Long story short? I stopped breastfeeding. But before people flip out about my accusation of the “calorie burning secret” failing me, let me explain.
So something funny happens to me after I have my babies. You’d think after popping out infants each over 9 pounds, I’d lose a ton of weight, right? Wrong! Even though I nursed each of them for 17 months, breastfeeding seemed to keep me hanging on to (even gaining) the pounds, not dropping them.
*Warning: If sweaty bra workout pics offend you, scroll down really fast now!*
It’s weird. I left the hospital wearing the same size 4 jeans I managed to squeeze into throughout pregnancy, but a couple months later, I am ripping those same pants.
After having my daughter I thought maybe it was a fluke. I went up two, and three pants sizes AFTER having my baby. My face chubbed up a little, I had a lingering gut, and my butt and thighs got so big so fast I got stretch marks.
I didn’t really care that much though. I discovered yoga pants and fell in love. I didn’t really want to go back to jeans anyway.
But then once I weaned Lil’ J, my pants started to feel bigger and bigger, and I shrunk back down to my pre-pregnancy size. It was so bizarre!
After about a year I donated all of my size 8 jeans thinking I’ll never need these again. And boy was I wrong. Second baby, same story. I gained about 25-30 pounds during my pregnancy again, but it was almost all in my belly. My jeans still fit. But just a couple of months after nursing my new baby, I had blown back up, surpassing my pregnancy weight!
By this time I could see a pattern and I figured I’d lose the weight quickly again after I stopped breastfeeding, but I didn’t want to wait another year. I noticed how much different I looked in photos with my family, and was getting annoyed, so I decided to do something about it.
I started going to the gym with one of my good friends, taking Zumba cardio combat, and body pump. I signed up for MyFitnessPal to track what I was eating. I’ve never been one for counting calories or going on a diet, but it was so educational for me to see exactly how many calories are in what I eat, how much sodium or sugars I’m eating, how many calories I burn exercising… All these things I just never bothered learning about before.
I remembered one of the girls I met on my trip to Sevierville had a Fitbit. During the whole trip she would pace around when we were stopped and waiting to “get in her steps,” because she was trying to pass someone on a leaderboard.
Knowing how motivated I am by competition, I thought a FitBit would be a great step (ha- puns!) to getting into shape.
My husband–A gym addict (I mean seriously, half of our garage is a crossfit gym) was so impressed with my efforts and progress. I joined a hip hop class, went on jogs with the kids, and we did a fun long family bike ride. I kept it up for months and lost 30 pounds (the last 5 dropped off instantly after I stopped nursing).
I reached my goal, hit my pre-pregnancy weight, and I was feeling great, looking healthy, and so inspired to be an example for my kids. I’d even do workouts with them in the playroom when I didn’t have time to go to the gym (actually most of my workouts involved them in some way, you can read about that here).
Well, at the end of the year I was swarmed with work, instead of using my mornings to take the kids to the gym, my husband took them with him and I worked on deadlines at home. It’s been hard for me to get out of that routine. I’m currently eating Dove chocolates while I write this post in my bathrobe.
I’ve stopped counting calories and I’m trying to find the motivation to get active again. Before it was new workout clothes, friends, and weigh-ins that got me going. It’s so hard to jump back in when you’ve been out for so long, but I know it’ll be worth it when I do. I need to recharge my FitBit, maybe get some new shorts and a new water bottle and get active.
One of my friends invited me to do the Color Run with her this year. I’ve done 5ks but I’ve never ran one all the way though. I’m thinking this could be my motivation to get my butt off my desk chair. Maybe set a goal time as if I’m running a marathon and go for it… Do people do that for 5Ks?
Sears has relaunched their FitStudio website and invited me to use it this time around. You can connect your Fitbit, Jawbone or other device to track your workouts and earn Shop Your Way rewards points for shopping discounts on workout clothes, equipment, or another random treat for yourself that’s not workout related. I’m highly motivated by bribes, and this sorta feels like a bribe.
It’s also a great resource for workout ideas and tracking your exercise. I know I was totally lost when I first started exercising, and on the days I wanted to do something at home I would look for video demonstrations for how to correctly do workouts. It’s all in one spot on FitStudio for free.
So wish me luck as I prepare to possibly run an entire 5k (can you tell I’m not totally committed yet?). I’m looking forward to being less moody and feeling those endorphins again.
If you’ve got a FitBit or sign up for FitStudio friend me so we can motivate each other! If you’re already a fitness guru, well good for you. Share your tips on social media using the hashtag #Achieve15
I may not be as motivated at my husband (at least my kids have one good role model in that department) but I do want to be healthy for them, so I can live a long and happy life and meet my great-grandkids!
Do you workout? What’s your motivation?
*This post was written in partnership with Sears as a part of their #BloggersSquad. All opinions are my own.