Now that I’m done with that whole Baby-Having phase of my life, I’m working on getting my health and body back. My hyperemesis is gone, although I have some lingering effects in my hair, teeth, and nails. When it was all said and done, I lost twenty-seven pounds, which would normally be a really exciting weight loss but under the circumstances, not so much.
My first month postpartum I was regaining my appetite, so I ate anything that sounded good. That was every bit as wonderful as you would think. I also regained some weight. I have some shocking information for you, but you can’t eat two banana splits a day and not gain weight. I know, right? They should put that on the box.
After my month of ridiculous eating, I slowly started to cut out the bad stuff. Having Gestational Diabetes leads to an elevated risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes in the future, and I would like to avoid that. I cut out refined sugar, bread, cheese and most dairy (other than a splash of milk in my morning coffee), and stuck mostly to proteins, fruit, and greens. I kept telling myself, “Heather, this isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” Amazingly, that did not make me miss sugar any less.
I also started going to the gym now that I am free to exercise. My friends Tara, Diane, and myself are currently in a competition to see who can excise the most days in the month. It’s perfect motivation for me – there have been lots of days where I felt too tired to go to the gym, but I went just because I didn’t want to lose our challenge. Sometimes it pays to be hyper-competitive!
At the beginning of the month, I weighed myself and took down my measurements. After two weeks of exercising five days a week and eating well, I weighed myself again. As I stepped on the scale, I was certain I’d be down at least half a pound, if not more. I waited for the numbers to spin up and….I’d gained three and a half pounds.
I was pretty much the opposite of pleased.
Two weeks of eating well and getting my heart pumping, and I had gained weight. Sure, I was sleeping better (for me), my skin looked less-puffy, and I had more energy, but I also had three and a half more pounds. That is total crap! If I am going to gain weight, it’s not going to be on salad and skinless chicken breasts! It’s going to be on gooey cheesey sandwiches and dessert! Obviously, I need to rethink this lifestyle.
Anger at my weight-gain aside, I am really happy with how much better I am feeling. It also helps that James is sleeping for 9.5-10 hours at night now! I’m mostly just grateful that I have my body back. I’m starting to feel like myself again – no more puking, or shots, or bland diets. But seriously, if I’ve gained more weight the next time I weigh-in, food and I are going to have a serious talk.
This is why I never step on a scale to judge whether I am losing weight. Does your body look different in the mirror, feel different? Do your clothes fit looser in certain areas? Those are goo indicators. Muscle weighs more than fat so if you are doing any muscle training you’ll gain weight which is good! Plus exercising 5x week requires more calories! Keep at it!
totally agree with Sheila! The scale is evil. I’ve gained weight while dropping sizes before…I’m OK with that! Just go with how you feel and how your clothes are fitting. ignore that evil contraption
Weight gain while working out means you’re putting on lean muscle which is a good thing. It’s better that you check your measurements and stay off the scale. How are your clothes fitting? Do you feel a change in them? Also – make sure you’re eating carbs before the gym for extra energy and eating lean protein after to rebuild the muscles.
This said from a woman that breaks out in hives at the word that starts with an E.
Meh, it’ll just be muscle and/or water weight. How you feel and look is what counts. I’ve cut out the evil sugar for the past couple of months and it’s made such a difference to my skin.
And eventually I lost some weight, too.
Hang in there, Heather. xx
Autumn Canter says:
It’s muscle. I weigh over 10lbs more than I did post-baby. It’s because I have been practicing yoga consistently for the past two years and building muscle. I look way healthier, despite what the scale says. Ignore scale. Go by how you feel, appear and how your clothing fits.
Hang in there. Focus on how you feel. Are you drinking lots of water? That always helps me…
Yes! I carry my reusable water bottle everywhere I go!
Dude, while I am not dealing with post-partum hormones, I am dealing with simply being 39 and after I went from healthy eating to ridiculously healthy eating plus daily up and down hill dog and solo walking, home abs and free weights, and incline running on the treadmill for 35 to 40 minute clips twice a week and homecare nursing special needs little kids with mandatory no-lunch-break… it took me seven freaking months to lose weight.Then BAM 12 pounds lost in a few days. My 42-year old husband who goes to the gym once a week and rides the stationary bike sitting down for 30 minutes and otherwise lies on the couch and watches TV? He had to do a flush for a colonoscopy and and lost 7 lbs. A-hole! Sometimes I hate men.
