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Monday, August 13, 2012

Losing the Baby Weight: Weight Watchers

As all of you know, I'm a "plan follower." I like a plan. I like to have something to follow. My guidebook for parenting is Babywise. My guidebook for living my life is the Bible. My guidebook for introducing solid foods is Baby-Led Weaning. I'm a fan of having some type of structure and like things spelled out for me in an easy-to-follow way. In school my least favorite assignments were the ones where the teacher said "write about whatever you want to write about." I don't like that! I thrive under direction ;)

Becoming a mom is a BEAUTIFUL, wonderful experience. However. It changes your body in ways you never could have predicted. When it comes to getting myself back to my pre-pregnancy weight I also, like in all other areas of my life, like to follow a plan. I know so many other moms out there are looking for help to lose the weight so I thought I'd write a few blog entries on the different plans I've followed, how I liked them, and the results they gave me :)

I was EXACTLY the same weight prior to getting pregnant with each of my babies. I'm just gonna lay it all out there for ya...my "goal weight" is always 128. It's a nice weight for me, however I typically fluctuate somewhere between 128-132. With both pregnancies I started out at 132lb (what can I say? I'm consistent!). With Kye I gained 39 lb total. Yikes. With Britt I only gained 22 lb total. I had a beast of a time losing the weight after Kye so I tried super hard not to gain as much with Britt. I quickly learned, however, that the amount of weight doesn't make that much of a difference. It's STILL tough to lose it!!!

You can click on this picture to make it bigger but it's a comparison of how I looked at 39 weeks pregnant with each of my pregnancies. The one on the left is Kye, the right is Brittlynn.
I exclusively breastfed both of my babies. I had ALWAYS heard that breastfeeding makes you drop weight. I was expecting it all just to fall off of me! When I left the hospital with Kye I had lost 20 lb and still had 19 left to go. I didn't exercise or diet or worry about it at all. We went to Paris when I was 7 weeks postpartum and I had only lost THREE POUNDS. Ugh. It was so disappointing. Breastfeeding just doesn't help me lose weight :( While in Paris another Aflac mom told me about Weight Watchers and how they have a plan for breastfeeding moms. The minute we got home from the trip we signed up (I even wrote this post for some motivation!).

Zach and I both signed up for Weight Watchers online. And we LOVED it!!! It's so great that they have a plan for nursing moms and my weight dropped pretty fast. It was easy to follow and I LOVE how many great tips and recipes there are out there for Weight Watchers. Doing it together made it even better for me because Zach and I were both counting points and could help each other stay motivated. By the time Kye was 4 months old I was at my pre-pregnancy weight. Meaning I lost 16 lb in about 8 weeks. Pretty awesome! I continued to stay on Weight Watchers until Kye was fully done breastfeeding.

While I had lost the baby weight my body still didn't look the same as it did pre-pregnancy. I actually didn't feel like myself again until after I weaned him. It's a common thing...many women hold some extra weight while nursing. I'm one of those "lucky" ones ;) By Kye's first birthday though I was VERY happy with how I looked!  

This is from Kye's 1st birthday party, it's the best pic I could find that shows how I looked! 
While I gained much less weight while pregnant with Brittlynn...it's been harder to lose it all. At 39 weeks I had gained 22 lb and when I left the hospital I'd only lost 5 lb. That means I still had 17 lbs left to lose. Yikes. Even though I had almost the same amount of weight left to lose as I did after having Kye, I still LOOKED better this time around and I felt better about myself too. I didn't stress too much over it. Transitioning to life with two kids is crazy enough and I couldn't really spend much time being concerned with my weight or looks! 

I was shocked how the scale kept getting lower while I wasn't really doing anything. I didn't go back on Weight Watchers right away as I wanted to give my body time to adjust. I just didn't pig out and tried to only eat when hungry and such. I guess maybe this time breastfeeding did help me some?!?! At eight weeks postpartum I had 6 lb left to lose to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight.

While I only had 6 lb left to lose, my body was totalllly looking like I had a lot more than that. No pants, even maternity ones, looked okay on me. My stomach was so much bigger and flabbier this time around. It makes sense...it's been stretched out pretty far twice now (I DREAD seeing it again after baby #3...#4...etc). I'm just chilling at home majority of the time so I lived in pjs. But when I did have to get dressed to go somewhere I mostly wore dresses as they were the most flattering on me. 

I started back on Weight Watchers when I had 9 lb left to lose after having her (I'm not sure at what point postpartum that was...I can't find it in the blog?) Zach and I both rejoined but I struggled more with it this time around. They have changed their points system and while I'm sure it still works, I felt like I had TOO many points. I was eating more than I did prior to doing Weight Watchers in order to get my full amount of points in every day. Plus the way I am...I will STARVE all day to be able to use up all my points on a big bowl of ice cream each night. Not exactly the best way to do it huh? But I am an emotional eater and my days were hard. I felt worn out each night and felt like I needed and deserved that ice cream. Some of you moms out there get that feeling right??? 

At 10 weeks postpartum I was able to start wearing pre-pregnancy pants again. But they were my size 8s. I bought a few size 8 pants when I first got pregnant with Kye so I wouldn't have to wear a bella band all the time. When I'm not pregnant (or nursing) I'm a size 4. Sometimes a 6 depending on the brand. Not ever an 8. I was happy the 8s fit because it was better than maternity pants, but still. It wasn't ideal! From then on though, I never did get smaller. The scale may have only said I was 4 lb above my typical weight, but my body was saying something totally different.

