During pregnancy, yes, you're going to gain weight. Doctors have their own preferences on how much a woman should gain during this time, based off her pre-pregnancy weight and vitals. Most women now understand that it's not a time to literally "eat for two," but sometimes those hormones speak a lot louder. This might not be a typical weight loss story because the weight came on during pregnancy; however, it is something so many women deal with, and one decided to share her story.
Sam Wimmer, who just turned 28, admittedly indulged herself during her pregnancy. The weight nearly triggered the onset of gestational diabetes, so Sam had to quickly change her diet to protect the health of herself and her son.
"I had started gaining a little weight before I got pregnant with my son," she said, "and during my pregnancy with my son I started to gain weight rapidly, thinking that because I was pregnant, it was an excuse to stop taking care of myself. Boy, was I wrong!"
Once the doctor gave her the green light to exercise postpartum, of course she wanted to give it a shot. She could not muster up the motivation, though. In addition to feeling less than inspired and not knowing where to begin, Sam discovered she had diastasis recti (test yourself here). "When I was four months postpartum, I was watching Dr. Oz and they talked about giving yourself an exam to make sure your muscles were coming back together. And sure enough, when I did the exam, I could fit three to four fingers in the gap. I made an appointment with my primary and researched safe exercises in closing the gap and wore a belly binder."
Her focus was on healing her abdominal gap before losing weight. Frustrating? Sure, but very effective, and she hasn't had trouble with it for a year now. Toward the end of her diastasis recovery, her son's father proposed to her.
"I knew how I felt about my body at that point was not how I wanted to look on my wedding day," she shared, "and that really helped drive me to push myself – as well as needing to keep up with my very active toddler."
She decided to take the dive to losing weight about nine months after her son was born. Below is a photo of Sam as she begins to transform.
Instead of walking into a gym, Sam kept herself accountable at home. She picked up DVDs like T25, Hip Hop Abs, several YouTube workouts, Skinny Mom videos and an X-Factor 8-Week program online. This led her to pick up a jogging stroller and a small trailer to hitch to the back of her bike for her son.
As far as food was concerned, Sam purchased a scale to help her understand and control portion sizes.
Dropping The Pounds
The weight began falling off, tipping the scale in the other direction from 172 pounds to 113 pounds in 20 months. But, there was a hitch.
"I was at 115 steadily until November 2014 [when] I started gaining weight from birth control. I was about 140. I switched [medications] and have maintained between 125 to 130. One thing I would say about my weight loss journey is that I did develop a body dysmorphic disorder and seeing myself in the most negative way possible that I was so close to being underweight. I am a lot happier now at the weight I have maintained, which would make it about 42- to 47-pound weight loss."
Sam maintains her weight by looking up workouts on Skinny Mom or Pinterest every morning and keeping a stationary bike pedal under her desk at work or using a stability ball for a chair. She takes walking breaks while at work, too – anything to peel her away from staying too sedentary.
"My time is limited, and I always guilt myself for taking time for me, so I started involving my son with my workouts," Sam said. "Going to the park, working out while he played, using the jungle gym as equipment, using him as a weight while squatting, running around outside and mainly being an example to him on how to keep himself healthy."
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A healthy pregnancy will lead to a healthy baby and a happy mom, so don't be afraid to exercise and find ways to keep your eating habits on track. What works for another mom might not work for you, so be realistic.
"The pressures of the world that are put on mothers to get their pre-baby body back in the blink of an eye..." Sam began, "and if you don’t you just 'let yourself go.' I pushed and worked so hard to lose my baby weight, plus more, that I didn’t see I was going overboard."
"And the only thing I can say is that we all have our time to be young and have pre-baby bodies, but when it is our time to bear children, which is a gift not all women get to receive, we become 'gross' in our own eyes. Know that you are beautiful, your body is a miracle worker, and you have battle scars to be proud of — so take your time. I still eat pizza, ice cream, sweets – I just do it in moderation. So with that said, you have accomplished so much and you did it all with your body, so be proud of yourself and love your body and what you can do with it."
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