Losing the Baby Weight

Losing the Baby WeightLadies, here’s a fun open thread for today: how did you lose the baby weight? If you haven’t yet (but have tried), what do you think the reason is? Have you discovered any new great recipes or workouts you love along the way?

For my $.02, I’m still struggling, I guess with weight that I originally put on when I was pregnant with my first (who was born in August 2011, so, uh, it’s technically still baby weight, right?). I did everything to lose weight after J was born — being in a new body at the same time I was going through my postpartum identity crisis seemed like adding insult to injury.

I finally got into a good groove right around the time we got pregnant with my second, H. During my first trimester, J was just starting a new “school year” at his daycare, and I caught at least two stomach bugs from him. As a result, I actually lost about 10 pounds during those few months. My doctors said not to worry, one telling me cheerfully, “You have a very efficient little parasite in there!” I was already so overweight that minimal weight gain during my pregnancy was the goal anyway. I gained 20 pounds after that point — before delivering a 10 pound, 2 oz. baby. After H, I fell into a good weight training regimen and lost more weight — then hit a stressful patch last summer and gained a ton of it back… and then tore my ACL on vacation in November, which at least put the focus on food.

Going back even further than THAT, though, I had lost/maintained a healthy weight for years when I was in BigLaw — but when I left my firm (ending my nightly healthyish Seamless dinners for 1) and got married, and started drinking a glass of wine (or more) with dinner most nights, that was when the real weight creep started. I never really found my “healthy” groove, if that makes sense.

SO: I’m pretty much exactly where I was after having J. I make small adjustments to my diet/lifestyle every week, it seems (I’m only going to eat the same 5 dinners! I’m only going to have a glass of wine every OTHER night! I get a star if I work out 3x a week!), and I’ve been doing some version of Weight Watchers for the better part of a decade at this point — so I’m not really the best person to give advice.

So instead, let’s turn it over to you guys — what did you do to lose the baby weight? Have other lifestyle changes (new job, new house, new baby) made maintaining your diet a challenge? What is your body image like right now?  

Pictured: Pixabay.


  1. hoola hoopa says:

    I’ll play.

    Baby 1: 9 months (I wanted to scream when people said “9 months on, 9 months off” but it was true)
    Baby 2: 12 months
    Baby 3: 15 months
    See a trend ? :P

    For me, it was a combination of hormones returning to normal (FWIW, I was still breastfeeding for the first two), returning to a normal diet with normal portions, and fitting in exercise.

    IME, if I tried to limit calories while BFing, I actually GAINED weight. (Awesome!) So I had to be patient. During that time, I focused on getting plenty of protein at each meal, eating as much vegetables as I wanted, and watching my snacking/indulgences closely.

    Exercise is hard to get in, so I’ve had the most luck by working it into activities or time that I already have. Walking kids to school, family walks in the evening, bike commuting, etc. We had a membership to a gym with a great kid’s program, which would have been super if I were part-time but using it only on the weekend wasn’t enough. So then we got an elliptical for home, which helps in the winter when it’s dark and bad weather, although I can really only use it after the kids go to bed, so it really only gets used when all the kids are routinely STTN.

  2. You know what? I’ve realized this isn’t a priority for me. And it’s GREAT! Between twins and bedrest, I was 45 lbs heavier a week postpartum than I’d been before getting pregnant. (And that was already about 10lbs heavier than I’d been when I met my husband — I’d had a seriously hard core regimen going but didn’t have time for it once I had a serious relationship.) Now my twins are 2, I’m still 10-15 lbs heavier than I was pre-kids, and am about 2 sizes bigger. I tried losing weight, and I did take off some. But it’s just not how I want to live my life. Our family meals are a healthy mix of protein and vegetables. I eat lots of fruit, naturally drink lots of water. In the mornings I walk my dog 30 min and sometimes jog if we’re both feeling it, but don’t stress if we’re not. We recently joined a raquet club and I’ve picked up squash again and am learning tennis. And most weekends I pile all 55lbs of toddler into the double stroller, hitch the dog to the handle, and we go out for about an hour. As the boys get bigger, I expect we’ll spend more of our free time outside doing active things, which sounds great.

