to be fair, I thought I should share a little bit about my own experience so far...

Before I begin, I want to say that I am - in NO WAY - writing this post to be prideful or ask for compliments.  I've struggled with my weight for years now, and I want to document this part of my journey for myself and other women who might be in the same place.  I write this very humbly acknowledging that, so far, about the only part of the process I can take credit for is the GAINING weight part.  That's all.

Ok... I'll let the pictures do (most of) the talking:


My last official pregnancy photo.  Sam was born a little over a week later.  At my last doctor's appointment (38 weeks and 3 days) I had gained FORTY pounds (at least 10 had to be hair).  I didn't think to weigh myself before going to the hospital (I don't know how that slipped my mind), but I suspect I had gained another 3 - 5 pounds before Sam actually arrived. *For the record, my doctor suggested at the beginning of my pregnancy that I only gain between 15 - 25 pounds TOTAL because my starting weight was a little higher than it should have been (this is full disclosure... And, by "a little higher," I mean kind-of significantly). That, clearly, did NOT happen.  Moving on...


This was taken on the day we came home from the hospital - four days after Sam was born.  (It is one of the ONLY pictures I took of myself that week). It got worse before it got better... I was VERY swollen (even worse than before delivery - which I didn't know was possible) and bloated.  Within minutes of getting home, I had to change out of my cute dress to feed Sam and, literally, NOTHING fit. My milk also came in that day, and my boobs were HUGE.  I weighed myself that night and had lost ONE pound (please note: Sam weighed over 7 pounds...).  I was SO sad and frustrated...  I would not be one of the lucky ones. That weigh in began the first of many nightly crying fests.

Then, almost immediately, things began to change.  By one week post baby, the weight started coming off FAST.  Every time Jeff would look at me he would say "I can't believe how much weight you have lost."  I started discovering ankles, knees, and a chin again.  Hallelujah!!  By about Day 10, I had lost 24 POUNDS.  I'm being honest when I say that I felt like the skinniest girl EVER.  Sam, we found out, was also gaining weight rapidly.  Because of this, we fondly began calling him "the fat sucker."  Luckily, (or unluckily for me) I don't think that nickname will stick. :)

This picture was taken yesterday before going walking with my friend Jen & her sweet baby girl Piper.  (Please pardon the tired eyes and no make-up - this is real life.) Total, I have lost 35 POUNDS now.  (For those of you not skilled in the math department - that puts me at five pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight.)  It has been just over 5 weeks since delivery.

To be fair, I have done VERY little to help this process so far.  In fact, I might even consider myself a little "lucky" (gasp) for once. ;)  I have eaten LESS, because I am just busy.and my hands are occupied most of the day.  That's for sure.  BUT, what I do eat has NOT been healthy - lots of casseroles, pasta, and sweets!  I am, however, walking a lot - and I have been from the very beginning - because Sam seems to like it so much; so, maybe those two things are balancing each other out.  Overall, I definitely think A LOT of my weight gain was fluid retention/swelling; and, breastfeeding has dramatically helped with the rest of it - I've NEVER lost weight this easily in my life!

While I am thrilled with my loss so far, and - for the first time ever probably - appreciate my body and all that it is capable of, I will admit that the "skinny" feeling has gone away and been replaced with some insecurities again.  Even though I've lost 75% of my pregnancy weight, I was overweight when I got pregnant, and I still have a LONG way to go before I feel good about where I am again.  I told myself that I would "relax" for the first six weeks after Sam's birth and not worry about food or exercise too much.  I wanted to enjoy food (carbs included) and my baby first. Now, that time is quickly diminishing; so, I need to be making some major changes soon.  Given the last ten months of my life, I am hopeful that a little exercise and sensible eating will go a long way.   Additionally, it will be a looong time until my body sees regular pants again thanks to my very existent stomach pooch (shown below, haha!) and my still-slightly-sore incision spot.  Thank goodness I stocked up on stretchy pants pre-birth. 

If I'm honest with myself, I know I have a long road ahead of me.  BUT, being pregnant and giving birth has taught me A LOT about appreciating and taking care of my body.  I WILL NOT let myself be unhealthy for another pregnancy (which is a ways off... I promise).   I will keep you updated on the journey, of course.

The "little fat sucker"
P.S. In case anyone was wondering, Sam was born with NO symptoms of my gestational diabetes.  His weight was average and his blood sugar was normal.  I can't tell you how happy and proud this made me!  Because of this, and the fact that I was able to manage my blood sugars with diet, my doctor said I could assume the GD is gone now.  I will always have to be careful because I will be high risk for Type 2 Diabetes now - and my regular doctor will check this every year or so - but, otherwise, I'm good to go.  Mission accomplished. :)

P.S.S. I'm  now trying to avoid dairy (ice cream and cheese... uggg) to help Sam's little belly, so the "sacrifices" continue.  It is worth it.  It is worth it.  It is worth it. Frozen yogurt shops, I'll be back... one day. ;)

*And don't forget to enter my giveaway for a free crib bumper or pillow covers before tonight at midnight if you haven't already!

