Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weighing in on Baby Weight

Let’s talk about baby weight.

We all deal with it.

And it is absolutely worth it for a healthy, happy babe… but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.

I’ll admit I am very lucky to have only gained 22ish pounds during the pregnancy, and to have lost those pounds by my 6 week check-up.

But while the number on the scale might be the same… my body is certainly not the same.

Things have softened and migrated… ahem, mostly south. Muscle mass has been replaced by blubber. I mean, Back fat?!?! Where did that even come from?!!?

I’ll admit that the first three months postpartum, I didn’t even try to exercise or eat right. In May I gave a solid 50% effort, and June has been a 75% effort so far. I’ve lost six more pounds, but that’s just a drop in the bucket.

Breastfeeding has certainly helped me slim down. It burns a lot of calories, which rocks. Breastfeeding also signals your body to hold on to a little extra "fuel," in case baby needs it. Not to mention the 5 pounds of water weight and the ounces of milk currently in the udders. But you need to consume plenty of extra calories every day to keep your milk supply up. I’d rather be chunky than forced to wean. Dieting can cause you to dry up.

But let’s be clear… I don’t diet. That low carb, no carb, count every calorie, south beach crap isn’t for me. Anytime I want to slim down, I work out and make slightly better food decisions. I don’t deprive myself and I still eat…. A lot. I love food. Eating is enjoyable and I don’t ever want to change that.

I’ve always been pretty comfortable in my skin… with a healthy, strong body. I have never been a size 2, but I find curves sexy and feminine. I don’t care about the number on the scale, just how I feel and how my clothes fit. My “happy” clothes, that is.

See…I have this ridiculous range of clothing sizes in my closet. Let’s break it down… “skinny-never-gunna-fit-me-again-haven’t-worn-in-ten-years-go-ahead-and-donate-them-already” clothing, “happy-weight-looked-good-felt-good-was-healthy-wore-when-we-got-married” clothing, “got-lazy-and-comfortable-was-a-little-heavy-suck-in-the-tummy-happy-clothes-got-too-tight” clothing, “pregnant-so-cute-love-my-belly-so-comfortable-not-allowed-to-wear-again-until-preggars” clothing, and “post-baby-hide-the-soft-belly-and-backfat-easy-to-breastfeed-in” clothing.

But I digress. So...we’ve established that I need calories to make milk and that I am a hungry girl that misses her “happy” clothes. That leaves exercise.

I actually enjoy exercise… once I’m in shape, anyway.

But exercise isn’t an easy answer either. It takes time. Time this two job workin', home makin’, breastfeedin’ mama doesn’t have an abundance of.

Losing one pound means burning 3,500 calories.

That’s like 24 hours of pushing a stroller. Or 8 hours of unloading groceries. Or 16 hours of chasing a toddler around the park…assuming, of course, that you don’t stop at McDonald’s on the way home.

Losing weight is hard for most women. Just putting out the effort is tough. Not to mention finding the time and finding childcare. To run I need to catch Skip or my parents at a good time, and to go to the gym I have to make an appointment in the nursery. (and tell Skip to eat something from the freezer for dinner)

But I’m working on it. I think I’ll kick it up to 85% effort and do the best I can… always reminding myself how much I love my body for giving me this perfect baby. Eventually I’ll brave a bikini again. They say it takes 9 months to put it on and 9 months to get it off.

I’m aiming to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week and tone up. Totally doable, but not easy. Now it’s out there. You, blog world, are here to hold me accountable.

I’ll put in the sweat for now. But after I'm done having kids, sign me up for a “Mom Job!”

What do you do to drop the baby weight?


Rob and Nicole said...

Love it! I only gained 16 pounds during pregnancy and lost it before I walked out of the hospital! My problem is that in the 9th month of being preggo I finally started eating like a preggo women!, and have yet to stop! I need to gain control over myself, but am having a hard time doing that! OH well! A friend told me that real women have curves, guess that makes me a "real woman"!, but I do need to work on loosing some weight or at least toning up. Really enjoy reading your blog!

Jenni said...

I'll tell you what I have told a few of the other girls.

I think you are a naturally beautiful woman. You exude confidence and happiness. Anything looks good on you.

Do what you need to do to feel good for yourself, but I think you are stunning! :)

Bobbie said...

I was 128 lbs. size 2-4 pre-kids and 3 years and 3 kids later, I'm 145 lbs. size 4-6. On my 5'9" frame, I get told nothing but, "You look great!" That's not the issue for me. I want to be HEALTHY!

We bit the bullet and got a gym membership in Feb because there is NO feasible way for me to exercise with 3 kids, unless I have childcare. Plus, when you have young kids, they nap and have schedules and finding the extra time for the gym is HARD! I have done great (in the midst of a good period now:) and before this week, I hadn't gone for probably 2 months. Life gets in the way. That is, if you don't make exercise part of it. I, like you, don't care at all about a number. My only priority is to be healthy for my family and for myself. I don't eat well, and I'm trying to work on that too. I've found though, that working out on a regular basis, means I can eat pretty much whatever I want, within reason. I too, don't think it's about being a certain weight or size, it's being comfortable with yourself and being healthy.

I was just talking to a trainer today about giving up on ever getting my lower abs back...I've also discussed a boob job with my husband! Some things diet and exercise just won't fix!:)


KrisKay said...

For me it seems like it takes a year to get back to "normal". I feel like I can't lose all of the weight until I'm done breastfeeding! It's hard to fit that exercise into such a busy schedule! I have no idea what my pregnancy weight is, I just know how my clothes should or shouldn't fit! We're trying to eat healthy, but it's just not always gonna happen!

3 dogs and a baby said...

I totally had the back fat, too! It took a while, and a lot of weigh training (something I used to despise) to get rid of it, but it's finally gone. We have a bunch of old weights from when Brandon was in college, so weight training was something I could do at home on days that I couldn't get to the gym or fit in a run outside.

I think feeling great always comes a little bit after looking great, and you already have the "looking great" part down!

Mel Bowman said...

Chasing after an energetic toddler is an excellent way to loose weight. Other than that, I'm big on portion control because I, like yourself, don't "diet". I do walk a lot, too, and each night I do a round of sit-ups and push-ups before bed.

That said, I also had my gall bladder removed when Aidan was 11 months old, and was told to cut down my dairy due to a lactose sensitivity. Going from 5 pieces of cheese per sandwich to just one really makes a difference (blush).

If you figure out how to loose the c-section "pooch" without a tummy tuck, please be sure to share. I'm 20lbs lighter than I was when I *got* pregnant and it's still there! Spanx helps ;-)

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