    But I seriously love not worrying about this. For the first time in my life I really am focused on being healthy. Not saying “I’m just trying to be healthy” while actually just worrying about weight. I wear a one-piece bathing suit I bought at LL Bean and it’s fantastic. I might even buy a suit with a skirt this year because I’ve always felt naked exposing the skin around my bikini line and now that I’m a mom I can wear the damn skirt. If I’m at a happy hour I have some wine and snacks without trying to count what I’m eating in my head to write it down later. I don’t stress when a surprise work lunch with unhealthy food pops up because I didn’t “save up” for it elsewhere in the week.

    In the end, what’s better for my boys, a mom who’s always worried about what she’s eating and who treats exercise as a chore, or a mom who’s down for an ice cream cone on a summer night and who also loves splashing around in the pool? Sorry. Stressing about weight is a young woman’s game. I’m 38, I don’t worry, and it’s great.

    • Due in December says:

      Granted, I’ve only been post-baby for 6 months or so, but I have been kind of surprised that I feel similarly. Prior to getting pregnancy, I definitely worried about “getting my pre-baby body back.” I was 10 lb. over my comfortable, ideal weight when I got pregnant. I gained 25 lb. or so during pregnancy (probably would have gained more, but GD diagnosis limited carbs and sugar, and because I wasn’t consuming alcohol I probably didn’t take in any more calories while pregnant than pre-pregnancy).

      I lost most of it fairly quickly, but still have 10-15 lbs. over my comfortable, ideal weight. It’s pretty much all in my tummy. At my height, that’s 2 sizes. I would have hated this prior to being pregnant. But I’m breastfeeding, I’m hungry all the time, I eat all the time, and I don’t exercise as much as I used to (because I want to spend extra time with my baby or sleeping). And I don’t feel guilty, mostly because I’ve accepted I don’t have the mental and emotional bandwidth to care about something besides the baby, my job, my husband, my dog, and other relationships. So I don’t worry about when I’ll lose the weight. It is freeing.

      I think part of it is seeing my body change so drastically over the course of a year, during pregnancy and after childbirth, and realizing, hey, bodies can change, a lot, and so it’s fine that my body is different sizes at different times of life. And also, now that I have a daughter, I want her to feel that way too. It’s easier to be kind to yourself when you imagine how you’d want your own kid to feel in your position.

      Um, we’ll see if my perspective changes post-breastfeeding.

    • ChiLaw says:

      YUP. I just can’t prioritize losing weight. I can barely prioritize my mental and physical health (a personal trainer was trying to sell me his services at the gym on Monday,: “why are you doing cardio? to lose weight? for cardiovascular health?” and I told him the truth, “I do cardio so I don’t cry”) and fretting about a number on the scale, or the squishiness of my stomach… I literally don’t have time for that. I want to be healthy so I can be a good mom, now (mental health) and later (hopefully staving off what’s stave-off-able by getting in the exercise I can). Especially as a mother to a girl, I am really trying to love my body in a whole and honest way, to hopefully lead by example and spare her some of the angst I went through to get here.

    • just Karen says:

      I feel like this, but seeing it in someone else’s words is still very freeing and validating to me, so thank you! I’m now focusing on getting new clothes I am comfortable and feel good in (bring on the high waisted JAG stretchy waist jeans people, they are fabulous!), and re prioritizing life in general.

      • Yep. At some point it just became clear to me that I didn’t want to lose the 15lbs enough. If my choice was lose 15lbs and adhere to the strict regimen I knew was required, or stay this size and focus on other things, the cost of losing weight just wasn’t worth it to me.

  3. socialkombat says:

    I’ll play! I’ve lost most of the baby weight – most of my pre-baby clothes still fit, with the exception of most button downs (still nursing at 15 months) and some pants that were tight pre-baby. First, I didn’t stress whatsoever and didn’t think about weight loss at all. I had gone to therapy for disordered eating and body image issues years before, and it really came in handy. Having patience and accepting what is, relaxing that tight control and feeling like you must bend your body to your will is very freeing and, in my opinion, essential postpartum. My body was pretty broken after childbirth and weight loss was not something I wanted to think about. I do think a combination of nursing and walking (once I could walk) helped the process along naturally.

    I only recently began hiking again and doing body weight exercise – we’ve had all kinds of routine interrupters: buying a house, huge projects at work, clingy, high needs baby making dinnertime a challenge, and it’s been hard to establish. But it really did take the better part of a year postpartum to really feel myself again in my body and to let the process happen naturally. Overall, my body image is very good. I feel strong and able and confident – I mean, I had that baby and nourished that baby and she’s doing great, you know?

