The next 10 posts are going to focus on topics that I think were key to my 47 lb baby weight loss journey. I will be sharing all of my BEST SECRETS!! And I am so excited to share everything with you because I know this 10 blog series is going to make a big difference in your life because these are things that already worked for me!! To kick this series off I am sharing my weight gain and weight loss story. I am hoping my story will get you motivated and pumped to finally begin your weight loss journey or if you are stuck only needing to lose the last few pounds that it will provide you with the motivation to kick it up a notch. Good luck and enjoy your journey!
MY 47 POUND STORY
Right around the time I found out I was pregnant, my left knee was bothering me yet again and I was 100% sure I needed surgery. So workout options during my pregnancy were limited to swimming, aqua jogging, the elliptical machine or lifting weights. I was frequently nauseated all the way up to the very end so while I tried to get at least two workouts a week in, that was not always possible. I recall many times I jumped off my elliptical machine to go barf in the sink. It seemed that cardio workouts made me feel sicker. Needless to say, pre-pregnancy I worked out four or five days a week so just between feeling sick and my knee going out I was working out way less than usual.
The other problem was that throughout my pregnancy I craved carbs all the time and eating crackers, rice, and pasta were one of the only things that temporarily seemed to decrease my nausea. In my third trimester I gained 10 pounds from one weekly visit to the next and my doctor suddenly admonished me saying I needed to watch my weight or I would gain 70 pounds. I left the office in tears. I hadn’t done anything different that week than any other week so why had I gained 10 pounds!? And truly for the most part I really wasn’t eating that unhealthily. I was just listening to my body. If eating carbs made me feel better than maybe that’s what my baby wanted!!
The day of reckoning was finally here. I was induced because I developed preeclampsia at the end of my third trimester (perhaps that’s why I gained so much weight so fast there at the end). They weighed me as part of my check in and I cringed seeing 187 pounds on the scale. My weight normally fluctuates between 135 and 145 pounds depending on how much I run. My running days are over by the way but that’s another story for another time.
I gave birth to a beautiful but large baby boy weighing 8lbs10oz on May 6th around 5:00pm. I remember being shocked at how big he was the first time I saw him. I didn’t think he was going to be that big! I felt a little relief at that thinking at least 9 pounds of my weight was instantly gone but how long and how difficult were the other 38 pounds going to be to lose? This was three times the amount of weight I had ever tried to lose before! The task felt daunting. Impossible. Maybe since I was a mom of one and a stepmom of two now I could just accept that a little extra flab was normal. But I was an athlete. Could I really be okay with that???
Before leaving the hospital I looked at my body in the mirror. I still had a tummy but it was much smaller. I can do this I thought. And I knew I would. Because week to week, month to month, I was going to gradually get to buy new clothes and see the numbers fly off the scale. It was going to be fun. And if I didn’t lose all the weight I knew in my heart I would be okay with it. Holding this beautiful precious baby boy I knew that there were much more important things in life than me. But taking good care of myself so that I could take good care of my kids was very important. I wanted to be able to keep up with them while they ran around and played.
So now on to the good stuff….how did I lose all that weight!!?? I’m still amazed I actually did it. Usually, my go to secret is running but I couldn’t run! Due to medications I have to take I was also unable to breast feed. I’ve heard contradicting information on breastfeeding – it seems some women lose weight very quickly just from breastfeeding alone while others find that it makes them ravenous so they can’t lose weight.
For the initial month and a half (6 weeks to first initial doctor appointment) I decided to take it easy and focus on the little one. I was extremely sleep deprived from waking up every hour of the night so I don’t think I would have had energy to workout if I wanted to. And I definitely could care less about dieting when I was that tired and grumpy. I did notice that almost immediately I was no longer nauseated. And every week I was less and less swollen (my hands and feet were incredibly swollen from preeclampsia when I gave birth). I was wearing a whole size and half larger shoe than normal. In those first six weeks I went from a 36D bra that was bursting at the seems to a 36C. At the end of six weeks I still couldn’t get my wedding rings back on my finger. I went down a half size in shoes. I was amazed that I was still only fitting into pregnancy clothes. I was antsy to get out and do something.
