As a fitness fanatic, one of the hardest aspects of pregnancy for me was the weight gain. Regardless of exercising four to six days a week and eating the healthiest I ever had in my life, I still packed on a hell of a lot more weight than what is considered "normal."
I had to remind myself over and over and over… and OVER to trust my body and the process of growing a healthy baby. I struggled not to compare myself to other pregnant women, especially the lucky ladies that didn't exercise at all and only gained half of what I did. Clearly I wasn't blessed with the naturally skinny gene!
After my daughter was born, I purposely didn't weigh myself right away. But at my first follow up doctor's appointment, two weeks postpartum, they weighed me and it was confirmation that I had A LOT of work to do.
I was back to exercising five weeks postpartum, and I jumped in head first determined and hungry to regain my body. I remained dedicated to losing the weight, and my workouts ranged from barre classes, walks, runs, hikes, spin classes, strength training and plyometrics.
I'd lose a few pounds, then I'd plateau, lose a few more, and then plateau again. I could go a month without seeing a single ounce lost to a week where I'd be down five pounds. Just like pregnancy, I once again had to trust my body and the process of recovering.
Everyone and their frigging mother told me, "It took nine months to put it on, it takes nine months to take it off." In which I replied, "Not if I can help it!"
I apologize to every supportive friend and family member who uttered that statement to me, but it peeved me to my core and pissed me off. Pregnancy is a loooooooong nine months, did I really want to spend another nine trying to get my body back? No!
As the months went on, I convinced myself I probably wouldn't lose all my pregnancy weight until I was done breastfeeding. Some women say nursing helps shed the weight fast, others experience quite the opposite and aren't able to lose it all until they're done.
And with the size of the breasts I was sporting (and still am), I thought for sure I'd be in the category of women who would have to patiently wait until I was done breastfeeding – and I eventually came to terms with that.
But I was wrong. Once I hit seven months postpartum, I was back down to the weight I was the day I found out I was pregnant – 123 pounds.
Like most women after having a baby, my body is a bit different now. For starters, my derriere is smaller than it was before, but my boobs – those suckers are still quite a bit bigger. And even at 8 months postpartum, I'm still pleasantly surprised and a little bit shocked to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight and in my normal clothes.
The difference is, now I actually feel confident, whereas before pregnancy, I always picked apart my body. Whether it was my thighs being too thick or my hips being too wide, I was never satisfied. It's amazing how pregnancy has made me appreciate my body, in more ways than one.
And physically, I'm actually a lot stronger now than I was before, and there are certain body parts that not only feel stronger, but look leaner and more defined.
Each month has posed new challenges that forced me to gain new strength physically and mentally, not only in fitness, but as a mother, wife and overall person. I've had countless "Ah-Ha" moments, and have gone from humbled to proud of myself in all aspects of life.
I've worked my ass off (literally) to lose the weight by eating healthy, working out and staying committed to "bouncing back." It takes some women no time at all to take off the weight, it takes others a hell of a lot longer.
Me, I was nine months on, seven months off. But regardless of where I was then and where I am now in my fitness achievements, the one thing I can say is that my daughter was worth every single ounce gained, every pain felt and is worth every challenge.
Motherhood has made me stronger, in more ways than I had ever imagined it would or could, and I have a feeling it will continue to mold me into the strongest version of myself in the years to come. Whether I'm fat, thin, fit or healthy, I will be forever grateful and am incredibly blessed just to be a mom to the most amazing girl I've ever known.
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