On the 11th October 2018, the day before I had Elle (my sweet baby girl), I stepped on the scales and I looked down to see my weight; 88.5kg. I ran into the bathroom and cried for 20 minutes. I was 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant and I had gained 25kg in that time. I felt emotionally defeated and done. I had been so focused for so long on just getting through my pregnancy. My pregnancy was hard and held a number of challenges; including a car crash, a bruised placenta, pre-eclampsia, a cracked tail bone, a disjointed hip bone, crazy tired days, insane water retention and I felt sick if I didn't eat. Let's just say... I let myself go because my weight had been the least of my problems. But when I was so close to the end of the pregnancy... it was like I finally noticed it! And I wanted it gone.
Here's how I lost it!
The number one thing I had to learn while losing weight was to accept myself the way I was each and every day. Motivation always comes easier with a positive attitude than it does with a negative one. The greater triumph for me, more than the weight loss, is that I can look back at my photos and understand that I was beautiful back then.
Before I fell pregnant I weighed 66.5kg (on average). My height is 1.64 metres. Everyone is made differently and there is no shame in any number. But for me to have gained so much weight over just 9 months was drastic and unexpected. Obviously I gained weight because I was pregnant, but the majority of the fat gain was during my last 5 weeks of pregnancy. I was told that normal weight gain for my body would be about 10-15kg and I gained 25kg. So there was a 10-15kg difference there that was mainly fat gain and not just pregnancy related.
My doctor advised me against weight lifting or other strenuous exercise for the first 6 months and so all of my weight loss was due to dieting and some swimming. Calorie counting turned weight loss into maths for me, something that I could understand. Calories in, energy spent and fat out. I found an online calculator and discovered what my calorie intake should be for maintenance and then I ate 300 calories less. which meant that I was slowly burning through those 300 cals each day. That way (for the most part) I could eat what I wanted, but I could only eat so much of it.
Some days I would binge on a 7-eleven muffin and then eat broccoli for the rest of the day (because those stupid $2 muffins are SO high in calories). I made sure never to go over that number. I tried to eat healthy, but I was losing this weight over the summer holidays with Christmas parties, New Years events and all of my mother-in-laws amazing dinners. This way I was able to experience all those foods, just in incredibly smaller portions.
Breastfeeding also burns fat cells in the making of the milk. So my body was helping me out a lot too. My weight loss testimony won't be realistic for everyone because of that. Slow down, be patient, take one day at a time and you will get there.
I took before and after photos, I weighed myself every single day and I set goals.
The photos helped me to see my progress, the weigh in helped me understand that I was going in the right direction and the goal setting was what helped me get there.
I was careful with who I told about my dieting, there are so many different opinions out there and I didn't want anything to discourage me from my goal. Every time I was tempted to eat more than my calorie count I told myself I could have it if I walked it off, if I wasn't willing to walk, then I didn't eat it. Sometimes if the temptation was too great then I decided to have a maintenance day. These were days where I ate the amount of calories to maintain my weight without gaining any, so I didn't minus those extra 300 cals.
I motivated myself with gratefulness. It would have been easier for me to have hated the way my body looked. But my body gave me such a precious, beautiful little baby girl. If my body was powerful enough to go through 9 months of pregnancy and a rough labour to deliver a a life into this world... then my body sure as hell could lose that weight. I wanted to be grateful to my body, and I wanted to fuel it right. This encouraged me to eat all that broccoli (which by the way is very low in calories per gram).
I am not patient. This was the hardest part for me. I wanted to do it all in a month. Who was I kidding?! That's insane.. probably not even possible, and definitely not healthy. But I learnt to be patient.
Josh was so much help and he always encouraged me to be patient. He pointed out how far I had come and how beautiful I was. Because of the breastfeeding factor I lost my weight very quickly. It took me just under 6 months to lose it. But my body thanked me for going at a pace! Because not only do I weigh my goal weight now... but I feel SO GREAT!
I forced myself to be patient. And I made myself be grateful. And my body loved me for it.
Next for me is to slowly re introduce exercise into my routine... and that is going to be a whole new journey for me.
Thanks for reading,