Is it even possible to get your old body back? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 08-03-2014, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Question Is it even possible to get your old body back?

Hi. For the past few weeks I've been doing lots of research about losing baby weight.

You see, my sister had her baby about a year ago, and has been struggling with her weight ever since. With the baby taking up most of her time, she struggles to stay motivated. She recently told me that she thinks her body and her has metabolism changed permanently, and that it is now impossible for her to get her old body back.

I however believe that it is possible for her to achieve her goals. To help her get motivated, I got the idea of interviewing moms who have successfully lost their baby weight. I want to put together an "inspirational booklet" of different moms who have lost their baby weight, along with how they did it.

If you are a mom who recently (past 3 years) gave birth, and you've managed to successfully get your old body back, I would really appreciate it if you reply and let me know what you did.
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#2 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 07:47 AM
 
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It's been more than three years since I had a baby, but I do have some major thoughts on this. At present, I am down below my pre-baby weight, but I'm down here because I had surgery with some awful complications. I am pretty sure that I'll gain the 15 missing pounds back when I feel better, and I'm looking forward to it.

The best shape of my life (which I achieved post-baby, in a highly unusual time when I had both children and the time to train for half marathons) and my pre-child shape were still pretty different. Having a baby changes your body. Your new body may have features you like better than the old version and features you like worse, but it absolutely will not be the same, even if you get to the same weight you started at.

"Losing the baby weight" is a commonly stated goal, but it's not a goal that has a lot of meaning for health. Healthy bodies come in a variety of shapes and weights. How does your sister feel? Does she like her energy level? Is she able to do the things she enjoys? Does she really need a booklet of stories about how other women lost weight, or would she prefer a standing coffee date with a friend, or a couple of flattering new outfits?
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#3 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 02:16 PM
 
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My first child is 4yo and my second is 20mo. I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and was at about 18-19months with my first as well. However, I do not have the same body as I had before. And, no I probably never will.

Things such as breastfeeding and sleep deprivation can impact on weight loss or gain . Some women lose weight rapidly or steadily while breastfeeding but others hold some weight until they wean.
Unless your sister has specifically asked for this booklet I would reconsider. Respond to specific requests for help but otherwise drop the subject and just talk about other things :-)
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#4 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 03:05 PM
 
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I'd say my body was nearly the same as before with first baby (now 27 months old). Second baby is now 2 months and I've only got 10 more pounds to lose, but I can already tell that my body is not the same as before and will likely never be.
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#5 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
It's been more than three years since I had a baby, but I do have some major thoughts on this. At present, I am down below my pre-baby weight, but I'm down here because I had surgery with some awful complications. I am pretty sure that I'll gain the 15 missing pounds back when I feel better, and I'm looking forward to it.

The best shape of my life (which I achieved post-baby, in a highly unusual time when I had both children and the time to train for half marathons) and my pre-child shape were still pretty different. Having a baby changes your body. Your new body may have features you like better than the old version and features you like worse, but it absolutely will not be the same, even if you get to the same weight you started at.

"Losing the baby weight" is a commonly stated goal, but it's not a goal that has a lot of meaning for health. Healthy bodies come in a variety of shapes and weights. How does your sister feel? Does she like her energy level? Is she able to do the things she enjoys? Does she really need a booklet of stories about how other women lost weight, or would she prefer a standing coffee date with a friend, or a couple of flattering new outfits?
Thanks for your reply MeepyCat. Thanks for sharing your story. I appreciate your comments and thoughts.

Having talked to my sister, I think the main concerns she has is with her general health and the example that she sets for her son.

She never had a problem with her health, but since gaining the baby weight she has constantly struggled with back problems. She is also worried that being overweight will cause complications with her pregnancy if she wants to get pregnant again (having read some articles about being overweight during pregnancy causing miscarriages and increased risk for health problems for the baby).

She also told me that she wants to set a healthy example for her son. She wants him to grow up looking at her as an example of someone who is fit and healthy, not unfit, overweight and unhealthy.

The problem is that she believes that there is nothing she can do about it. Some of her friends have told her that her being overweight is just a normal consequence of being a mom, and that her metabolism has slowed down permanently and there is nothing she can do about it.