And then….my good knee decided to crap out!!! A piece of cartilage broke lose and it locked up so I couldn’t walk at all without excruciating pain. So I had to have surgery immediately. I felt pretty sorry for myself and I was getting really antsy to workout again but I couldn’t. So instead – I juiced. I have been a big believer in juicing for a couple of years now. And since I wasn’t breastfeeding I didn’t need to worry about my calorie intake. I started off with a 3-day juice cleanse since it had been awhile since I lost weight and I lost 5 pounds immediately. I was super excited. This was the most weight I’d ever lost on a 3-day juice cleanse. I was hooked. Throughout the rest of my weight loss journey I routinely did 3-day juice cleanses every 2 to 3 weeks. Sometimes I ordered them and other times I made the juices at home with my juicer. There are pros and cons to both.
Finally after about a month from my surgery I could workout…but I was still limited by my other knee. The first thing I did was aqua jog in our home pool when the little man was taking a nap. Somedays that would be 20 minutes, but other days I could get 45 minutes or even an hour in. And this is excellent rehab for knees. Trust me – I know!! I was also limited in taking the little one for stroller walks throughout the summer because it gets so darn hot in Texas! Any chance I had though, we went on a walk in the jog stroller. I had to use a mosquito net to keep mosquitoes away from him. We only went on walks early in the morning, or if a storm had come through and temporarily made it cooler outside. Once the fall came and it cooled off however, we went on a regular walk while my stepdaughter rode her bicycle. I’d let her play at a playground half way through and then we’d head home.
Once my son was three months old I decided it might be okay to take him to the daycare at my gym. My gym is very nice – it reminds me of a country club. The daycare has three separate areas – a big kid section, a young kid section, and a baby room. Often the baby room is empty or has only one or two babies in it. I felt confident that it was safe for my son. I still haven’t left him longer than an hour though! I feel guilty even taking an hour for myself!! Need to work on that. At the gym – I rotated elliptical workouts, spinning on a spin bike, and using weights.
At first it was hard to get much of a routine going…but by the time Luke was 5 months I had lost all but 10 pounds of my baby weight and I was routinely working out 2 to 3 times a week. Getting a schedule is key to trying to fit workouts in with a newborn and older kids because you have to know when any chance of a free moment to fit a workout in will be or it won’t happen. I continued with my juicing…completely in love with it. I noticed however, that sometimes I wasn’t losing but a pound while other times I wouldn’t lose weight but I would go down a size in clothes. By 5 months I was no longer wearing any of my pregnancy clothes. But I was still wearing a size large and I couldn’t fit into any of my pre pregnancy clothes yet. I packed up all the pregnancy clothes and felt sad. Other than the little bit of weight left on my tummy those were the last signs that he had ever lived for 9 months in my body. I almost wished we could go back and do it all over again. Weird right!!
I lost another 5 pounds by 6 months and decided to finish off the weight loss adventure with a 5 day juice fast. I lost my final 5 pounds!!! So at 6 months and 1 week after giving birth I was back to 140 pounds!!! Yay! What was really weird though was that it took another two months before I was really able to fit into all my clothes again. Even though I’d lost the weight, certain parts of my body still hadn’t finished changing back. My boobs and feet actually never got as small as they were pre pregnancy. My hips however, did! Between months 6 and 8 they got narrower and I went from a size 12 jeans/shorts to a size 4/6. This was so weird to me!! But I’ll take it.
So for New Years Eve I decided I would show off my post baby body (about 8 months post giving birth). I finally was able to wear most of my dresses by then. I felt beautiful and was very proud but I also felt sad. My Lukey pooch was all gone. It would never be there again. I never imagined that I would actually miss my baby weight a little bit!!! But looking back it was really an easy journey to lose the weight. It came off quicker and easier than any weight I’ve ever tried to lose before. I think never being able to finish my food at meals because Luke was fussy and I had to take care of him helped. I think seeing the weight fall off so easily and getting to change sizes so frequently helped keep me motivated. I didn’t feel pressure to lose the weight because I felt like I had an excuse for at least a year to stay pudgy if I needed to – so that helped. I also had a loving husband and step kids and sister that never really mentioned my weight even when I was losing it. That almost made it seem more just my thing and it was okay even if I never got any skinnier than where I was at. No one seemed to expect me to lose it all. Would I do it again? Well – Luke is definitely worth it! It was a small price to pay for such a beautiful little life. Of course I would. Do I think anyone can lose weight? Yes I really do! You just have to believe in yourself and not put too much pressure on yourself.