Note: If you are squeamish about things related to postpartum bodily functions, you might want to skip this one!
Post Baby Body
Prior to getting pregnant, I had clients and acquaintances alike that would say, “You are still young, just wait until you have kids.” Well I had a baby and while I am sure I am going to get ” You have only had one, wait until the second when it’s harder to lose the weight,” I am going to call bullshit right here, right now. Sorry, I don’t normally cuss in my posts but I am sick of people throwing the easy card at folks who work hard to get fit. I have never had it easy with weight and the same goes for my postpartum weight loss.
Every woman who has had a baby, no matter how confident you were before, goes through the same thing. Your tummy is squishy and at some point regardless of the bundle of joy you are holding, you look at your body in the mirror and wonder if it will ever be the same. It doesn’t help if you have had an episiotomy (which burns like a mother) or a C-section and you have to deal with that as well. I can’t tell you how difficult getting up out of bed or sitting down on the couch was with a busted crotch!
Every woman’s recovery is different, as is their labor, but I would say most women think it at least once after giving birth.
Instead of letting this get to me, I focused on healing and spending as much time as I could with my baby. I knew that I had a job to do and that job was to feed and care for my baby so I wasn’t really worried about the weight loss.
When I finally got cleared to work out, I started with walks and let me tell you I felt like I was doing to bust a stitch even though the doctor swore I was all healed. I just knew they’d made a mistake lol. I slowly started to add body weight moves in but even lunges felt impossible. Needless to say I had to go slow, slower than I had ever imagined. I didn’t do any ab work for 4 MONTHS- yup 4 months. I had diastasis and rather than make matters worse by crunching and planking my way to an even bigger problem, I continued my belly pumping and healing plan from The Bloom Method (http://thebloommethod.com/), which I credit for healing my mummy tummy.
I gained 36 pounds while pregnant and I don’t go around telling everyone that so that they compare. Each pregnancy is different and your doctor will help guide you on what is appropriate weight gain. I only tell you this to say, I gained enough weight and then some. (I also gained most of it in my last two weeks when I retained a ton of water.) I didn’t starve but I didn’t over eat. I tracked everything I ate but ate to make sure I was getting enough. I added 200 calories in the first trimester even though my doctor said I didn’t need to add any until the second trimester. I did this because I was still super active. I just ate more of the foods that I already had in my diet with a few splurges. My main craving was watermelon and I ate it at least twice a day! I add in 300 more calories in my second trimester and another 300 in the third. This won’t work for everyone. I worked out until the day I went into labor. I literally began labor hiking the trails with my husband. Because I was so active, I needed to make sure I had enough calories to cover what I burned plus my pregnancy. I can also tell you that being pregnant changed me. I absolutely loved my pregnant body and found so much respect for a body that I use to look at searching for flaws. Pregnancy made me feel amazing in my own skin.
So why am I sharing all of this? I say all of this to say that your journey back to your pre-pregnancy body is YOUR journey just like your pregnancy is YOUR experience. People thought I was insane for working out throughout mine even though my doctors all said it was great. There will always be people telling you that you are doing it the wrong way but I’m here to tell you the only right way is your way. I am sure there are people that see my fitness posts now and think that I am starving myself to lose weight or that I am neglecting my child by working out. To put it in perspective, my daily caloric intake while pregnant was 2300-2500 calories and it was tapered down to 1750-1800 after birth until my milk supply was established. To be honest, I didn’t even track for a while after he was born because I just didn’t care. Now, in the middle of comp prep I am still eating 1658 calories and my milk supply is doing great. I work out on my lunch break or when the baby is asleep and sometimes I still leak a little when I sprint lol. Hey, don’t judge, I’m drinking 1.5 gallons of water a day. I would think even someone who didn’t just have a baby may have some trouble holding in that much during a sprint or at least that’s what I tell myself. 😂😂😂
My schedule is not easy.
5:00am Baby wakes, feed baby,
play with baby before work
6:30am Work/hubby takes baby to
Lunch Cardio or Workout (
4:30pm Pick up baby and tried to
spend an hour with him
before he falls asleep
5:30pm Dang time for bed already
(he has always gone to bed
6:00pm Start workout (if baby
wakes, I stop)
8:00pm (New thing) He wakes
briefly so I sneak in a bit
8:30pm Feed baby and he nods
9:00pm Mommy shower, make
bottles, lay out his clothes
10:00pm In Bed
12:00am Baby wakes for feeding
12:35am Go back to sleep
2:00am Baby wakes for feeding
(and may stir again around
Saturday and Sunday I still get up at the same time but I have the entire day with my hubby and baby and that makes me soooo happy. It doesn’t hurt that I have one hell of a husband who is not only supportive of me but the best father I could ask for.
Do I wish I had more time with my baby? Absolutely. If I stayed at home, would I miss my career? Absolutely. Will people judge me either way? Of course. I was recently promoted at work after returning from maternity leave and am super proud of the career that I have built even if I do have working mom guilt. Someone just told me yesterday that no matter what you choose you will always have regrets. So the next time you hear someone judging that stay at home mom or that working mom, think about the sacrifices that both require. It is easy to judge someone based on a few interactions or social media posts but you don’t know that half of someone’s journey unless you are part of it.
Why I Chose To Compete
I chose to compete after having a baby to set a goal. I also chose to do it so that I could feel like me again. Yes, I’m a mom and that is my top priority but it’s important to still do the things that you love as a mom. I also said that if my workouts or nutrition hinders my milk supply or time with my son, I will stop my prep. So far, it is working out great and has given me more energy and makes me feel so much better. I am amazed at all of the support that is coming from the fitness community and from my fellow competitors, many of whom will be joining me on that stage.
I applaud all of you out there who are paving your own journey, mommy or not, mother of one or mother of four, beginner or competitor- this is your story! Bottom line is that losing weight is never easy regardless of who you are. If losing weight was easy, we would all be fit as hell. It takes a lot of work and a lot of planning. It takes support and motivation so find the people in your life who lift you up and do the same for them.