I had a cesarean with Baby G, after planning a natural unmedicated childbirth at a birth center. It was really disappointing, although I am happy that I got to start at the birth center and that I now know that I am capable of coping with hours of back labor unmedicated. Needless to say, my cesarean now means that for future children, I am unable to try a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with future babies at the the birth center. I loved the birth center so I’m pretty disappointed, and I’m also not a huge fan of the hospital. I’m super nervous for future pregnancies because I’m not sure I’ll be able to manage the pain at a hospital. But that’s for another day. In the meantime, I spoke with my awesome midwife about a VBAC at my yearly visit and she suggested that I try to lose weight if I’d like to have a higher chance of success.
Here’s where I am (yeah I’m totally giving out numbers AND pictures, aren’t I brave?)…
This is me when I lived in Texas. I was doing Muay Thai Kickboxing about 6x per week for 1 1/2 hrs per workout, and sometimes going twice a day to workout with my instructor, Rudy Vasquez at Vasquez Academy
. I’m linking him because his workouts rock and he’s among my favorite people ever- not getting any financial incentives for this.
I was 150 lbs. I haven’t been below 150 lbs since I was in undergraduate probably.
Before Baby! I weighed somewhere between 175-185 lbs… this is December 2010. I have weighed this much since
August 31, 2011- One month before Godric’s birth.
Godric was born September 30, 2011
At Godric’s birth, my weight was roughly 225 lbs. He was 10 lbs 12 oz at birth!
October 7, 2011
Not sure of my weight here (maybe 190-200 lbs?), but this was me about one week post partum. I’d just had a c/s so I hadn’t been able to exercise.
End of May, 2012
Down to 155-160 lbs or so here (I was on vacation so probably towards the higher end, oops).
As you can probably tell, I care a whole lot less about my hair and makeup post baby… haha.
I didn’t start to intentionally try to lose weight until March 13, 2012. I did lose a bunch prior to that due to breastfeeding and all the exercise that we were getting with a reflux baby… we did a LOT of walking around with him in the Ergo carrier (see the picture from May- that’s what it is) to soothe him because he would scream and scream and scream if we laid him down. Keeping a reflux baby upright is more comfortable for them.
By March 13, 2012, I was down to about 169.5 lbs. I was pretty happy keeping my weight there (hey my clothes fit!)- I knew that it would be a huge fight to lose more weight because my weight tends to “stick” at a certain point… and 175 was that point for so long! Per my midwife’s recommendation though, I decided to continue to try to lose weight.
I was intimidated by figuring out portion sizes and tracking calories. But WAIT! There’s a phone application for EVERYTHING now! I found myfitnesspal
which I can access as a phone app on my iPhone or also access on their website and it’s free. The phone application allows me to scan my food bar codes, search for foods when I’m at a restaurant, count calories for recipes that I use, and lots more. Now I’m a little addicted!
(By the way, this is a completely “free ad” for myfitnesspal. I really love it.)
I started for a few days just tracking how many calories I was already consuming which was a lot. Daddy B loves keeping sweets in the house. When I went to set my calories, I needed to look up how many I’d need to consume to avoid having my milk supply drop as I was breastfeeding.
I found the following information on kellymom.com:
Baby G was nursing up to 22 times per day at that point (!!) so I opted to start with 2300 calories/day to begin. I eventually dropped down to 2000, and should probably adjust again soon. I have no desire to drop insane amounts of weight so I’m not stressing. Try not to hate too much… I know 2000 calories/day rocks… I may breastfeed forever, all of the benefits of extended breastfeeding
overwhelm me (another personal benefit that’s huge: my maternal and paternal grandmothers both died of breast cancer so I absolutely want to lower my risk).
For breastfeeding mamas, you’ll need to manually set your calories limit…. to do this on the application: go to “more”, “edit profile”, then scroll down to “preferences” and set your “net calorie goal.” Every 10 lbs of weight loss, you’ll be asked to set your goals again. Select no and set it manually if you desire to do that.
I track my “progress” daily by recording my weight, using the same scale. I take my weight every day at the same time. I track my diet under “my diary” and add each food item. Sometimes I have to guess a little if I’m out to eat at a local restaurant, but I’ve gotten way better at eyeballing food to determine portion size.
Calorie Cutting Tips
I am treating my calories like my bank account. If there’s no calories left, I can’t spend anymore. I’m pretty good at this so I just budget. If I know I’m going out to eat later, I still eat, but I make healthier selections such as salads, fruits, and veggies. Sometimes I’ll add in what I plan to make or eat for dinner early so that I can make my selections for other meals accordingly. I don’t have “cheat” days (although I cheated big time when I was on vacation!), but if I want to eat something that’s less healthy, then I try to take home half of my meal. Restaurants have huge serving sizes… while I’d love to enjoy my entire meal, if I take home a doggy bag then I don’t have to cook for lunch tomorrow AND I get to enjoy that meal TWICE. Awesomeness!
