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“A time to get, and a time to lose…”
For most of my adult life, my weight has fluctuated right around 100 pounds, regardless of how much I ate or how often I exercised. Honestly, it was AWESOME and I loved being so skinny!
April 2009. 100 pounds:
After Russ came home from Afghanistan in June of 2009, for some reason within the first months I had put on about 20-25 pounds (fluctuating between 120-125). Which I was totally fine with. I still looked good, and most people said that I even looked healthier.
September 2009. 120 Pounds:
Then…I got pregnant. And the weight just started packing on! I tried to be healthy, but honestly, I was so darn hungry I just didn’t care! I ate and ate constantly. and it still felt like it wasn’t enough. By the day I went into the hospital to deliver Ezra, I had gained about 80 more pounds and stepped on the scale weighing 199! Throughout my pregnancy I had joked that I needed to have the baby before I hit 200, but I never imagined that I would actually get that close!
The day before Ezra was born, September 6, 2010. 199 pounds:
Deliver a 10 pound baby, lose 10 pounds. Bringing Ezra home from the hospital. 190 pounds:
Six weeks postpartum, not sure how much I weigh here:
One of my biggest goals for this deployment has been to lose that baby weight. And, so far I have lost right around 60 of the 80 pounds I gained during pregnancy!! I am fluctuating right around 140, and I lost 7 pounds in January alone. I have to admit that I am very proud of myself!
January 2011. 145 pounds:
How have I done it?
1. Losing water weight…EFFORTLESS! The first 45 pounds I lost within 6 weeks of Ezra’s birth because it was all the water I gained during my pregnancy. My edema was horrible…My knees, legs, ankles, hands, and feet were so swollen. I couldn’t wear shoes at all! So it was pretty easy to shed once Ezra was born.
2. Exclusive, on-demand, round-the-clock breastfeeding. I firmly believe that this has been my biggest factor in losing weight. Did you know that women who breastfeed burn an extra 500 calories per day? Ezra nurses every 1 1/2 to 3 hours during the day, and every 2-7 hours at night. While the frequency is exhausting for me at times, and even our pediatrician has criticized how often he nurses (telling me that Ezra was “taking advantage of” me), I know it is making the weight fall off! Sure, I would love to have a baby who sleeps through the night, every night…but when I’m up at 3AM feeding my little one, tempted to cry at being awake yet again, I think about all the extra calories I’m burning and then I don’t feel so bad!
3. Delaying solids in Ezra’s diet. While it is very commonplace for most parents to start introducing solid food (mainly in the form of baby cereals and jarred baby food) to their babies at around 4 months, after doing some research and talking with some lactation consultants, I felt like it was best that we wait until Ezra was 6 months old or later to give him anything but my milk. “Health experts and breastfeeding experts agree that it’s best to wait until your baby is around six months old before offering solid foods. There has been a large amount of research on this in the recent past, and most health organizations have updated their recommendations to agree with current research…Studies have shown that for a young baby solids replace milk in a baby’s diet – they do not add to baby’s total intake. The more solids that baby eats, the less milk he takes from mom, and less milk taken from mom means less milk production.” (kellymom.com) It makes sense to me that the bigger Ezra gets, the more he needs to eat, the more milk I produce, the more calories I burn, the more weight I lose!!
4. Healthier eating choices. I am NOT dieting. However I am trying to be conscious of what I’m eating in the following ways:
- Less sugars and fats
- More proteins and whole grains – example: eating nuts or granola for a snack or adding tuna to my salad
- More fruits and vegetables – example: carrots and celery with dip for a snack
- Smaller serving sizes – did you know that a serving of ice cream is only a half a cup?
- I never say, “I can’t eat that.” However I do try to consciously try to eat healthier. Choosing water to drink instead of soda, a chicken wrap and a smoothie instead of a burger/fries combo, lowfat milk and no whip on my lattes.
4. VERY mild exercise. Exercising is a game I play with Ezra. It usually includes 15-20 crunches, 10 girl pushups, some leg lifts, and (when the weather is warm enough!) a lap or so around the block walking. Not every day, but a few times a week. That’s about the only exercise I can really handle aside from swimming which I can’t really do with a baby in the winter.
February 2011. 140 pounds:
20 more to go to reach my pre-pregnancy weight!