Women give themselves such a hard time about pregnancy weight gain and I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I really made myself miserable for most of my 9 months – agonizing over every pound I gained…squeezing into my regular clothes as long as I could b/c I couldn’t bare the thought o f maternity clothes. Then…somewhere in the last trimester I just got over it.
When I found out I was pregnant I was 128lbs and running about 25-30miles per week obsessively (pics seen here of me “Flexing” taken march of 2009 – found out I was prego in April 2009).
Shane was in school after school in the process of going from enlisted to commissioned and I was just along for the ride. So in order to keep myself busy I became obsessed with fitness.
No joke. If I could scan my old workout routine notebook (yes, I kept a log) and show you – you would all see just how type-a I truly am. I met with a walking group 3x week (part of the Parks & Rec. for the county we lived in and everyone there was over 50yrs old – except for me!) at 6:30am – we covered anywhere from 3-5miles and I wore ankle weights to give me more of a workout. Then I would go home, eat, and go out for my run (this I did daily) – 3-5miles. Come home and do a 1hr Jackie Warner workout video (this was daily). Then on Tue/Thr evenings I went to the Y for Pilates and on Mon/Wed evenings I went to the Y for Yoga. Also, in the afternoons I would take my brother’s dog for a 3miles walk. I wasn’t working or in college – I was living in the spare room of my brother’s house while Shane was living in the BOQ on base in NC, I was about a 4hr drive inland – so I was really just trying to keep myself busy until it came time to move again.
By the time we got to Okinawa I was 2months pregnant and it was late April (so the heat hadn’t set in yet). I was still running about 5 miles 3x week (outside) and doing prenatal Yoga 2x a week. But I wanted to do more and I pushed myself hard. I was coming home and trying to do my hour-long workout videos after my runs and feeling sick. I was running and feeling lots of pain in my pelvic area plus I was getting dehydrated constantly. I would get home and have a throbbing headache and be laid up on the couch all day. The heat in Okinawa is nothing to take lightly. So I went to my doctor and she laid it out – TAKE IT EASY! So I stopped running at month 4 of my pregnancy but started walking 5miles in the morning and then again in the evenings. (I have to learn most things the hard way) Finally I started getting so swollen up from the humidity I just had to STOP. Stop everything except the yoga. I was miserable in my body. I was gaining weight like crazy and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
By the time I was ready to deliver my beautiful baby girl my 5’4 athletic frame had grown from 128lbs and lean to 185lbs and swollen!
This photo was taken 5 days before I went into labor.
I also want to say that my doctors never told me that I was gaining too much – I always asked about it and I was reassured I was looking “healthy!” So if you are pregnant and reading this – don’t stress that chart that says gaining anything more than 25lbs is unhealthy.
I regret missing out on the fun parts of pregnancy because I was so miserable about gaining weight. I did learn that your body really can take a lot but you have to know your limits. I shouldn’t have been so hardheaded about running outside and have gotten on the treadmill. (Again, learning the hard way) I also learned that it’s okay to gain weight when you’re pregnant – that’s how it works! The best part – is seeing your body bounce back – and it does w/ breast-feeding and effort! Finally, this year I have really started to feel like I used to – my energy levels are high, my muscles are coming back and I am feeling like I used to but better. Because now I know that I am setting a good example for my baby girl about health and fitness. Also, I think that there is just some sort of confidence that comes with age.
So the pictures I am posting on here – have never been seen by anyone but ME! I can’t believe I am posting my before and after pictures. The “leaving the hospital” pictures are extremely painful for me.
But you have to know – this is what my body looked like two days after having a baby. If anyone who is reading this blog is in the process of loosing their “baby weight” and is feeling lost, I hope this reassures you – you’ll get it back and then some!
But just like most everything else in life – You don’t know what you don’t know!
I now know one thing for certain – I will enjoy pregnancy number two much more – no more agony over weight gained. I will focus on being active and eating well and the rest will happen naturally.
Three months after having my baby girl I was back to pre-baby weight but not back into my pre-baby clothes because my body hadn’t toned back up yet. That took some time. Here is a picture of me at 4 months after having Nola. This is not exactly accurate considering my husband had been in the Philippines for some time and this photo (below) was taken for me to send to him – so I was really sucking everything in – I passed out shortly after! lol! BUT I was back into my pre-baby clothes and feeling great about it. The time it took me is not the important part – and I hesitated to even show an after picture or say how long it took. Everyone’s bodies are different. Heck, my cousin didn’t gain over 17lbs when she was prego and she looked skinnier after having her baby then she ever did before she was pregnant! How does that happen!?? The point is – take it easy on yourselves – everything will happen just the way it is meant to at the moment it is suppose to!
I also want to note that after my husband got home and I was cooking for two again I gained weight (about 15lbs). I wasn’t committed to a running plan or any fitness routine. With college and a 4month old baby I was just living day-to-day. Now, Nola is almost two years old, I am still in college and I am more committed then ever to my running.
It took me over a year to really get committed again – My head is now back in the game!
Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments