My secret to postpartum weight loss is kind of the worst

Mother and son matching outfits

We’re going to talk about a very sensitive subject today: Postpartum weight loss.

A “healthy weight gain” during pregnancy is something like 25-35 pounds. I was an over-achiever. Once I had passed the 35-pound mark I stopped looking. Which was easy, because I couldn’t see the scale below my belly anyway.

 Toward the end I had just two pairs of sandals that could fit on my feet

Toward the end I had just two pairs of sandals that could fit on my feet

I have watched some friends seem to melt right back into their pre-pregnancy bodies while others struggled to lose the weight.

I figured I would be in the “struggle” category, especially since I’d gained “too much” weight. Probably all that junk food I ate in the first trimester.

My eating disorder is very much in the past, but there are things I do proactively to make sure those old habits don’t try to make their way back into my life. Knowing that I could look pregnant for several months after delivering Memphis, and that it could be a year (or more) before I lost weight, I started preparing my mind for this.  If I expected it, and accepted it ahead of time, I wouldn’t feel like a failure or feel desperate to drop the pounds. I’ve come way too far on this healing journey to fall back down. 

And then, to my surprise, I did lose the weight. (Please don’t try to attack me through your computer screen.)

I’ve received a lot of praise for my weight loss. To be honest I'm not sure how to respond to it. And some people have asked how I did it.

 

What’s my secret?

The truth is, I don’t have one. I don’t know why some women struggle while others just blink it off. I don’t think there is a secret. I think our bodies just handle pregnancy very differently.

I could say that it was because I encapsulated my placenta

Or because I stayed active during and after my pregnancy. 

Or because I breastfeed my son. 

Or because I'm fortunate to not be suffering from new-mom sleep deprivation. (Here's how we got Memphis to sleep through the night!)

 Breastfeeding is special for more important reasons than calorie burn

Breastfeeding is special for more important reasons than calorie burn

All of those things probably helped, sure. But to be honest I think most of it was just dumb luck. Genes.

While my weight is the same as it was pre-pregnancy (put down the knife, please), my body isn’t. Everything is softer. 

In some areas, like my arms, that also means I’m smaller. I lost some strength since my workouts dropped in intensity during much of my pregnancy. So smaller isn’t better. I repeat, smaller isn’t better.

This body may be softer. It may not be able to lift as much as it once could. But damn, it’s strong. This body created, nurtured and delivered my favorite human into this world. 

 How is he 4 months old already?

How is he 4 months old already?

Us mamas are super heroes, whether or not we ever “get our bodies back.” 

If you’re reading this hoping to get my secret to successful postpartum weight loss, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m not even sharing photos that highlight my body in this post because then you’ll just compare your postpartum body to mine and that’s not helpful for anybody. 

So I don't have a magical secret that will melt pounds away. But I want to remind you that you did an amazing thing. 

If you’re working toward any postpartum weight loss goals, I hope that you approach it from a place of appreciation and self-love. See yourself with those same loving eyes from which your baby sees you. You are his or her world, can you see that? Can you feel just an ounce of that for yourself?

 That loving look

That loving look

Your body is incredible, Mama. Give it the respect and love it deserves.