It’s so unfair how much easier men lose weight! Mike is the SAME as your husband!
I am on the daily insulin (my fasting blood sugar is screwing with me, starting to feel like it has it in for me), modified diet and light exercise stage of my last pregnancy.
The first person at the hotel with a peanut buster parfait gets to name the baby. For real.
You could be gaining muscle, especially given that you lost so much during our pregnancy. Have you taken measurements? inches are easier to track effectively than the scale.
Try not to go crazy about that scale number.It will show up there eventually.I have a friend who lost inches but no weight at first.Drink water,exercise and I used myfitnesspal to count calories and track exercise.And allow yourself a splurge meal that way you won’t go crazy and eat a box of cookies or something.
It’s the worst, right?
And I loathe when people are like..weight gain is great, it’s muscle. UGH.
Since I started consistently working out and eating only whole foods for the first time in my life, I have put on about 6 pounds that are going nowhere.
It kind of sucks…but my body is in the best shape it has ever been in, so I might need to just accept it.
I guess don’t focus on the numbers, focus on how you feel. Also..no barfing!
What was your diet like when you had GD? A modification of that (because you probably had more calories than a non-pregnant woman would eat) is probably what you want. Having no complex carbs and no dairy might be an issue. Can you call your doctor and ask for help? It’s worth a try.
Good luck! You are doing good things for your body, even if your initial efforts were frustrating.
I could never sustain that diet, because it was also modified to being super-bland food that was easy to throw up (gross, I know)! But I did consult with my doctor before I started, and she is on-board!
I’ve been exercising as well. I was just so pleased to run up a set of bleachers last week without barfing and passing out. It’s the little things that make me happy.
Please throw your scale away. Go with feeling great because that’s how you look.
Abby Leviss says:
This happened to me and everyone said “it’s muscle” but it was totally not- or if it was, it was muscle hidden under layers of baby fat. Don’t want to sound like a commercial but after a year of dieting and exercising my face off post baby, nothing was coming off. My acupuncturist suggested that my metabolism was shot. Grief hadn’t helped either. She had me read The Fast Metabolism diet and I’ve lost 13 pounds. Not easy though- no caffeine, no dairy, no sugar, no wheat except sprouted. Anyway, something to think about. Good luck.
I know I’m not the first to say it but…. it’s MUSCLE. Seriously. I’m always at my heaviest when I’m working out regularly and I hate the number that I see on the scale, but I always look good and feel better (and my jeans fit great!) despite the “heavy” number I see.
I’m now 8 months postpartum/breastfeeding and (contrary to what I would have thought) at my lightest weight in YEARS so you’d think I’d be pleased – but I’m totally out-of-shape, weak, tired and feeling gross. It’s so hard to ignore the scale, but you just have to sometimes. It’s so frustrating!
So glad that you are feeling good and more like yourself. I know others have already mentioned that muscle weighs more than fat and to throw away the scale but I totally understand that it is so hard to ignore what the power of the scale!! xo
If you can swing it in your budget, I highly recommend a personal trainer – even if only for a short time. He/she can make sure you’re exercising effectively and doing what’s best for your body. I was having the same issue – exercising like crazy and the scale wasn’t budging – so I ponied up the dollars and then lost 10 lbs in 3 months. Afterwards I felt awesome and realized it was worth every penny. If you do go this route, just make sure you find someone educated in training postpartum women so they don’t get carried away in having you do too much too fast. Good luck!
I have worked out with them in the past and love trainers! I actually just inquired at my gym about one that has experience with postpartum work, hopefully that will help.
I agree with everyone that it is most likely your muscle mass returning. Also, work on your core. I had a physical trainer tell me it takes a few months post-pregnancy to get your core to properly engage because the muscles are so weak.
That said, my metabolism is crap since having my second child. I did p90x for 3 months and lost a whopping 17 lbs. I used to lose 10-15 lbs with just walking in that amount of time. It is certainly frustrating but keep going. I stopped and now I am the heaviest I have ever been and feel awful. Thanks for motivating me to get back to it!
