I really struggled with what would be the right venue for expressing this thought, and I settled on the blogosphere since it seems to be the best way due to its need for editing (more so thank facebook or other social media outlets) and this is the place where I express my opinions, so if you don't like them, you can look or read elsewhere. I am not offended) :)
Let's talk about losing baby weight. The reality. I'm talking numbers, here, people. I'm going to be real honest. The reality that for all moms it's different. There's no magic answer or method. We are all different, and lose it at different rates and some of us, not at all.
Before my pregnancy, I weighed in at 145 pounds at 5'6" (my height hasn't changed, by the way, ha!). By the end of my pregnancy, the week I gave birth to James, I weighed 196 pounds. Yes, I gained 51 pounds during my pregnancy. And I'm not ashamed. I was healthy, walked twice a day, even ran a half mile the week I gave birth to James. No, I did not have gestational diabetes (which happens for lots of reasons, not just extra weight gain during pregnancy, contrary to some theories). I did retain water and was so swollen that my wedding rings were off by the middle of the second trimester and my only shoes were flip flops or tennis shoes (with the laces WAY loose).
After I gave birth, the magic of breast feeding was supposed to kick in, but guess what? It didn't. After Christmas 2014, when James was five months old, I had lost a whopping 7 pounds. I weighed 189 pounds on January 1st, 2015.
I wasn't eating badly, but nothing had changed in my exercise or eating habits. Plus, I was still breastfeeding and had been advised not to diet at all. But I had been doing workout videos, walks, runs - what gives??
At 6 months old, I stopped breastfeeding James. He had started biting me, and while I know this is not a deal breaker for breastfeeding, it just seemed right since he had started eating real food and was ravenous for it. I figured that was the best time for our situation. Plus, this magical breastfeeding wasn't doing anything for my weight loss (seriously not the main reason for stopping, just was kind of an extra "so what").
Then something weird happened. As soon as I stopped breastfeeding, I dropped ten pounds in like 3 weeks. What?!
So, what's my point? My point is this all makes ZERO sense. THAT IS THE REALITY. Now, 9 months post-partum, I weigh 163 pounds. I am almost there, I still have a ways to go, but do I have any rhyme or reason as to why this has been the case? Not really. And this is what I've heard from other moms, too.
I just want to say to all the moms out there that are struggling with weight gain from pregnancy that it's OKAY that it doesn't make sense, or that it's frustrating, and that you're not alone. And that all those internet articles about breastfeeding being magical weight loss don't really apply to everyone. It's a process. And it also may never happen and that's okay, too. You're not alone!
I hope that we can go a little easier on ourselves. The only resource I read that made any sense to me was to give your weight loss at LEAST a year after you've given birth. At the time, I was frustrated by how long that seemed, but now, as I'm living it, it seems so reasonable.
It also seems like stupid thing to fixate on. Sure, being healthy is important, but so is loving yourself. I spent so much time hating myself for the weight I gained when I could have been enjoying my life a bit more.
Patience and persistence win at the end of the day, so keep on keeping on mommies, and love yourselves. Just know each one of us is different and the reality is that there is no magic formula to being a mom except loving those little babies (which we are awesome at). The number on the scale is important for health, but it's not the only marker of a happy life.