Trimming The Fat
Losing baby weight sucks. If there was a word stronger than “sucks” I’d be using it instead. I gained about 37 pounds when I was pregnant with my first son and I looked it. I found a picture of myself the other day from those last few weeks and it literally looks like someone stuck an air pump in me and blew me into a human-shaped beach ball. But I didn’t care and I didn’t worry about losing the weight. I’ve always been an avid exerciser and a fairly healthy eater so I really didn’t give it much thought.
Then came the phenomenon after my son was born called breastfeeding hunger. I’d experienced some cravings and hunger pangs during pregnancy but I was not prepared for this. If I could have had an IV drip of sugar and carbs entering my system 24 hours a day I still doubt that would have satiated me. So unlike what I had read and heard, breastfeeding did not magically melt away the extra pounds. In fact, with all the extra eating I was doing, I really didn’t lose much of the weight at all. I stopped breastfeeding my son at the six month mark because we wanted to try for another baby right away. Two months later, I had a bun in the oven again. Only this time. I was weighing in at a hefty 25 pounds heavier than before the first kid. I have no clue why I only gained about 22 pounds this time around but since I was already fatter, I’m not sure how much more weight I could have added to my frame. I’m only 5”2 and was a size 4 before kids.
So the second love of my life arrived and again, six months of breastfeeding didn’t do squat as far as weight loss. Because I had back-to-back pregnancies and two C-sections, I actually still looked pregnant. It was around eight months after my second son was born when someone asked me at an event when I was due that was a turning point for me. I had enough of being fat. Yes the miracle of having children far outweighs the havoc it can wreak on your body. Yes I felt blessed and lucky to have two healthy happy kids. Yes I’d been working out for the past few months and eating salads for lunch but it clearly wasn’t working for me. I fought back tears the rest of the night and decided Ithat I didn’t want to feel bad about my body anymore. Shallow? Maybe, but I like to think that the better I feel about myself, the better I live my life which includes being a parent, a wife and a friend. So I cut out carbs, sugar and wine, started doing yoga in addition to the exercise I was already doing and was basically hungry, tired and irritable. But about a week into it, I noticed my jeans getting looser and I had more energy.
Now it’s two months later and I’ve lost 20 pounds, I’m hooked on yoga and I eat completely differently and better than I used to. I actually crave fruit instead of thinking of it as a dietary punishment. I still have a ways to go before I reach my goal and I hate that I think about it all the time but I hate not doing anything about it more.
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Robin Saks Frankel is the founder of Crib Notes (www.cribnotesbaby.com), a free monthly e-newsletter for parents of kids ages zero to three. She’s also a writer, a mother of two boys (1 toddler and 1 infant) and somehow still finds the time to watch Gossip Girl and Family Guy. When she’s not watching trashy TV, she can usually be found attached to her iPhone Facebooking, Tweeting or playing Words With Friends. Robin, her husband, kids and two dogs somehow manage to coexist peacefully in Manhattan. Robin received her M.S. in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University but still can’t tell you what credit derivatives are. Follower her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cribnotes