Left picture was taken the night I went in to have Brecken (2/3/13).
Right picture was taken after I met my goal weight (7/4/16).
**Deciding whether or not to post this article is something I have contemplated for awhile. I don’t want anyone to think that I somehow feel like losing weight or being “skinnier” makes me feel like a better person or a better mother. I know the stigma that surrounds weight loss, and especially the pressure women go through to “get our pre-baby bodies back”. I understand that weight loss in general has negative connotations due to eating disorders and unhealthy habits. To sum it up, I know that this topic is a very sensitive one and I hope you find that I approach it well.
I was at my very heaviest weight after returning home from having my first child. I actually gained 10 pounds from the time I checked into the hospital to be induced and the time I went home. I was under the impression (or hoped I suppose) that I would go home weighing way less than I did prior to having our baby. Due to the amount of fluids they had to give me, I was extremely bloated and uncomfortable. Some mama’s have amazing pictures of themselves with their babies after childbirth (seriously how do you do that!) but I couldn’t even recognize myself in any of the pictures because I was so puffed up and heavily medicated. To sum it up, at my heaviest, I was 55 pounds heavier than I was prior to getting pregnant, and 85 pounds heavier than I am now.
After having my second child I eventually returned within 10 pounds of my initial weight prior to both children. Then, this year I decided I finally needed to do something about it. I know some people won’t believe me, but I truly wanted to lose the weight in order to be healthier for my children. It wasn’t to look good in a bathing suit, or to be able to wear cute clothes again. I’m not saying those are bad reasons to lose weight, because they aren’t. Those just weren’t my reasons. I had tried to lose weight before in order to look better. Then one day I was thinking about it, and I realized-since becoming a mother, I don’t put myself first anymore. I put my children first. I couldn’t lose this weight for myself, but I could/and would do it for my children.
I scheduled an appointment with my doctor and talked to him about my concerns. My height and weight put my Body Mass Index in the “Obese” category which increased my health risks exponentially. I told him that I needed to be healthy for my children and that I needed help. I had been strictly dieting for 2 months and had only lost three pounds. My doctor talked to me about a weight loss program he has been utilizing with his patients since 2005. A low calorie diet coupled with a medication had proven significant results.
I worked the program. I didn’t cheat. And I successfully lost the weight I sought to lose and put my BMI in the “normal” or healthy weight range. I can say that I believe the number one reason I was successful is because my husband also decided to do the program with me. We used MyFitnessPal to track our calories and we worked together to prepare low calorie meals. As most people who have had a significant amount of weight to lose know, it isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. I am now working to maintain the weight loss and this will be a lifelong lifestyle change for the both of us.
After losing the weight, I went in for a follow-up appointment with my doctor and he asked me what losing the weight has done to change my life. The biggest changes I have felt since losing the weight include my energy level, less anxiety about the way I look and less physical body pains. Because my energy levels are up I play with my children more. I sit on the couch less and actually want to go outside and play. I have less anxiety about the way I look. I used to wake up every morning and just stress about my weight. I just wanted to be comfortable in my clothes and in my skin. Due to the amount of weight I was carrying around, I had extreme lower back pain and couldn’t sit or lay in certain ways. My back pain started during my first pregnancy and got progressively worse. I can thankfully say now that I do not have ANY back pain and have very little/if any body pain at all. My doctor told me to remember these things. He told me to write them down or blog about them. If I started gaining the weight back, he told me to reference this place in my mind. Reference the reasons WHY I need to keep the weight off. Reference the life changing effects this weight loss has had on myself and my family. My doctor said losing this weight is probably the single best thing I have done for my health in my lifetime. And I am proud to say that I did it.
I am not trying to sell anyone a product or a lifestyle or anything like that. If you have specific questions for me regarding my journey I would be more than happy to answer any emails. I am not a medical professional and do not know what is best for each individual, but I do know what worked for me and I thank God everyday that I no longer have the burden of losing weight.