    Now that baby is set up on solids and generally eats well, and is getting more independent in play, I can actually take 20 minutes on a weeknight and make something relatively healthy – when I’m not exhausted because she still sleeps like crap. Weekend cooking helps, I love my slow cooker. This is one of my all-time favorites – it’s a weight watchers recipe and it’s freakin’ delicious to boot: https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/recipe/provencal-beef-stew-1/5626a5ef2084d63a3401868c

  4. This is the perfect topic for me today! I was just feeling discouraged this morning, since its getting hot and most of my summer clothes don’t fit. I’m three months postpartum with my second baby and 13 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I lost it all in 4 months with my first baby but I gained less during that pregnancy and went back to a stressful job situation and actually was secretly interviewing for another job right about that time. When I’m under stress I tend to eat less. The weight is coming off this time, but more slowly. I’m aiming for 6-7 months postpartum. I was able to exercise 5 times a week when I was on maternity leave, but I just started back last week and my work-out times have drastically diminished. I’ve never had to watch my weight and even with these extra pounds am not overweight. I need to be patient with my body and buy a few pairs of shorts to get me through the summer.

  5. This is a tough topic for me (as I’m sure it is for many women). I only gained about 20 lbs during my pregnancy and I lost it all (plus a couple of pounds) by 6-8 weeks postpartum just by virtue of breastfeeding. BUT my body was not the same at all. I thought that since I was in great shape before I got pregnant and continued to exercise throughout my pregnancy, that I wouldn’t suffer from the dreaded “Mom Bod.” But, even now, almost 1 year after my little man was born, my stomach has a little extra pooch to it and my hips are wider than they were pre-pregnancy. I’m still breastfeeding and I wonder if I might drop the pooch after my guy is weaned, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is me too. I was in amazing shape before getting pregnant, gained very little weight while pregnant, kept up my exercise regimen while pregnant (I ran 5 miles 6 hours before I went into labor), was in my prepregnancy clothes within a week of giving birth, have continued my exercise regime, and now 5 years out I still am struggling to come to terms with the fact that I will always have a pooch even though I am the same weight I have been my whole adult life. It upsets me enough that I should probably be in therapy but considering that life is so busy I don’t have time to get a full night’s sleep, it’s not happening.

      • Manhattanite says:

        Similar story here. I wasn’t in great shape before pregnancy but I too am at my pre pregnancy weight. I miss my flat belly. I didn’t know before I was pregnant with no1 that it was actually flat. Or after no1 and before no2. But now, almost a year after no2, definitely poochy. Now I wear stereotypical mom tops that are loose at the belly.

  6. I got pregnant five months postpartum with #2 (with 10lbs still on me from #1). After #2 was born and I lost all of the labor/birth weight, I was at a total of 25lbs over my original pre-pregnancy weight. I still looked pregnant for months on end.

    My husband surprised me with a gym membership with daycare, which changed my life – no exaggeration. I started going every day during the week because it provided a break from my toddler and infant. I’m still carrying an extra 15lbs, but I think I may need to recalibrate my expectations because I used to be skinny fat (just skinny but no muscle tone) and I’ve been lifting weights this time and look more toned. So honestly I don’t think 125lbs is my goal weight anymore. I want to get down to 130 and see how I look then.

    I aim for 1/2 hour cardio (running, elliptical) and 1/2 weights. I also walk back and forth from the gym. My pre-pregnancy clothes fit, but just a little too tight for my liking. I try to not keep sweets and wine in the house, but I definitely don’t beat myself up for indulging. Life’s too short.

  7. CPA Lady says:

    Gained 25 lbs, had a 7 lb baby, lost the rest in about two months because I was so queasy from lack of sleep that I wasn’t eating as much as I should have been. I mentally can’t and don’t diet and know that about myself, so my main way to “lose the baby weight” was not to gain more the 25-30 my doctor recommended. I also just feel like most of us have a certain set body type. I’ve always been pretty thin, and it just reverted back to that.

    Note that I didn’t say that I’m healthy, which is so much more important than being thin. Because I eat like crap (small portions of crap, but crap nonetheless) and barely exercise. I started working out occasionally in the last few months, which is good, but I’d like to do more. And I will when my daughter is a little older. Until then I’m not going to worry about it too much.