I don't believe this. I know that a women's body changes when she gives birth, but I don't believe that this means she just has to give up. I've heard of too many moms who have decided to challenge themselves and became even more healthy than before their children. That's basically what I want to accomplish - I want to give her inspirational stories to show her that it is possible, as well as tips and strategies that these moms have used. Everyone is different, and uses different strategies to lose their weight. I'm hoping that something someone did might resonate with her, and help her achieve her goals.

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Originally Posted by katelove View Post
My first child is 4yo and my second is 20mo. I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and was at about 18-19months with my first as well. However, I do not have the same body as I had before. And, no I probably never will.

Things such as breastfeeding and sleep deprivation can impact on weight loss or gain . Some women lose weight rapidly or steadily while breastfeeding but others hold some weight until they wean.
Unless your sister has specifically asked for this booklet I would reconsider. Respond to specific requests for help but otherwise drop the subject and just talk about other things :-)
Thanks for your reply katelove. I understand what you are saying about your body shape having changed. It is difficult to just drop the subject, as I can see that it is really bothering her. I am also worried about her, and would like to help her. Why do you think I should reconsider the booklet? Do you think it is a bad idea, or would have negative consequences?

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Originally Posted by sierramtngirl View Post
I'd say my body was nearly the same as before with first baby (now 27 months old). Second baby is now 2 months and I've only got 10 more pounds to lose, but I can already tell that my body is not the same as before and will likely never be.
Thanks for taking the time to reply sierramtngirl. Did you focus on losing weight before your second pregnancy? My sister has told me that she is worried about complications with her pregnancy if she is still overweight before getting pregnant.
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#6 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 06:03 PM
 
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I have no idea how much weight your sister gained, or wants to lose. I'm going to focus on back problems.

Back problems are things that commonly come up during pregnancy for fairly obvious reasons, and they can have major impacts on health because they make a bunch of things harder to do. If your sister is having back problems, she should talk to her doctor about it and consider physical therapy, which genuinely will help her feel better and do more. Something like yoga might also help, but she should check in with her doctor first, to make sure it's not going to cause problems.

In my opinion, if you can:
- Lift the things you want to lift,
- Enjoy an active game, or dance to five good songs in a row,
- Go a mile at a speed of your choice under your own power,
you're healthy.

Working on those things might be a better goal than a number on a scale, and someone should certainly tell your sister that she doesn't have to live with back pain.
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#7 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 07:41 PM
 
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I did want to get back down to my pre preg wt before getting pregnant again, mostly because it's the weight that I feel best at (as I mentioned above, I'm about 10# above this wt now and I do notice more aches and pains, especially back pain). But, I was not terribly difficult for me to get back to my goal wt with my first baby. #1 I gained ~30# with her during my pregnancy. #2 I nursed her- huge help with my wt loss. #3 I'm an active person by nature and we eat a relatively healthy diet.
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#8 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 08:18 PM
 
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Things can change after having a baby but that doesn't mean that you can't be healthy and fit after having kids. The most important thing is to follow common sense guidelines for exercise and diet. If she's nursing it is especially important to watch her diet for health as her body is still nourishing the baby. Like others said above sometimes women will hold 10-15 lbs of weight until they wean. I would suggest spending time getting active with her if you can. Pick an activity you both would enjoy like walking, biking or anything else and do it together. It'll help her increase exercise time and be a good motivator.


You mentioned back problems being a major concern though. Why does she feel the back pain is from the weight? Depending on what type of pain it is if she had an epidural it could be from that instead of weight. I know many women that had back pain after labor from their epidurals that had nothing to do with weight. I would consider that as a possibility as well.

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#9 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 09:17 PM
 
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I have back pain too. Ive recently started seeing a physiotherapist who specialises in back pain. The changes of pregnancy and subsequent carrying around of a baby can certainly cause back issues regardless of weight. Often core strength is a problem so doing yoga or Pilates which increases core muscle strength can help. She should be aware though that some typical "core" exercises are not recommended if women have a persisting diastasis rectus separation after giving birth. You can also have joint issues - SI or facet joint for example - after pregnancy which require specific exercises to correct. A good physio can help with all these things.

