Postpartum Weight Loss: The Struggle (Part 2)

It has been a few weeks since I started my weight loss plan after baby, and I want to cry. All I can say is that postpartum weight loss is a struggle.

Okay, yes, most of my urge to weep may be my crashing hormones or the fact that D has hit the 6 week sleep regression/developmental leap/growth spurt and fights sleep like a madman until 10:00 or so and I’m getting up at 4 or so to nurse before I teach ESL classes. Or the fact that I almost got mastitis (again) and spent 2 days out of commission on the couch with a fever.

I still believe in body positivity and treating your body right. None of that has changed.

But I’m just emotional right now.

As I write this, I’m 6 weeks postpartum. Last week I weighed 145. This week I’m back up to 147.

Here’s what my weight loss chart looks like now:

Getting Into Shape After Baby Chart. Postpartum Weight Loss.
2 weeks postpartum.
2 weeks postpartum

There are a lot of possible explanations for this.

Reason #1: I’m gaining muscle as I work out.

You’re not supposed to work out until week 6 postpartum, but I’ve been doing some low-key exercises and stretches that have actually made my muscles sore the next day. Because I exercised so infrequently during my pregnancy, my muscles atrophied and now I need to build them back up. Muscle weighs significantly more than fat, so it would make sense that as I exercise, my weight will flatline until I’ve built up muscle, then as I continue to work out, the fat and weight will start dropping.

Solution: Keep doing what I’m doing.

Reason #2: I’m holding onto water weight.

Pizza is probably not the best dinner choice for the night before you plan to weigh yourself. Too much salt = serious bloating.

Salt isn’t the only reason I’m holding onto water weight. I am breastfeeding, so I drink about a gallon of water every day. My body uses most of it, and stores some extra.

Solution: Don’t cut back on the water. If anything, increase it. Help flush out any salt that my body is holding onto. Maybe I shouldn’t eat pizza when I’m trying to lose weight!

Reason #3: I actually did gain fat back this week.

For some women (more than you’d expect), losing weight during breastfeeding isn’t actually as simple as “the weight just falls off”. (You hear that all the time, right?) Some women hold onto fat when they are breastfeeding instead of losing it quickly. Fat helps the body produce estrogen, so possibly the extra fat could be hormone-balancing? (That’s not scientific at all, just a hypothesis.)

Solution: Losing weight may be much harder for me than I previously thought. I could either accept that I may be heavier while I’m breastfeeding, or I can restrict my diet even more and push harder into my workout routines now that I am 6 weeks postpartum.

Doing this may, of course, might make my milk supply decrease, which is less than ideal.

The Good News

I have already lost about 1.5 inches off my waist since 2 weeks postpartum.

The other good news is that unlike my last pregnancy, I have a toddler to chase around and lift!

6 weeks postpartum.
6 weeks postpartum

Again, I’m posting pictures of my frumpy self with stains on my shirt and toothpaste on my mirror, because, let’s face it. I don’t have time to change my shirt or clean the mirror. This is what postpartum looks like.

In fact, it’s often messier than this.

This is real life, and sometimes the best laid plans do not work.

My hope is that I’ll at least continue to lose weight, even if I don’t make it to my goal weight by the end of June! Postpartum weight loss is a struggle. I don’t have a solution right now, but let’s hope that I’ll find one soon!

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Postpartum Weight Loss Journey, Part 2, the struggle
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7 thoughts on “Postpartum Weight Loss: The Struggle (Part 2)”

  1. Thanks for being so open in your journey! My son is now six and I’m the lightest I’ve been in maybe 9 years (mostly thanks to fasting once a week). It definitely took a long time to feel like I could dedicate that time to my own self care. I’m super impressed with you – keep it up!

  2. It’s like you’re reading my own struggles- after 3 back to back pregnancies, weight loss has been my newest struggle. You’re not alone in the hustle!

  3. Wow! Congratulations! My baby is already 19 months. I’m still struggling. I ditched my scale and tape measure and just started taking pictures. It helps me better.

  4. Postpartum was so hard for me, I was so skinny and fit before my first child and to see how much my body Changed was rough. It’s great that you’re sharing this journey for others!

  5. Postpartum weight loss is so hard for so many reasons. It’s so hard to find time and motivation. Thank you for sharing with us.

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