    In terms of body image, I feel like I look pretty good probably because I cant remember what I used to look like, which is fine by me. I like my new bellybutton. I don’t really wear pants anymore. I don’t think my body changed that much, but pants are just not comfortable any more.

  8. I wrote a long response to this but I think the answer in my case is “coffee and stress.”

  9. Okay, I’ll join in.

    Baby is 18 months, and I’ve made no effort to lose the weight. I got pregnant at 123 lbs and just having run a half marathon plus doing yoga daily and walking all around the city to get to work, etc. Ended pregnancy 26 lbs heavier and figured it would just drop off, but it didn’t. Lost about 13 lbs with the delivery, and have gained a few more back since. I’m still breastfeeding, I’ve moved to the suburbs, hubby and I have both started new jobs and I’m exhausted. For the first year I made it to yoga once a week and the occasional walk and that was it because I was just so tired. I don’t know how moms do it, maybe they are younger or just have better sleeping babies because I could barely function let alone find energy to work out. I’m getting there though…this summer I’ve started walking in the mornings wearing my toddler (because she hates are Bob jogger and I barely get down the street with it…) and most days we go about 3 miles. I do yoga at home now and I’m not missing my studio as much as I thought I would. I eat what I want but I’m trying to get back into eating healthier. I used to be a health food freak that followed a whole foods oil free vegan diet. I went from that to pizza multiple times a week. Now, if I have time to cook something or even make a salad I feel more like the old me. I know many have babies/toddlers who don’t STTN for the first few years and I feel for you guys because I am there with ya. It’s hard, especially when you can’t catch naps during the day.

  10. EB0220 says:

    After my first, it took me about a year and a half to really feel normal. I rediscovered my love for trail running and mountain biking, I worked from home and I found a few great workout buddies. I lost the 15-20 lb I had hanging around from the pregnancy. I was clicking along nicely when I got pregnant with #2. After she was born, I took off the weight really quickly – within 6 months. Apparently breastfeeding plus a slightly overactive thyroid will do that for you. When my thyroid leveled off and I stopped nursing (around 18 months) I put 15 lbs back on (boo). Kind of stuck now. I exercise frequently, but not much cardio. So I feel like I’m pretty healthy but most of that last 10-15 lbs is still hanging on.

  11. AuntE says:

    I would chalk my weight loss up to luck/genes and breastfeeding. I started at a comfortable weight and gained 30 pounds (a few more than I wanted, but eh), and I lost it all by 6 months post-partum. But like many moms have said, my body is not the same. I’ve always carried weight in my stomach, but now my hips are wider, too. My attitude, though, is who cares? Being in the “pregnancy corridor,” I’ve just decided not to beat myself up about my less than perfect body. I go to weight training/cardio classes 3-4 days a week at lunch so that I get a workout in (and a class keeps me more honest than hitting a treadmill) and try to take family walks every day. Breastfeeding spurred me to eat a better variety of healthy foods, but I know I would see some more weight loss if I didn’t have desert every day.

  12. MDMom says:

    I’m 13 months postpartum with baby 1. I don’t think I’m entirely back to my pre pregnancy weight but I don’t know for sure because I don’t get on a scale regularly. Last time I did I was about 4 lbs up. I don’t care about the weight…Just a meaningless number to me. Also I’ve been lifting weights and have gained some noticeable muscle weight which I love. I fit most of my prepregnancy clothes, though I have more of a tummy pooch now so some things I used to wear are no longer flattering.

    I don’t love my flabby tummy, but I don’t spend time hating it either. I still wore a bikini this weekend. Im not actively dieting though I eat relatively healthily. My biggest problem with my postpartum body is actually the complete disappearance of my butt. Where did it go?!? (Oh right, to my tummy). I never had a big one, but it used to be round at least. Now it’s a pancake. Months of squats and deadlifts have made some improvement, but it’s pretty sad. Oh well.

    I highly recommend weightlifting/strength training postpartum. It has done so much for my body confidence. Still, it is difficult at times. My body had been mostly the same since high school until I had a baby at 30. The first time I really looked at myself naked post partum, it was pretty surreal.

