I have been meaning to post on this topic for some time now, but have found the hours I spend each day making lovey-eyes at my two-month-old getting in the way… funny that.
SO, here I am getting around to a topic that I hold very dear to my heart (and other body parts); postpartum weight loss! Yippee!
Basically, I consider myself to be a totally regular woman, with all of the regular struggles, triumphs, pitfalls, tears and joys that accompany weight and body image. While I am a dancer and fitness instructor by profession, I do not see myself as being any fitter than your average bear, especially not at the moment.
About two and a half months ago, I gave birth to my beautiful, healthy son. You can read more about that here, should you fancy. During the pregnancy, I really tried to eat moderately, and I continued dancing and teaching fitness until 38 weeks.
I did really well in terms of my weight gain until that 38-week mark. But once I stopped exercising BAM! I gained like 5 kg. (over 10 pounds) immediately. Granted, I lost 10 kg. within the first month after giving birth (the “easy 10” as I like to refer to it) but seeing as my goal had been not to gain more than 13 kg., the 20 that I ended up with when all was said and done was slightly vexing. But only slightly. You see, I’ve done this before and never with such a good excuse as pregnancy.
Rewind about 7 years. I was 21 years old and in my third year of my bachelors degree at the University of Toronto. I had been gaining weight for about 5 years, but at this point was topping out somewhere dangerously close to the vicinity of 100 kg. Overeating caused by stress due to my parents divorce, my studies, my partners’ substance abuse and, well, just being a typical North American teenager, I fear, got me to that place. Enter break-up of my 4 year relationship. This really served as the lynch pin in inspiring me to get my act together and start prioritizing my health and get control of my weight. I changed my diet, starting gyming and running and within about 8 months lost 30 kg. It was like shedding an outer, useless shell of my old self and being reborn. It was amazing.
Fast forward about 4 years. The realization dawned on me that I had been slowly putting on weight again, kind of without realizing along the way. With wedding bells sounding in my not-too-distant future, I wanted to get back to my prime, strongest, healthiest (and, I’ll admit it, sexiest) self before the big walk down the aisle. Another 8 months give or take, and I lost another 10 kg. again through ruthlessly fine-tuning what entered my mouth (like to the point of entering everything into a calorie counter for a month and a half) and exercising like a demon, and realizing my love of running once again.
Returning from our honeymoon, I weighed 73 kg., was 23% fat and 34% muscle. That was the fittest I have ever been in my adult life. I felt great. One week later, I got pregnant, thus bringing our little walk down my yo-yo weight-gain memory lane full circle.
One month after giving birth (what I consider to be my starting point this time around for measuring my progress) I weighed 85 kg., was 44% fat (!!) and 26% muscle. I started exercising lightly at 6 weeks postpartum, and in the last 2 weeks have kicked up it to about 5 hours a week of, what was for me pre-pregnancy, medium intensity exercise. Now it doesn’t feel so medium!
My goal, which I now state before myself, the blogosphere and any gods that might be listening in, is to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, at least close to the 26% fat mark (I think breastfeeding will impact this, thus I am giving myself a wee bit of leniency there) and to complete a half-marathon in ONE YEAR. Boom!
It likely won’t be easy, and there will doubtlessly be some tears along the way (“why? why is chocolate cake so damn good?!”) but having been around this way a few times before in my 28 years, I am confident that in the end, I will prevail. And the journey will probably be pretty fun too 🙂