At the start of 2013 I was preparing for a year of maintaining my weight loss with continued physical activity and healthy eating. I had no trouble losing 10lbs in the early part of the year and I was excited to stand on the scale and see the numbers continue to fall. In March I came down with what I thought was a nasty flu that kept me from eating or keeping anything down for weeks. I soon found out that my “flu” was actually morning sickness, 49% of pregnancies are unintended according to the CDC, and mine was definitely a part of that statistic.
Oh no! I’m pregnant…
I was scared initially of losing the body I worked so hard for, and I was nervous that after the baby was born I wouldn’t be able to lose the weight again. I looked up articles about how much weight you should gain during pregnancy and decided I’d stick to the goal of a 25-30lb weight gain over the 9 month period. Around the third month of pregnancy I stopped feeling sick and started feeling hungry, for sweets specifically, from then on I gained about 10lbs each month. I topped out at 196lbs on my due date of November 11th, but by this time I was so excited to meet my baby girl that I really didn’t care. I did, however, start preparing myself mentally for a serious diet change in the coming months.
I Want Chocolate!
After the morning sickness subsided I really enjoyed being pregnant. I felt so connected to the baby inside me, and was extremely excited to feel her move and shake. I was active throughout my pregnancy, I rode a bike up until I was 7 months pregnant, and walked most days for 10-15 minutes even up to my due date. I also enjoyed the freedom of eating anything I wanted, even though I really should have made healthier choices. Cravings are truly no joke, I felt like I NEEDED a coke every day, and I know that was related to my pregnancy because I don’t enjoy the taste of coke at all post pregnancy. Not to mention I was extremely busy, rarely had time to visit a grocery store, and spent most of my time outside of my own house. Eating out was a necessity for me, I usually chose a turkey sandwich from Jason’s or Dajio or a grilled chicken sandwich from Smacs, along with delicious dinners at Dr. Baker’s house and the Smith house which I always appreciated. But I absolutely attribute my excessive weight gain to sweets, I ate a lot of them, every day, for about 6 months and even worried at one point that I’d cause the baby to be diabetic. I just couldn’t control myself, I was emotional, exhausted, and apprehensive about being a parent. Sweets were my coping mechanism.
Giving Myself a Break from the Scale
After baby was born I lost about 25lbs immediately. I haven’t dieted or limited any foods thus far because I am breastfeeding, but I have cut down on my sugar intake significantly (no pop <soda for you New Yorkers, drink for you Southerners>, fewer candy bars per week, no ice cream). I was excited to continue my weight loss, but since November I’ve actually gained about 5lbs back. After reading several articles and forums I found that the scale won’t reflect my work because it’s possible I’m carrying a significant amount of water weight due to breastfeeding. As long as the numbers don’t increase I’ve decided I’m fine, and that numbers on a scale don’t matter until after I discontinue breastfeeding, instead I’m going to focus on eating a well rounded diet.
Along with eating well, I’ll be exercising 5-7 times a week. I’m realizing that I won’t be able to make it to every exercise class I want or have to time to hit the gym every day, but I can do a little cardio at home with the baby several times on days I don’t make it out, and I can eat fewer calories on days I’m sedentary. So far I’ve been extremely lucky to receive a gift gym membership from the amazing Doctor, take kick-your-butt classes taught by the awesome Angie, and have support from a great man who loves me and respects me at any size. The ‘me time’ I’m getting at the gym and on walks around this beautiful island have boosted my mood, made me more energetic, helped me maintain motivation to eat well, and make me stronger so I can carry around my bundle of joy that keeps getting heavier and heavier every day.
To take things up a notch I’m planning to read a couple of books – The Paleo Answer and 21 Day Sugar Detox. Then it’s time to implement big changes in my diet. For months I’ve watch a friend chronicle her success with weight loss and overall improvement in her well being by “eating clean”, and recently read her blog about the experience , this is the very friend that supported me through my initial weight loss while living in New York City, the friend that invited me over to consume delicious dinners with vegetables I had never eaten prepared by her amazing husband, and the friend who helped me transform myself into the woman I am today. It’s the research phase at this point, but I’m excited to learn more and find a diet that works for me. The goal is to fit my pre pregnancy clothes, and I expect this will take about a year, and I’m excited to begin the journey of weight loss again!