I also exercise for extra calories. It’s sort of like taking a side job to earn some extra spending money when your bank account is empty. It also helps me make healthier food choices. As I’ll discuss in the next section, jump roping is my “go to” for quick calories… I effing HATE jump roping. I loved kickboxing, but we jump roped like nobody’s business and it gets old fast. Anyhow, one night I wanted a yummy alcoholic beverage, but I was out of calories. I used myfitnesspal to calculate how many minutes I’d need to jump rope until I had enough calories to have it (I just add in the exercise and change the number of minutes until the calories match up). I had to jump rope for 12 minutes to get enough calories. I jump roped for 3 minutes, then decided it wasn’t worth it and had some strawberries. Haha. I always try to exercise if we’re going out to eat that day.
For me, I really need an activity to get into if I want to truly get into shape. That’s why I looked so great when I was doing kickboxing. I was into it and highly motivated, not to lose weight but to improve in the sport. Unfortunately, I’m not particularly eager to take up a new sport or hobby right now because we would like one or two more children and there aren’t any sports that appeal to me that are “approved” during pregnancy. Horseback riding, no. Muay thai, no. Can’t think of any others right now, but needless to say I’ve run through the list of interests and I’m out of luck! I just don’t want to get started and have to quit when we decide to have another baby… it’s sad for me. It’s also really hard to exercise with a baby! He needs constant attention because he gets in so much trouble now that he’s crawling (man this kid is FAST!). I probably burn some calories chasing him around, but I don’t count those… however, it’s tempting.
What I’ve been doing instead is work with the baby. Babies need stimulation. I take walks with him, we go to the pool (although not much swimming happens- mostly walking around with him in my arms), and I jump rope or do strength exercises with him watching from his walker. He loves watching the jump rope… it probably makes pretty cool sounds whizzing by. When I do strength exercises, I usually do four sets of 40 or so crunches, four sets of 10 pushups on my knees (no desire to build crazy arm muscles), and some cat & camel exercises for my back (just an exercise I like to do seeing I have back problems). I will sometimes do squats, holding him in my arms, but he’s gotten a little heavy for that now at 23 lbs. I don’t want to kill my knees. I’m an old lady now, none of that crazy stuff I did when I was younger! When I count, I like to count out loud so he can hear… I will count in crazy voices to make him laugh and make faces when I sit up during my crunches. He loves it. I can’t wait until he’s walking because then we’re totally going outside to run around. My herd dog, Willow, will love that.
A lot of people chose to exercise during naps. If I waited to exercise until his naps, then I’d end up never exercising because that is my sacred, holy time to do things I enjoy. I do not enjoy these exercises. Do what works for you.
Some gyms offer daycare while you workout. I’d definitely take advantage of that, but we don’t subscribe to a gym right now so it’ll have to wait until I get that motivated.
I could use some tips here. This is where I’m stuck now. My midwife didn’t mention how MUCH weight that I need to lose… and I checked my healthy BMI
. I’m currently 25.1 which is overweight. A healthy BMI is 18.5-24.9 which for my height is between 115 and 154 lbs. Today I’m 155.5 lbs. That leaves me only another 1.5 lbs until I can get into my healthy BMI range.
I know that even when I get down to 154, I’ll continue to track my diet. I want to keep this weight off, and then do a good job of eating healthy when I’m pregnant with our next child. I am hoping that this will result in having a lower birth weight baby (you know, normal like 8 lbs or so). We have big babies in my family so it may not help, but hey… it can’t hurt!
Now here’s the question on my mind now… when do I decide I’ve lost enough weight? That’s a huge range of weight for a healthy BMI. I like how I look now, for the most part, and my clothes are starting to get too loose… it sucks, I hate shopping. It might behoove me to get down to 140 lbs so I’ll be more in the middle of the weight range, but I don’t want to lose too much weight. I was about 120 lbs in high school and everyone thought I was anorexic, despite being at a healthy BMI. It wasn’t cute on my body type.
How do you determine when to stop when dieting?
Danielle Pientka is the sewing and DIY blogger behind DIYDanielle.com. She taught herself to sew in 2011 when she wanted to make cloth diapers for her first son. She’s been sewing everything from ecofriendly items to kids products to clothing since, as it has become a passion. She loves learning how to do new things and teaching others in the process. She hopes to inspire other moms to take time for themselves to find their own creative passion.
Danielle lives in Maryland with her three young sons and her husband, Brandon. In her spare time, she gardens, reads, horseback rides, and has a small homestead with goats and ducks. Visit her shop to buy patterns or her sewing eBooks. Subscribe to her newsletter to get blog updates, free patterns and other printables by clicking here.