The reason I suggested abandoning the booklet plan was that I thought it might be fairly demoralising to be presented with a whole array of women who have done what she wants to but can't. However, I do disagree with her friends who said that being overweight is just part and parcel of mothering and I wholeheartedly agree with her reasons for wanting to lose weight. Children of overweight parents are more likely to be overweight themselves. Would she be interested in joining this forum? I don't know if you noticed but there is a weight loss group which does 8 week "challenges". I find it quite motivating to come on each week and record my weight. Maybe something like that would help.
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#10 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 10:10 PM
 
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I think "old body back" is not a good goal and not a healthy way to view one's self at all.

I also wonder if she overall seems to be doing OK, or if she is overwhelmed, depressed, isolated, etc. A lot of stuff changes when you have a baby -- your body is just one of them. Many couples have a rough time adjusting from going from being a couple to being parents. Most people find caring for a baby is more work than they thought it would be. Some people find it affects their relationships with friends. I wonder if fixating on her body is easier than dealing with some of the other stuff.

I don't think enabling her obsession with the changes in her body is healthy for her or good for your relationship.

It is possible to be at a healthy weight and be in good shape after having kids, but that isn't the same as getting your old body back. My tummy will never, ever be the same. The spider veins and stretchmarks aren't going anywhere. It's not the same. And why should it be? I grew 2 humans inside me.

I lost 70 pounds and became a yoga teacher after having kids. My advice:

1. accept that your body isn't the same as it was, and it never will be. and it will keep getting older. (but that's all the bad news)

2. practice self care in ways that work for you. Besides being good for health, it cuts down on stress eating and eating crap because its the only nice thing you do for yourself. If the only nice thing you've done for yourself in the last week is eat a candy bar, this is really important step.

3. eat in the way that is healthy for YOUR body. It's not the same for all of us. Some are vegetarian, some are high protein, I eat Paleo. I truly believe that different things work better for different people.

4. move in ways that feel good to you. I think exercise gets bantered around like it is some sort of punishment we must put ourselves through because we are bad. I don't buy it. I believe that moving is fun and that it is part of enjoying being in our bodies. What does your sister like to do? What would have to change in her life for her to be able to do it? The weird thing is, if she started doing something she liked, whether or not she lost weight she would like her body more.

5. speak kindly to ourselves. If your sister were asking for advice, I would encourage her to make herself a sign that reads, "My body is amazing and strong. I gave birth to my baby" and hang it on her mirror where she could read it every morning. I teach a yoga class once a week, and at some point in a quiet pose, I tell my students to send love and gratitude to every cell in their bodies.

(But I have loose skin, scars, spider veins, etc. I just decided to love my body and appreciate everything it has done and everything it can do anyway.)
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#11 of 35 Old 08-04-2014, 10:44 PM
 
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It is possible to get your old body back after having a baby! Maybe it is not the norm, but it is possible. I still look the same after 2 kids, and I know other women who look the same after having children (well, at least as far as I can tell with their clothes on lol!!) Your sister should not listen to those other women and give up without trying. She just might be able to lose weight and return to the way she used to be, or close to it. She'll never know unless she tries! Of course, there is always the possibility that she will not return to her former size, but again, how else can she know for sure unless she tries?

My daughter is 4 and son is 11, so I'm out of the range for your survey. I just wanted to chime in and say there is always a chance for your sister, because I know people who have gone back to the way they used to be! It can happen.
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#12 of 35 Old 08-05-2014, 05:00 PM
 
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I think "old body back" is not a good goal and not a healthy way to view one's self at all.

I also wonder if she overall seems to be doing OK, or if she is overwhelmed, depressed, isolated, etc. A lot of stuff changes when you have a baby -- your body is just one of them. Many couples have a rough time adjusting from going from being a couple to being parents. Most people find caring for a baby is more work than they thought it would be. Some people find it affects their relationships with friends. I wonder if fixating on her body is easier than dealing with some of the other stuff.

I don't think enabling her obsession with the changes in her body is healthy for her or good for your relationship.

It is possible to be at a healthy weight and be in good shape after having kids, but that isn't the same as getting your old body back. My tummy will never, ever be the same. The spider veins and stretchmarks aren't going anywhere. It's not the same. And why should it be? I grew 2 humans inside me.

