Postpartum Weight Loss. This is something most women struggle with. And the “screw society’s expectations” part of me says, “Well, why do we even need to worry about it in the first place? Shouldn’t we just love our bodies?” But they can go hand-in-hand. In fact I believe the key to postpartum weight loss is to love your body!
I want to make something clear–losing weight because you think you will feel better about yourself at however-many pounds… it’s fruitless. Once you reach that goal weight, you will likely still have negative self-talk. You won’t be satisfied.
I am a huge supporter of the body positivity movement. Women should appreciate their bodies and love them for their abilities! This journey that I went on to grow two humans inside of me (and then push them out!) has me in total awe of what my body is capable of.
But on the flip side, there is such a thing as toxic positivity. This is positivity to try to erase or cover up any insecurities, and this can be just as damaging, especially if you are purposefully ignoring symptoms of poor health. So we need to be honest with ourselves.
Have I been treating my body with kindness and respect?
Do I find positive things to focus on in the mirror?
Have I been fueling my body with rich nutrition?
Do I move my body to keep it limber and trim?
We need to be honest with ourselves to treat these earthly vessels with humility and respect.
After the birth of my first son, my postpartum weight loss journey was difficult to say the least. I was about 161 at my heaviest during pregnancy, but I still weighed 155 when I came home from the hospital, despite giving birth to a 7 lb 6 oz baby, the placenta, and amniotic fluids. I was lounging on the couch with my newborn (completely expected for a new mother) and my muscles were not nearly as strong as they had been.
A few weeks later, I finally got down to about 142 before I got stuck there for a couple months. As someone who has been in the 120s and extremely athletic all her life, it was frustrating! It took until about 4 months postpartum before I even hit 130. Even then, my body was still not as strong.
This time, I have not only put on more weight than last time, but I’m more determined to work at it after D is born. (Read my birth story here.)
Planned Postpartum Weight Loss
Here is my planned weight loss chart:
I’m giving myself what I hope to be almost 3 months to get back down to my goal weight.
Within my plan, I have broken down intentions for both exercise and diet.
For my exercise plan, I intended to start Xtend Barre class online after 2 weeks PP. I actually stopped bleeding, but the class that I did just two days ago was too rigorous and I started bleeding again.
I suppose I should listen to the doctor when they tell you not to start exercising until 6 weeks. Until then, it’s stretches in the mornings and a walk in the afternoon.
Back in 2011, I went completely Paleo. Words cannot describe just how much better I felt, my energy levels were high and my allergies were low. Removing all grains, sugar, and dairy from my diet was incredibly good for me.
I haven’t exactly been eating paleo since being pregnant, even with M. So this has been my plan. I’ve been doing much better with grains, though I haven’t been 100% grain and sugar free, and I must confess that removing dairy is much harder than previously thought.
Inspiration: Loving my body
Here I am in 2015. My husband (then boyfriend) and I traveled to some National Parks that year, and we hiked Half Dome. For those of you who don’t know, Half Dome is a 16 mile round trip hike where 8 of those miles are up and you climb cables on a steep rock face at the end to reach the summit. Then of course, you have to do those 8 miles back down. We did it in just under 12 hours!
This was the pinnacle of my fitness and and strength. I mean, look at those arms! Slender but ripped! I would love to get my body back to the place where I could hike Half Dome again!
Reality: Still loving my body
Here’s me 12 hours after giving birth. (M wanted some lemonade!)
In the spirit of authenticity, I share that photo without shame. This is not what princesses look like when they step out of the hospital into the flashing lights of cameras. This is real.
Although, I am aware of how lucky I am to not have had any tearing, injuries, or pain. At some point, I’ll write an article specifically about what prepared me for giving birth without tear or injury, but not here.
Two weeks later…
As I write this, I am two weeks into my postpartum weight loss journey. Here’s me now:
(Ignore my messy bathroom, won’t you? It’s still a work in progress.)
I look at myself in the mirror and I am incredibly proud. I tell myself honest, positive things about my amazing body, and I vow to my body that I am going to treat it right.
At my heaviest while pregnant, I weighed 167. (You’ll note that on my “Getting Into Shape” chart, that I predicted I’d be 172 by the time I gave birth. In actuality, I did not put on any weight the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy.)
I did not weigh myself after coming home from the hospital, but one week later, I weighed 152, which was an excellent loss. Today I weigh 149 and I’ve lost a total of 18 pounds.
The key to your postpartum weight loss journey is to love your body!
I feel quite comfortable with that! I know that it’s only going to get harder from here. They say that if you’re breastfeeding the weight just falls off of you, but that wasn’t the case when I was postpartum with M, and I doubt that will be the case now.
This is only the first step in the journey. Let’s see how things continue to go from here!
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