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When I got pregnant, I weighed in around 165 lbs. I wasn’t anywhere close to where I would have loved to have been physically. I was in school and just trying to keep my head above water financially. I ate nothing but crap and had very little time to work out. My midwife cautioned me several times about my eating habits as my weight climbed upwards and she measured the baby’s growth. But I was still healing emotionally and could not give one care about my eating habits. I also know that measuring babies in the womb is often off.
People were always remarking when I was 7 months pregnant how big I was. So you can imagine it didn’t get much better into my eight and ninth month.
I don’t remember what I weighed in these pictures specifically, but the weight I hit the day before I delivered was 215 lbs. That’s a 50 pound weight gain. So add my 15 pounds of extra weight I was already carrying to my pregnancy weight, I was facing a pretty hefty number of 65 pounds to lose to get back in shape by Daenarys’s first birthday.
Why her first birthday? Because my goal is to give her a full year of breastfeeding before I move on to my goal of becoming a law officer. I have no desire to be pumping while I’m going through the academy. But when I reach that milestone, I want to be ready for the next step in my career.
Birth of the baby
On June 20, 2018, I lost 20 lbs which included a 9 lbs 9 oz baby, placenta, and water. I was a little bummed the water weight didn’t account for a little more of my weight gain. So leaving the midwife’s office with my beautiful, chunky baby, I weighed in at 195 lbs.
I am not good at being immobile. I was instructed to stay in bed for 3 days, close to the bed for 2 weeks, and close to home for 6 weeks (or so). I live in a 2 story home and I couldn’t stand to be shut away in my room, however, all of that time. So I had to settle for one trip downstairs and one trip upstairs and rely on others to assist with retrieving anything I needed that first week. One night in the first week, I sat up in bed to burp her during a night feeding and popped a stitch. It definitely wasn’t the greatest of feelings. But that stitch popping led to an infection which delayed my healing process from the general 6 week timeline to restless 3 months!
But all throughout the first 3 months I exclusively breastfed (or pumped while I was at work). My baby never needed formula to supplement my supply or to help with her growth process. I was very blessed as a first time mom. I understand that many first time moms (and some other moms for various health reasons) are unable to produce enough breast milk to meet their baby’s demand. My eating habits were not much different in these 3 months. I made some good healthy eating choices and I made poor eating choices.
I did experiment with the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) eating plan, but became a little overwhelmed with keeping up with it very quickly. My main concern was that I was breastfeeding and had to add some carbs to my “S” (fat) meals and didn’t know if I was doing it correctly or sabotaging the plan altogether. I also became sweet deprived as the sweeter used for THM was stevia and my body was not handling it very well, or my baby! (I can only attribute the sweetener for my baby’s agonizing discomfort shortly after implementing its use along with my own bowel movement difficulties.) If I didn’t enjoy a treat here and there, I would cave and indulge on sugary goodness and that would not be good either.
When the gynecologist I saw for my special healing situation cleared me for working out after 3 months, it wound up falling at the beginning of Bikini Body Mommy’s (BBM) first 90 Day Challenge which incorporated a combination of her 7 90 day workout programs, a 5 minute ab routine, meal plan, and additional bonuses for VIP members all on a dashboard which kept track of your progress including weigh ins every 15 days with fit tests. There were weekly prizes for those who completed 90% of that week’s tasks and cash prizes for 3 of the people who completed 90% or more of the entire 90 day program. I was familiar with BBM enough so I hopped on board for the $30 entry fee.
The meal plan was a gold mine of resources and allowed for sweets that were NOT sweetened with stevia. Glory be! The workouts were also 20 minutes or less. It was a rough 90 days as I had to fit them in during my work week. I was so thankful for that time period when my mom brought my baby to me on those long days, as well as the ability to work out with my sister on the one day a week that she kept her in south Houston.
When I started the program around the 1st of September, I weighed in at 172.4 lbs. That means, in 3 months time, I lost another 23 lbs with just what breastfeeding burns. That and lifting a steadily weight-increasing baby that hit her birth weight plus one ounce only 6 days after birth. She climbed fairly quickly after that.
The Meal Plan
The meal plan I followed almost religiously (I still had off moments) was BBM’s meal plan which accompanied her workout program. She offers it in her VIP membership but it is also offered separately for $10/month and it is soooo worth it. It is pregnant and breastfeeding mom friendly, and it is a combo of keto and paleo options. You can customize it to your own preferences and do all one side (keto) or all of the other side (paleo) or follow it religiously.
