Monday, June 21, 2010

Weight loss (or lack thereof)

Stop me if you've heard this one before...

"When you breastfeed, the weight just falls right off."

"I've never been hungrier than when I was nursing. But I ate anything I wanted and kept losing weight!"


"I lost all my pregnancy weight and I didn't really even do anything other than walk a bit."

Yeah. I hate all those bitches.

Okay, so I'm kidding. (Sort of). But I am annoyed (although, shouldn't be surprised) that my body is the exact opposite of everyone else's post-pregnancy experience.

I've been exclusively breastfeeding since day 1. The weight? Is not falling off. (Oh, how it makes me laugh to think that I could have ever believed that would happen for me).

Here's the thing. I gained 38 pounds during my pregnancy. Just a teensy bit more than the 25-35 pounds that is considered a healthy weight gain for me. (Yay me!) Within the first two months after having Anna, I did lose 16 pounds by "doing nothing". After that, my weight loss stalled. But I thought to myself, "That's okay... I'll continue to lose it slowly but surely. That's what everyone says happens. And I'm nursing. And I worked out throughout my entire pregnancy. And I didn't overeat. And now I'm even getting back into jogging a little and doing some yoga." etc etc.

So... yeah - no. That's not what happened. After the weight stopped coming off, I actually started gaining.

(Excuse me for a minute...) WHAT THE EFF?????????????????? I started gaining!??!!!

Come on, Universe! Why the heck do you have it out for me so much? I can do everything right during my pregnancy and yet 3 months after having my baby, I still have 30 POUNDS to lose? (Yes, I gained back 8 pounds. Oh. My. God.)

Le sigh.

So... despite what I've heard from many, many women... my experience is NOT that all I have to do is walk a little to lose the weight. Nor can I eat whatever I want. Breastfeeding is no miracle weight loss cure for me.

In fact, I'm now being VERY careful about what I eat and how much I consume. I also go jogging about 3-4 times a week and do Stroller Fit once a week. I'm careful about food. I'm pretty darn active. And so far, I've lost 8 pounds in about 5 weeks.

My genes... they're wonderful. (Thanks Ma and Pa.)

I think the thing that bugs me about all this is not so much that it takes me a long time and a lot of work to lose the weight - it's the numerous stories from other women of how easy it was. Things like "I gained 65 pounds during my pregnancy and lost all of it but 5 pounds within a few weeks" or "I haven't done any exercise at all and now I weigh less than I did before I got pregnant".

It's not easy for me. It never has been and, now I realize, it never will be. So, even though 90% of the women who get pregnant seem to be able to lose it all and get their bodies back by the time their baby is Anna's age now - doesn't mean that's going to happen for me. And I'd rather not feel like a failure on the body image front.

So, I'm just not going to listen to those stories anymore.

And, honestly? I'm pleased as punch with my 8 pounds in 5 weeks.


  1. Haha! Good one yet again Heather! I think the percentage of women who lose weight rapidly and without any effort after preganancy is more like 20% than 90%. It is a long tough hall. The first three months you are not sleeping properly and therefore, tend to eat to give yourself some energy, your sex life for the first six weeks or so is non existent, (this being one of the greatest methods for weight loss! among other things) and the fact that you are able to eat more of the foods you love without getting terrible indigestion. You will lose the baby fat Heather, but in your own time and your own way. You are very beautiful and always look terrific to me and I am sure, to Andrew as well! If 90% of women you know told you they lost weight without trying and within weeks and a few months of giving birth, well, I would definitely look askance at them! You rock Heather!

    Aunt S{:~>)

  2. Another good post Hez! Seriously, who are these 90% of people who lose weight shortly after giving birth? You know how easy it is for me to lose weight and yet, it was at least a year after I had you that I was able to wear pre-pregnancy clothes! Actually, they never ever fit again. Might have had something to do with not working out and eating too many chips :)

  3. I think the guideline is that it takes 9 months to come on so it takes 9 months to come off. It's not that uncommon to gain weight esp. given the lack of sleep, lack of schedule for normal meals, BFing hunger etc. I wouldn't worry about it... just enjoy the mat leave...


  4. Congratulations on the 8 lbs, as my husband says there are no small victories. Keep up the good work. After A was born I had a really difficult time to lose the weight. Try to be kind to yourself.

  5. Well said sister!!! I have been hanging onto 15 pounds of baby weight I can't shake either. I was told by some very helpful nursing Moms that it will actually get easier to lose after baby is 6 months and starting solids - apparently we're less hungry (fat chance). However, every single one of them said don't even remotely expect for it all to be gone before ten months to a year. You're doing great, keep it up!

  6. You are not alone! I too heard the stories about the breastfeeding miracle cure for weight loss, but it didn't work for me. I gained a lot more then the average pregnancy gain, and it is still here after 8 months. I've been following the Bernstein diet plan (no fat, sugar or carbs) and have lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks. And believe me, it's not easy! So congrats on the 8 lbs and don't be hard on yourself. You're doing great!