Before I was even pregnant, I was nervous to GET pregnant because of the weight gain that I knew was to come. While most women don’t appreciate gaining weight, I was especially sensitive about it because I had lost 118 pounds in the two years prior to my pregnancy. A lot of things scared me about pregnancy, including labor and delivery, but perhaps the scariest of all was the whole weight thing.
It’s been nine weeks to the day since I delivered my baby boy, and I am definitely not where I want to be, physically. I gained 70 pounds during my pregnancy, which I know is my own fault and way above the amount of gain recommended. I had every intention to remain fit and healthy during my pregnancy, and continued tracking food and exercising the first few weeks; hell, I even ran a 5K! Things kind of came crashing down for me after my threatened miscarriage though, which lasted about two weeks and scared the living crap out of me. Prior to that, my family begged me to stop running, but after consulting with doctors who said it was fine, I continued. And while I obviously know now that my exercise did not cause the threatened miscarriage (a subchorionoc hemorrhage did), I immediately ceased all exercise.
Eventually, I got back into walking and I exercised on and off throughout the pregnancy, but not consistently. I also gave in to my cravings way too often, and found myself way heavier than I wanted to be by the time I gave birth. I know many women bounce right back and lose the pregnancy weight right away, but that has not been the case for me due to my excessive gain. I’m working on it though.
As soon as I had my six week checkup and was cleared to work out again, I was right back at it and at the gym the following morning. In those three weeks, I’ve managed to lose around 4.5 pounds, on top of the weight that came off immediately after delivery. In total, I’m down 22.5 pounds since Caleb’s birth. I’m proud of this progress, but I know I still have a long way to go. I need to drop another 47.5 to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and 55ish before I’m back at my lowest weight (right before our wedding… I gained a few after, thanks to our honeymoon!). After that, I still have about 20 pounds to lose to reach my ultimate goal, which I never reached and was still working towards when we got pregnant.
So all this to say, my journey to being healthy is a never ending one. Who would’ve known when I declared in January 2012, at 270 pounds, that I would finally lose the weight… that I would be right? That I would actually do it? That I would change my entire life?
Now, I am nowhere near where I started. I am not 270 pounds again, and I am so grateful that I never got back to that point (and I don’t plan on ever seeing that number again!)… but I am also not at my best. I am not at my fittest, my healthiest, my most active, or my smallest. I am a mom though, which is even better than all of those things. It also motivates me to be my best, to be better than I am now, and I fully intend to be.
I know it may seem like I have a lot to (re)lose and a long way to go to get back to my fittest (half-marathon, anyone?), but I will get there and I will do it… again. The numbers don’t seem so daunting or scary after all that I already lost. It’s going to be slow going though. Before Caleb, I worked out five or six days a week for an hour or more… it was a huge part of my life. Now, it’s hard to find the time and energy to work out, so I shoot for three or four days a week for 30 minutes or so and I’m back to logging my calories; it’s a start. I miss that phase of my life, where I spent hours on runs and felt and looked fit… but I’m also in this new phase of my life – new mommyhood – and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I’ll have time for that other stuff again later, when my baby’s no longer a baby. For now, I’ll do my best to dedicate as much time and energy to weight loss as I can and I’m even going to start training for my second half-marathon. In the meantime, I’ll forgive myself when progress is slow, and realize that in due time, I will get back there.
So while I hate the squishy belly I’m sporting once again, and I get breathless after a short workout like I used to, I can’t say that I’m mad. That squishy belly carried and fed my child for over nine months. These bloated hands now hold my baby boy. The hours I spend with him that I used to spend at the gym are now priceless; it’s time I can never get back as my baby grows and grows like a weed. Sure, I hate that most of my clothes don’t currently fit, but I am working at getting back to where I used to be, and I know I’ll be there soon enough. I’m determined to get there again, and I will. For now though, I can only thank my body for creating my beautiful son… that’s what my post-baby body is really all about.