Zach was super supportive about it all and kept reminding me that I'd lose it once I stopped nursing. But I HATED feeling like I did. Whenever I went out I'd have to either wear my limited number of size 8 pants/shorts. Or I'd have to wear a size 6 with a bella band to keep them up :( And with either size I had to also wear a slimmer underneath so my tummy wouldn't create a huge muffin top look (btw...if you are in need of a slimmer I HIGHLY recommend Lipo in a Box. It stays up, is comfortable and WORKS! Like pretty much all the pics you see of me since having Britt have me wearing this thing!). 

This was taken at Stevie's Birthday party...when Britt was about 3 1/2 months old. 
I'm wearing the Lipo in a Box and my pants are completely unbuttoned with a bella band on to hold them up! I also feel like my arms look WAY bigger now than they used to :( And they were already my least favorite body part :(
I decided to look for another way to go to lose the weight as Weight Watchers just wasn't really helping this time. Don't get me wrong, I think Weight Watchers is GREAT. While I've never gone to a legit meeting, I like the online membership. It's kinda pricey (like $16 a month I think) but you can track your points online or on your phone. The annoying thing about it is having to put everything in so you can figure out the point amount. It takes time and when you are busy busy busy it's a pain to take that time to look everything up. It's frustrating that they redid the points system as we kinda had it memorized from our first time doing it and knew that it roughly worked out to be 50 calories converts to 1 Weight Watchers point. It isn't as simple anymore and that discouraged us from following it as closely as we should have.

It was also tough for me b/c I was SO CLOSE to my pre-pregnancy weight. 4 lb is like nothing really. I think that made it harder for me to feel motivated because I kept thinking "oh well I can do better tomorrow" instead of feeling that urgent I-need-to-bust-my-butt-to-lose-it-NOW feeling!!! I didn't fully get down to my pre-pregnancy weight with Weight Watchers this time around. I just got STUCK and couldn't get it to go any lower and I felt like it was because they gave me so many points due to breastfeeding!!!

I do really like that with Weight Watchers you can eat whatever you want...it's just about moderation. While it meant I still got to enjoy my regular foods (Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Poptarts for breakfast with a big glass of milk...cinnamon graham crackers smothered in peanut butter for lunch with a large glass of milk...whatever we ate as a fam for dinner and, duh, ice cream at about 10 each night) it didn't motivate me AT ALL to eat any healthier! Why eat healthier when I didn't have to???

Prior to starting back up with Weight Watchers I'd eat a HUGE bowl of ice cream each night. No joke. I'd put on several toppings too: choc syrup, caramel syrup, coconut, cinnamon toast crunch, gummy bears, and sprinkles. Getting back on Weight Watchers I still hoarded my points to be able to enjoy ice cream each night but I cut it down to 1/2 cup of 100 calorie frozen yogurt (3 points) in a 20 calorie sugar cone (0 points!). The only "bad" thing I did was that I would have a tub of chocolate sprinkles...I'd dunk the cone in the sprinkles, lick it off, then dunk it again. Over and over until I ate all the ice cream. Haha. Better than the big bowl, but still not too great of a nightly routine huh?

While doing Weight Watchers this time around I did better with my portion control, but still didn't eat a healthy diet. I also felt disgusting all of the time. I'm big about FEELING CONFIDENT. Even at my best looking I still don't think I'm some beauty queen Barbie doll or something but I'm all about feeling like I look my personal best. And I just didn't have that feeling at all. I felt gross and ugly and just blah. I was sick of wearing the same pants over and over since nothing else fit and I was sick of feeling like I was always having to layer outfits to hide my tummy and edit pics to crop out my unflattering areas (arms! tummy flab!). It was time to try another route...my journey with Slim Fast is up next!!!

4 comments:

  1. great cliff hanger, dear :)
    also, let's point out that I am less than 6 weeks post partum in that pic up there :-/ so much happier now, I am about 15 lbs less now!!!!  still have a few lbs left to go, but we are the same, "lucky" with our extra fat our bodies store, also I hang onto fat b/c I refuse to starve myself or be hardcore while nursing, I am scared to jeopardize my milk supply, a good week without food and lots of exercise and I would be where I want to be (and then maintain it) but that would surely be no good for the baby, ya know?

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  2.  so I will be "skinny" again in Feb, then *hopefully* get a lift with tax returns!!!
    will we still be friends? hahaha jk :)

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  3. I am going to FB message you, I have tried slim fast....

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  4. First, I love your blog. I read it every day. I have a little girl (Avery), close to Kye's age and we are expecting our second child in December. We have similar parenting goals/expectations for our kids. Although I must say you do a much better job than I do. Second, I just wanted to write to let you know that in my "friend circle" we have all noticed that it takes about a year for our bodies to even begin to look like they may actually go back to how they were before pregnancy/birth. That is coming from people who breastfed and people who formula fed, people who exercised and people who sat around and nursed all day (me). It just takes a long time! I gained 30 lbs with my first and had lost all of it at my six week check up but my body was FAR from how it LOOKED before. I was still wearing maternity clothes, my poor boobs will never be the same, my face was swollen. I just hated my body, even though the number on the scale was what it was supposed to be. I breastfed for 5 (ish) months, but even after I quit my body was a wreck. I was a lot like you in that I was always confident/not embarrassed about my body. For the first time in my life I didn't like how I looked. BUT it did eventually start looking better. And I'm not a dieter, I exercise sporadically (um like once a decade?). So I think you just need to give yourself a little TIME. I have read ahead and see you had results with Advocate. That is awesome! I'm so glad to know they have products safe to use when breastfeeding. I may try some after this baby comes. I didn't mean for this to be so long, just wanted to encourage you!!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Reading your comments makes my day!



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