I lost 70 pounds and became a yoga teacher after having kids. My advice:

1. accept that your body isn't the same as it was, and it never will be. and it will keep getting older. (but that's all the bad news)

2. practice self care in ways that work for you. Besides being good for health, it cuts down on stress eating and eating crap because its the only nice thing you do for yourself. If the only nice thing you've done for yourself in the last week is eat a candy bar, this is really important step.

3. eat in the way that is healthy for YOUR body. It's not the same for all of us. Some are vegetarian, some are high protein, I eat Paleo. I truly believe that different things work better for different people.

4. move in ways that feel good to you. I think exercise gets bantered around like it is some sort of punishment we must put ourselves through because we are bad. I don't buy it. I believe that moving is fun and that it is part of enjoying being in our bodies. What does your sister like to do? What would have to change in her life for her to be able to do it? The weird thing is, if she started doing something she liked, whether or not she lost weight she would like her body more.

5. speak kindly to ourselves. If your sister were asking for advice, I would encourage her to make herself a sign that reads, "My body is amazing and strong. I gave birth to my baby" and hang it on her mirror where she could read it every morning. I teach a yoga class once a week, and at some point in a quiet pose, I tell my students to send love and gratitude to every cell in their bodies.

(But I have loose skin, scars, spider veins, etc. I just decided to love my body and appreciate everything it has done and everything it can do anyway.)
I think this is excellent advice.
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#13 of 35 Old 08-12-2014, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. Thanks for everyone who replied with some great advice. Here's the main points I got out of the replies:
  • The focus shouldn't be on getting your old body back, and that is generally not possible. Rather, the focus should be on being healthy, and accepting your body as it is.
  • Rather than focus on a specific exercise plan, try to find ways to life more healthily by creating a healthy lifestyle and habits.
  • Having the right motivation is very important - if you are motivated to lose weight to be more healthy it is better than trying to lose weight to look like you did before your pregnancy.
  • It is possible for some people to look like they did before pregnancy (thanks beckybird!), however not everyone can achieve this.
It think the most important lesson that I learned from this thread is that the way we phrase this goal is very important. If my sister wants "to get her old body back", it can lead to heartache and disappointment. However, there is nothing wrong with trying to lose weight so that she can feel more energetic, healthy, and be a better example for her kids. She should try to focus on the positive benefits in the future, not on getting something back that she lost.
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#14 of 35 Old 08-12-2014, 03:37 PM
 
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I agree that a book of success stories could be a bit demoralizing... unless she was the one seeking the information herself... I gained WAY too much with my first baby and too much with my second. For the past seven years I have worked my butt off to try to get my "pre baby" body back. I think that for some people it just doesn't work like that. I never did get my pre body back, but I was also 18, weighed 110 lbs at 5'2, and had a beautiful flat stomach. Nowadays, I do not have a flat stomach, never did get that back (pregnant right now, lol), the skin on my stomach is loose and covered in stretch marks, and I'm sure I don't look as good naked as I once did. But, I have two beautiful children who are thin and healthy and eat great, I can cook up the tastiest healthy meals (with lots of learning and research on eating healthy), I can run 3.5 miles without walking, and can really do a bad ass job on my workouts. The important thing is to feel good. Some people will never look the same and some bounce back within a couple of months. It is important for her not to compare herself to others.


The best gift you could give her is to offer your "personal training" services. If you really care about her health and her weight loss goals, workout with her. I remember in the early years thinking that if I just had someone to motivate me and do this battle with me I could accomplish so much more. Pick up a good workout video (The medicine ball was my savior after my second child) and the two of you could work out a routine and just good old fashioned ass kicking will do the trick. Just be there for her, tell her she's beautiful and she's got this. You are a great sister for caring!
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#15 of 35 Old 08-12-2014, 07:03 PM
 
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I didn't. I wore the same size clothes, but they fit different. And I like it.

But I did struggle with my self image for a while. Not from my size, but my energy level. I made some changes, and still am. Recently I started reading personal development books. (Like Darren Hardy's the compound effect) One thing I found encouraging was how they point out success does not come overnight.
I also take an awesome whole food supplement.