22 comments:

  1. Congrats on the quick and seemingly easy weight loss! You (and little Sam) look fantastic.

    And, as always, great blog post.

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  2. E!! you seriously look AMAZING. Adelaide is 10 months old now and I am still 5 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight. So I am quite impressed and a little jealous :-) love you and can't wait to meet the little man!

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  3. You look so amazing!! Way to go!

    I'm not into astrology, but I read a post by a mom who occasionally checked her infant daughter's horoscope for kicks. I believe Sam's horoscope for Friday says:

    "All group activities will be fun, upbeat and enjoyable today. You feel confident that you can win. You know that others are going to listen to you. (And you're right.)"

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  4. YAYYYY!! I am so so happy for you. I remember those days living in Calhoun Courts teasing you about counting out chips for weight watchers ;) (I still feel bad about that actually...). I am so glad that this time the weight loss has been "easy." At 6 weeks I was 10lbs away from pre-pregnancy, and by 10 weeks I was pretty much at my starting weight... and I'm hoping maybe I'll get a little 5lb bonus :). You will be at your starting point in no time, and by the looks of it, might get a big bonus too! Yay for fat sucking little breastfeeders!!!! You look better than ever. (Oh and i am wondering if this little belly pooch will ever go away???)

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  5. Looking GREAT! It is totally worth it.

    mjlliving.blogspot.com

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  6. WOW!!!!! I can only hope the weight sheds off of me like that!!! That is so awesome girl!!! You look FABULOUS! And Sam... TOO STINKIN CUTE! <3

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  7. Congratulations! I know how good that feels to lose that weight. I have a 5 month old, and I could not believe how much weight I lost in those first few months. However, the last 10 lbs are a bit more difficult for me at least, I am still working on it. I just started reading your blog and really enjoy it! Your little boy is so sweet, have a great weekend!

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  8. You look amazing! Congratulations! I bet the weight loss will continue as you keep breastfeeding that big eater. :)

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  9. Congratulations! I gained over 40 lbs, too, with my little one. And I started out a good 5 lbs overweight when I got pregnant. I remember the appointment my OB (an avid runner and fitness person) finally gave up and stopped lecturing me about weight gain. I felt like I was such a disappointment!

    Anyways, all of the weight came off, and quickly. Like you, walking walking was a huge help (especially to stave off baby blues). Now, my son is 14 months, and I am under my "start weight." Just keep on eating well and walking and the weight will just keep falling off! It's such a great feeling!

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  10. Way to go! I bet money that you'll be smaller by the end of this busy first year than you were when you first learned you were pregnant. Trust me.

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  11. Lookin' good girl!! Keep up the good work!

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  12. Wow you're looking great!! I hope you'll be able to get to a weight you're happy with very soon!

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  13. You should try P90X and then combine it with the walking (even just a mile or two a day). You will be amazed at how it transforms your body! You don't have to go all out and do it hard every day, but just a few times a week (plus you can do it at home without having to be seen at the gym!!!) My husband and I did the program a few days a week this summer and we both have seen a great body transformation. Also, if you don't feel like you have to do it every day, it is more motivating and you will LOVE how your arms look after a few weeks. Keep up the walking!!!! It is great for you and Sam! You are precious and I love reading your blog! Have a great day and great job on the weight loss!

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  14. You go girl! Your little fat sucker is A-dorable!

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  15. E! You look GREAT! I am not just saying that to make you feel good, YOU DO! SO SO glad for you... I know what you mean about feeling the skinniest you have ever felt. It seems like you loose so fast that even though you may be higher than your normal weight, you still feel so small. (and yes, you are right, that fades, but it was fun while it lasted)...

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  16. You look great! Definitely no sign of a pooch or that you just had a baby. Congrats on the weight loss so far!

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  17. You look amazing! It was definitely just alot of water weight that first week. Hooray for extra calories to burn with breastfeeding!

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  18. Girl, you look great. You are definitely one of the lucky ones who sheds the pregnancy weight, and so quickly too. AND you're one of the lucky ones who don't even need makeup to look pretty!

    I gained 40 pounds with Noah too, and I HATE those "birth day" pictures. What we go through for our children, haha!

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  19. you look great girl! I too gained 40lbs with my first baby, it happens to us all! THank goodness that breastfeeding is not only great for the baby, but great for our bodies! :)

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