Losing the Baby Weight

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I was gaining quite a lot of weight during my pregnancy with Lillian, and as of delivery, the grand total turned out to be 68 pounds. That’s about double the recommended amount, and it meant that I was tipping the scales at over 250 pounds by the end. Yowza.

Final weight at the end of the pregnancy.

To give a bit of context, though, I’ve never exactly been a tiny person. My comfortable weight — not really dieting, but not “letting myself go” either — is around 190 pounds, which translates into a size 14-16 for me. That’s where I was at the start of the pregnancy.

If I’m really making an effort to eat right and exercise, I can get down to 165 pounds and fit comfortably into a size 12. (And honestly, I’m not sure my 5’9″ big-boned frame can go much smaller than that.) The size 12 is where I was before our wedding in September of last year — nothing motivates like the thought of looking good in a wedding dress and honeymoon beach attire.

Anyway, it’s been three whole weeks since Lillian’s delivery now, and I’m already back down to 220 pounds. I was a little surprised that so much of the weight melted off so fast, but I guess it makes sense — we know a full nine pounds of it turned out to be baby, and there was probably a lot of water weight and whatever. But that still leaves about another 30 pounds to lose.

To vividly illustrate my situation, here are two pictures of myself at very different weights:

Left: On our honeymoon in September 2010, 165 pounds.
Right: Three weeks postpartum in November 2011, 220 pounds.

I’m not sure if it looks like a full 55 pounds of difference between these photos, but I’m definitely looking pudgier in the second one. (Also, let the record show that I’m standing in the doorway of a shark-shaped souvenir shop grinning and holding sand-castle-making toys in that first picture… don’t ask.)

Anyway! Instead of waiting for New Years to make some weight loss resolutions, I figured I’d start setting goals now: currently, my aim is to get back down to 190-ish by summer of 2012. This seems like a pretty reasonable time frame — I spent nine months putting on that weight in a haze of ice-cream-eating bliss, so I should probably expect to take about as long to lose it again.

That being said, I don’t really have a concrete plan for making this happen. I’m not the sort of person to join a gym or take up jogging, and I’m definitely not interested in any sort of fad diet or weight loss program. Since I’m no longer breastfeeding, I can’t even count on burning any extra calories with that.

So it’ll most likely be a laid-back approach involving generalized portion control, cutting back on the sodas, and maybe working in a few sit-ups or crunches here and there. (In the past, this kind of laid-back approach is the only thing that’s ever worked for me — I just don’t seem to have the willpower to stick to any sort of rigid diet or exercise regime.) Although I may need to adjust strategies if it turns out to be insufficient for zapping away all the extra baby weight.

What do you think? Does anyone out there have any good tips or firsthand experiences when it comes to losing weight and getting back in shape after having a baby?


  1. In high school it was popular to be curvy, I was flat. After I’d grown up, married, and had two babies I finally had a figure, and Twiggy was in! As I grew older, the pounds gradually added on, so I’d be the last one to give advice about weight! But I do know what the goals are: eat healthy and do as many stretch exercises as you can. The weight will take care of itself. You can fit in stretches and strength exercises while waiting for bottle to warm, clothes washer to fill up, coffee to make, etc. This is good advice for Joe, too!

  2. I did take a “figure control” class when Joe was about 18 months, where the lady stressed dress size rather than weight, because muscle weighs more than fat. She also stressed breathing out on the effort portion of any exercise, because breathing in stretches muscles one direction that might be counter to the exercise direction, increasing injury risk. The exercises themselves were typical stretch and bend sit-ups and leg lifts sort of things. Oh, and smoothness was better than quickness in those – “no hurky jerky” she used to say. She was all about injury prevention.

    In my later years, I have had some moderate success with “sneaky” exercise: park farther away, make two trips with lighter loads, etc. But like mom, I am not exactly a tiny person either, so . . . good luck!

  3. I’m the last person to listen to when it comes to weight loss advice, so I won’t try to. I’ll just give my “two cents” of personal insight and experience. I didn’t lose all the baby weight from having you until you were about 18 months old. It’s amazing how many calories you burn chasing after a toddler with all the bending, stretching, reaching, squatting, etc.! I got down to 190 after Jason was born because I was then chasing after both of you! Amazing how you try to stay ahead of a child but instead you always have to catch up to them! Laura? She was such a laid back baby that I never lost my “stomach” as anyone and everyone now knows. Just keep thinking about how good you looked and felt when you were at your own personal best weight. The slower the weight comes off, the better the chances of it staying off. Real doctors (not fad diet quacks) always recommend slow weight loss over fast explaining that rapid weight loss is hard on the heart. Good luck, sweetheart! I know I’m biased, but I think you’re terrific regardless of what any scale number says! Love you!

  4. Sarah, As my doctor told me, it took 9months to gain, & it’s going to take about that long to lose. Yep, I was an ice cream junkie myself, and I weighted 92 lbs. before I got pregnant, buuuuuttttt I was anoxeia (ok i can’t spell) I was 16lbs under. Soooooo I got the 16 & another 34. I weighted 142lbs the day I went to the doctor, & found out I was 7cm. Yep that’s right, went to work & everthing. Hine sight 20/20. But it did take about a year. I got back into my exercise, walk walk walk. watched what I ate etc. When the weather is nice, take the baby & walk. If you can twice a day. It really helps. Please post more pictures, that’s the most beautiful new born I’ve seen. Love you guys

  5. Well, I am not tiny, either, but in my 20s, I had success simply taking a 30 minute walk in the evenings. Walking is a great, low impact aerobic exercise that can really take the weight off, especially at your age. Bundle up Ms. Lillian, put her in the stroller, and take a walk. Joe can go with you, too. Since you live in a neighborhood now, you could just take a walk around the block. Do it now while you’re still young because it gets a lot harder as you age. Your father-in-law and I have work our butts off at the gym to make even a little progress, but you can do it with walking. Give it a shot! Love you all!

  6. Just wanted to add to what your mom said. You will be beautiful at any weight, so don’t stress too terribly much. You are not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well, and the inside is what really matters anyway. Trust me on this, too. If Joe is anything like his father (and from what I have seen, he is), what is the most attractive about you to him is your loving heart and the way you treat him, Lillian, and others. You have a heart of gold! As your father-in-law says, the most attractive thing about a woman is not her body but a genuine smile that demonstrates love and caring for others. Let me tell you something. Yours definitely shows that! Love you!

  7. Thanks for the comments and tips everyone! I’ll definitely be making an effort to squeeze in as many stretches and other little exercises as possible throughout the day, and will try not to stress too much about having to lose the weight quickly. :)

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