I think it's awesome that you want to help her, for her to know it is possible.
Maybe ask her what sort of activities she would like to do, and do it with her.
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#16 of 35 Old 08-17-2014, 09:24 AM
 
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I have never been pregnant..yet;-) but looking at all of my friends with kids i can say that all of them have changed! I mean their bodies. You should accept the fact that your body will be different - not better, not worse, just different! Some of women i know gain weight and were not able to lose it (have to say they tried not as hard as they should, so it's their own mistake). Other of my friends lost weight they gain during the pregnancy and even more!! But they really went crazy about their weight after birth: started lots of diets at once, were spending hours at the gym. So it was not a miracle or god's blessing, it was hard work they do. But most of the women i know stayed the same after birth. Well almost the same;-) As i told your body will change for sure and will be different. I advise only to eat healthy food, be active (walk, ride a bike, swim, do not use elevator) and smile every morning to yourself! Love yourself and your child and be happy! and everything will be great! best of luck
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#17 of 35 Old 08-17-2014, 11:16 AM
 
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I have never been pregnant..yet;-) but looking at all of my friends with kids i can say that all of them have changed! I mean their bodies. You should accept the fact that your body will be different - not better, not worse, just different! Some of women i know gain weight and were not able to lose it (have to say they tried not as hard as they should, so it's their own mistake). Other of my friends lost weight they gain during the pregnancy and even more!! But they really went crazy about their weight after birth: started lots of diets at once, were spending hours at the gym. So it was not a miracle or god's blessing, it was hard work they do. But most of the women i know stayed the same after birth. Well almost the same;-) As i told your body will change for sure and will be different. I advise only to eat healthy food, be active (walk, ride a bike, swim, do not use elevator) and smile every morning to yourself! Love yourself and your child and be happy! and everything will be great! best of luck
Ginger, this post is, possibly accidentally, pretty hurtful.

Either your friends didn't lose the baby weight, and that's their own fault for not trying hard enough, OR your friends "went crazy" and possibly overboard and lost the weight.

As a mother, I want friends who understand the relative importance of things like weight, fitness, beauty, and character. If I look great, I'd love a compliment, but motherhood involves looking hideous from time to time, and I can't really be friends with anyone who sees me on a bad day (or who sees the cumulative effect of parenting choices like "kids before zumba", or "Friday night sundaes/family bonding night" or "i hold a full-time job and took 2 kids to 4 ot sessions this week") and thinks "her fault!"
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#18 of 35 Old 08-17-2014, 04:07 PM
 
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I can't really be friends with anyone who sees me on a bad day (or who sees the cumulative effect of parenting choices like "kids before zumba", or "Friday night sundaes/family bonding night" or "i hold a full-time job and took 2 kids to 4 ot sessions this week") and thinks "her fault!"

yep - it took me years to loose the weight because I, for some crazy reason, put being a good mother to the two children I gave birth to as a higher priority than the size of my butt. Call me crazy.


I'm sure lots of people felt, as GingerJV, that I just wasn't trying hard enough. They didn't understand that I was trying for a very different goal.

BTW -- my DDs and I did a 5K together last spring. This is much easier as kids get older!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#19 of 35 Old 08-17-2014, 05:25 PM
 
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Linda, I'm waiting for clearance from my surgeon to start C25k again. How old are your kids? (In other words, when am I gonna be able to jog with mine?)
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#20 of 35 Old 08-18-2014, 06:58 AM
 
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Linda, I'm waiting for clearance from my surgeon to start C25k again. How old are your kids? (In other words, when am I gonna be able to jog with mine?)
My kids were 15 and 17 when we did the 5K, but they could have done it younger. We did it with a group of women from work and their DDs. The youngest was 11.

I really hate the crap that new moms get about weight and exercise. After my first, it wasn't a big deal -- she was a super easy baby and my body just bounced back. After my second, things were very rough. I had a high need baby and a toddler, and the toddle had developmental issues. I was a zombie from lack of sleep and days revolved around appointments for DD#1, while having a screaming baby in tow.

And I'm quite sure that people (mostly women) looked at my body and felt I "wasn't trying hard enough," without any clue of what of I was going through.

