Friday, August 22, 2014

How I lost the Baby Weight Part 2: The first weeks (or months)

When I had Aisley, due to complications, I was given over 17 lbs of IV fluid.  I left the hospital heavier than I had walked into it at 42 weeks pregnant.  I had such fat cankles that I was unable to walk up and down stairs, I looked 7 months pregnant, and even with my baby finally home, I was devastated.  I heard about the girls that are back in their skinny jeans weeks later, and I hated them.  Realism isn't on the favorable side of postpartum women.  Here are the steps I took to losing weight in the first weeks.  For me, this "few weeks" was closer to 2-3 months.  Why?  I have an exhausting baby.
  1. Relax- You get home from the hospital, and no doubt cringe at every mirror.  Give up the stress.  Sit on the couch with your baby, and make sure there are no mirrors visible from your favorite nap spot.  I really needed time to recover from a semi-traumatic birth and to bond with A.  I did this for at least 2 months, and still lost around 25 lbs.  Seventeen pounds of fluid and 5 more of god knows what.  All I did during this first 2 months to lose weight was.....
  2. Breastfeed- Whether or not breastfeeding actually helps weight loss, I was determined to do it for Aisley's health.  I feel strongly about breastfeeding (read more here) so I did it.  And for the sake of this post, lets say it helped.  After all, while eating crappy and laying around, I still lost 22 lbs.
  3. Don't get discouraged at plateaus-After the initial 25 lbs, I plateaued out every. five. pounds.  It was so irritating to be doing so well for a couple weeks only to spend a couple weeks where the scale would not budge.  Instead, make a small change at each one.  
During this initial bonding time, I chose NOT to worry about my weight, and instead bond with my new baby (and let's be honest: I slept.) The first few weeks are easy.  Everything is new and exciting.  Uteruses slowly retreat to their proper position while they realize that there are ENOUGH babies right now, and (if breastfeeding) you can live guilt-free about "one more bite" of dessert.  

I truly think that if I had stressed myself about my body and tried to whip myself back into shape I would have experienced mommy burnout and eaten take out every night for two weeks.  I think if I hadn't gotten the extra sleep, that my metabolism would have held onto my fat stores like a lifeboat.  And I think I had to have done something right, because I shrank fairly quickly, even if I held onto a fair amount of weight, and yes, even if loose clothing and disguising tops became my best friends.  I felt good.  I took time to bond with my baby.  We took naps together, stared at each other, and had a strong start to breastfeeding that's still going on without a hitch.  And it made me a better mom.

Let's take a nice look at what "recovery time" did for my worn-out-just-had-a-baby-body, because like I said....we're being honest with ourselves.  I DID pic the pictures with more flattering angles, but I also Instagrammed pictures the first 4 weeks postpartum.  I figure thats the borderline between bravery and embarrassment.

1 week

This is how I "worked" on weight loss at first-in a maternity top and my husband's gym shorts...because that's literally all that fit.  

Only 1 week postpartum!  I'd like to thank this dress A LOT.  

2 weeks

2 weeks PP, and now only looking 4 months pregnant!  BONUS, I left the house with no shame and still in maternity clothes:

3 weeks

3 weeks, and extreme bravery

1 month

4 weeks, and my birthday!  I was HAPPY with how I looked!

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