The day before giving birth to Tyndale. January 10, 2014.
A new series!
I’m excited to be moving more, & losing the weight I gained during this last pregnancy. So most Fridays, as a part of my new series, Fit Fridays, I’ll share a little of my get fit journey.
A few things I want to make clear first.
I’m not anti-diet.
I don’t think diet has to be a dirty word. Fad diets, or unsustainable diets perhaps give the word diet a bad rap, but I don’t know a better word for deliberately reducing caloric intake in order to achieve weight loss.
Losing weight isn’t a negative thing either. Some people need/should lose weight for their health. And sure, the weight loss needs to be a part of a greater, overall lifestyle change (eating fewer calories, more nutrient dense foods, moving more, just overall self-care), but if you know me, when I’m talking diet, know that it’s going to be synonymous with lifestyle change, not a “quick-fix.”
I’m not anti-scale.
Before I got pregnant, I went months & months without stepping on a scale. I knew I was at a healthy weight (which in my mind is always a range, not an exact number), I was physically active, & my clothes continued to fit. I didn’t feel it necessary to step on a scale.
A scale is a tool. Sometime it can get in the way. For example, weighing yourself every day (in my opinion not helpful since weight can fluctuate several pounds from day to day depending on time of day, what you ate, etc.), or using it improperly (ie. to feed obsessive behavior &/or an eating disorder). But a scale can also be a very useful tool, one of the many, in reaching health goals. When I’m in weight loss mode, I weigh myself once a week, that’s it. It’s an extremely helpful tool in helping me know if what I’m doing is working.
There are certain measurements, such as BMI or weight or body fat percentage, that when taken on their own, only provide a slice of the picture. This is why I think it’s important to look at a number of factors when determining goals for weight loss. There needs to be some measurement, other than just “feeling good” or being able to fit into a certain jean size. I know that BMI isn’t perfect & the numbers on the scale don’t provide the whole picture (such as ratio of lean/fat body mass), which is why I don’t think it’s a good idea to just look at one measurement.
Not everyone is going to agree with me.
Some people may look at these pictures & say, wow, you look great! Why are you worrying about losing weight? Or, you just had a baby, you don’t need to lose weight. Others may think the exact opposite. Others may think I shouldn’t share my weight, or that I shouldn’t include pictures because it brings the focus on the external.
For me, especially since I had gestational diabetes with the last pregnancy, I’ve been advised by several of my health professionals that because of the G.D. I am at a greater risk of developing diabetes later in life. In order to work on prevention, there are two things they advised me to do: 1) exercise on a regular basis & 2) return back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Eating a healthy diet was also included in these recommendations.
Maybe it’s because I live in Texas (where the general demographic tends to be on the heavier side), but I get compliments from people regularly about how good I look, how thin I am for just having had a baby. I don’t share this to brag. To be honest, at first I was always surprised. Like–seriously? I’m about 45 pounds over my normal weight. So why worry about losing the weight if everyone seems to think I look “great”?
Because…it’s not about looking a certain way. It’s about health, feeling good. Aside from recommendations from my doctor to lose the weight, & not being able to fit into any of my regular clothes, I don’t actually enjoy carrying around this extra weight. It’s more strenuous to move around–this becomes especially acute when I go running, or climb my stairs (especially when carrying a toddler or infant to boot!). I’ve never had joint pain or knee pain until now.
So, I’m going to lose weight, & I’m going to share my weight, & my weight loss.
I will share pictures from time to time (though, no worries, no bikini-shots–ever!), because I think these things, though limited in demonstrating the overall picture of my journey to becoming fit & healthy again, are helpful to some people.
Rest assured, I want to approach this in moderate, conscious, & mindful matter. I want to show that losing weight doesn’t have to be torture. It doesn’t have to be complicated. And it doesn’t have to lead to obsessive behavior or disordered eating.
Weight isn’t everything, being fit isn’t everything.
But achieving, & then maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced approach to eating & physical activity is important, & should be a priority for all of us. Not because of the aesthetic outcomes (which are a nice fringe benefit, I’ve got to admit), but because it has a great affect on our physical/mental/emotional health. It’s important.
Here are a few “before” pictures:
A few days after birth.
I weighed in at 204 lbs.–a BMI of 30.1, body fat percentage at 29% (determined using a skin fold measurement).
I’m not quite sure what my pre-pregnancy weight was, since I hadn’t weighed myself for months before I got pregnant, but my typical “happy” non-pregnant weight is somewhere between 140-150 lbs, which is a BMI range of 20-22. (I’m 5’9″.)
I’m guessing I weighed about 150ish when I got pregnant, which means I gained over 50 pounds of fat weight during this last pregnancy. Yikes!
Yesterday, just after some exercise. Nice rosy, post-workout “glow.” Gosh, I love working out.
In the 5 weeks since I took the first set of pictures, I’ve lost about 16 pounds. A lot of that was water weight I’m sure, but of course some of it fat.
I’m nursing & you may wonder if dieting/exercise affects breast milk or supply. I’m going on my fourth round of this post-baby weight loss routine & I’ve never had any issues with milk supply or nursing. I eat a nutrient dense diet & I make sure I’m getting adequate nutrients (protein, calcium, b-12, among others) which are especially important for us nursing mamas.
I’d like these Friday posts to be me sharing of course, but more of a discussion & sharing about things related to health, diet, exercise, & all the things in between. I hope you’ll feel inclined now & then to add your two cents.
Coming up on next week’s Fit Friday…
I’ll be launching my Fit, Strong, Lean: The Diet ebook, which outlines the program that I’ve used (3 times, going on my 4th) to safely lose all my baby weight (& more) & get into incredible shape. It includes all the details for how to lose the weight you need to achieve a healthy weight, including real-life, practical tips & insights I’ve gleaned from being a busy wife/mom & my 6 years experience as a fitness professional. I’m super excited to finally share it with you!