This is one of those posts that has the potential to sound annoying or repetitive, so I'm apologizing beforehand. I mean, posts about weight and bodies and whatever can be either encouraging or obnoxious, and my intent is with the former.
I stepped on the scale yesterday and my mouth gaped open when I saw that I was three pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. Now. Let me tell you a bit about my weight history so you can understand why this is poignant. You have to know that I'm not someone who just drops weight after I have a baby. Some people just seem to blink twice and crinkle their nose and bam! They've dropped the weight. Not me. It takes work, work, WORK. If I'm naturally skinny, I don't know it, because I've always been naturally HUNGRY, wherein lies the problem!
In my first three years of marriage, I gained TWENTY POUNDS. Yes, twenty. Typing it out seems surreal. I can't really explain why, except that my first post-marital job had me working into the evening, so we usually ate out. Bam. Also, I have a huge appetite. Bam Bam. So, by the time I got pregnant with Cub, I was twenty pounds over my wedding day weight. GAH! That's a brutal way to start a pregnancy. Especially now, after having three children, I can't believe I allowed myself to gain so much weight for no apparent reason. My starting weight with subsequent pregnancies hasn't been that bad (thankfully) but they haven't been really great, either. When Lydia's pregnancy became known to us, I knew that I was going to have to plan ahead to get healthy after her birth. Because it doesn't come "naturally" to me. I knew the road before me would be a long one. And a hard one. I have mentioned before in a previous post that after my postpartum check-up after Lydia's birth, I texted my friend about personal training and we started the very next week.
So, for five months now, I've woken up twice a week at 4:40am. I stumble through the house, hoping I'm somewhat dressed, before rubbing my eyes and starting the car and driving to our workout destination. We start at 5:15 and the workouts include everything from Boot Camp to Body Sculpt to Step Aerobics. Always cardio, always weights. Twice a week, with the exception of being out of town or things like that. But I've never missed an entire week. I've also sprinkled in running and/or yoga once a week, which has been great. And a few weeks ago, I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app and started keeping track of my caloric intake. Like I've mentioned before, I have a voracious appetite and had no idea how many calories I was consuming every day (eek!). I'm not a big calorie-counter, but just the awareness of what I'm eating has been enormously helpful. I'm breastfeeding, so I take that into account (the app told me initially that I should eat only 1200 calories a day, which my personal trainer immediately nixed and adjusted--that's way too little!).
So, between working out, working HARD, and (realistically) watching what I eat, I've reached a goal. I can't tell you how excited I am. And I'm not there yet--I still have weight to lose. And don't worry, I'm not going to post some obnoxious picture of me attempting to look stick skinny with my hands on my hips and my collarbones jutting out. My mom pooch is still in full force and probably will be for a while. And that's fine. I said from the get-go that my goal is consistency in discipline and to get stronger. The results will come as they may. And they have started coming, and it's thrilling to see hard work pay off. Three pounds under pre-Lydia weight is ten pounds under pre-Cub weight, which is great. Could I ever reach my wedding day weight again? Who knows! But it would be great to try.
I write this to encourage you. I haven't used any powders or creams or pills or magic potions. It's simply been hard work and discipline. Exercise and eating right. Which, for me, is work. Trust me, if I can do it, you can, too. I still have a ways to go, but I'm encouraged by the progress. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, it's a battle to get my feet on the floor. I've moaned. I've whined. My friends have put up with a lot. But they never gave up on encouraging me and I'm indebted to them for believing that I could do it. For a girl who's never had great self-esteem, that means a lot.
I would never have guessed that after having three kids, I would feel my best. Who knew.
Have a lovely day, friends.
Okay. I'm awful at before/after pics, but I wanted to wear the same-ish outfit and do the same-ish pose to be fair (although a hands-on-hips-jutted-collarbone pic was quite tempting, along with a duck face and awkward side-bend, ha ha). And the second photo has no editing, so you get to see me in all of my greasy-haired, makeup-less glory (apparently, I was better at showering a few months ago?). In the first picture, Lydia was just over a month old. The second picture was taken this afternoon. And yes, my thighs totally still touch. You're welcome, ha ha. ;) To be honest, I'm just as proud of the first picture as I am of the second (stripes do nothing to show tummy change, I realize, but, as I mentioned, I wanted to wear same-ish clothes). I had just birthed a baby and was figuring out how in the world to take care of three little kids, so the green-shirted Katie gets mad props from the coral-shirted Katie. The "Before" and "After" reference is only to show time change, not to imply that there was anything wrong with the first picture. Y'all, we're supposed to be soft when our babies are born! I hate when Moms are down on the way they look after they have a baby. Sigh. We ladies need to cut ourselves slack. The End.