I was stuck. A huge pile of laundry to do, with all my pants that fit trapped inside them. It was cold and rainy outside, strange for Southern California in May, so I was even more unprepared. I wanted to wear a pair of jeans so I could tuck them into my rain boots, and the only pair that would work were my Gap skinny jeans I hadn’t dare try on in months. The last time I did, at about 4 months postpartum, I felt defeated after I couldn’t even get them past my hips. But I had no other choice; with no time to do a load, and nothing else appropriate to wear, I took them off the hanger…
When I slipped my legs into them, I started to get a good feeling. I think they’re going to fit this time! As I eased them over my hips, the first time in at least 18 months, I began to let myself feel some excitement. Excitement not necessarily because I had dropped some weight, but because my work was indeed paying off with results! I went to zip them up, a bit of a snug task, and them when I buttoned them, I had to breathe in deep just a bit, but I got them zipped and buttoned! They were a bit tight at my waist, but they were comfortable and totally fit at my hips and legs, and I knew that with some wear the waist would stretch out a bit and I would feel fine. For the first time, just shy of 9 months postpartum, I was back into my pre-pregnancy jeans!
A few hours later as I sit here and type this, I’m still wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans in comfort and with a bit of happiness.
My personal journey to losing the baby weight has been at a bit of a slow and relaxed pace. My theory to losing the baby weight is one of grace and patience. It took 9 months to get my body prepared for the pregnancy and birthing a baby, so I try to remind myself that it will take at least 9 months to get it back to “normal”. 9 months on, 9 months off in essence. While I do allow myself grace, I also try to start putting some effort into getting back in shape by about 3-4 months postpartum. Nothing too extreme or stressful.
This time around, I’ve been enjoying intense, yet very low-impact ballet barre type of workouts. These workouts help me get exercise, build strength and muscle tone, but in a very slow and steady type of way. No strenuous hi-impact workouts that would be painful to my nursing body or force me to burn too many calories at once. In addition to these types of workouts 2-3 times a week, I’ve also tried to watch what I eat. No dieting or calorie counting, but I do pay attention to calories, and try to make good decisions when eating out and cooking at home. If 2 different sandwiches on the menu sound good, I pick the one with fewer calories and allow myself to enjoy the meal.
It is very important to me that I don’t sacrifice my milk supply by extreme dieting, and that I enjoy my life. I love cooking and eating, so trying to restrict myself to extreme measures while coping with a new baby would only serve to make me cranky and overwhelmed. Besides these two things, as I wrote last month, I’m just trying to move a bit more by taking baby on long walks when I can.
I technically have about 8-9 more pounds to go to officially get to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I’m really in no huge hurry to get them off. I’ve found that usually when I finish nursing, and am able to watch what I eat a bit more without fear of compromising my milk supply, the final pounds have come off. At least that’s how it’s worked for me with the other 2 babies! We shall see if the baby weight from #3 requires a bit more work.
So what was your baby weight journey? Did you lose the weight within weeks, as some women naturally do, or did you have to fight to get them off? And do you remember the day you finally fit back into your old jeans? I think I will definitely remember this time around. I was so excited I even snuck into a fitting room at a store to take a picture since I don’t own a full length mirror at home! I guess excited is a bit of an understatement?