Throw out the scale, you only need it to weigh suitcases…..muscle weighs more than fat so you will gain at first. Judge by how clothes fit and how great you feel. Remember that regular exercise will help you sleep, keep your brain sharp and is a fabulous de-stressor. Keep going, hope you WIN!
Lisa F. says:
Depending on what your workouts entail, you could be gaining muscle. It can be a bit pricey, but maybe consider hiring a personal trainer for a small number of sessions. He or she can help you develop some workouts to do, and help track your progress. I just started working out with a trainer a few weeks ago and love it! I am now bringing my lunch to work most days to justify the expense (and to try and eat better).
Trainers are awesome! I’ve had great success with them. I was thinking about getting one in a few months, once I’ve regained my endurance.
Remember, muscle weighs more than fat!!! And that could certainly be what the “gain” is.
Emily E says:
I am the exact same way with pregnancy. I either lose or gain very little weight when pregnant and lose lots of weight when the baby is born. But then I get my appetite back and want to eat everything in sight and all the weight comes back. Sucks big time. All those people who say that breastfeeding helps you lose weight clearly never met me.
Oh totally! I have NEVER lost weight when breastfeeding!
Yea, I had the same reaction. After working out 5 days a week for a year I had gained 11 lbs. It’s muscle! And nothing wrong with a little milk but just a suggestion, try almond milk in your coffee. Tastes better and then you can say dairy free!
Did you retake your measurements? You could very well be developing muscle mass but losing inches. Retake your measurements. If those have also gone up, which I highly doubt, then get angry. Until then, keep doing what you are doing. Make sure you are drinking lots of water. That also helps make you feel full.
Muscle does not weigh more than fat! A pound is a pound is a pound. Now when comparing a pound of muscle to a pound of fat, the volume of muscle is less. Think a beach ball of fat vs. a softball of muscle. Keep at it! You are probably putting on muscle faster than losing fat. It will all catch up to you. Pesky fat.
It’s not that muscle weighs more it’s that a pound of muscle takes up so much less mass than a pound of fat. So you may gain pounds from strength training, frex, but you’ll actually look LEANER as a result. I think that’s what people try to convey when they talk about muscle gains.
I wouldn’t worry so much. Your poor body probably desperately wants to put more muscle back on after it was likely eaten away during your pregnancy. And muscle weighs more than fat.
You and your friends should do a side contest: Who can go the longest without getting on the scale.
No need to burden your mind when you know you’re being healthy.
1) Do not forget you were not able to move quite as much as you normally do when pregnant. Part of it probably is muscle tone is returning to your body.
2) Is there a specific reason why you are cutting out dairy? Dairy is part of the government’s choose my plate for a reason (aka the pyramid we grew up knowing). You are a female (want to keep your bones strong), if you are cutting it out are you replacing it with things fortified with calcium and Vitamin D? You are better off switching to lowfat or skim milk, cheese or yogurt than just cutting it out. Weight loss and your health will go a lot smoother if you give your body the exact fuel it needs to function.
3) Losing weight SUCKS!!! Especially as we are all getting older. It was so easy in my twenties, sucks in my thirties.
I only cut it out temporarily. I was mostly just trying to jump-start my body and see if anything in particular was responsible for making me feel sluggish. Also, I eat a loooooot of dairy. So I need to cut back on it no matter what. Like, it’s not normal!!
Ah. K detoxing from the addiction. Probably the refined flour and sugars that were making you sluggish. I totally understand laying off the cheese…I mean C word…Cheese…Crack…Really in my group of females these are interchangeable. Just remember to add it back in with some foods. Mike is already tall enough, we don’t need you shrinking anymore than necessary (really don’t want Annie in 30 years taking care of you for a broken hip).
Just focus on having a healthy diet and workout for awhile, let your body adjust. I am sure your clothing will tell you something completely opposite from your scale.
Lol. If not come back and I am sure we will all find solutions in the comments. And then you will share right? Because losing weight after 30? Omg.
Did you take your measurements, too? I would go mainly by those, at least to start. You were too wrung out to do much through pregnancy, so you are probably able to put on quite a bit of muscle from where you started. But also, are you doing all cardio, or are you incorporating strength training?
