Some people think I’m lucky….

…to be so ‘small‘ after having a child. Most people that didn’t know me when I was pregnant just assume I was one of those people that just walked out of the hospital in my pre-prego jeans. Unfortunately, I was not.

I gained a total of 54lbs during my pregnancy so I went from 130lbs (which I am at now) to 184lbs in 9 months. So while I am lucky that I was blessed /w a beautiful and healthy son not all my weight loss was strictly b/c I had “good genes”. It was hard work.

This is a photo of me @ 39 weeks pregnant. Logan was born @ 42 weeks so you can imagine how gigantic I was by the end.

holding on to this thing was difficult – let me tell you

The next two photos were taken the day after I gave birth to Logan, January 11th 2010; who weighed in @ 8lbs 9oz. I had imediately dropped 20lbs upon delivery leaving me at a whooping 165lbs. Can you believe I actually thought I was soooo skinny and actually requested Colin take the vertical photo of me?! 

you will note the double thumbs up even after 15 hr child labour!

When I looked down at Little Lo my weight was the furtherest thing from my mind. He was kinda prune-esq b/c he was sitting in my “water” for an extra 2 weeks. He is beautiful nonetheless. Such a gift!

literally minutes after he was born and already a very happy & content baby
Almost ready to go home the following day – isn’t his outfit cute?!

As much as I was finding my place as a mother I still looked like I was pregnant month after month. I continued to breast feed but remained around 150lbs for quite some time.

I started smoking again b/c I was so depressed about how I looked and it blossomed into self-hate. I won’t lie it sounds weird but Logan really held me together. Even though in my mind the pregnancy was the reason for my body not looking the way it had pre-pregnancy. I was used to getting attention b/c of how my body looked and thus my self-esteem and how skinny I was had formed a exponential relationship. When I felt fat – I felt sad. Colin was so supportive the whole time but when you feel gross about your body there’s not much someone else can do about it. 
hopefully no one is offended by this shirt but I thought it was awesome!

In June Colin’s brother was getting married and I really wanted to look “hot”. Logan was 5 months old then and due to the breast feeding making me hold extra fat I just couldn’t shake those last 20 lbs. I wasn’t doing much to get rid of them though. Logan was slowly becoming a little person and I really started to fall in love /w being a mom to him. I assure you it had nothing to do /w the fact that this was the time he began sleeping through the night ;)

At the wedding I finally felt kinda sexy. It was a feeling I hadn’t felt in over a year. I bought a dress that kinda poof-ed out at the waist and gave the illusion I was much smaller than I was AND I had breasts b/c of the milk :D When I look back I probably should’ve spent more time enjoying that I had breasts and less time focusing on how fat I felt. Everyone at the wedding complimented me and I just soaked it up. I was finally getting the validation I still craved whether that was good for me or not, I don’t know. 

When Logan hit 6 months old I finally decided I couldn’t keep breast feeding him. He wasn’t enjoying the fact that my milk wouldn’t let down as much either (due to the cigarettes). I had no issues weaning him and did it slowly; dropping one feed per week or two. Below is a photo of me the weekend I decided I was done /w the extra “milk fat” I was actually embarrassed to post this photo but hey, that’s what I looked like. I had also signed up for a women’s fitness class in hopes it would bring me some much needed self-esteem. It didn’t. I just constantly compared myself to the other girls and felt disgusting. So I stopped going.

At the time of Logan’s first birthday I had gone back to working part-time and was finally at a normal weight; 142lbs. I had lost nearly 42lbs just by being me. I suppose most people would kill for those genetics but I still didn’t look or feel like the person I once was. The last 12 lbs were obviously b/c I ate so much food during and after pregnancy and did NO exercise whatsoever. However, I was still so depressed, having lost all of my friends and not knowing anyone else /w kids. I found it hard to do anything else after focusing on Logan all day long and working at night. (Yes, I gave myself bangs and dyed my hair dark I think I was trying to rebel against the old me).

Logan looking confused about his cake

In March of 2011 I quit smoking. Ontario hosts the “Driven to Quit Challenge” every March, where if you sign up and quit smoking for the entire month of March you have the chance of winning a brand new car. Cigarettes were one of the only things Colin and I ever fought about (now it’s money :P). He didn’t want Logan exposed to cigarettes and though I never smoked around Logan, an addiction is just that; an addiction and Logan was losing to it. I decided that this provided me /w the perfect opportunity to give up smoking once and for all (as I had “quit” more than 15 times previously with no success) and I haven’t smoked since. YAY! :D

At the end of March Colin & I decided that we were going to get married in Hawaii and so I went out and found my dress. It was an off-the-rack Allure dress and it had a corset back which made it fit me perfectly. I didn’t like the dress completely but the seamstress was on hand and assured me she could make the dress into what I had pictured in my mind [if you haven’t visited my wedding page - please do so and you can see the final product] so I decided to buy it and paid only $250 for it – SCORE!

With the prospect of our up coming trip and my wedding day I decided it was time to do something about those last 12 lbs. I began counting my calorie intake and exercising DAILY. I began running on the spot before and after every work out. I went for long walks /w Logan & Rex. We went for family bike rides. I bought the weight watchers body composition scale and used a tape measure to track my weight and inches. By the time Hawaii hit I weighed in at 128lbs and had lost 5 inches off my stomach, 3 off my hips, 2 off my bust (dammit) and 3 off my thigh. I felt GREAT! *Edit* – I just want everyone to know that the seamstress had to take my dress in on 3 occasions! :D

me on a road side beach in Hawaii testing out my new muscles on a rope swing

The journey was difficult but I think having the smoking cessasion, the wedding and hawaii all coming up at once gave me the personal motivation I needed to start down the road to healthy living and fitness. Being able to SEE the results is what keeps me going. I now have a picture of my POST pregnancy self that I will hold close to my heart for the rest of my life b/c yes, I am pretty hot for a mom on the outside but I now realize how amazingly sexy I AM on the inside.

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Questions:

1. How do you stay motivated to keep fit and healthy??

2. Do you think you would feel the same about yourself if you didn’t look good on the outside?? 

- it’s something I’ve always struggled /w so I’d really like to know everyone’s thoughts on it. :) Thanks