Thursday, January 26, 2012

Losing Pregnancy Weight

Okay, I have really been thinking about what I am going to post on here, this is a sign that I will have much to write about. :) Get ready for a 30-part series. :):)

I am a naming expert. I honestly decided to call it this so that people will just know exactly what I am talking about. I am so boring, I know.

Weight loss has always intrigued me... or maybe I should say distracted me... or maybe I should say been an obsession. The obsession part was more earlier in my life and God has been faithful to heal me in that area. You can read about that in The Redemption of My Physical Body series if you want.  This series will kind of be a tag along to that one, except it will specifically be my postpartum journey. I want to recognize on here that each person's body is different. Metabolisms are different, shapes and weights and numbers are different... what I hope to communicate on here is what has worked for me, what I am learning about myself and my body.

I am not going to have "fat pictures" or measurements or weekly weigh-ins. This is not your typical weight-loss blog. I don't know that I will share my exact "meal plans" or caloric or fat intakes...

Why? Isn't that what you have to do in order to lose weight? I say, NO

Because I have crash dieted before. It doesn't work. At least, not for long.

Often when I hear people talk about diet plans I tune them out. I'm not going to be so bold as to say I have tried everything and nothing works. What I am going to say is that I don't want to have meal plans and restrictions and good and bad days for the rest of my life. I'm tired of the guilt and I don't believe it is necessary to lose weight.

I have thought about it and I think I will include some numbers. Just want to be honest and I feel the freedom here to talk about my weights in the past and about where I think I am today. These are some physical markers for me. These are all roundish, but just to give you an idea.

My heaviest weight that I've ever seen on a scale has been around 205. I'm 5'7" ... I think that was sometime in college. I met my husband at about 190 and we began dating (I couldn't believe he found me attractive, but he always said he loved my smile and my spirit, he said I was his dream come true. He is a sap and I love him.) By the time we got married seven months later I might have been down to 180 and when I found myself pregnant a year after that I was around 170. It was a slow weight loss, but for the first time in my life I wasn't crash dieting and had a much healthier view of food than ever before. I attribute the weight loss to the fact that we didn't sit around and watch TV and eat. (Watching TV has always been the way I binge, it's very difficult for me to just sit and eat at the table and binge, but when there is a television to distract me from the vast amounts of food I am eating, it is very easy to do so.) Another thing I will attribute my weight loss to was the example I found in my husband. He often knows when to stop, he doesn't eat dessert after every meal, and he wants to have at least one vegetable at dinner. He is not perfect, but he has been a good example for me.

When I got pregnant with Levi I didn't know what my body would do, so I was pretty careful about how I ate. I had two motivations: I didn't want to gain 70 pounds like I had heard of people doing and my other was that I was no longer just feeding me, I was feeding a little life inside of me. He was my motivation to make sure I ate enough and that I ate healthfully. Ben was also good at getting me to go on walks. I walked a LOT with my pregnancy with Levi. I would walk 3-5 times a week anywhere from 1-3 miles depending on how I felt that day. In the first months I only gained about a pound or two per month. Towards the end however, I did jump further up the scale and ended up gaining about 35 pounds. I think I made it up to 205 again.

Now, my mom had always said that if I nursed the weight would just "fall off" of me. She would gain a lot of weight during pregnancy but then lose it really easily by nursing and she would even get under weight because of it. Her key: drink lots of water. That's what she told me. Drink about 16 oz every time you nurse. If you are nursing every 2-3 hours, that is a lot of water. :) She said that she could eat more than my dad and still lose weight by doing this. I thought she was maybe remembering with rose colored glasses, but I was definitely going to take her advice and drink as much water as I could. It makes sense because the water helps you metabolize the fat into milk.

Well, I nursed and I walked and over the course of a year I lost 60 pounds. I was down to about 145. This was a dream come true in a lot of ways because I never thought I would see anything below 160 again for the rest of my life. I now knew that my body could do that, it was possible. Honestly, I think at times I would restrict my eating a little bit, and then other times I indulged. I'm not going to say I ate more than Ben all the time, but sometimes I would. I just had to listen to my body, allow myself to experience hunger, try to eat healthy, exercise when I could and nurse.

Then I got pregnant with my little Aria. Since I only weighed 145 I kind of laxed off in the eating area. I thought, well, maybe I would just gain about a pound a week and then gain 40 pounds, at least I wouldn't weigh as much as I did with Levi. I'm just going to say that at the hospital they weight you before you check into your birthing room, I was 198. This was a victory in some sorts because at least I didn't break 200, ha ha!

Now that she is out of me, I'm pretty sure I weigh less than that :) but I don't own a scale so I don't know by how much. I figured I will find out at my 6 week appointment how much I could stand to lose. You can read about why I don't own a scale here.

I wonder what it will be like trying to lose weight with baby number two. I am older, will my metabolism be slower? Will I have the time to nurse? Will it be more difficult to get out and exercise? Will I want to eat out of stress of dealing with a two year old who has a will and wants to use it? Or will I have a healthy distraction in my little boy from the food that can call my name when I'm bored?

More than anything, I want this journey to be one that pleases the Lord. I learned a while back that this is a process that He can be invited into. I want Him to be the focus of my attention, not food, not dieting or weight loss. Apart from Him I can do nothing. He created my body, He has blessed me with two beautiful children and He is the one who allows me to walk in freedom above the pull of food.

Lord, help me. I am in desperate need of You in all of this.


  1. (1) I am going to love this series. Probably especially because it's not about numbers/weight-ins/diet plans... It is much more true to real life and the way I operate. When I've lost weight in the past (I gained 30+ pounds the year I lived abroad and my sophomore year) I lost it much the way you did--by making healthy choices, but not by "dieting". It's a much more sustainable and less crazy-inducing approach.

    (2) You are inspiring me to be a better blogger. I'm going to try and blog later today once I get back from my garden. I may even write about gaining weight in pregnancy and the mind-game that it can play on you...

    Thanks for sharing, as always!

  2. Oh, Jody! Yay! I'm so excited about this series! I will admit, since I don't make much milk and nursing did not turn out to be suitable for my body, I am still eating as if I am nursing every few hours. I know it won't take long for me to start packing on the pounds. Lately my life has been much more Christ-centered. It is strange, but I feel more grounded, exceptionally more patient, and much more aware of my God and his hand in my life AFTER having had the baby.

    I am excited to Yale this journey with you. I've NEVER dieted effectively or made a real effort to become more healthy. I've always been too lazy and lacked self control and discipline. I desire good health and eating habbits now, though. I want to take care of my temple and also set a good example for my little guy as he grows.

    Any advice you have is greatly appreciated! Also, exercising together would be fun, and we'd love to have your family over for dinners!

    Love you!