Many years ago, I was visiting with a friend who casually mentioned the fact that she had no intention of trying to lose any excess weight until after she was done having children. And even though at the time, I thought that was a rather bad idea, I found myself falling into the very same mentality the more children I had.
I made excuse after excuse as to why I could not possibly exercise or eat right, and most of my excuses revolved around my brood of children. Not enough time, not enough money, no one to watch the children, no way to exercise with them in tow. Besides, I might be pregnant.
During my pregnancy with Creed, I began to spend time with several moms of many who had become determined to stop going from pregnancy to pregnancy gaining more and more weight and feeling more and more run down each time. For the first time in years, I feel motivated to stop barely getting by and start working toward being a temple to the Lord in a body that is as fit to run the race as it can possibly be…no excuses!
I’ve been thinking about this journey I am on and whether or not I wanted to share it here. The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced it needed to be shared because there had to be other moms of many wondering how in the world they could find the time and energy to do anything but raise their growing brood. So, I decided to start a page here on Raising Arrows labeled Fit Mom of Many to offer resources and encouragement to BE THE HEALTHIEST YOU CAN BE AS YOUR RAISE YOUR FAMILY. (The page is a work in progress, as am I, but I plan to write posts about the things I am doing and the progress I am making and add to the resources on the page.)
As of today (4 weeks postpartum), I am 4 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. That’s 36 pounds down from the weight I went into labor at. However, before you ooo and aww, I need to be honest and tell you that I was about 50 pounds overweight when I got pregnant, and about 30 pounds from a weight I am actually comfortable at.
I have Diastasis Recti, so without some sort of brace or shapewear, my belly looks like this:
A few more pounds down and wearing shapewear, I look like this:
(I do not recommend wearing any sort of compression garment/brace/splint prior to about 4 weeks postpartum. Give yourself time to heal and listen to your body. Get yourself a nice pair of elastic-waisted pants or skirt – like the one I’m wearing in the top photo – and don’t stress about getting into your “normal” clothes.)
This is the first time in several pregnancies I’ve been anywhere near my pre-pregnancy weight this soon. There are two things I feel are really factoring into my weight loss…
1. A few weeks before giving birth, I started implementing the ideas from this book:
Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett (daughters of Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies) is a 600+ page book that taught me an easy way to balance my blood sugars by keeping fats and carbs separated as much as possible. I found that eating this way kept me from those awful sugar cravings I tend to have near the end of pregnancy. Once Baby Creed was here, I kept eating this way and found the weight was coming off much quicker than it had in years.
I’ve started putting together my own Trim Healthy Mama Pinterest boards with recipes I either want to try or really like, but Serene and Pearl also have boards on Pinterest, and if you follow them, they will invite you to pin recipes you find on their boards. They also have a Facebook page to lend support and offer recipe ideas, as well as a forum you can join.
2. I started exercising sooner.
Now before you reprimand me, let me be quite clear…I am walking…that’s it. But, it IS exercise and I did start at 3 weeks postpartum because I felt ready. About 3-4 times a week, I walk the perimeter of our property. It takes only 10 minutes to do, and even though I feel winded in the beginning, by the end of the walk, I feel energized!
I have no desire to be a super model. Honestly, I don’t mind looking like a mom. These posts aren’t going to be some mid-life crisis quest for the body I left behind in high school. They are going to be the real me as I find real ways to be a fit and healthy mom of many!
What specific areas do you struggle with as a mom of many and trying to stay healthy?