  13. I hear you says:

    I have been thinking about this lately. With my first, I was back in my most of the clothes by 6 months and all of my clothes 9 months post-baby. Now, 16 months after my 2nd baby, I still can’t wear some clothes and it’s frustrating. I tend to wear pretty fitted/tailored sheath dresses and even though I’m just a few pounds above my normal weight, that weight is all in my belly so it shows.

    Is there any way to get rid of that dreaded pooch?! I’ve always been fit and had no such pooch after my 1st, so this pooch now after my 2nd is annoying. But in the overall scheme of things, I’m happy with my body.

    I went to the gym yesterday for the first time in 6 months, probably. But I do walk at least 2-3 miles a day, and I really love doing that.

  14. Maybe this is a little square, but I did Weight Watchers after both of mine. It was faster with one (maybe 6 months) than with the second because I was able to give it more focus, (maybe 9 months). My hip bones are totally in a different place now. Maybe I should have done one of those hip binding things, but I’m okay with it.

  15. Betty says:

    My youngest is almost three and my oldest is five. I put on a solid 10-15 pounds during infertility treatments and 45 with my first pregnancy. During both the infertility treatments and my first pregnancy, I had restrictions on exercise. I managed to loose most of the baby weight from no. 1 about 18 mos. post partum and then became pregnant with my second. I was adamant that I would exercise the second time, and I did… and I ended up at the exact same weight at the end of my pregnancy.

    I don’t weigh myself but go more by how my clothes fit. I have lost the baby weight (and infertility treatment weight) but my body is just different now. I run, do barre and eat healthily. I would say that I am more healthy and stronger physically now than when I became pregnant with my first (I was in biglaw). I don’t believe in dieting and did not concern myself at all with my weight for the first year of each child’s life. When they started sleeping a bit and I knew that I could get exercise in on a regular basis (I run at lunch), I focused on getting healthy. Running also keeps me sane and is my guaranteed “me” time. My mommy tummy has never really gone completely away and things are…different, but I try and be content with my body and the awesome things it has done.

  16. Katala says:

    I gained a lot during my first pregnancy. A lot. I stopped looking at the scale at 60 lbs but I’m sure it was more due to modified bed rest for the last few weeks. BFing did not help at all. I lost probably around 20lbs in the first 3-4 weeks and that’s it. Nothing else would come off, my mood and supply were affected negatively when I tried to cut calories, then just carbs. Finally when DS was about 11 months, I was able to make room in my schedule to work out 2-3 times/week and started watching my diet more carefully, since I wasn’t so concerned about supply anymore. Lost around 10 lbs and bam, pregnant again when DS turned 13 months. So I guess my plan now is to try to gain as little as possible this pregnancy. They will recommend I gain 10-20lbs but the way I gained with #1 I don’t see how that’s possible. Yeah, not stoked about the weight situation.

  17. NewMomAnon says:

    2.5 years postpartum and I am 10 pounds heavier than I was before getting pregnant. Due to an underactive thyroid, emergency surgery and divorce, I have been on a weight roller coaster postpartum; I lost all of the baby weight and then some, gained back 20 pounds, lost 8 pounds, and now I’m hoping to just coast at my current weight.

    I have struggled with the idea of not getting back to my pre-baby weight. BUT I was looking at pre-pregnancy pictures a few months ago and realized that I was really skinny before getting pregnant, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. At this point I think I can also say that my hips and rib cage won’t be going back to their original locations. So even if I lost that last 10 pounds, I wouldn’t fit my pre-pregnancy pants.

    It’s freeing to accept that this is my new body, that it’s beautiful, and that I can exercise for fun rather than weight loss. And frankly, I enjoy food much more too, which helps me eat a little less (maybe?).

  18. This is so timely for me! My son just turned 1, and I’m still about 10 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight and 20 pounds above my wedding weight. I gained too much during pregnancy, assuming that it would all magically fall off – which it didn’t. Instead, I’ve been very slowly dropping about a pound a month by trying to eat better and get more exercise over my lunch break. While I refuse to just accept that this is my new body and give in to the weight creep, I also don’t want to perpetuate an unhealthy body image or body shaming mentality that I could pass on to my kid. So – I’m trying to redouble my efforts to adopt healthy habits (no crazy juice cleansing or elimination fad diets for me), to set a good example for my kid while feeling better about myself. I just want to fit into all my old clothes again!!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Have you looked at those clothes lately? I just took inventory of my pre-baby aspirational clothes and realized that they are not in style anymore and showing signs of wear….even if they did fit, I don’t think I’d feel great in them now.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why are the comments running over to a second page?

