I never know where to start with this topic because there are people at so many different points of the fitness journey and I want to be sensitive to them all. I don’t want anyone to feel shamed or judged because of something I might share regarding my journey. SO hear this upfront- I do believe being healthy is really wise and, well, healthy. However, it looks so different for everyone and there is no one size fits all. As long as your goal is health, it doesn’t matter what the scale says or what your clothing size is! This post isn’t about shaming anyone, it’s simply my feelings, my thoughts, and my very real and personal experience. You are beautiful. You are worthy. Cool?
I have struggled at times to share how much weight I gained with my pregnancies. Not because I felt bad about how much it was, ‘cause it was a butt ton (maybe a couple butts even). I had hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) with both pregnancies and experienced extreme vomiting, dehydration, and nausea. It’s basically like having food poisoning everyday…for 9 months. I had ulcers and a bruised abdomen from throwing up so much and at times was vomiting blood because my body had nothing left to toss. I was ripping up my insides and felt trapped in my own body. With that being my reality – I thought I was supposed to lose weight not gain weight when I was throwing up 20 + times a day for months on end, right? I did both… and really made-up for the weight loss in the end. I struggle sharing because I was super sick with both pregnancies and when people hear how much I gained, they assume what I went through was a little dramatized and not all that bad. But guys, it was hell. I guess I don’t have to prove that to anyone, but in the spirit of keeping it real- something in me wants you to know how bad it sucked and how it broke me mentally and physically. (Definitely a blog to come on the topic of HG). You knowing makes me feel more known. Well, now you know. Sweet, moving on.
With Linus I gained 50lbs and it took me close to a year to lose it all. With My daughter June I was infinitely more sick, ate better, even exercised when I could and I gained 60 effing pounds. I know it’s just weight. I knew I would do the work to get it off… I just wanted a prettier starting line because losing baby weight isn’t something my body gets excited about. It’s hard work and takes time. Emphasis on TIME.
The pictures I’m going to share are months and months apart. It’s easy to look at pictures and look at the “end result” and forget that there was so much work and timmme in between, so please remember that! The first couple months (after losing the initial weight from pushing a baby out), the scale didn’t show any progress. Didn’t move at all. That’s why taking progress pics was super helpful because I could see my body changing.
I started working out 6 weeks after I had Linus and pushed myself way too hard straight out of the gate. I jumped into a 12 week program called BBG, wasn’t good at listening to my body, and sustained a lot of injuries because of that. It was miserable and at times I felt like I was working backwards. This time around I got cleared, once again at 6 weeks postpartum, but I could tell my body wasn’t ready. I continued to walk on the treadmill until I felt good enough at 10 weeks postpartum. I eased back into things after June and was able to find my strength so much faster because of that. It’s funny how that works. When we rush our results, we don’t make true progress and strength is lacking but with patience there is true change, commitment, and long term results.
So what is BBG? It’s a program I do from my living room created by Kayla Itsines. It’s resistance training broken up into 2 circuits that you repeat once over. The workout is 28 minutes long and requires minimal equipment. I purchased her BBG ebook but you can also subscribe to her SWEAT app to gain access to the workouts. I’ve experienced great success with this program and have used it both before and after my two pregnancies (partnered with eating whole, healthy foods). Here are some pictures from my journey:
This was taken when I was 6 weeks pregnant with Linus and I had completed 8 weeks of BBG. I felt like I was in such good shape and then the HG sickness hit and I wouldn’t do BBG again until 6 weeks postpartum with Linus.
This was 37 weeks pregnant with Linus; he was born 2 weeks later.
The first two pictures are 6 weeks after having Linus. I was cleared for exercise and went to it restarting BBG. I remember feeling really optimistic about the whole process. That would not be the case a couple weeks later lol. The second set of pictures below are 4 months postpartum and I was so discouraged because I still had a good amount of baby weight and I thought I would be “back to normal” by now. That may be other’s experience, but it was not mine and I had to learn not to compare and celebrate my journey!
This was a couple months before I got pregnant with June. It took me close to a year to get back down and honestly I never got back to my previous weight… and it didn’t matter!! My Body had changed and shifted. I had worked hard and loved what I had accomplished and was happy with the muscle I had built.
I took these the morning I went into labor at 38 weeks pregnant with June. She was born that afternoon January 1st 2018. My new year’s baby!
I was 10 weeks postpartum here and I had 40lbs still to lose from the initial 60lbs. I started BBG and began to track my progress once again.
week 1 BBG week 4 BBG
week 15 BBG week 24 (2 rounds of BBG)
Week 32 BBG (present day in my third round of BBG). Its a little hard to tell in these iphone pics the muscle I have gained throughout this process! Its the best definition I have had in my arms and legs and my abs are starting to peek through!
Looking at the difference between my week 1 and week 4 pictures with June, I remember feeling super discouraged and like nothing was budging or working. But I kept going!!
When I first started working out after having June, every workout I wanted to cry. And some I actually did. It’s the push ups that always got me, cause you’re so close to the ground already- laying on the floor = an optimal position for crying. It was discouraging feeling weak, like a beginner, tired, and only losing 2-3 lbs a month if I did lose any weight at all. That’s basically a poop. My motto was, and still is, “just show up.” It’s not about doing it perfectly. It’s also not about attaining a certain body ideal and then peacing out. It’s a lifestyle choice. I still eat burgers and fries and there are days I have skipped out on workouts. But because it’s a lifestyle and not about being perfect, there is balance and room for that. Working out isn’t a “punishment,” it’s a choice I make for myself that empowers me to be a strong, present, healthy wife, mom, and human. There is no stop date to my fitness journey and I love that my babies get to see their mommy working hard. Showing up one day at a times is where the progress happens. Small choices each day create big results in the future!