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#21 of 35 Old 08-18-2014, 07:50 AM
 
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Eleven, awesome! I can probably take DS (7) out on the track with me when the surgeon clears me to run again (DS is faster than I am, but usually has shorter range). DD (age 4) is very enthusiastic about running with me, but I have to be willing to bounce in place from time to time, because she gets upset if I stop to wait while she catches up.

Women are subjected to a weird social load of aesthetic judgment. It's like your life doesn't matter, just your weight. If you're "too heavy," you get judged for it, even if the reasons you're too heavy are totally unassailable. You could be a cancer patient who spends your spare time training abandoned puppies to be therapy dogs for homeless veterans, instead of working off the chemo steroid weight at the gym - it doesn't matter, guys on the street will still tell you you're fat. And if you're thin, it doesn't seem to matter how you got there. It's like crack addiction is weirdly laudable because you lose weight.
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#22 of 35 Old 08-19-2014, 01:05 PM
 
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I agree that the focus needs to be on health and self-esteem rather than on looking/weighing exactly as before.

I was very thin until I started trying to conceive my first child, at which point I purposely gained 10 pounds in hopes that a higher body fat level would improve my hormonal cycling. It didn't, but I eventually did get pregnant. By the time my son was 5 months old I'd dropped to my original weight, NOT because I did any crazy diet or workouts but because I have the kind of body that gets very thin if I give it a chance. Getting UP to a healthy weight and staying there takes effort for me. I had not intended to get back to my college weight, but there I was--yet my waist was 5 inches bigger around than it had been. This time, I think I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight (don't have a scale) and waist size--that is, my weight is about what it is at the time of conception of each child, which is a healthy weight, and my waist is the size it became after the first pregnancy. I am never going to have a 22-inch waist again, but that's okay! This time, I have made a much stronger effort to eat ASAP when I'm hungry and eat as much as I want of healthy foods, emphasizing fiber and protein. I've (mostly) avoided doing the mother-martyr "I don't have time to eat" act that I did with my son. I feel a zillion times stronger, and a bunch of people who've known me since before my son was born have commented on how my skin looks better and I look overall healthier than I did then.

Aside from my metabolism, there are 2 things I've done that I think have been really helpful in losing pregnancy weight and regaining abdominal muscle tone:
  1. If it's possible to walk somewhere instead of driving, I walk and carry baby in a carrier, which is better exercise than pushing a stroller. I also take baby for walks when she's restless. I walk about 3 miles a day on average, even now that I'm back to work. I don't treat it as a "workout", just part of life. (I wear good walking shoes all the time, except the specialest occasions.)
  2. I sit on an exercise ball at my desk. If your sister doesn't have a desk job but does like to watch TV, this is a great thing to do in front of TV as well.
My core strength since I discovered the exercise ball is much BETTER than it ever was before my first pregnancy! I can do things on the playground that I couldn't do when I was a kid! And because I went into the subsequent pregnancy so strong, my abs recovered really quickly this time.

I agree that her back pain may be from carrying the baby awkwardly or from something that got out of whack during pregnancy, and that she should focus on strengthening her back rather than blaming a few extra pounds for the back pain.

I hope things go well for her! Encourage her to join these forums--great for support of so many kinds!

Mama to a boy EnviroKid treehugger.gif 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby baby.gif!

I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more. computergeek2.gif

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#23 of 35 Old 08-21-2014, 01:01 PM
 
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Ginger, this post is, possibly accidentally, pretty hurtful.

Either your friends didn't lose the baby weight, and that's their own fault for not trying hard enough, OR your friends "went crazy" and possibly overboard and lost the weight.

As a mother, I want friends who understand the relative importance of things like weight, fitness, beauty, and character. If I look great, I'd love a compliment, but motherhood involves looking hideous from time to time, and I can't really be friends with anyone who sees me on a bad day (or who sees the cumulative effect of parenting choices like "kids before zumba", or "Friday night sundaes/family bonding night" or "i hold a full-time job and took 2 kids to 4 ot sessions this week") and thinks "her fault!"
I was not trying to offend someone! Girls, why you reacted this way? I wrote about the people i know (so probably i know a bit more then you about them;-). I do not know about your lives. So i was not trying to judge you in any way! So do not take it personally. You did not understand the point of my post!! I just wanted to explaine that the body of woman changes after pregnancy. It's almost impossible to make it the same. With crazy amounts of diets or without them. Your body becomes different: not worse, not better, but just different. Of course I think that only health is important, not your actual weight. So only healthy food and life style will help you to be happy and active mommy. Wish all of you the best.
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#24 of 35 Old 08-21-2014, 08:42 PM
 
