What kind of expectations did you have for your postpartum journey? Read Maria’s experience and how she got rid of her “baby weight” within 9 months of delivery.
My name is Maria and I’m a Staff Sergeant in the Air National Guard. I live in Milwaukee, WI with my husband, my one-year old daughter, Madelyn and our yorkie-poodle pup named Oliver. I enjoy all things health and fitness related. Barre Bee Fit and running are my workouts of choice. This past fall, I completed the Chicago Marathon-my first one ever. I’ve completed 4 half marathons and recently earned a PR-one year after giving birth. I write a blog at healthytidbitsblog.com where I write mostly about recipes, workouts, things to do around Milwaukee, and my daughter. I touch a bit about being a woman and mom in the military but I try not to go into too much detail.
As 2013 came to a close, I thought of my health and fitness goals over the past year, what I’ve accomplished and how far I have come.
At this time last year, I was 4 months post-partum. I had given birth to the most beautiful baby girl in August 2012 and I was (and still am) head over heels in love with her. My pregnancy was smooth sailing and my labor & delivery was something to be proud of. Then there was the post-partum period.
When I found out I was pregnant, I made it my mission to live the healthiest life possible. I became more conscious about what I ingested and I made sure to get in some sort of activity on a daily basis, even if it was just a short little walk. But I also did give myself a little bit more leeway when it came to indulging. I was only able to run until my 2nd trimester because of how Madelyn was positioned but I went to Zumba until my 8th month of pregnancy and did barre DVDs at home until she was born. The week before I went into labor, I was still able to hold a 1 minute modified plank. I thought for sure I would have no problems “bouncing back” from this pregnancy.
Overall, I gained about 35 pounds. It was a little more than what I had hoped for since I was actively trying to lose weight before I got pregnant, but my doctor wasn’t concerned. Madelyn weighed 7 lbs 13 ounces when she was born. As the days passed by and I’d step on the scale, the pounds just fell off. I was amazed at how fast I was losing the weight. I thought to myself, ‘there is something to be said about this breastfeeding thing!’ And then one day the scale stopped moving and I saw myself 10 pounds heavier than when I had become pregnant.
I was discouraged. I figured I’d have some weight leftover but I wasn’t anticipating 10lbs. I wasn’t sure about how to go about losing the weight because I was breastfeeding and I didn’t want to diminish my supply. I decided to join Weight Watchers to help me lose the remaining 10lbs because they account for extra points needed while breastfeeding. With the help of Weight Watchers and then MyFitnessPal, I was able to shed those lingering 10 pounds.
It took about 9 months to get back to where I was post baby. Go figure. I don’t know where this expectation came from that it was going to be easy and that because I worked out and stayed relatively healthy, I would bounce back within weeks without little effort. It took time and it took work. I believe that the Hollywood and celebrity moms have put these ideas in our head that if you workout, then pop out a kid, your body will be back to normal in no time. That is not the case for most women. If you’re pregnant right now or just had a baby and are worried about getting your post-baby body back in no time do yourself a favor and remember a few things:
* Cut yourself some slack. Your body just did something miraculous. Not only did you grow another human inside of you, but also you brought that little being into this world. You are awesome.
* Cherish the time you have with your newborn. Don’t obsess about having to workout right this instant. It can wait. Don’t get me wrong, working out during those early months saved my sanity but there were a few times when I’d be in the living room doing Zumba on our Xbox and I’d hear my husband playing in the room with our daughter. I was a little bit jealous.
* In the same breath, don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. You will be a better mother, wife/partner for it.
* Stop comparing yourself to other new moms. You don’t know the whole story. Everyone’s body responds differently to pregnancy and all that comes along with it. Focus on your life and your journey. Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life.
* Finally, remember it took 9 months to gain the weight so you should give yourself AT LEAST that to lose it.
I’m finally at a place where I feel good about my body again, and my daughter is over a year old now. I have discovered that I am actually a faster runner post-baby than I was before I had her. My main goal now is to just lose a few inches, tone up and be the most inspiring woman I can be in my daughter’s life.
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