    Thanks to hyperemesis + an extremely demanding baby who had to be held 24/7 and spent all of her waking hours eating, at two weeks postpartum I was the lightest I’ve ever been in my adult life. I do not recommend this method of weight loss. Much of that loss was undoubtedly muscle mass. It took several months to return to my “normal” weight, but I never regained the muscle. My waist ended up permanently thicker and my hips permanently smaller. I had to replace all of my pants and pencil skirts.

    A decade later, my metabolism is slowing down and I am eating out way too often as a result of heavy business travel. I am constantly trying to cut out my daily soda and do the 30-Day Shred, but then I go on another trip and end up right back at square one. I would be happy at a slightly higher weight if I could just build some muscle and get some of my flexibility and endurance back. And not be tired all the time because I desperately need the sugar and caffeine from that soda.

  20. farrley says:

    I gained about 25 pounds with my son and lost it pretty quickly (breastfeeding plus some PPD issues in first six weeks). However, I proceeded to put about 15 pounds back on in the year or so after his birth–just being busy, tired, and starting to indulge in wine or beer with dinner most nights! I’ve been working to take it back off but it’s tough. I am finding that cutting out alcohol during the week is helping, as are some kickboxing videos on YouTube that I do after kiddo goes to bed. But I’m striving to be kind and cut myself some slack:)

  21. I gained over 40 pounds while pregnant. I was carrying an extra 10-20 pounds for quite a while; and when I went back to work at 20 weeks PP, I still wore the first-trimester clothes and maternity clothes I had bought for work. But by around 9/10 months postpartum, I suddenly lost all the weight and then some, and was at my lowest weight in my adult life. I was eating like a horse and not exercising (except my walking commute), and not sleeping well (still pumping overnight for daycare quantities). I think I have mentioned my love of “second breakfast.” So I can only assume that the unsolicited weight loss was a breastfeeding side effect. My weight is slowly creeping back up now that I’m finishing weaning.

    I don’t have a fit body— my arms and tummy, my tricky spots, are as flabby as ever, just proportionately smaller. And I did finally have to buy some work clothes in smaller sizes because I was swimming in what I had and it made me extra frumpy; but I bought cheap stuff because I know my body/metabolism and my lifestyle basically require me to be about 10 pounds overweight and I know it’s only a matter of time before I am back to normal-for-me. I feel now like I squandered an opportunity to get fit once I was handed the gift of effortless weight loss. But it just was not a priority at all.

    Related question— my boobs have always been small, but since giving birth they have gotten even smaller. Will eliminating breastfeeding bring anything back up top?

    • MDMom says:

      Re the boobs: probably not. Gaining weight may make a difference though. Some women gain/lose a lot in that area. Mine are the same size as pre pregnancy but look smaller due to less perkiness.

      • Spirograph says:

        Same here, I was about 10 lbs below my pre-pregnancies weight after weaning my second around a year pp. some of that due to losing a lot of muscle tone thanks to less-consistent workouts, but some definitely due to my [email protected] disappearing. Then I got pregnant again, so no clue whether it would have been permanent…if so, I’ll be investigating cosmetic surgery in a few years.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I hate to sound like a jerk, but my babyweight magically disappeared within 6 months after each pregnancy despite gaining ~50lbs both times. My secret is mostly lucky genes, I think, but I also autopilot to pretty healthy habits. That said, if I want to veg for a few days and eat mac and cheese and cookies, I just do it. I like to think that always doing/eating what I want teaches my body to want what’s going to keep it at its “happy weight,” which is a size I’m totally OK with.

    Food: DH and I have always been cook-at-home types with a lot of go-to meals that are easy and comparatively light. Scrambled eggs/breakfast burritos, fajitas, and fish all take <30 minutes to get on the table, are almost as fast and easy as take-out, and are made out of things I almost always have in the house (frozen fish fillets, frozen mixed vegetables, black beans, peppers, tortillas, cheese, eggs). Our meals are not interesting (except on Blue Apron/Plated nights), but at least they're not calorie bombs. I bring the same yogurt + frozen berries and snack / salad lunch – sometimes augmented with dinner leftovers – almost every day because I'm cheap, lazy and don't like to think.