I personally felt like there were too many options to work with and many of the meals would go bad before I could eat them all if I did every recipe every day. Furthermore, I didn’t have that kind of money.
Budgeting $75/week for my grocery budget, I picked 3 meals and a snack plus some breakfast meal options that I made every day Monday through Wednesday (my off days) and packaged the leftovers to use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Thursday through Sunday (my work week). (Please also note that my “grocery” fund includes all other necessities: shampoo, soap, deodorant, diapers, wipes, etc.)
I worked out 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week. If I missed a workout one week, I made up for it by doubling up my workouts on one day the following week, but that was a very rare occasion. It was pretty rough, to be honest, as I had to be up at 4 a.m. 2-3 days a week on my 12 hour days. I followed the meal plan with the recipes I found most appealing. And I included the ab workouts 2-3 times a week.
Numbers don’t lie
At the end of the 90 day challenge, I weighed in at 163 pounds. So 6 months after having the baby, I was under my pre-pregnancy weight. Since January 1st, I have been somewhat flaky with my meal plan and my work out program has certainly faltered. Some weeks I’ve skipped it the entire week, others I have doubled up Monday through Wednesday, performed a single workout on Thursday, and skipped it Friday and Saturday (Sundays are normal rest days). Yet I am still down an additional 4 lbs (I was down a total of 6 lbs but I really lost it a week and gained 2 lbs) to 157 lbs.
Looking at the numbers from what I lost in the first 90 days without working out and what I lost while working out, it’s crazy to think I lost more doing nothing for the most part, other than breastfeeding. And I have seen posts that talk about how they lost weight without working out. If that floats their boat, good for them.
What are you aiming for?
But think about this: what is your focus on? Losing weight or being healthy and strong? What kind of example do we want to give our kids?
I don’t want my daughter worrying about her weight like society has for so long focused on. It’s hard for me not to focus on that myself and compare myself to others. You can’t be healthy and strong if all you focus on is your eating habits. The best thing is to build muscle and allow the muscle to help you lose the fat.
Having weight to lose helps
Right after I had the baby, I had weight to lose and I was burning calories breastfeeding. It’s actually easy (to a certain extent) to drop weight when you have so much to lose. So it was understandable that my body was shedding the weight without working out. But I would never want to lose all of it by eating habits alone.
Adding in strength training and cardio in to my daily routine is what is really going to give me a better quality of life long term, gives me energy to lift my chunky baby and play with her as she grows, as well as meet the physical demands of a police officer. It also demonstrates the importance of being healthy and strong to your children vs. being skinny. Imagine if your daughter never saw you step on a scale?
This week has been one of those weeks where I threw out the workouts. But I hit my goal of 15 pushups one week prior to the first of the month, and I matched that number just last week. Next week I’ll hit the workouts with a passion and be back on track. And then in May I start BBM 8.0 with the contest aspect of it. I’m excited about a fresh round of recipe options.
Give your body the time it needs to heal post-birth. Enjoy getting to know your new little person.
Then when the doctor has cleared you, give BBM a shot. It’s 20 minutes and only requires weights and maybe a step stool (I use a chair, but it can be kind of high for some people). Don’t stress about hour long workouts. Trust me, a 20 minute workout is hard enough to keep up your motivation for some days. You will definitely burn out if you’re trying to knock out a 1 hour workout every day.
If you have already tried BBM, or you do try it and don’t feel like it’s for you, check out Jillian Michael’s 30 day workout DVDs or use her app. You can take it wherever you go. Click the link below to check it out.Get the My Fitness by Jillian Michaels app for custom fitness programs and meal plans. Workout anywhere and cancel anytime.
Make homemade meals with plenty of fresh vegetables, eat
more sweet potatoes than white, switch out the pasta and replace it with spaghetti
squash (my mom bought a zoodler and makes noodles out of zucchini). Throw out
the carbonated sodas and avoid the bread (though I did in fact eat half a dozen
Texas Roadhouse rolls one Saturday!)
Getting back in shape isn’t as intimidating as it
seems. It is all a process of getting started and keeping your goals in mind.
Join the Band of Gypsy Mothers!
Join the band of gypsy mothers and lets build a community of single mothers. Feel free to drop your comments below on your own successes and struggles in losing weight and let me know how I can help you keep on track with your goals.