I would be lying if I said that I did not have the goal to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. This weight had been a great baseline for me as a place to strive to return to. Before I became pregnant, I will be honest in saying that I was worried about having to succumb to the pregnancy weight gain. I had spent the better part of the last 3 years coming a long way on my weight loss journey, losing over 50 pounds and I was nervous to slip back to that place, growing a baby or not.
I knew that there was no need to get carried away, eat whatever I wanted and gain a lot of weight. But to grow a healthy baby, your body does need to put on some pounds. They say that you should gain anywhere between 15-25 pounds throughout the course of your pregnancy, and that is it (whoever this they is). Everyone’s body is different, and we all experience pregnancy in different ways, so this number can be hard to follow. I gained 55 pounds during my pregnancy. I was also carrying a lot of extra fluid, which added to the scale, I was far off from the ‘ideal’.
First, here are some things that I would like to say to new mommas. Give yourself some grace! Please. Your body just did a miraculous thing and grew a human! I know that people say that all the time, but we take for granted how many things need to align for baby to grow in there for 9 months, and then for us to deliver them… what a feat! Just remember that when you start to think about wanting to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight.
As I mentioned, that certainly has been a goal of mine- but in the last month the meaning of that has shifted. As we are coming up on my daughter’s second birthday- I am finally about 5 pounds away from reaching that goal, and don’t get me wrong, I am totally stoked about that number, but I have realized that that’s what it is. Just a number.
For the last 4 years I have been working with a naturopath, whom I adore (if you are in the KW area, I would be happy to share her information with you!) She has helped me through things that I can’t even begin to thank her for. Her practice has a focus on overall wellness, and has a strong belief that your health comes when all things in life are in balance. Her and I share a lot of the same views in that respect. Part of what she offers is a test called a Body Composition Test. What she does is she takes your weight and then hooks you up to a machine that reads your body. It will then give you a wealth of information about what is going on inside. The great list of things that it gives you is BMI, lean mass vs fat mass, muscle, metabolism, and water retention. It really breaks down everything that is going on inside of your body to give you an accurate picture of where you are physically. I do these test on a semi regular basis with her because it is interesting to know how the changes in my activity and the changes in my nutrition are affecting my body. Now jumping back before I started trying to get pregnant, she knew how important returning to my pre-pregnancy weight would be so we did a body comp so that after I had been through birth and was ready to start tracking again, we would have a baseline.
Since I am pounds away from reaching that goal, I decided to include a body composition reading at one of my last appointments. I am so glad that I did because it entirely shifted my thoughts on the physical scale number. I have always been a slave to the number, more than I would like to admit sometimes, because to me it has been tangible and you can’t deny it, until now, and that’s why I am sharing this with you today, to remind you that greater things can be happening within your body than the numbers will ever show you! This body composition reading showed that even though I am 5 pounds away from my goal weight, I actually have 8 more pounds of muscle than I did before I even got pregnant! Meaning that the number showing on the scale now vs the number that was showing on the scale then can never be compared. My body make-up is much different than it was then, and stronger in fact. It gave me such joy to know that I have been able to work hard for a stronger, fitter version of myself, post baby, while still dealing with all the demands of motherhood, and working full time!
I want you to not be discouraged by the number on the scale, and although it can be a good guide for watching where you are at, remember to think about how you feel. Trust that amazing things are going on inside your body that the numbers will never show you.