Friday, May 20, 2011

Too much of a good thing - losing MORE than baby weight!

I've always been thin with a high metabolism (5'7" and just under 125 pounds prior to conceiving), so it wasn't a surprise when I was able to shed the 30ish pounds of pregnancy weight very quickly once  S was born, due mainly to exclusive breastfeeding and increased daily activity. I received compliments galore on my figure during the first couple months postpartum, which was certainly appreciated given our early struggles with nursing and my li'l stint back in the hospital, among other challenges!

I was happy and felt great when I'd returned to my pre-pregnancy weight, but then the pounds continued to melt away. This concerned me, so I commented to Chris that I was losing too much weight. His response - keep this on the down low unless I was out to make some enemies! And indeed, the first couple people I mentioned this to told me I was crazy, that I looked great. But then when a few MORE pounds had dropped off, the compliments turned to questions and concerned observations - had I lost a little too much weight? YES, yes I had! Did I mean to lose this much? Absolutely not. I began cringing each time I weighed myself on Wii Fit for fear of the BMI bar undercutting its predecessor (which it usually did).

Things really hit home when I decided to weigh myself holding S the other day at the doctor's office.

The scale registered 125 pounds.

This is what I weighed ALONE prior to conceiving. Not only have I lost my excess baby pound-age, but on top of that I have shed my almost-six-month-old's equivalent in additional weight. That's pretty mindboggling, and scary.

So, I did what any mama in her right mind would do in that situation; I made a beeline to McDonalds and promptly scarfed down fries and a third pound angus burger with swiss cheese and mushrooms. And it was delicious, in all its glorious wrongness. My body is obviously craving calories!

But then I came home and consulted Google for a more sensible, long-term strategy to up my caloric intake and slowly put those pounds back on. One of the first things I found was a La Leche League forum post reassuring me that I'm not alone among breastfeeding mamas. So that was nice to read. Common advice I came across suggested incorporating more dense, nutrient-rich foods into my diet such as avocado, eggs, nuts, coconut and meat. Yum - I can do that! I'm going to get back into a routine making big breakfasts (which I was doing for a little while a couple months back) and also plan to work the above foods more prominently into my menu plans.

Another good thing - now that S's starting on solids, she won't be getting ALL her calories from me which will help as well.

Here's some motivation. Me before preggy:

Me now:

Wish me luck in my quest to look like the before pic again! (Minus the long hair. Way too much for Little One to grab! ;)


  1. Hi! First off, I hate just kidding ;) I have friends who are in same boat as you, and also have friends who don't lose more than 15lbs postpartum until they stop breastfeeding all together. Then there's me, slowly (but constantly) losing weight while exclusively nursing). I think you look healthy (slender, yes - but still healthy)! Are you experiencing any hair loss? I'd only be concerned if you aren't indeed getting the right nutrients and vitamins everyday. I'm still taking prenatal and postnatal vitamins b/c I was having some crazy side effects from not getting enough nutrients. Maybe that could help you, too. Good luck!

  2. I do wish you luck!! I'm on the other end. I was 125 pre-pregnancy & gain 25 lbs during pregnancy. I had a 9 lb baby - & lost all the baby weight in a week after the birth. I looked & felt great. I was so proud that I was so small after having a baby. Now, I have an almost 6 month old who is exclusively breastfed & I am gaining weigh the past 3 months or so. I am running & lifting weights. I'm counting calories (keeping track at least). I hear that once I stop breastfeeding I should lose the weight, but it is so frustrating to have lost it all & now going the opposite way!

  3. I lost a lot of weight very quickly whilst breast feeding 2 of my Babes, so I know how worrying it can be. My weight is now totally normal, so I wish you lots of luck and your advice to seek support and advice is excellent.

  4. I am past bfing but I know how you feel with being "too" skinny~ I am smaller then I was at 15 years old, and I know it's from all the walking we do, I ask my husband the same thing, If I'm too skinny?!! I was over 160 pounds before I had my last baby, I'm tall so I didn't look over weight, but now I'm down to 120, and I know I don't want to get smaller, because when I weighed in at 117 about a year ago, I looked in a mirror and just about cryed, I could see my chest bones.......

    SOOOO good luck! I'm cheering for you!Eat a donut!

  5. Good luck! :)

    And yes, she is intrigued. She loves to lift my shirt up and poke at my non-belly-button. Cute at home. Embarrassing in public.

  6. Thanks mamas - love hearing all your thoughts!

    @organicmama - thanks for the compliment. Good to hear that I don't look sickly or anything :) And actually yeah - I am experiencing some hairloss. At first I thought it was the postpartum loss a lot of women go through, however it started pretty late (when DD was 4+ months) so perhaps it IS due to a lack of adequate nutrients. I've started taking vitamins on and off as well, however it's probably a good idea to make it a daily habit at this point so I'll try that!

    @Angela - interesting! Do you think some of the weight gain is muscle from lifting weights? Also, very odd that some women lose weight during breastfeeding and others lose weight after, though I guess we're all different! Good luck to you!

    @Lenna - that's good to hear! Hopefully I'll experience what you did and put some of the weight back on once I'm no longer BFing (though ideally at least SOME of it before if I can manage to pack in additional calories!)

    @Kim - mmmm donuts. Now I'm hungry ;) Yeah you must get a LOT of exercise with your lifestyle! Not sure when your profile pic was taken but you look great in that!

    @Erin - aww that's cute! Do you think she understands there's a little baby in there?