The Post-Partum Weight Loss Story

11 Apr

Well, the big hot topic after all women have babies, of course, is WEIGHT LOSS!! As if there isn’t enough pressure on new moms to KEEP A BABY ALIVE and DON’T LOSE YOUR SHIT EVERY DAY, now everyone wants to stare you up and down to see just how good (or not so good) your bod is. I will admit that when I first became pregnant, I was that woman who was all “I’m going to be a fit mom” and “I’m only going to get pregnant right in my belly” and “My arms are going to look good at 9 months pregnant” (how asinine and ignorant a goal!).  And yet, dear readers (do I even HAVE any readers?), none of those goals were met. In fact, I win the award for blowing all of my goals out of the water within, oh, 6 weeks?! Because I found out I was pregnant at 3 weeks (like, practically 5 minutes post-conception I do believe) and thus began a carte blanche binge eating Festivale de Fetus.

Rewind to my honeymoon, where, for all intents and purposes, I was in the best shape of my life (and so in looooovveeeee):

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I think I was about 135 pounds in this picture. This was Day 1 of the honeymoon. I was 15 pounds heavier after the honeymoon because I ate like this at every single meal:

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I literally struggled to find a photo from our honeymoon that didn’t involve gross amounts of food, but ay papi, I hope they serve guacamole in heaven. BUT I DIGRESS!

So then here I am (7 months later) and almost pregnant (excuse the totally queer photo… we were on a vacation in Florida and I was definitely a few more pounds for the worse than in the honeymoon pics, hence the awkward try-to-look-skinnier-than-you-are pose):

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I believe I was dancing around in the low to mid 140’s in this picture.

Then, about 2 weeks later, TA DA!! I passed a pregnancy test with flying colors at a mere 3 weeks pregnant (so, err…. Florida baby??), and my official “starting pregnancy weight” as measured by my doctor’s scale was 146 pounds. About 10 pounds higher than I WISH I would’ve started out (wop wop, so long sexy pregnant arm dreams).

My pregnancy was rough, and since I know many women share my misery and WORSE, I don’t want to exaggerate the suckiness, but just to say very few nutritious food items were appealing due to my seriously overwhelming morning (and afternoon and night) sickness.  So what’s a girl to do but eat Dairy Queen Blizzards for 3 meals a day!??! I had to feed my growing baby somehow!!!! Here I am at LESS THAN 20 weeks pregnant and showing WAY more than necessary, but feeling confident because HEY! BUMP! JUST ONE! As opposed to the first 17ish weeks which were just a progression of my belly (and other various body parts) becoming overall lumpier in a very unpregnant-just-fat kinda way.Image

I invite you to check out the boob shelf that was forming as well as the dimply thigh/butt region (note to readers: the baby wasn’t in my ass, hence there was no reason for it to gain the weight that it did, damn those blizzards).

Our first anniversary (21 weeks pregnant) and what was that I was saying before I got pregnant about having skinny arms? Err…..

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And 32 weeks pregnant. 32!!! That meant that if I were to have delivered on my due date and not 3 weeks early THANK YOU GOD, I would have had 2 months left. DA FUCK!?

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As a result of the good Lord showing some mercy on me, I delivered my baby boy 3 weeks early and here I am during the week I was hospitalized pre-induction. Because nothing is sexier than a fat, cranky bitch, knitting:

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And after delivery:

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Yayyyyy, babiessssss.

Whew ok. That’s the pregnancy journey. Now for the POST pregnancy journey.

Little boy blue was born December 4th which means I still had the bulk of the month of December to enjoy, which meant COOKIES! and COCKTAILS!! and GENERAL CHRISTMASTIME FATTERY!!!!!! Here I am looking especially frightening while introducing my niece to her new cousin:

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The hugeness. It overwhelms me. And makes everything else look so teeny tiny in comparison, no??

Ok, so I think I had just had it. I wanted to wear my wedding ring again. I wanted to wear all the clothes in my closet! My eleventy million pairs of premium denim were MOCKING ME in all my fatness. And people, I don’t tell you all this to freak you out, but to tell you, yeah. We’ve all been there. We’ve all worn maternity pants when we’re not pregnant. We’ve all used “But I’m nursing and need extra calories” as an excuse to eat 7 pieces of pizza. I, especially, have been there. And you know what? Those nasty but fun habits that you form during pregnancy when you treat it as a 9 month race to GAIN ALL THE POUNDZ are hard to break after the fact. I just knew that I had to do something or I would easily become one of the zillions of women who has a baby and just never loses the baby weight.

I didn’t do anything extreme. I barely did anything even moderately. I started diets and then quit after 10 minutes. But what did seem to work for me was trying to clean things up by cooking more (my husband and I are HUGE restaurant junkies), exercising more, and just generally focusing on saying NO to the really bad stuff, but still allowing myself some pleasure in my diet and lifestyle.  And 4 months later, I am beyond thrilled to tell you, it’s all gone. And then some.

Here I am this past weekend with my little family (exactly 4 months to the day post partum):

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I realize this photo doesn’t show you much because no, I’m not wearing a bikini or anything super-modelesque. Because even though I’ve lost all the pounds, baby making does crazy things to your bod. It’s not the body it was before it, well, made another body.  Things are displaced. I’m still nursing and my boobs are disrespectfully enormous. And saggy. And generally less pre-baby-perky. But that’s ok. I’m adjusting to this new body, and you know what? I’m not really ashamed to say that it’s the best I’ve felt in my whole life, because it feels so good to know that in 9 months I gained 35 pounds, and in 4, I lost 40. It’s an ongoing process, and I will run my second half marathon on May 5th (training for which has comprised the bulk of my exercise regimine) and I can’t tell you how proud I am to say that 5 months after my son was born, I got my rear in shape for a half marathon. I know stronger women have accomplished much more. Many more women are thinner, fitter, stronger and better looking after their babies come. But I’m cool with this. And you know what? I say this because I truly, truly, madly, deeply, insanely believe it: if I can do this, anyone can. The proof is in the pictures, know’msayin’?

So there you have it. The most volatile year my body has ever endured, and it came out the other end not too shabby.

All joking aside, I hope this is a motivation to those who are struggling with their post-pregnancy bodies, and that we can embrace what we’ve got and be really, really proud of the fact that we are women, hoo-rah, baby making badasses, stretch marks be damned. So stop worrying about if you’re going to ever fit in those jeans again. You might not. A child shot out of your baby chute for pete’s sake, things shifted! But just know, you will be a better you after having your baby whether you are back to your original jean size or not. And it’s all so, so dang worth it.

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3 Responses to “The Post-Partum Weight Loss Story”

  1. Dad Helman April 12, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    VERY proud of you, Coco. You are beautiful. (sniff)

    • SJC April 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      Courtney – that was a powerful description of your journey bringing Baby Navy into the world. Thank for sharing and you are beautiful – inside and out. xoxo

  2. Jen Carpenter April 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I love this post. And btw you look great! I thought so the other day at church as well! And babys are amazing, weight loss/food/moods/sickness all end in an amazing end result:)

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