Some of you may not know that I have seven children. Two teenage girls and five younger boys. If you do the math you will realize that I had quite a few of those children after I lost the 150 pounds. Four to be exact. I’ve gotten a few emails recently asking me to talk a bit about pregnancy.
Pregnancy weight gain was what really started me on the path to morbid obesity. I began my first pregnancy at 196 pounds and gained 75 pounds. That’s right – 75 pounds. My doctor was very concerned and sent me to a very nice nutritionist. I listened to her speech, left her office, and went straight through my favorite fast food restaurant drive thru. Obviously, I didn’t follow one bit of her advice. What did she know? She hadn’t had kids, she was skinny, and she was telling me things I didn’t really want to hear. Things like eating more veggies, cutting out the desserts, and foregoing after dinner “dinners.” I thought she was dumb. But alas, she wasn’t so dumb after all because after my first daughter was born, I realized I was in trouble.
The second and third pregnancies didn’t bring as large a weight gain which was a good thing since I started those pregnancies above 250 pounds. In between the first three pregnancies I kept gaining and gaining and gaining. I’d lose a bit of weight after the baby was born and then sail right back up the scale, past my previous starting weight, and into the next decade on the scale. It was scary and depressing.
During the second and third pregnancies I didn’t even really need maternity clothes because the majority of my wardrobe consisted of loose fitting jumpers which easily accommodated my expanding waistline. In fact, with those two pregnancies friends who I didn’t see very often weren’t even sure I was pregnant until I reached about 5 or 6 months. Then they might tentatively ask me if I were expecting.
After my third child was born, I got going on my final weight loss journey. That’s the point where I lost 150 pounds and regained my life. But only two years after reaching my goal weight I became pregnant with my fourth child. I was ecstatic but also quite worried. What if I gained 75 pounds again? What if. . . What if. . .
With him, I only gained 29 pounds and lost the weight within a few weeks. I couldn’t believe how much easier a pregnancy was at 148 as compared to 275. Huge difference. I wasn’t tired, they could see him clearly on the ultrasound machine, and labor was much easier. And during his pregnancy, I didn’t even exercise because I kept having pre-term contractions.
With the next three pregnancies I gained more than I should have. Between 40 and 45 pounds or so. Those pregnancies too were much easier, even though at that point I was in the “advanced maternal age” category. I was able to continue with my life (except for the occasional back problem). I enjoyed those pregnancies much more than I did the first three. But after the babies were born, I did have quite a bit of extra weight to lose. Here’s a picture of me with my fifth son when he was about 7 weeks. You can see that I was in need of a mommy diet plan.
And so I went back to what I did to lose weight in the first place. I kept the fat percentage of my overall diet under 30%, I used portion control, and I exercised religiously with my great neighbor Evelyn. And the weight came off again. And it did after baby number six and number seven.
Some things I learned were that pregnancy weight is loseable, but it still takes work. Very few women are blessed with pregnancy weight that magically falls off. Most of us have to go back to the basics of eating well and moving our bodies.
If you’ve had children what has your experience been, or if you haven’t, do you have any worries about pregnancy weight gain? Diane
My disclaimer for this post: I have a regular disclaimer about seeking medical advice, etc at the bottom of each page, but remember to always follow your doctor’s advice about pregnancy, weight loss, and weight gain. Always.
One more thing! Congratulations to Christieo at Baby Tea Leaves on winning the mug!!