The other day at my grandmas house I was watching ‘Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition’ with trainer Chris Powell. This episode was a year long challenge for a female in her late 20s to lose weight. He works with the very obese and helps them lose hundreds of pounds over the course of a year. (It’s nice that it’s not 100 lbs in a month like some shows.)
He brought on his fellow trainer and friend Drew Manning who had done an experiment with his own body. He stopped exercising and eating healthy for 6 months. The result was 72lbs gained, he felt sick and lethargic, and his confidence plummeted. Then he went through the process of good nutrition and exercising again and was able to get back to his fit self. He said he was surprised at the mental toll that this took on him and he now had a glimpse (he didn’t claim to fully understand how it feels) to be overweight.
I was thinking that was a pretty awesome experiment that he did. That he cared that much for his clients to try to relate to what they go through. I thought I would want to do something like that, then I remembered, I am doing it right now! For a second time even! Being pregnant is not easy on any woman’s body. Even the ones who love being pregnant suffer at some point I’m sure. (Or they are liars!) 😉
As a fitness enthusiast, one my think I would have an easy time with pregnancy. Still exercise and eat healthy, gain 12 lbs and be done. Hardly. While I do exercise still (not in the awful first trimester), and I still make healthy choices most of the time (maybe a little less than normal) I still gain a decent amount of weight and it’s not easy mentally or physically. It’s hard for any women to see themselves gain weight, even when it is for such an amazing miracle. Physically it is hard because of back aches, joint aches, sleepless nights, tiredness, and just being uncomfortable. But I think the mental aspect is even tougher than the physical, at least for me. I have a much more balance outlook on health, fitness and body image than I did in my early 20’s but I still have a hard time seeing my body grow. When I gain weight I always gain weight in my legs and being pregnant is no different. So my jeans stop fitting earlier than some in pregnancy. I see these girls that only have a cute belly, and their legs are still lean, ha, I can only wish. If you are one of these adorably cute pregnant people with just a belly and can fit into your pre pregnancy jeans 2 weeks after giving birth, I’n not upset with you, I think it’s awesome and I might be slightly (ok a lot) jealous. For the rest of you, be sure to give yourself a break and not beat yourself up about losing baby weight in 2-4 weeks. It took 9 months to get there, and it can take 5-9 months to get back there.
Also be sure not to give up on yourself because your ‘a mom now’. You still deserve to spend a little time on yourself so feel good and are healthy FOR your kids. The best way for them to grow up with healthy habits is to show them.
Being consistent with a balance of healthy eating and exercise will go a long way when getting your pre baby body back. I would love to hear about your body journey whichever phase you may be in. (Even if you had your kids 15 years ago and haven’t lost the baby weight!)