Before I Had a Clue
Before I had a baby, I had no concept of what “baby weight” really meant. All I could think of was that women gained a ton of weight that was really hard to shed afterward. I imagined myself getting rather large and having a tough time losing it afterward. I had visions of people who still talked about “losing the baby weight” a year or two after the baby was born. I figured I would be the same way.
Then, I was pregnant. I was conscience of weight gain — and obviously wanted to gain a healthy amount — but realized how easy it is for people to throw caution to the wind with eating and exercise while pregnant.
For some, it can be an excuse to overindulge and stop exercising. Let me say this: I’m all for whatever is best for you (of course I would caution people to still make healthy choices for their growing babies.) However, it makes losing weight and getting back into shape so much harder afterward. (Also, not talking about people with extenuating circumstances and high risk pregnancies!)
How I Did Things
As readers of this blog know, I stayed active during pregnancy. I certainly let myself indulge and didn’t worry too much about it but I remained conscience. I actually never felt really “over hungry” or like I was “eating for two” — my appetites remained relatively the same. I believe this is because my exercise amounts went down while my body was growing…meaning, the appetite thing actually leveled out. I ate the same amount but exercised less so it made sense in those terms.
I realized that I could let myself gain extra weight and no one would judge me (not that we should ever be judgmental about weight gain, pregnancy or not), but it would be that much harder to lose it afterward. Long story short, common sense kicked in but it was hard to get that before I was experiencing it.
The Final Total
I gained about 33 pounds during my pregnancy — and lost half of that directly after birth. I had no expectations or goals for getting back to pre-baby weight. I remember seeing a few people online who were like — look, I already fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans — a week later. Well, that wasn’t me (though great for those who could, no shame there!)
I wore my maternity pants for quite some time and actually still wear the shorts this summer because they are so comfy and no one is the wiser! I could tell my shirts didn’t really fit me and I didn’t have a lot of great things to wear. It was stretch pants central for months.
At 6 weeks post-partum, I began exercising again. Slow jogs, minor weight lifting, stretching, exercise videos. Breastfeeding was a monster though, I was starving like I never was during pregnancy! Eventually I stopped breastfeeding (around 2.5 months because I had a lot of issues) and got back to normal. Exercise was sporadic as I was working full time from home with a baby and my weight really just didn’t drop from the first 15 pounds. I rarely weighed myself but clothes didn’t change.
Dropping the Last Of It
Finally, we bought a new house, moved to a new neighborhood, got Jacob into part-time daycare and I got on a schedule, was able to start using my running stroller and regularly hitting up CrossFit. I started drinking Shakeology regularly, which really curbed my sweets cravings and we had Hello Fresh delivered for dinners 3 nights a week. (Psst. Get a free week with my code — I’m obsessed: JVEAKD)
Long story short, life became routine again and I began to feel more in control just recently. I noticed just last week that all of my pre-pregnancy clothes really fit nicely again. Not just “a little” too tight anymore, but perfect.
Everyone is Different!
So, it took me nearly 8 months to get back to my pre-pregnancy body. I am not ecstatic about it, as I don’t even really care all that much aside from not needing to buy more new clothes. For some, it may be realistic to get back to pre-pregnancy weight quickly. For others, it may take 6 months or 8 months or 2 years.
It’s okay. It doesn’t have to be quick. And, lastly, I also had an easy, healthy pregnancy. I had minimal issues and as an active person who loves to exercise, I know it was easier for me than for some. However, I think it’s good for us to share our stories and present a realistic picture for others. Everyone has a different experience but usually it’s nice to find someone you can relate to, or that can give you a perspective you needed to get.