I got an elliptical after my second daughter was born. I used it religiously every day, sometimes twice a day. I GAINED 25 POUNDS. Part of that was the voracious breastfeeding hunger (I want to punch anyone who goes around telling people they’ll lose all the baby weight breastfeeding; it’s just not true for some people). But part of it was that, even though I was eating better foods, all the cardio was making me eat more overall. Because the weight gain continued even after my daughter weaned herself.
The week I started lifting weights, I lost 4 pounds. I’ve lost almost 35 more since. So if you’re only doing cardio, I’d look into that. It’s great for your heart and lungs, but it’s not great for weight loss.
I am doing cardio, yoga, and weights! And I totally agree, I am NOT someone who loses weight breastfeeding.
I’m focusing on the James sleeping 10 hrs sentence! How??
My son was born a little bit before James and the most I’ve gotten is 4.5 hrs.
Same here!! I’ve got an almost 4 mo. old. and I am very jealous of the sleep you are getting. I’ll trade you some pounds in exchange for a few more hours of sleep!!
I have NO idea! I’m not doing anything differently with him than I did with the girls. He usually eats around 10:30 PM and then sleeps until 7 the next morning. I think I just got really lucky.
I’m convinced (and don’t smite me if it’s different from others) that it’s a boy thing. They know we will still be around in the morning, so they’re more okay with just chillin in their crib… or something.
I’m training for my first half-marathon. When I first started seriously running, I was hungry all the time. So yes, I did end up gaining a couple pounds. Now that I’m up to 10 miles at a time (once a week with a couple 4-5 mile runs), I’m not as hungry anymore for some reason. I’m now down a few pounds. I feel great and for the first time in a long time, I actually think I look skinny.
You are awesome! My goal is a 5k!
Take a look at the book called The Plan. I am currently following this and it is amazing the certain foods and exercise that your body does not like. So far I am down 28 pounds, and I still can have chocolate and wine!!! Good Luck!
Yes I agree with the post a couple up! Tell us your secret to getting James to sleep so well! Are you still nursing? I found once I weened my kids at a year (a sleepless YEAR) they finally started sleeping. And I swear they were waking up just to be close and nurse so once that was out they decided sleep was the next best thing. I’m pregnant now with my third due in Dec and we have to figure out a different game plan to ensure some decent sleep happens early on! Share your secret! My cousin swears by not letting her babies fall asleep in her arms but rather soothe themselves to sleep from pretty early on. What’s your tip?
You haven’t said what kind of workouts you’re doing – 20 minutes fast walking on the treadmill or an hour of weight training – but if it’s moderately intense and you’ve gone from no exercise to working out hard close to every day, you’re risking injury. I’ve found Nerd Fitness has some great strategies and programmes for making safe, sustainable exercise and diet changes (with bonus LOTR and Nintendo references:) ).
I don’t step the scale unless it’s at the doctor’s office. If I want to track progress, I measure. I’d been working hard to “lose weight” and kept getting frustrated that my weight never budged. I measured and had lost 2 inches on each thigh and my waist. I haven’t been on the scale at home since.
When working out after being sick for 9 months (you have lost tons of muscle during that 9 months) you gain weight first! Muscle weighs a lot more than fat. Don’t give up. That muscle will burn fat all day and night for you so love that muscle weight!!! You will then start losing fat. I promise. I am a scale watcher and my husband is a freaking Greek God like man! I can seriously see every muscle on his body. When I started working out I watched the scale like a hawk and was always discouraged because I kept gaining. Then my Greek God husband told me to get off the scale and measure my body. Now I am 10 pounds less and fit in clothes better than ever. It took about 6 weeks of gaining to get to losing. Now I am pretty happy where I am and I avoid the scale like a plague. I measure my “fat loss” not my weight loss! Have fun at the gym. It’s so good for you mentally and physically! Oh and make sure to eat a high protein breakfast!!!!
I’d say continue the “lifestyle” of healthy eating.
You gained muscle weight.
My mother developed gestational diabetes and it never went away. When she got older she had to take insulin
My sister developed it in her pregnancy and it went away.
I’m glad you’re back and feeling better after everything you went through in your last pregnancy.
