Tag Archives: weight

Body After Baby: My Journey

I’ve always been one of those people who doesn’t know how to take a compliment. I can’t just say, “thank you!” and walk away. I’ve always known this, but I’m noticing it more now as I get complimented on my body after giving birth. #humblebrag

I’m not gonna lie – I’m thrilled that I was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes eight weeks after giving birth, and I’ll make you hate me even more: I didn’t have to break a sweat to do it.  I know women’s weight in general is a touchy subject, and recently, women’s weight after giving birth has become a hot-button issue, with articles popping up talking about how phrases like “getting your body back” should be banned. I think it’s things like that, that linger in the back of my head that make me uncomfortable when I get complimented on this particular issue. Like I’m supposed to, as a new mom, go through the right of passage of struggling to lose the baby-weight. I of course graciously say thank you, but then offer up the following explanations because although from the outside it may have looked like losing the baby-weight was easy, it still took its toll:

I’m breastfeeding

and

Oh, I also gave up dairy because I’m breastfeeding

and my favorite:

Well, I gave birth at almost 33 weeks, so I didn’t gain as much as most people

Ah, the good old, “I’m breastfeeding” excuse. It is a known fact that you do burn more calories while you’re breastfeeding because you’re body is working to make milk.  You know what isn’t easy? Breastfeeding! Breastfeeding is hard work. It’s exhausting. You are the sole provided for your baby. If you’re not breastfeeding, you’re pumping. So yes, I lost my pregnancy weight and I look great, but I’m exhausted, my boobs hurt and chances are I’m starving because you work up quite the appetite while breastfeeding.

Speaking of breastfeeding…There’s a chance if you’re breastfeeding you may have to cut out certain foods from your diet because it will upset baby, like dairy and soy for example. I’ve cut out both. I’m sure that’s difficult for just about anyone, but for myself in particular it flat out sucks because I’m a vegetarian. The bulk of my protein comes from dairy and soy-based meat-free products.  How do I get my protein now, you ask? My diet basically consists of hemp protein in my oatmeal, Amy’s non-dairy burritos, Morningstar Farms Black Bean Burgers, and walnuts. I found out early on in my mommy journey the things we will do for our kids. Sloane’s health and comfort comes before mine.

Lastly, we have the most uncomfortable excuse, the “I had a preemie,” excuse. Since I didn’t make it to 40 weeks I didn’t gain as much as someone who had a full-term pregnancy, therefore, I did not gain the weight the majority of women do, and in turn, did not have to lose that much weight. Instead of worrying about my post-baby weight I spent 10 emotionally grueling days in the NICU watching Sloane struggle to gain weight and keep her temperature regulated.

How’s that for conversation?

Body after baby

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The Pregnancy Paradox

I’ve thought about writing this post for a while now, and put it off because I don’t want to ruffle any feathers, but it’s something that has been on my mind, now more than ever as pregnancy is becoming more of a reality to me.

I’m calling this the Pregnancy Paradox. The definition of paradox is a statement or proposition that, despite sound reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory. This “Pregnancy Paradox” applies to women as a whole, well, women who want to become pregnant, because as women, staying in shape has been something that has been instilled in us and strive for since we were very, very young. While this statement may portray women in a shallow light, and that we conform to social norms, it is the truth.*  What I’m trying to get to is that women spend a lifetime of diet and exercise to maintain their figure, then can’t wait to get pregnant – and for many work really hard at it – for their stomachs to expand exponentially for the next nine months. It is this that I find to be self-contradictory.

It seems like it was overnight that my Facebook feed went from a series of bikini selfies, showing off thin and toned stomachs, to baby bumps. It’s like the competition of being the skinniest transitioned to whose baby bump is the cutest.

Recently, I went to brunch with my childhood friends, one of whom is pregnant. As she sat there eating french fries, something I don’t think I’ve seen her eat since we had our teenage metabolisms 15 years ago, she said that it so great to be able to eat anything she wants now.  Since I’ve known her she has always been on a diet, constantly struggling to maintain a thin physique.

Look, I get it, you have to be healthy for the baby. You’re creating a human being that is living inside of you for over nine months. But are there some women out there using pregnancy as an excuse to not watch their weight? Do these women see being pregnant as a pass on having to watch your figure?

Or maybe these girls are growing up and becoming women? Retraining our brains now that we are becoming mothers? I’m not so sure, because there’s pressure everywhere for women to shed their baby weight that was put on in almost a year, as soon as not-so-humanly possible.

We see it in the media; magazine covers of Kendra Wilkinson and Kourtney Kardashian showing off their post-baby bodies. But we don’t anymore just see the after product, we see the measures of which it takes for them to get there via their reality shows Kendra on Top and Keeping up with the Kardashians.  Kendra is shown grabbing her tummy with disgust saying she’d layer up and run around the neighborhood not shedding any weight, while Kourtney actually collapsed on a beach in Miami trying to rid the pounds.

Then what is it?  What is that tipping point? Is it evolution? That now as women, we are finally doing what we are put on this earth to do (you know, in theory) and procreate? Take care of the new life inside ofs?

I really just have so many questions.  I think maybe with the explosion of social media the past decade this subject has become amplified.  I’m not judging anyone, I honestly find this paradox, so to speak, very interesting and intriguing. Maybe I should do a research project?

*I can really get into a women and society tangent right now, but it would really derail this entire piece, so stay tuned for more

Did I Miss The Memo? Lena Dunham’s Vogue Cover

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This morning I woke up the same way I always do: 10 minutes before my alarm goes off, a little grumpy, and perusing all the Facebook status updates I missed while I was asleep. Sometimes a celebrity pregnancy or arrest takes over my news feed, but this morning, it was Lena Dunham’s Vogue cover.

That’s nice, I thought, while I got ready for the day ahead. At work, it kept popping up on my newsfeed and as the day went on, I grew a little angry.

Why is this newsworthy? When was the last time there was this much press over a Vogue cover? And, why are people so shallow?

Dunham is visibly not your typical fashion magazine cover girl, but the fact that just about every media outlet is making that the center of their coverage is so disappointing. The fact that Lena Dunham can’t have an article written up about her without mentioning her weight is really sad.

Gabourey Sidibe addressed this issue perfectly earlier this week with her tweet:

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