By sharing the story of my health journey after giving birth, I hope to appear more real and relatable to my readers.
I want for us to be more open so that we can help each other out on this journey.
My weight-loss story isn’t something miraculous, it took time and a lot of effort.
Just like most first-time mothers, pregnancy surprised me and changed me. Post-pregnancy was the same. I had no idea what to expect and so I let my cravings take control and consistent exercise lacked.
I was healthy for the most part until the end of my pregnancy, when I had high blood pressure and put on almost 45 pounds.
For my body, I was pretty healthy but I was getting on the verge of unhealthy. After birth, everything went smoothly and I lost the normal weight slowly from the actual birth, then from nursing, and eventually taking walks.
My weight loss after birth was slow. Slower than I expected. I did end up losing all the baby weight, about 1 1/2 years later. I’m now able to maintain, but it is definitely harder to stay lean after birth than it was back in college.
Just because it took me that amount of time to lose the weight doesn’t mean that’s the normal time for everyone. For some women it may take more years. For others it may take less.
I think the first birth is always the hardest to get back into the swing of things. Now that I know what to expect and what to work on I will be ready and more healthy for my next pregnancy when the time comes.
Here’s a quick timeline of my weight loss story:
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I gained a total of 43 pounds. That may seem like a lot, but for my body type, it was ok, and I felt fine, other than the high blood pressure, which eventually went away.
This is a picture of me at about 40 weeks. I was 41 weeks when I had my baby.
About 2 1/2 months later, I was down a few pounds, but still had a lot of weight to lose to get healthy again. Nursing and walking helped at this time. However, I probably only walked once a week, so not very consistently.
I participated in the program called BirthFit and loved it.
This was the first scheduled workout I did with other moms and had a lot of support.
I did this for about a month, and then did regular Crossfit for about a month after that.
Doing this helped me to get back into a workout routine and helped me to remember what it felt like to move my body again…
It was exactly what I needed. I did invest a little bit of money for it, but it was totally worth it at that point.
After those two months, I was able to lose around 15 more pounds and regain consistency with my workouts.
At this time we were also trying to tighten our budget, so we decided to take a break from Crossfit.
I had to be more creative at working out without a gym membership. I took advantage of a park across the street and started running and doing bodyweight workouts outside while pushing my baby in the stroller.
If I couldn’t get outside, I would do workouts at home or in the apartment gym.
My workout schedule looked something like this:
Monday: Run 1 mile, walking lunges, 10 burpees, 3 sets of 10 push-ups
Tuesday: Home workout–Legs: Squats, lunges, Hamstring ball curls, Split squats
Wednesday: Run 1 mile, 6 hill sprints and walking lunges
Thursday: Home workout–Upper body: Jumping pull-ups, push-ups, tricep dips, Band back rows
Friday: Run 1 mile, jumping squats, push-ups, sprints
Saturday: Run 2 miles
This schedule would vary depending on weather and appointments and such.
But, for the majority of the time, I tried to rotate between cardio and body weight workouts. I also focused on sprints and hill sprints since I would get a good burn for less time.
I was able to lose most of the baby weight doing this about one year after giving birth. These pictures were taken a week before the one year mark.
Currently, I fluctuate a few pounds around this weight and am working on putting on more muscle.
My weight loss was gradual, but I did it, and continue to do it. I had to workout consistently and eat well.
My diet during pregnancy was awful towards the end, and that made it harder to get back on track. However, I kept trying, and when one weekend was bad, I wiped my slate and tried harder the next week to eat healthier.
Losing weight and being healthy is a continuous and lifelong process. There is no “before and after” picture. It’s “then and now”. Continue to look towards the future for what’s next.
The “secret” to getting and staying lean and healthy is hard work and discipline. Also, support and encouragement help a ton. I’m here to provide the community, tools, and support to remind you that you can do it.
You have what it takes to press forward.
Now, tell me, comment below what your hardest challenges were with weight loss or health after giving birth?
I’d love to hear your input on how to overcome challenges or challenges that you don’t know how to overcome yet. Remember, this is a positive and encouraging community!