    Exercise: I've realized that while schedules appeal to my type A side, giving myself the leeway to do whatever I'm in the mood for gets me out of the house more reliably than knowing I need to knock out Workout A on NROLFW (although I do love that program). I'm a quasi-regular at my gym's HIIT and yoga classes, do a lot of swimming, and some rowing and weight training. Going to the gym is my introvert recharge time after a long day of work+kids and crucial to my mental health, so I go at least 3 nights/week. DH and I love rock climbing, but it's been relegated to date nights until the kids are old enough to join in. When the weather's nice, we're outside on evenings and weekends playing in the yard, hiking/biking/walking to the neighborhood pool or playground with the kiddos. It keeps all of us sane (and most importantly, tires out the kids) and moving without feeling like a slog.

  23. Meg Murry says:

    I’ve always struggled with my weight, and I’ve never been particularly healthy, since I don’t really like exercise, sweating or many vegetables – although I’m trying to make myself.

    I finally joined WW when my oldest was 1, and lost the 20-30 extra pounds over the course of a year to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight – but even then my BMI was still on the “overweight” end of the scale.

    I slowly gained some of that back and then got pregnant with #2, where I had a ridiculous constant craving for carbs and cheese. Postpartum I tried WW again, but even when I followed it strictly I still only lost 0.5 lb or less a week, and was starving and cranky ALL the time.

    I never totally lost the weight from kid #2, and a stressful job followed by a long bout of depression did not help anything, and I gained back more weight.

    However, I’m working with a good psychiatrist now and for the first time in a really long time I think my depression, ADHD and anxiety are in balance, and I’m finally not Vitamin D or Iron decificent. I switched to Vyvanse and a low dose of Prozac, and I’ve had the happy side effect of not craving mass quantities of simple carbs and actually feeling satisfied after a reasonably sized meal. I lost 5 lbs in the first 2 weeks, and while some of the appetite suppression is wearing off (I had no desire at all for lunch for about a week) the overall balanced feeling has helped keep me steady. It has kept me from “eating my feelings” and/or my feelings aren’t so gray and in need of comfort with carbs, cheese and ice cream. It had has also helped me feel more playing actively with my kids instead of wanting to stay in bed with the covers over my head. I’ve read online that Prozac can affect your blood sugar levels and for me it seems to have done so for the better.

    I’m not saying it’s a cure all, but if you are like me and have been struggling with both being truly overweight /obese and depression, be aware that getting that in check medically has really helped me get back on track to get my diet under control, and now my next step is to get back into an exercise routine.

  24. CLMom says:

    I’m reading this while eating Oreos…sigh

    I gained 20 pounds during pregnancy and had basically lost it all within two months. Not by any particular effort on my end. However, I was (am) overweight to start (and finish).

    Now that I am back at work, have a long commute and unlimited snacks at the office (lara bars, potato chips, peanut butter, the aforementioned oreos), I’ve been putting weight back on. About 4 pounds in 3 months. I’m still breastfeeding, but less so.

    My belly is clearly not what is was before. I attribute this to the skin being stretched and is now unable to hold back the fat to the degree it had before.

    I don’t have body image issues, but I do know I have a responsibility to my family to be healthy and live a long time with them, and to set a good example for my baby girl.

  25. I am actually 5- 10 lbs lighter than I was before my 1st baby. The kids just don’t let me eat – I’m constantly getting up and down, getting them milk and ketchup or whatever. It’s kind of miserable actually – I’ve been to countless family events and holidays where this is all this beautiful food, and I barely eat 3 bites because I have a toddler and a baby who are so high friggin’ maintenance. However, even though I am lighter, my body is a mess. I have a major pooch and my mid-section looks like a Sharpei. I wasn’t thin before kids, and was never really happy with my body, so I am not devastated with not having a great body now. I’m actually not concerned with my appearance at all. My husband is nice to me, and think I look good (and would never say otherwise), and I look ok in clothes. I feel like I’m reaching a stage in my life where I’m just done obsessing about my looks. But I want to be healthier, so I’ve been doing a lot of HIIT and spin classes (5X a week) and eating well (not “light” but everything I eat is good food). I feel good overall.

  26. PhilanthropyGirl says:

    So my story isn’t awesome – but it’s getting better.