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You can be the same weight but most likely a different shape. My ribcage and my hips were forever a bit wider even though I got back to the same weight after each child.
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#25 of 35 Old 08-22-2014, 08:52 AM
 
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I was not trying to offend someone! Girls, why you reacted this way? I wrote about the people i know (so probably i know a bit more then you about them;-). I do not know about your lives. So i was not trying to judge you in any way! So do not take it personally. You did not understand the point of my post!! I just wanted to explaine that the body of woman changes after pregnancy. It's almost impossible to make it the same. With crazy amounts of diets or without them. Your body becomes different: not worse, not better, but just different. Of course I think that only health is important, not your actual weight. So only healthy food and life style will help you to be happy and active mommy. Wish all of you the best.
I get that bodies change after pregnancy. It's happened to me, twice, and I wrote about it in this very thread.

Of course you weren't trying to offend anyone. You wrote about the people you know, and I only know what you've told me about them. But what you told me is that you think the ones who didn't lose their baby weight were lazy, and the ones who did were crazy. My objection wasn't about losing or not losing weight. It's about the way we talk about each other.

You probably didn't think about that when you typed it. Women in this culture are encouraged to talk negatively about themselves and about other women a lot. Saying that you haven't lost the weight because you haven't tried very hard is just something you say because otherwise people raise their eyebrows and say you're getting above yourself, so of course you say that about your friends. And if you DID lose the weight, you don't want other people to think you're looking down on them for not, so you dress it up - you totally went CRAZY with going to the gym, and you tried a bunch of different diets, and it was all kind of out of control. And then, of course, you'd say that about your friends too. We're all lazy or crazy.

Why do we have to be that way? It's not a good way to think of ourselves. It's a terrible way to be a friend. Can we stop negging ourselves like a bar full of pick-up artists?

I would rather say that some people are really dedicated to losing the baby weight, and work really hard at it, and some find that they have things going on in their lives that take up more of their time and attention and they choose not to displace those things for time at the gym. Some people find that their metabolisms change. Some people are genuinely overwhelmed by their circumstances. There's also a tiny minority that loses post-baby weight with hardly any effort. All of us age, and all of us change while we do, all of us remain worthwhile people.
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#26 of 35 Old 08-23-2014, 09:48 PM
 
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I was not trying to offend someone! Girls, why you reacted this way? I wrote about the people i know (so probably i know a bit more then you about them;-). I do not know about your lives. So i was not trying to judge you in any way!

I reacted the way I did because I experienced that exact same attitude in my life.

In this post, you are trying to clarify that you were judging your friends, not us.

What you are saying is that you judge your friends based on their weight.

It isn't helpful to them or you.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#27 of 35 Old 08-24-2014, 10:57 PM
 
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I lost all my baby weight twice. I practice "intuitive eating," which basically means eating whatever the hell you want, when you want it, while being as mindful as possible of how your body feels. This means eating crap and feeling how crappy it feels, while making no vows to undo your actions. It also means eating vegetables and really enjoying them. I also do exercise I enjoy, most days a week, and no exercise I don't enjoy. I also exercise my "transverse abdominus." This helps with abdominal separation. I also do Kegel exercises. I only do these exercises because I have found ways to enjoy and remember them.

My body is different and will not return to my "old body." I have some stretch marks and loose skin. I love my body more than I have ever loved it before. I birthed two babies, I've carried them and made my arms and back strong. I find time to exercise because I enjoy how it feels, not because I think it will redeem me in anyone else's eyes.

