The Baby Weight Diaries - Part 1
Monday, 21 March 2016
I think I gained a total of 18lbs of pregnancy weight. I say I think, because I didn't weigh myself towards the end of pregnancy or for the first few weeks afterwards. Aside from being seriously ill, there didn't seem much point in counting this weight as it was most likely fluid retention rather than fat stores. So I weighed in at 182lbs on the 25th October. I count this as my new starting weight.
A bit of background: I was 196lbs all the way back in 2011, before going down to 137lbs in 2012 and this gradually crept back up to 164lbs in January 2015. A number of reasons for this increase: firstly I had started lifting heavy weights, got pretty strong and gained a bit of muscle... but I'm not naive enough to think that made up for all of the increase! The rest of the increase was simply owing to comfort eating while working in social services.
Fortunately, my love of the gym and home cooked meals (although I still go out for meals an awful lot!) has been enough to prevent the return of the health conditions which previously came bundled with weight gain. My blood sugar levels and blood pressure have remained healthy, even if my scale weight hasn't!
So, back to present day. I'm steadily losing my pregnancy weight, I'm 10lbs down so far, but I still have 8lbs to go just to get back to pre-baby weight. Then of course, there's the matter of about 25lbs to lose (again) to get back to pre-social services weight.
At the moment I consume on average about 1,800-2,000 net calories a day but I'm no where near as active as when I use to weight train 4 times a week. The motivation to exercise is definitely still there, but the opportunities have dwindled since giving birth.
Now planning a workout resolves around breastfeeding, my son's mood and whether my partner has the day off work to look after him. My son doesn't nap in the day and he doesn't take bottles anymore so I have to time my workouts for inbetween feeding, which is tricky for a baby that seems to feed every 1-2 hours throughout the day. Working out at home used to be an enjoyable option, but there's so much baby stuff everywhere these days that I can hardly get in front of the TV.
These probably sound like excuses to the supermums who can drag themselves out of bed at 6am and workout before their children predictably get up at 7am. Perhaps they are excuses. It's not the workout that puts me off, it's the time take to move crap out of the way of the TV for home workouts, or the time taken to get to and from the gym, shower, dry my hair and change my clothes.
I know that it will not always be like this, and these days with my son are incredibly precious. So for now, my easiest solution in between 1 or 2 weight sessions a week, is to just go for walks with the pram on sunny days.
I strongly believe that no woman should feel pressure to lose weight (especially baby weight) quickly. Society's obsession with how quickly celebrities lose their baby weight has done real women absolutely no favours at all. In real life, it's not only easier to lose weight at a slower pace, but more sustainable.
In 2011, I aimed to lose 1lb a week because I had to drastically change my diet and get the weight off quick enough to prevent pre-diabetes from turning into full blown diabetes and to bring my blood pressure back down to far healthier levels. This year however, I'm not in such a rush. Providing I keep losing about 0.5lbs a week and I still get some exercise and eat healthily most of the time, I'm satisfied. I see no reason why I should slash calories drastically to get the weight off as quick as possible and my way of eating and exercise right now is very easily sustainable.
For now, I'm doing ok. Slowly plodding along, but doing ok.
Posted by Karen Oliver at 08:00:00
Since the 11th of May 2011, I have gone from being obese to healthy, rescued myself from diabetes and hypertension and taught myself how to cook along the way. I've gone from being the teen that bunked off PE lessons, to the adult whose hobbies include lifting weights, yoga, dance and mixed martial arts.
My main rule is to live a lifestyle that's fad-free! I encourage everyone to stay well away from faddy diets that could potentially cause more health problems than they solve.
It's all about creating a sustainable, enjoyable lifestyle change.