Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bouncing Back - My Journey Up and Down the Scale

When I found out I was pregnant, I solemnly vowed to myself that I would exercise every day, only gain the minimal amount of weight and lose it quickly afterward. Right. However, I had good reason to believe that this was possible. I was a very toned 125 lbs, doing Pilates and cardio almost every single day. I had gained 8-10 lbs of 'new boyfriend' weight when my husband and I started dating, but was still in very good shape at 135 lbs when I got pregnant.

I started out strong, walking most days, and doing some smaller weights. I even pursued my Pilates certification at 2 months pregnant and began teaching at a Lifetime Fitness. However, all of that came screeching to a halt when I found out that I had Placenta Previa. I had a partial previa, meaning the pancake shaped organ that gives nutrients to the baby and is vital for survival, was partially blocking my cervix, the baby's escape route, making a Cesarean likely. However, my doctor thought that it would move up where it was supposed to be on it's own. As a precaution, she put me on modified bed rest for 8 weeks. This was not easy for a busy body, workout fiend like me. I recall numerous heated discussions with my husband over me trying to do too much.

Additionally, something happened to my self control. I had worked so hard and watched what I ate for so long that being pregnant was like being on weeks and weeks of vacation. I made little allowance after little allowance and wasn't allowed to exercise. In the end, I delivered a beautiful, healthy 6lb 8oz baby boy at 170lbs.  I gained the maximum 'healthy' amount of weight of 35lbs. I walked out of the hospital having only lost about 10lbs (6.5lb baby + placenta, etc. + water weight).

170lbs, 8+ Months
At about 2 weeks postpartum, I began walking. It was still cool enough in mid-April to do some walking outdoors so I began taking Lincoln for walks every day. I waited for the 6 week checkup from my doctor to start doing my normal weights and workouts. Due to a generous gift from my aunt, we have a year's membership to the YMCA down the street, and I began trying to go 5 days a week. I did not feel like going at first, and still have days when I don't. However, I go because I feel better afterwards. The Y offers childcare at 6+ weeks, which is awesome, so I get an hour a day of grown up time, me time. I just wish they offered manicures and haircuts as well. 

At about 3.5 months postpartum, I was 137, almost back to my starting weight. My goal is 130lbs, and at the time, that could not seem further away, even considering how far I had come. It seemed like no matter what I did, my weight wouldn't budge anymore. Then, a couple of weeks ago, my husband suggested a 30 day vegan challenge. Having been a vegetarian for many years, I readily accepted the challenge. At the suggestion of a good family friend, we ordered the book The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn.  It is a great guide to kick-start a vegan challenge or a vegan lifestyle. My husband lost 20lbs in 3.5 weeks, and I lost about 3 (137 to 134). After a bit of adjustment, I really like the food, feel great and  plan on continuing this lifestyle as much as I can, knowing that occasionally some evil fatty cheese will probably pass my lips at some point.

160lbs, 3 days postpartum
 As for where I stand now, I'm pretty convinced at this point that I have lost as much weight as I can while still breastfeeding, and that my body 'wants' me to carry some fat to fuel milk production. As a goal-oriented person it is hard for me to accept falling a little short. However, I feel that being able to breastfeed my baby and give him the best start I can is well worth a little compromise on my part and a little extra (temporary) junk in my trunk.

134lbs, 4.5 months postpartum


  1. oh my word, you look GREAT! I wish I had the dedication you do. Do you work? or do you get to be a stay at home mommy? I wish I had someone like you to work out with, push me and tell me "NO, don't eat that!" I've lost the majority of my baby weight, but I still have those last pesky 10 pounds or so. I know working out would help with that, because for the most part I eat decent, but by the time I get home from work, I'm just so exhausted and want to be with my baby. And after he's gone to bed, it's dark! I've actually, as of this morning, made myself a "wellness plan" to try and get my old body back. Or close to it anyway.

    1. I am very blessed to be able to stay home with Lincoln for right now. I totally understand being exhausted after work. That's another reason why I packed on the pounds. Where do y'all live?

  2. I would love to be a stay at home mom. I never thought I'd say that. But after having a 14 week maternity leave, I didn't want to go back. And of course, mommy-hood changes your life! I don't think you "packed on the pounds". Considering some people gain like 70?! 35 is very modest! I gained about 32 and I consider that VERY good. My goal was to stay at 40 or less. We live in Kingwood (Forest Cove). You?

    1. I am very lucky and very grateful to be able to stay at home with Lincoln. Can you believe some women have to go back after only 6 weeks? I feel like we were just getting started back then! We are in the Galleria area of Houston, but go out to the Humble area pretty often.

  3. I can't fathom it. My heart hurts for those women. :( I know. We were just getting to know each other and not even getting adjusted yet. 6 weeks is just not long enough. It's not fair. I work in the Galleria area! We should have y'all over one weekend. Scott and Trey used to go to HS together, and we all played on a softball team together; it would be nice to meet you. :)