My best advice: celebrate and enjoy your body.
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#28 of 35 Old 08-25-2014, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that a book of success stories could be a bit demoralizing... unless she was the one seeking the information herself... I gained WAY too much with my first baby and too much with my second. For the past seven years I have worked my butt off to try to get my "pre baby" body back. I think that for some people it just doesn't work like that. I never did get my pre body back, but I was also 18, weighed 110 lbs at 5'2, and had a beautiful flat stomach. Nowadays, I do not have a flat stomach, never did get that back (pregnant right now, lol), the skin on my stomach is loose and covered in stretch marks, and I'm sure I don't look as good naked as I once did. But, I have two beautiful children who are thin and healthy and eat great, I can cook up the tastiest healthy meals (with lots of learning and research on eating healthy), I can run 3.5 miles without walking, and can really do a bad ass job on my workouts. The important thing is to feel good. Some people will never look the same and some bounce back within a couple of months. It is important for her not to compare herself to others.


The best gift you could give her is to offer your "personal training" services. If you really care about her health and her weight loss goals, workout with her. I remember in the early years thinking that if I just had someone to motivate me and do this battle with me I could accomplish so much more. Pick up a good workout video (The medicine ball was my savior after my second child) and the two of you could work out a routine and just good old fashioned ass kicking will do the trick. Just be there for her, tell her she's beautiful and she's got this. You are a great sister for caring!
Hi mamabear. Thanks for the feedback regarding the possibility that the book might be demoralizing. I wonder if the booklet shouldn't rather be focused on different ways that moms have achieved their goals instead of just focusing on the fact that they did. In other words, a book of tips and strategies that different moms have used to achieve their goals, whatever they are.

The problem as I see it is that she is in any case going to be reading about people who have lost weight, because that's just what people do who want to lose weight. Unfortunately, a lot of those people aren't moms, and don't have the same restrictions and requirements as she has. That might be even more demotivating, because they could achieve results much easier because they didn't have a baby to care for.

I'm also worried about the advice that she is currently getting from her (non-mom) friends. Recently, she has started going onto different fad diets (high protein, fasting, etc). I'm always very suspicious about these types of diets, as it seems to me that they are simply "quick fixes" and don't lead to long term health, only short term weight loss.
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#29 of 35 Old 08-25-2014, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't. I wore the same size clothes, but they fit different. And I like it.

But I did struggle with my self image for a while. Not from my size, but my energy level. I made some changes, and still am. Recently I started reading personal development books. (Like Darren Hardy's the compound effect) One thing I found encouraging was how they point out success does not come overnight.
I also take an awesome whole food supplement.

I think it's awesome that you want to help her, for her to know it is possible.
Maybe ask her what sort of activities she would like to do, and do it with her.
Hi OklaFarmMama

Thanks for the recommendation about the book, I'm going to check it out. Here's the link for anyone else interested in
Darren Hardy's Compound Effect Darren Hardy's Compound Effect
. I'm a great believer in the fact the it is the small things that you do every day that determine how you look and feel. It's not the big changes you make, but rather the 100's of small changes.

What whole food supplement are you taking?

Thanks for the encouragement. Unfortunately it is not always possible for me to do things with her, as we don't live close to each other. That's why I want to try and help in other ways.
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#30 of 35 Old 08-25-2014, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have never been pregnant..yet;-) but looking at all of my friends with kids i can say that all of them have changed! I mean their bodies. You should accept the fact that your body will be different - not better, not worse, just different! Some of women i know gain weight and were not able to lose it (have to say they tried not as hard as they should, so it's their own mistake). Other of my friends lost weight they gain during the pregnancy and even more!! But they really went crazy about their weight after birth: started lots of diets at once, were spending hours at the gym. So it was not a miracle or god's blessing, it was hard work they do. But most of the women i know stayed the same after birth. Well almost the same;-) As i told your body will change for sure and will be different. I advise only to eat healthy food, be active (walk, ride a bike, swim, do not use elevator) and smile every morning to yourself! Love yourself and your child and be happy! and everything will be great! best of luck
Hi Gingerjv

Thanks for sharing your perspective. I agree with you that it is all about balance, and focusing on being healthy, active and positive. I think that especially in times of great change (such as when you just had a baby) we can start feeling that we're losing control of our lives. It is then easy to become obsessive about your weight, and then either let it spiral out of control, or focus so much on controlling it that you become obsessive about exercise and diet. Both are unhealthy and as a friend you should be able to talk to your friends about it.

Thanks again for the advice and perspective.
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