Postpartum Weight Loss: My Experiences and Struggles

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I hate losing weight, especially after pregnancy. I’m exhausted and irritable, hormones in chaos. All I want is pie. I can barely remember where I put the burp rag, let alone muster the motivation to work out. This is an introduction to my postpartum weight loss journey as I share some of my history, struggles, and victories.

A Bit Of Backstory

I have lost approximately 2oo pounds over different time periods in my life. At my heaviest, I weighed 250 pounds. I lost my first eighty pounds due to dumb luck and sheer youth.

Making the determination stick after noticeable results was difficult. I wildly gained and lost for years. Maintenance proved to be my personal demon, comparatively, losing weight is easy.

I’ll say it again: comparatively, losing weight is easy. Absolutely anyone can eat less food. Maintenance is the hard stuff. Let me refine that further: healthy maintenance is the hard stuff. I’ve learned that without internal work I will never keep weight off.

Maintenance Skills

My maintenance skills are increasing willpower capability through delayed gratification, exploring mental and emotional barriers in relation to food/self-image, and learning my triggers/best coping skills pertaining to stress, anxiety, and feelings of loss of control.

I try to use my maintenance skills in all areas of my life. I want you to understand that I fail half the time. A steady failure rate of 35% would make me really happy.

Discovering plant-based eating and the horrors of processed food greatly impacted my weight loss as well. It was counting chemicals, not calories, that accelerated my results.

I’ll get more specific about the importance of creating maintenance skills and counting chemicals rather than calories in upcoming posts.

By my early thirties I was feeling pretty confident and in control of it all—then I started having kids.

High School Ish Mom
Leading the “How To Fly” presentation in high school

I Ate For Seven, Not Two

Fun fact: did you know two Double Stuffed Oreo Cookies are approximately how many extra calories medically necessary in the latest stage of pregnancy? Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

I was sure that I would stick to the recommended thirty-five pound gain during my first pregnancy. Let’s all chortle for a moment. But pity that woman, too: she didn’t know how important food would become, that it could make her cry.

I was sore, hormonal, and working outside the home when I was pregnant with Big A. Soon I was getting drive through several times a week and drinking aaaallll the real soda (“cuz isn’t aspartame bad for fetuses??” JEEEEZ) and eating a bowl of ice cream every night.

Surprise, surprise: I gained eighty pounds. I laser-focused on clean eating, did Blogilates and PIIT28 (do you know how amazing High Intensity Interval Training is for you? I’ll do a post about that as well) six days a week and lost the weight in nine months. I celebrated by getting pregnant again.

It Takes Time

I was more disciplined during my pregnancy with Little A and gained fifty pounds. I will most likely never stay within the that damned thirty-five pound recommendation. Our babies are huge (Big A was 10.5 lbs, Little A was 8 lbs, 14 ounces), which leads to higher maternal weight. It feels so much harder to lose the weight this time around, though.

During that first pregnancy, I sustained a birth injury and was literally unable to work out as hard as I’m used to for six months. The last half of the weight fell off once I could resume usual intensity. With this pregnancy I was jumping around six weeks postpartum and barely seeing results six months later.

woman flexing bicep at camera
Flexin’ on ’em

Work The Plan

What a discouraging six months that was. It feels terrible to keep making healthy choices when there are no visible results. There’s no pay-off! It makes me want to throw my hands in the air and declare nothing matters anyway.

“Work the plan,” I tell myself. Every day. All the time. Not just with health stuff. Any choice I listed when calmly creating an action plan is better than any choice I make in a moment of frustration. I can’t react to my feelings, the junk food in sight, the insecurities within.

If I eat clean, whole food, move at least 45 minutes a day, drink water, and lessen my overall sitting time, it is 98% likely that I am going to reach a healthy weight for my body. I have to keep swimming. Have faith. Work the plan.

Postpartum Weight Loss Ish Mom
Obligatory “I Lost Eighty Pounds Car Selfie” a year postpartum with Big A

I’m So Nervous

This article will be my first in a series of post about postpartum weight loss. I’ll share my workouts, recipes, meal planning, results, and disasters.

It is with great trepidation that I publish these “before” shots. But without measurement how can I track? Without tracking how can I identify successes and failures? Without identifying successes and failures how can I formulate the best plan of action?

There are my November stats:

  • Waist: 37.5 inches
  • Arms: 14 inches
  • Thighs: 26.5 inches
  • Weight: 204.2 lbs

Please share your stories, tips, commiserations with me by commenting below. Don’t leave me all alone in this cold internet, shivering in my sports bra ?

Just so you know, we’re trick-or-treating this weekend (it was postponed due to inclement weather). I’m going to binge on candy until Tuesday. Then complain about feeling fat until Thursday.

Join me in a healthy dinner? Be my accountability buddy? Share this article!

"before"weight loss picture of womanwoman in sports bra



Megan writes everything on Ish Mom. She possesses a bachelor's degree in psychology, a flair for theatrics, and a whole lotta nerve. She lives in the Midwest (and loves it) with her wonderful husband and three young boys.
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