I Didn’t Notice my New Mother Weight

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by Rumi · 0 comments

in Pregnancy, Q&A

by Carol

Not embarrassed to be on a beach anymore!

Carol – 5’0″, 32 years old
Starting weight: 75kg (165lb)
Lowest weight: 51kg (112lb)

It started with a common story – pregnancy, then a new baby, breastfeeding and getting “permission” from everyone (doctors, midwives, other mums) to overeat. Being at home all day with my baby meant that I was slowly putting on weight, losing muscle tone, and not really noticing it. I just rationalized that I was a new mother and couldn’t expect instant weight loss, but I never weighed myself to see how bad things had gotten.

I moved abroad to Thailand when my daughter was 6 months old, and thought that going back to work as a teacher, plus the stresses of being a working mother would mean my weight would come off. Denial set in and basically I gained even more weight. The moment of truth was watching the Christmas holiday video from 2006 – I couldn’t believe the woman on the screen was me. She was so fat, I didn’t recognize her face as my own. I had managed to gain 24kg (53 pounds) in just over a year.

So, I started running. Very slowly (and in the dark at 5:30am so no one could see me), and only 3 times a week. Then I got to liking the feeling of exercise and added a day per week. Then I started doing Pilates (using a video) in the morning and running in the evening. Then came swimming, and I alternated swimming with running so I was either running 8km or swimming 1.5km every day (except Sundays).

Strength training was added (in my own home using ‘plastic’ 6 kg weights) and this was alternated with Pilates in the mornings. My school also started a Circuit Training club that I joined for a super-intense workout once per week.

All the while I was increasing my exercise, I was starting to become more food-conscious and began to eat smaller portions. I didn’t really leave out any foods but just ate less, and tried to vary my diet. I actually took in a lot of carbs, which apparently doesn’t work for others but I found it gave me the energy I needed. I liked to exercise on an empty stomach and that stopped me from eating large meals.

I went back to my pre-baby weight of 51kg and maintained that for 2 years, but took a year off the fitness regime to have another child. My son is 8 weeks old and I have already gone back to running and swimming, and slowly introducing my old favorites like Pilates and weights.

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