Oh you guys. Here I am to finally talk about postpartum fitness and weight loss. Have you been on the edge of your seat waiting for this chat? 😉
So quick summation of my personal weight loss history:
Gained about 30 pounds after college from 2009-2011. Mid 2011 I joined Weight Watchers with my mom and lost 25 pounds, felt really awesome, kept it off, ran a lot, strength trained, and maintained my weight loss with intuitive eating. In 2013 I got pregnant for the first time and had my firstborn in early 2014. I gained close to 40 pounds during that pregnancy and lost 25 before I got pregnant with my second child in 2015. I had my son in April 2016. I gained a ton of weight with him…like over 50 pounds (a lot of water weight to be sure, I was crazy swollen), lost 30 pounds, gained back 15 and then surprise-surprise got pregnant again.
I didn’t gain much weight at all during my pregnancy with Griffin-15 pounds total. I lost all of it right away and then gained back about 5 pounds. My body tends to drop more weight and then regain some as my breastfeeding supply becomes established. It’s weird, but it’s done it each time so I didn’t really freak out this time around.
So all-in-all I need to lose 60 pounds. 😳
60 pounds seems like a HUGE number. But, as the saying goes, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. My short term goal is to focus on losing 5 pounds a month by exercising 3-4 times a week and tracking my macronutrients using myfitnesspal.
Postpartum Weight Loss Plan of Attack:
- Slow, slow, slow I go. I think I’ve self-sabotaged some of my weight loss efforts in the past by looking for a quick fix. When you are staring longingly at your favorite top that no longer fits it is easy to do. This time I KNOW this will take a while, like over a year. To be fair, staying healthy will take the rest of my life: there are no shortcuts and no quick fixes.
- Nutrition first. One thing I learned from having gestational diabetes is that nutrition is everything. I gained less weight and felt so much better all around during my last pregnancy even though I did the least working out. I ate within my carb guidelines and walked. Exercise feels like it is doing more, but saying no to a cookie actually is more effective.
- Tracking calories and macronutrients. I’m currently using myfitnesspal to track both my calories and macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat). In addition to staying under my daily calorie intact I am aiming to hit a certain number of carbs, protein, and fat a day. This system (if you can call it that) is called “if it fits your macros or IIFYM. I’ve learned a lot about it from this facebook group.
- Workouts I enjoy. I aim setting a goal to do 3 workouts a week, anything else is just icing on the cake. Most of my workouts are focused on strength training. Along with my nutrition first epiphany I recently decided life is too short to do workouts I don’t like. I really like weight lifting. I like walking or hiking. I like running outdoors. I like some workout videos, especially kickboxing or yoga or barre. I don’t like burpees. I know they are great but I don’t like ’em so I’m probably not going to do them. Like ever. I don’t like the elliptical or running on a treadmill. I’m finding that when I choose workouts I really like I do them more frequently and look forward to them.
- Breastfeeding Friendly. For the first time ever I’m enjoying a great supply and don’t need to supplement my little one. I have close to 20 ounces of milk in the freezer and that never happened with my other babies. While I am setting goals for weight loss I won’t compromise my breastfeeding. If the journey is slower because of that, so be it. I also think breastfeeding as a “weight loss tool” is waaaay oversold. My experience is I have a harder time shedding weight while breastfeeding, but the literature says something different which totally sets up false expectations and disappointment.
So that’s what I’ve got so far in the #katemovingfrommombodtohotbod journey. I’ll keep ya posted. And yeah, I’m literally going to use that hashtag (inspired by katie day) so be sure you’re following me on instagram to keep up with all the day-to-day details!
What questions do you have about postpartum weight loss? Did you lose your baby weight quickly or slowly? Did breastfeeding make a difference?
P.S. I should add Griffin is 10 weeks old and now sleeping 4-6 hour stretches at night and has even had a few 7 hour nights. #thankyoujesus I honestly would not worry about weight loss till you get to a place where you are more rested and not waking up multiple times a night. Go for walks, try to eat healthy, but life is all about survival during the early days, even if you are cleared for workouts. Just some wisdom from the third time around…sleep > everthing else.