Before becoming pregnant, and even while I was pregnant, I worried about my body post-pregnancy, as I'm sure most women do. Nearly everyone assured me that since I was breastfeeding, the weight would melt off with little to no effort, and I'd be back in my normal jeans in no time.
But I was worried--see, I knew from speaking to both my mom and my mother-in-law that neither had amazing breastfeeding weight loss experiences. In fact, my mom told me that she didn't lose a pound until she stopped breastfeeding. And I knew that nearly everyone in my family has struggled with their weight. And I knew that my husband loves pizza, and ice cream, and constantly brings home goodies that I have a hugely difficult time saying no to. So, I was worried.
And as you may remember, the whole postpartum experience was not a pleasant one for me. I was hugely swollen for weeks from being pumped with fluids. I tore badly, and was in a lot of pain, for weeks. Breastfeeding was a battle, and hurt like hell. And as the months progressed, I never lost a pound past that initial drop before leaving the hospital, despite working out and eating fairly healthily.
Several months ago, I took the scale outside to the garage. It was causing more harm than good. I decided to track a few days worth of calories on The Daily Plate just to see where I was at. I started doing the 30 Day Shred...and I finally did complete each level 10 times, though it took more than 30 days. I was excited about things...I had dropped two jeans sizes (but still wasn't back to my original size), and was feeling good. I stepped on the scale, and discovered that I weighed exactly one pound less than I had about three months prior. I was super discouraged. I felt like everyone around me who had a baby around the same time was back to their "normal" self, and I wasn't. And Justin was super tired of hearing me talk about it. He didn't understand how I could hate my body so much, and how it could destroy a day for me so easily (clothes shopping, anyone?). My self-esteem was nonexistent.
People would suggest Weight Watchers, or Nutrisystem, or any other diet when I'd complain, but (a) we simply didn't have room in the budget for it, and (b) I was terrified that I'd sign up for one of those things and fail.
So, I think it was in October that I decided that instead of weighing myself, I would take my measurements, and track those on The Daily Plate instead. I continued doing the 30 Day Shred, and just before Christmas, I re-started the Couch to 5k Program (which I have started a number of times, but never finished). From the time I started measuring in October to the last time I took measurements (late December), I have lost 2.5 inches from my hips, 3.5 inches from my waist, and 2.5 inches from my chest. I really have no idea what's normal in terms of losing inches, so I'm not sure if that's a lot or hardly any, but it sure is nice to see progress!
I've decided to refrain from taking measurements again until after I conquer the 20 minute run next week...though I think they've probably decreased since the last time I took them. Seeing pictures from Lizzy's party was literally the first time that I had seen a picture of myself and thought that I looked relatively normal and not absolutely huge. Also? As I write this (Thursday night), I'm wearing pajama pants that I received for Christmas and couldn't even pull up over my hips at the time. But now I'm wearing them and they aren't skin tight, so that's good. And for the first time yesterday, I was able to successfully zip and button a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans...I've still got some serious muffin top going on, so they're not quite ready to leave the house in, but again, it's progress.
My point in this isn't to have y'all cheer for me and say way to go. It also isn't to say "poor me...how come everyone else has it so easy?!" I guess my point in writing this is to give a voice to those of us who really struggle with reclaiming our bodies after having a baby--one year later, I'm still probably not back to my pre-pregnancy weight. But in a lot of ways, I might be more healthy. It's kind of incredible to see what my body can do with this running thing...I'm strong. And I'm down three (maybe four) pants sizes...so even if I stepped on the scale tomorrow and hadn't lost a pound, I can confidently say that I AM making progress.
And that feels good.