Losing Weight After Baby – My Post Baby Weight Loss Success Story
I delayed writing this post for some time because it touches on a very sensitive subject for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of the progress that I’ve made with my health. However, sharing pictures of where I was before that progress is not something on the top of my bucket list. It’s humbling and vulnerable. It’s a window into a season of my life that I want to pretend didn’t exist.
I also struggle to feel like I am ever at a place where I can say that my weight loss story is over (and it’s still not over). However, I’ve come to an understanding that weight loss and re-establishing my health is a journey – and sharing my journey is what my blog is all about. I want any other mom who is sitting in a place where I was before my weight loss journey to know that they’re not alone. I want my story to give hope.
As humbling as it is, if sharing my story and revealing photos that I’d rather bury can help or inspire anyone else out there who is struggling to make progress with their weight and health, it’s worth it.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or licensed dietitian. This post is not intended to offer any medical or dietary advice, but simply to share my personal weight loss story.
My Post Baby Weight Gain
When I got married in the fall of 2015, I wore a size 4 wedding dress. Less than three years later I was in size XL clothing (and I don’t even know what my dress or pants size was because I lived in leggings and tunics).
How did it happen? I had babies.
Ten months after our wedding our first daughter was born. I suffered from severe nausea through the pregnancy that made it very difficult to be active and carbs were some of the only things that would settle in my stomach. I gained a total of about 60 pounds with the pregnancy and 30 of it stuck around for good.
22 months after the birth of first daughter our second daughter was born. I also suffered with severe nausea through her pregnancy and again retained 30 pounds of additional weight.
The arrivals of our two little girls were among the greatest blessings of my life, but at the end of two pregnancies I was 60 pounds heavier.
Living 60 pounds heavier was very difficult for me. I felt daily as if I was trapped in a body that wasn’t my own. I felt disgusting. I didn’t want to look in mirrors or have my picture taken. I struggled to even care about personal hygiene since I felt so ugly that it didn’t seem worth trying to clean up. As loving and devoted as my husband was, I felt sorry for him that he was stuck with me when he thought he was marrying someone who was athletic and wore size small. It all seemed like a bad dream.
My Post Baby Weight Loss Efforts
After each of my babies, I tried many things to lose weight. I went on a twice-a-day shake diet, I committed to 30 minutes a day of home workouts, I went on a highly esteemed nutritional supplement. I would have said that I was eating well as I was eating a similar diet to what I ate before having children.
With each strategy that I tried I grew more discouraged that nothing seemed to budge the scale in the right direction. I felt like I was trying everything and yet I seemed unable to make any progress.
I started to try less and became more resigned to my fate. However, I was never content to stay in the place that I was. I continued to try to keep an active lifestyle but it was hard with the weight I carried. I walked regularly with the girls but running seemed like an impossible memory and something that I would never do again. My feet hurt a lot.
With everything in me I longed to be (physically) the person that I used to be. I longed for endurance, energy, and confidence again. It didn’t seem possible that it would ever happen, but I kept searching for ways to get there.
My Post Baby Weight Loss Success
I decided one day that making a major overhaul to my diet had to be a good starting place if I was ever going to make any progress with my weight. I announced to my husband that I was going to cut back on my carb intake and he agreed to support me by eating low carb dinners. I didn’t measure any carb count, but primarily just sought to cut out sugar from my diet.
After a bit of time trying to cut back on my carbs I did some searching on diets to see if I could find something a little bit more regulated to follow. I knew that more rules would help me to stay on track. It was then that I came across information about the keto diet.
I decided to adopt a keto diet, but I didn’t follow it to the tee. I didn’t keep track of my exact proportions of protein, fat, and carbs but I just generally tried to keep my carb count under 25 net carbs per day and to increase my intake of fatty foods. (You can read the details of exactly what I ate on a routine basis here.)
In my first two weeks of following my loose keto diet I felt very sick to the stomach and weak. My body clearly needed to detox from processing sugar and carbs. I had read that this could happen so I didn’t panic. It did make transitioning into the diet very difficult, but after those two weeks my body adjusted and I had already lost 10 pounds! With that kind of success in such a short time I was so encouraged that I firmly committed to maintaining the diet.
After the first two weeks of my loose keto diet I began to steadily lose about 2-3 pounds per week. I started the diet in March and by October I had lost over 40 of the 60 pounds that I had put on! (It may have even been more. I didn’t record my weight when I was at my heaviest since I didn’t like to remind myself of the reality of my weight. I lost at least 40 pounds from the last recorded weight I have from before the diet.)
I don’t have many photos of myself at my “before” weight because I didn’t want myself documented, but below are a few post baby weight loss before and after shots of where I started and the progress that I was able to make.
Following a low carb “keto-like” diet was the kick start I needed to getting my health back. It had felt impossible that I would ever run again with the weight that I carried before the diet, but after about 7 months in I was able to start building my endurance by running intervals and I began going to the gym regularly again. With the increased mobility of my weight loss I felt more able to rebuild my strength and create a more well-rounded healthy lifestyle.
At the end of October (8 months after I started) I transitioned off of the loose keto diet that I had been following. I had created a healthier lifestyle to help me maintain my weight off of the diet and had accomplished my goals for being on it. I had lost over 40 pounds and fit into many of my old clothes again!
I know that there are varying opinions about the keto diet and I AM NOT a medical professional. I do know that the diet changed my life. It helped me to make progress when nothing else seemed to work and it got me to a place of being able to build a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
I don’t know if it works for everyone, but it worked for me.
Weight DOES NOT define our worth. That is found in God alone. However, if you are struggling with your weight, I hope that my story can encourage and inspire you.
I didn’t feel hope for my situation, but hope was still there.
Note: If you’re curious to know EXACTLY WHAT I ATE each day to follow my diet and achieve my weight loss results, make sure you check out my post on my keto diet meal plan as a busy mom of 2!