Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Post-Baby Weight Debate

It's been almost 4 weeks since I've given birth and of course my mind has gone to the topic of weight.
Prior to getting pregnant I was trying to lose weight. I had a goal weight of, let's call the number x, and I was, on average, 15 lbs over that number. I had kind of plateaued and had been there for awhile. I was happy there, and a nice enough size, but realistically would have liked to be 15 lbs less.
With Chloe I gained about 25 lbs by the end. So, nothing near the 87 lbs I had to lose with Matthew (that I lost except for 15 lbs, but it took me 3 years). With Matt I was able to lose about 10-15 lbs, and then I had major problems. A huge part of it was over-eating which I later learned should have been attributed to ppd. But, the point is, I found that the numbers didn't really come down. Or, they did and would go right back up.
For me it was horrible going clothes shopping because we had very little money, so I was watching every penny I spent, but nothing fit. And, really, the larger you are the worse cheap clothes look on you. (I could show you pictures). And I refused to wear my maternity clothes. Talk about setting yourself up for disappointment.
So, with this birth I decided that I didn't want to go through all of that - hence less weight gain. I was worried about how long it would take to lose the weight.
here's the funny thing. I now weigh exactly the same amount that I did before I got pregnant. Great, eh?
Not so much. I still need to wear clothes that are 3 sizes bigger (which, thank God, still lands me in regular sizes). I'm afraid to pull out most of my pre-pregnancy clothes because I know trying them on will be discouraging - and painful. I'm not sure if it's cause of the c-section or because of being pregnant - or both - but all of the excess weight is in 2 places: my boobs (not a bad thing) and my lower tummy. It's like my body has completely re-shaped itself.
I've been doing some research on this, and it is apparently fairly normal, but it can take 1-2 years of exercise and LOTS of sit-ups to get your normal tummy back. That would be fine if I even liked my normal tummy, but I've never liked it. So, who knows ...
I find the whole thing rather baffling. If you think about it, if I'm the same weight now that I was pre-pregnancy and I'm fat in 2 specific places, there should be some places where I am skinnier. Right? Ummmm ... nope. I've looked. I would love it my legs were suddenly more sculpted or I had thinner arms. But no - same old body plus extra tummy. NOT fair.
I'm pretty sure that I can't do sit-ups yet (my doctor said 6 weeks before exercise), but I am walking. And, in a couple of weeks we're joining the Y as a family which means we get to do my favourite exercise - swimming!!! (though bummer that I will need to get a new bathing suit - cause that will be fun times. And a bikini wax. Ouch!)
Part of me is trying to be content at this weight, but then another part of me is thinking that we're going to Disneyworld in July. So, I'll have about 8 weeks to get in some sort of shape - and between eating healthy (easy to do in the summer), and exercising (going to the Y and bringing Matt to the park a lot - and we walk there) I could realistically lose about 10 lbs. Not quite a goal weight. But, enough to like my body a bit better. I can only imagine how many pictures we will be taking while we are there.
What I'd really like to do is come up with some sort of healthy meal plan to keep us all on track for being in slightly better shape for Disney. One day at a time.

Oh, and speaking of working out ... as you may remember, last year I did a 5k race in June. I put it on hold to have the baby, but plan to take it up in the summer or fall.
My friend, Lou, was an amazing help to me. He was the first person I ran 5 k with, gave me tons of encouragement and didn't let me give up when I said that running was not my thing.
Guess what? At the age of 66 he completed the Boston Marathon yesterday! His time was 4:35:31 and he came in 19,114th Place. I was pretty impressed! It's been his goal for a long time to do this, so the fact he made it there is pretty amazing.


Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Post pregnancy weight is such an issue, it really is!

I will tell you that although many lost their pregnancy weight during breastfeeding, I hung onto 10 extra pounds for the whole year that I breastfed the bunny and as soon as I stopped nursing, they slipped off of me like butter. So, who knows, maybe you've even got more to lose?! Wouldn't that be exciting!!!

As for the tummy thing...I hear ya, oh, I do hear ya sister. And, unfortunately, I don't have much encouraging to say. I suspect it is totally due to the c-section. My body has never been the same, but admittedly, I HATE sit ups!!! I wouldn't push yourself into sit ups just yet--you wouldn't want to hurt your muscles and cause yourself more grief in the long run.

You'll be into clothing that you feel good in soon...though it's hard, try not to get down about it. I'm sure you look absolutely glowing!

citygirl said...

I'll borrow from my neighbour's experience to post a comment on this topic. She has 2 kids now (one age 4; one age 2) and is super skinny. Once both kids are self-mobile, you will never have any extra weight!

I think you always look great no matter what. You have a super sense of style not to mention killer eyebrows :)