    Baby 1 was born extremely premature, but I was already on track to gain way more weight than I should. Apparently I turn into a blimp when I’m pregnant (must run in the family, my much-thinner, more-health-conscious sister does too). In the aftermath of traumatic birth, NICU and subsequent loss, I pretty much ate for comfort. Looking back I also suspect maybe some hormonal things weren’t right. About 8 months after my son died, I finally started Anne Louise Gittleman’s Fat Flush Diet, and was weight training and finally got back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

    Baby 2 was full term, and I gained about 55 pounds, in spite of trying to stay active. In the first 6 months PP I lost some, and then in the second 6 months my weight sky-rocketed. I ended up heavier than when I was 9 months pregnant. After working with my doctor, I found I had hypothyroidism, estrogen dominance and low progesterone – all of which contribute to weight gain and retention. I was so miserable.

    Now that my test results are coming back normal, I’m tracking calories and trying to stay active. I’m not a big exercise person, but I’m making choices to walk when I can, play with my son at the park, run around in the back yard, and take the stairs. I’ve lost 22 pounds in about 3 months. I’ve still got a ways to go, but positive changes are making a difference.

  27. I wouldn’t assume everyone wants to lose the baby weight, for starters. I understand that many people do, so I get where this question is coming from, but I would rather measure my health in terms of how I feel (strong, fast, calm, happy, not stressed). I also run at lunch (things get reshuffled to fit this in – I joke that I work while I pump, eat while I work, and run at lunch) for a quick adrenaline boost :)

    I’m fairly petite, and often get comments like ‘you look like you were never pregnant!’, which sounds like people are assuming I must’ve actively done something to lose the baby weight, or that losing weight was a concern of mine. I realise those comments are often meant as compliments, and receive them in that spirit – but I worry that accepting them as compliments just feeds into the misconception that ‘everyone wants to lose baby weight’.

  28. PinkKeyboard says:

    My normal weight used to hang out at 125, but I gained 5 lbs from back to back IVF rounds. Then I gained 53 lbs during pregnancy (I did also have a lot of swelling, so there was significant fluid). I don’t remember what I was after delivery because I ended up back in the hospital with heart failure…. But I started dieting pretty shortly after because due to hemorrhaging/heart failure/blood transfusions etc I wasn’t breastfeeding. I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight by 7 months and down to 123 (I moved my goal down a bit because my waist is much wider than before) by 9 months. I finally found that I did best eating a normal breakfast, normal lunch, and having a very small dinner (pickles, cheese and crackers, unsweetened iced tea). We also keep very active (walks almost every day, we go to the park a lot, we go to a botanical garden almost every weekend and walk 7-8 miles). I have a hard time with the gym because I get up at 4:30 to get into work early and I don’t want to give up my time with the baby after work.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I was one of those women who can’t seem to keep weight on while breastfeeding, and then when I wean it comes back with a vengeance and I can’t shed it no matter what. I have two kids. For both, I was around 120 when I got pregnant, delivered at 140, and was 125 at my 6 week pp check up. Then, about 3 months after I had them, I was between 110-115 and just stayed there for the two years I breastfed with each. When I weaned with my first, I got pregnant again so I’m assuming I would have continued to gain weight but was pregnant instead so it doesn’t count. After my second, after I weaned my weight just kept climbing and I’ve tried to keep it off but it’s so hard. I swear my calorie intake has to stay around 1000-1200 for it to budge at all, and I love food so that’s really hard.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Similar to the commenters at the top who decided the “baby weight” was the wrong focus…

    I decided after #2 (last year) that I wanted to focus on getting stronger. I wanted to be able to lift heavy things. (Including my 5 year old.) So I started weight lifting with a personal trainer. (I do the “slow lift” or “power of 10” thing.) Weight loss was incidental to that, but mostly I’m happy because I am a lot stronger. I leg press something like 320 lbs. :) and I’m a petite person who has been slim but never strong. So that makes me happy.

  31. Mother of patient zero says:

    Gained a lot with first pregnancy- early miscarriage. Gained more with second pregnancy- healthy baby (woo!).

    Almost two years later still working at losing all the weight. Taking it more seriously since July than ever before and making some real strides. It’s going to be a slow process but I’m going to basically change my lifestyle not my weight. Focusing on going to the gym three times a week and walking more and eating better.

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