I had baby #7 in 2018.
During my teen years, I struggled with bulimia. (Read my testimony on my other blog here)
Losing weight after pregnancy in a healthy way and maintaining a healthy self-esteem has been a priority since overcoming my destructive eating patterns.
For the most part, I’ve lost the baby weight after each pregnancy. Not perfectly, but I did fit into my wedding dress after each pregnancy, so that says something right?
As moms, we have to realize that no matter what your pre-pregnancy body looked like, your post-baby body may not cooperate after each baby. And the strange thing is, you might think you look horrible after baby #3 and then turn around and think you look amazing after baby #4. You just never know.
I’m just going to list out each pregnancy and how I legit lost weight. No holds bar. Just the God’s-honest truth.
Losing Weight After Baby #1
Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 130 lbs
Gained During Pregnancy: 27
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How I Lost It: I was so focused on losing weight after my first baby that (looking back) I lost it too quickly. Within 2 months I was back at my 130 lbs mark (at some point dipping to 127lbs). I don’t recommend losing weight too fast, as my milk supply suffered greatly.
I used The South Beach Diet program (just the books). That was all the rage in 2004. I worked out like a fiend at Gold’s Gym. I took my baby running in a jogging stroller regularly. I was working full-time as a graphic designer on a campus with a gym, too. I ran during my lunch breaks to the gym, did weights and more cardio, then ran back to work.
Losing Weight After Baby #2
Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 135 lbs (I gained 5 lbs RIGHT BEFORE we decided to have a baby…did my body know something?)
Gained During Pregnancy: 35
How I Lost It: Got a double jogger and tried to run with two kids was harder, but not completely undoable. I worked contract work for a bit, so my schedule was more flexible. But then I got a job at an ad agency. There was a girl at my office I would run with during lunch breaks. I think I couldn’t lose those last 5 pounds because I was drinking more alcohol since I was working at an ad agency where drinking was more common.
Losing Weight After Baby #3
Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 135 lbs (Couldn’t get down to my ideal 130 no matter how hard I tried.)
Gained During Pregnancy: 30
How I Lost It: Giving up coffee creamer was THE thing that really helped me lose weight after this baby. Every day for breakfast I ate my 2 eggs and toast with jelly and a cup of black coffee. The jelly on the toast off-set the black coffee nicely.
I really didn’t want to give up creamer, but I continued to feel like the Lord was pressing it on my heart. Once I did, the weight fell off. I realized I was probably consuming 100-150 calories extra a day in creamer alone. That’s upwards of 1000+ extra calories a week!
Also, I worked out on the elliptical because going jogging outside was now out of the question with a 5 yr, 2.5 yr and newborn/infant.
Lesson: Giving up what you LOVE AT THE MOMENT often leads to what you really want long term!
Losing Weight After Baby #4
Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 135 lbs
Gained During Pregnancy: 22 (Did nothing different except ate A LOT of peanut butter sandwiches and was off medications)
How I Lost It: I continued to give up creamer (except on Saturday). This time, I felt like the Lord was leading me to give up my morning carbs until later in the day. So instead of eggs and toast, I just ate 2 boiled eggs. That was kinda hard because as soon as I woke up I wanted a cup of coffee, but since the black coffee without my jelly toast wasn’t cool with me, I ate my eggs, waited an hour AND then ate 2 pieces of jelly toast with black coffee. Don’t ask me why delaying carbs worked, but it did. I got down to my thinnest weight before finding out I was pregnant again!
Lesson: Listen to that inner leading of the Lord on doing things because HE knows your body best.
Losing Weight After Baby #5
Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 127 lbs (Thinnest…and I didn’t even try.)
Gained During Pregnancy: 35
How I Lost It: Because giving up creamer worked so well, I used MyFitness Pal to track my calorie intake. Between that and working out on the elliptical occasionally (3x a week for 30 minutes was probably what I managed between homeschooling and five kids) is how I lost weight. I worked out on the elliptical while my husband and I watched LOST.
Losing Weight After Baby #6
Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 137 lbs
Gained During Pregnancy: 35
How I Lost It: I really struggled to lose weight after this baby. I increased my depression medication and didn’t associate the inability to lose weight (and I actually gained some weight) with that increase in dosage. Now I think it was directly correlating to my increased weight.
I was kinda stuck at 160-155 for a long while after baby, eventually, I bought the FitYummyMummy program (see my video journey here) and lost about 15 pounds, getting down to 140. I weighed 140 but then went back up to 145 before baby #7. I wasn’t very happy about starting a new pregnancy 15 lbs over my ideal weight.
If I’m honest, I got lazy in all my weight loss efforts and felt comfortable in my lifestyle enough to be complacent. Something I would like to remedy after this next pregnancy.
Losing Weight After Baby #7
Age: 37 (My first “geriatric” pregnancy)
Pre-Pregnancy Weight: 140-145 lbs (I increased some of my medications which caused some weight gain, I think)
Gained During Pregnancy: 32 lbs
How I Lost It: I used Weight Watchers because I felt like that’s where the Lord led me. It was more money than I wanted to spend, but the accountability with meetings has been nice. My husband suggested I get a FitBit…because he’s obsessed with his, so I did. I lost ALLLLLLLL the weight and more (I’m lower than my wedding weight of 130…as of 2019 I’m 125!)
WW is amazing. It completely helped my “I’m eating for 2” mentality that stuck after having so many babies. I feel great.
What I Would Do Again/Different/Recommend
Of all my pregnancy-related weightloss efforts, I personally want something that is easy to follow and fun.
I absolutely HATE giving up carbs. Because of my past eating disorder, I’m really not a fan of fad-diets or unbalanced dieting (like giving up carbs, which to me isn’t real life living).
That said, there is a season for everything.
My best advice is to pray and ask the Lord to show you what to do…and do that.
I’m a big fan of traditional regular exercise and balanced diet, intaking less than calories burned. It’s the only thing that I feel has really stood the test of time. Any diet or program that causes you to obsess about food seems unnatural to me. If you are constantly hungry…you are probably NOT eating enough…which can cause weight gain (your body goes into starvation mode). STOP IT. Feed your body, it’s been good to you. If you need to indulge occasionally, fine. You only have one life, don’t waste it chasing “skinnier.” Find your happy place, but don’t be lazy (like I was after baby #6).