Best to you always!
You sure your scale isn’t messed up? That’s just not right. How disheartening! I’ve gained a few lbs. myself after becoming addicted at one of the local Mexican drive-thrus. Love their rolled tacos with guacamole and cheese. Sigh.
I’m at this stage too (but post injury, not baby). It’s true that muscle weigh is a thing, but by the time you convert fat into muscle you’re metabolism will be running gang-busters and only good things happen on that front. But when you start working out after a long absence your body floods your muscles with lactic acid to sooth all the tiny tears you put in them while you were working out. This is “water weight” and it’s temporary! Your muscles will get stronger and good things will happen on the scale. Try to stay off that hateful thing and focus on measurements, and do some weight training over cardio. I’ll keep going if you do
@Abby Leviss, that is interesting to me because with the my recent return to higher fitness and starting an even better dietary intake, I cut out coffee and dairy entirely (nearly vegan now). By personal choice I switched to sprouted grains bread and pastas two years ago and lost 12 pounds in two months. Huh!
Heather, at the beginning of summer, hubby and I decided to do a lifestyle change. We hit the gym 4-6 days a weeks for 30-75 minutes, depending on time available. I purged my cabinets of anything with sugar, white flour, and red meat. I did not cut back dairy; I found Greek yogurt to be my friend. The first month I lost next to nothing and also gained a pound or so. For me, the secret was to u my protein. I did not go super low carb; I just upped my protein. I had to get a good whey powder to do this, but I dropped two sizes and lost 15 lbs. I also have some muscle in my arms, which has always been difficult for me. As for the gym, variety has helped me, and I am a bit of a cardio junkie. Now that I am back to work (I am a teacher and so is the hubs), I try to get to the gym 3-4 days a week; usually that includes two spin classes and some weight training. I initially did a cheat day (helps mentally) but I am now down to a cheat meal.
Hang in there, Heather! Sugar is my BIG downfall…I have SUCH a sweet tooth. These days I save it for a once a week treat.
Hi heather! I’m curious if you decided on the Mirena?
And totally dump the scales!
I did! And so far it’s been great. The one thing that I didn’t love, but was prepared for, was the off-and-on (but mostly on) spotting I had for the first SIX WEEKS. So annoying. But my doctor warned me that could happen. Other than that, I am pleased with it!
SSOOOOO Jealous that James is sleeping so well for you! We went from sleeping 5-7 hours a night to 3-4 if I’m lucky. Some nights she is up every hour. IT. IS. KILLING. ME.!
I stopped weighing myself years ago, because I have never, ever been able to lose weight. I’ve only gained it. But I have gone through periods of my life where my clothes have fit better, where I feel better and stronger, and I look leaner. I hate numbers/measurements, I feel like they’re just ways for me to feel bad about myself. I’ve thought about taking waist/hip measurements to chart improvements. Or maybe set an endurance/strength goal instead of a goal weight. At this point re: health and fitness, I just want to try to work with my body rather than against it.
Amy C, says:
Okay, my weight loss secret (LOL!). Not a big secret really. It’s surprisingly simple but it has worked for me. First don’t deny yourself anything, you will just be upset and feel bad. The first thing you do is find out what your daily calorie burning is for a woman of your age and height. Then keep track of all the calories you take in. So when you go out to a restaurant or fast food place do a quick google search ahead of time to see the calories in everything then decide what you want to have. When in doubt do the light menu. BJ’s and Chili’s have really good ones! If not then do chicken and rice :). LOL! However, always give in to the impulses just have less of it and account for it in your calorie intake. Think of it as a bank account :). Except when you don’t spend all the calories then you win!!!! Also any exercising you do is extra credit! Look at it that way! Also if you know you are going to have something big and yummy for dessert then design your day around that dessert. Eat a healthy breakfast and a bigger lunch so you won’t need that much (if any) dinner. Also, load up on the veggies whenever you are at a buffet! I throw a bunch of onions on it to add flavor. Good luck!
Random 2AM half-dissected thought, but maybe your body is still just adjusting to the fluctuations of the past year and is in a level of starvation mode while it totally stabilizes again. That is, maybe it will just take longer than you would ever anticipate for it to figure out the new rules and how to play by them.