Postpartum body update: love it or hate it?

It could be that it’s bathing suit season and we have a pool. Or perhaps it’s because my pre-pregnancy clothes are not of the loose or baggy variety. Likely it’s a combination of both that is making me realize that I’m not a big fan of my body these days.

I had a pretty decent body before I had kids. Sure it wasn’t perfect, but at 5’6″ and 130lbs, I looked ok.

I gained about 30 lbs with my first pregnancy and lost it all (and more) pretty quickly after giving birth. I was more fit than I’d ever been in my life during my maternity leave and felt pretty good about how I looked once I went back to work.

My body hasn’t been so forgiving this time around. I gained an extra 10 lbs with this pregnancy and it’s those 10 lbs that are being stubborn. Besides my breasts, which have to be storing some of the weight, I seem to have a rather unsightly bulge in my tummy area. I can fit into most of my clothes, but my muffin-top looks unattractive when I wear any of my more fitted tops.

I’m doing a weekly fitness class and going on tons of walks with the stroller, but my pre-baby body alludes me.

I am trying, I really am, but it seems that I’m losing the battle against my sweet tooth. In fact, as I type this, I’m waiting for some chocolate chip cookies to bake. You see, breastfeeding makes me crave sugar. I mean, I need it. Like ALL THE TIME.

Since I don’t think I’ll be able to stop myself from eating treats right now, I’m just going to try to do it in moderation. That’s the best I can hope for right now! (Does 6 chocolate chip cookies count as moderation?  They’re small.  Really small.)

In an attempt to motivate myself to move more, I bought myself a fitbit.  I’ve been using it for about a month now. It definitely helps, although it frustrates me because I don’t think it’s totally accurate. I bought the fitbit flex, which you wear on your wrist. I thought this was the best option for me because I can keep it on all the time. I’ve used pedometers in the past but wouldn’t always remember to clip them on before heading out. With the wrist version, it’s always on me.

The problem I’ve discovered? My stroller. I don’t think the fitbit flex tracks my steps accurately when I’m pushing my stroller. My mom and I have gone on a few walks together and she always ends up with a lot more steps than me, even though we walk the same distance and would have similar strides. It’s annoying, although I suppose it’s better to underestimate rather than overestimate my step count.

That being said, I generally really like it.  Some of the things I enjoy are:

  • It’s always on my wrist, so no fear of forgetting it or running it through the wash (although it is water resistant!)
  • It tracks sleep, so it’s interesting to see how shitty I’m sleeping these days (as if I don’t already know!).  I think I’ll like this feature better once Bo stops waking so much in the night.
  • The ability to have friends (who I secretly compete with).  I only have my mom and my brother-in-law right now, but I sure love it when my weekly step count is higher than theirs!  I’m terribly competitive so this helps motivate me, for sure.
  • The fitbit app, which lets me check my steps and distance on my iphone.  I’ve been known to do laps of my main floor when I’m close to 10,000 steps so that I can hit my goal before I go to bed.
  • The fact that it vibrates to let me know that I’ve reached my goal. There is nothing more satisfying than a little buzz on my wrist to remind me of how far I’ve walked (ok, maybe chocolate chip cookies are a little more satisfying!)

As I strolled through the neighborhood this afternoon, I ended up walking behind three teenage girls. They all had long, lean legs clad in tiny jean shorts. They had minuscule waists. There was barely an ounce of fat on any of them, and they certainly didn’t have belly flab or love handles.

I used to look like that. About 20 years ago. But still.

As my fitbit buzzed to tell me I’d walked my 10,000 steps, I thought to myself, would I like to trade with them? Would I give up my flabby belly, and all that goes along with it, for a body like that? I looked at my baby, asleep in his stroller, and I knew the answer. This belly gave me my two amazing boys. It might not look as good as it used to, but I refuse to hate it. This body, muffin top and all, has done amazing things.

I know there is a good chance that I’ll never look the way I did before. I may never love my body. And I know it certainly won’t happen while I keep eating sugary treats. So for now, I will try my best to eat better and work out more, while quietly thanking the fashion gods that loose flowy tops seem to be in style right now.

5 thoughts on “Postpartum body update: love it or hate it?

  1. Are you me? =) Seriously though, my problem with the belly (ummm…in addition to eating all the sweets) is diastisis recti (separated abdominal muscles). You should check if you have it as well. Those chocolate chip cookies sound yum! And I’m totally going to get a fitbit.

  2. I’ve never been a skinny minnie. I inherited my family thighs and stomach pooch. So, I see those young girls and KNOW that will never be me. Good for you for accepting where you are right now and doing some steps to keep yourself healthy, keeping a GREAT attitude about your body (that it’s still in transition) and know that if you need to go shopping for a new wardrobe to camouflage your tummy, those two boys are worth it all 🙂

  3. As you know I’m having the same issues. I’m finally down to 10lbs within my pre-pregnancy weight and I’d really love to take off 15 more to get down to my pre-1st-successful-pregnancy weight, but I’m having a HELL OF A TIME getting it off.

    My stomach has always been the weakest part of my body (both physically and visually). Even when I was starving myself and a size 4 I still had stomach pooch. It literally NEVER goes away. Right now it is quite prominent. It probably will be forever. I’ve been told it’s what middle age looks like. Boo.

    As you also know, I love my FitBit too. I had heard that the Flex wasn’t as good when you push a stroller, which is one of the reasons I didn’t get it, but I LOVE the idea of always having it on. I HATE when I leave my FitBit at home. It’s probably worth it to never not have it… if I ever lose mine I’ll try a flex and see what I think.

    Good luck getting that last ten pounds off. If you figure out how to do it, PLEASE let us know!

  4. I have the fitbit One and love it! I also love the competition aspect 🙂

    Could you put the flex in your pocket when you go for a walk? I know a few people who ended up switching to the One because of the stroller issue. That sucks because the wrist is a helpful place to keep it!

  5. Pingback: Postpartum body update: one year in | Another bun (in the oven)?

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