I debated titling this post: “How to Get Fit, the Wrong Way, When You Have a Young Child” instead. But I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Please note that this is a parody journal and does not intend to replace proper medical care and/or advice. I have absolutely no certification, education, expertise, degree, knowledge or anything of the sort related to nutrition, diet and/or exercise. Please consult your doctor or a medical professional before making any changes or decisions regarding your health. Now without further ado, here is my funny pregnancy weight gain story.
What Not To Say To A Pregnant Woman
I gained almost 50 pounds when I was pregnant with our sweet boy. This weight gain was mostly due to my son being diagnosed with IUGR in the third trimester and me putting myself on a high-protein, high-calorie diet to try and get his weight up to acceptable levels.
One Sunday morning during the third trimester, my husband and I were in our bathroom getting ready for Church. I was trying not to sulk at the fact that my body was growing larger and larger and more swollen, it seemed, as the seconds went on. Here is where the funny story comes in:
Me: “I am so sick of being so fat.”
Husband: “So do something about it.”
Husband: “Oh my goodness, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean that!”
Me: *Anger rising rapidly* “WALK AWAY!”
Before I go on, yes, my husband is still alive. I can just imagine what his guardian angel was thinking when he uttered those words. My pregnancy hormones were raging even before his comment.
Nevertheless, men: this is the perfect example of what NOT to say to a pregnant (or any woman) EVER. Here is some advice I found online:
“If a woman asks if she looks fat, it's not enough to say “no.” You must also act very surprised by the question. Jump backwards if necessary.”
Once I gave birth to our son, I was excited to begin losing weight and to start feeling like myself again. Honestly, the excitement was in anticipation of forgoing my limited pregnancy wardrobe, finally fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes and having my normal wardrobe back.
I’ve written in past journal entries how I exclusively pumped breast-milk for my son for 14 months. While this took almost most of the weight off, my body did hold on to some of the baby weight until after I weaned. While pumping, I had to be careful that I ate enough so that I could keep my small, yet decent, milk supply up for my son’s insatiable appetite. I also had to be mindful of not exercising too much as not only did it affect my milk supply, but I was also a “chronic clogger” and many exercises would cause painful and stubborn clogs to form. Once I weaned, the remaining baby weight finally came off.
I was at a function last month and a sweet lady that I hadn’t seen in almost a decade remarked that I look fitter and thinner than ever. Welp, internet world, allow me to regal you on how I lost weight with a young child:
1. Embrace your new mom-brain’s forgetfulness feature.
I lose “stuff” probably about a thousand times a day. Today, I kept misplacing my phone. Each time I sent a quick prayer up to St. Anthony to intercede on my behalf and then followed it by profusely apologizing for bothering him for the thirty-third time that day. This forgetfulness causes me to race about the house and to climb and descend the stairs multiple times—all while carrying a toddler (it’s easier than waiting for him to follow me or hear him wail if I leave him alone—we’re at peak separation anxiety here.) Gym membership, gym smembership! Carrying my sack of potatoes son with me while searching for my lost items is one of the best workouts I’ve ever done. I just make sure to keep the core tight and am lifting and carrying him properly.
2. Embrace the exhaustion that comes with motherhood.
Before having a child, my husband and I would partake in snacks while watching our favorite television shows or movies during the evening. I can barely recall what it is like to do something as mind-numbingly, gloriously relaxing as this. Since we’ve had our son we 1. are almost always busy at night with the little love bug and 2. I, at least, have almost no energy left by the time we can relax before bed and therefore have no energy to snack whilst watching the three minutes of a television show or movie before I pass out. For me at least, sleep always wins over snacks. My husband is especially happy to watch whatever show he likes while I slip into blissful sleep and dream of days when I will have enough energy to make it to the first commercial of a show.
3. Embrace the new short order cook position that you had to take because, toddlerisms.
Prior to having our son, I envisioned myself cooking nutritious, high-quality, gourmet meals that my child would happily devour. Now, if my son has a handful of peas at lunch and a few sips of green smoothie a day, I’m elated. While I try to cook nutritious meals, there are times in which I give-in to my monster, I mean toddler, and let him have a peanut-butter, or as he calls it a bobby, sandwich for lunch.
The lunch run down: I say a prayer and re-heat left-overs from last night’s dinner. Child refuses to eat said left-overs. Then I attempt to eat my food while making his “new” lunch (aka bobby sandwich) while throwing, I mean lovingly placing a handful of peas on his tray. I am so exhausted by the time he takes his first bite of sandwich that if I didn’t finish my food, the dog gets the rest of mine and my son’s—if it’s safe for him. Happy toddler, happy mommy.
4. Embrace the fact that your favorite snack foods are now your child’s favorites.
Also prior to having our son, I pictured myself serving only the healthiest of snacks. I vowed to never buy any snack foods that had any preservatives, sugar, additives or flavor (kidding) and I would most certainly never let my child eat anything of the sort. Fast forward to today—I now just make sure that I can at least pronounce and identify the ingredients and I only buy higher quality snacks with better ingredients. Of course, these cost more and I am more inclined to let my son enjoy the organic chocolate ice-cream than indulge in it myself. (Boo!) Plus, when I do take even the slightest bite of his beloved “eyes scream”, he berates me and demands in his baby language that I never take another bite again.
5. Embrace the fact that you should be a good role model. I want my son to be as healthy as possible, therefore, I try to model good behaviors for him. Monkey see, monkey do. While this mama monkey wants to sit down and watch a great show while eating some chips, little monkey will try to do the same thing. So instead, we listen to music, dance, play and exercise. There is nothing cuter than seeing my son do his toddler version of squats and bicep curls alongside me and say “ah, ah, ah” as he pretends to count like mommy does. I’m embarrassed to say that he has much better form than I do.
6. Embrace the fact that you’ll have to wake up early for some quiet time.
This summer, I completed the process of Consecrating myself to Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin Mary using the method of St. Louis de Montfort. I did this in the morning, before the rest of the house was awake. After the consecration, I continued to wake early so that I could pray, exercise and get some work done. I had been used to waking early to pump breast-milk for my son since he was born and after weaning, I continued to wake earlier so that I could have some quiet time. Now, I actually wake up before my alarm and look forward to setting the foundation for my day with exercise for my mind, body and soul. Praying the Rosary along with regular exercise has also helped me manage my anxiety—which I had an especially difficult time dealing with postpartum anxiety.
And there you have it! These not-so-helpful tips may have worked for me to keep the weight off, but they may not work for everyone. In fact, I don’t recommend all of them. Waking up early is great to pray and exercise and exercising with our little ones teaches healthy habits. However, snacking while watching a television show or movie is awesome! So, if you like that, enjoy, life is too short! Now, if only I could stay awake. 😊
Do you have any healthy, helpful ways to stay healthy while having a child or children? Please share with us on Facebook!
As always, thank you for reading and May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always.