When I found out I was pregnant with my precious son AJ in October of 2010, I assured myself I was only going to gain the recommended 25-35 pounds during my pregnancy. I was going to eat healthy, keep up with my work outs and loose the baby weight in no time at all. I was a marathon runner and fitness enthusiast so naturally I wouldn’t let my weight get out of control…so I thought!
A couple weeks in to my 2nd trimester I started developing horrible pain in my lower stomach. It was so bad and constant I made my first of many trips to the Winnie Palmer Emergency Room – I was terrified! I loved my baby before he was even created. Thankfully everything was fine and I just had a bad case of ligament pain from everything stretching and growing. My doctor told me I could continue working out but to wait until I felt 100% better; I felt completely better in a week but ended up stopping my running. I continued with spin classes and light weight lifting and all was well for about a month until the pain returned again but worse this time. I knew what it was so I suffered in silence until I couldn’t take it anymore and made trip number two to the Emergency Room. It was the same thing coupled with fibroids aggravating the pain so they had to inject me with a narcotic pain medication and gave me a prescription for Percocet (which totally freaked me out, I never took them). I ended up not working out for a few weeks waiting for everything to return to normal; then the bleeding started. I again was left terrified and got right in my car at 6:00AM and drove over to Winnie Palmer – the doctors assured me everything was great and normal and I would be fine. My OB assured me the same thing but told me when I worked out the bleeding would increase because it was being caused by a polyp that formed during pregnancy so I pretty much quit working out. Even though they assured me everything was fine, blood scared me and I didn’t want to see it.
When I went in for my 6 month check up my blood pressure had skyrocketed and my doctor put me through a round of tests to make sure I didn’t have Preeclampsia which I didn’t, thankfully. I was instructed to not work out, take it easy and I was put on blood pressure medication – it worked for a couple weeks until my blood pressure went up again and I was put on “official bed rest”. I ended up sitting around, eating and watching the Real Housewives for 3 full months and the weight packed on FAST. 58 pounds exactly.
I ended up having my baby AJ on May 24th 2011 at 38 weeks via scheduled c-section. He was perfect and healthy at 9 pounds 2 ounces 21.5 inches long. At the 6 week mark when I was cleared to work out I ended up having 25 pounds left to lose and it was a long and hard journey! I was told, breast feeding will help you lose your weight but I breast fed, took 5 spin classes per week and hired a personal trainer but a month later I weighed exactly the same!!! I was so discouraged but I kept at it. I picked up running again, if that’s what you wanted to call it. I was big, overweight, uncomfortable and running was downright painful! I worked myself up to being able to run 6 straight miles on the treadmill and decided to register for my 1st race back – the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K in November of 2011. By the time that race came along I had lost 10 more pounds and finished the race in 1 hour and 24 minutes – that is no where near my skill level but it was great for being 15 pounds over weight and it being my first race in 1 whole year. I was officially back in to running and registered for the 2011 OUC Half Marathon and 2012 Disney Half Marathon. I finished OUC in 1 hour 53 minutes which wasn’t bad! Unfortunately the holidays came along and my training suffered for Disney and my eating was HORRIBLE!!! By the time the holidays were done with I put on another 5 pounds after losing another 3, so instead of having 12 more to lose at the end of November by the time the year ended I had 17 to lose! On top of that, I BOMBED the Disney Half Marathon big time. I gave up after mile 8 and ended up walking the last 5 miles. That had never ever happened to me in a half marathon ever and it was my worse time on record – even worse than when I ran the 2011 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon pregnant.
I had finally had enough of my out of shape body. I was surrounded by women who only gained 20 pounds and lost it in 6 weeks – then there was me, 7 months later 17 pounds overweight even though I ran 5 days per week, did spin classes, did Pilates Reformer classes and worked out with a personal trainer. It was totally unacceptable in my eyes; I refused to be that woman who used her child as an excuse to be overweight, I HAD to do something about it so I joined Weight Watchers. I was always inspired by watching Jennifer Hudson, a fellow Chicago native, tell her story of heartbreak, becoming a mom and getting healthy by following Weight Watchers.
My mom and I both joined Weight Watchers and wow, the weight came off so fast!!! I lost those 17 pounds in a little over 10 weeks and then another 5 a few weeks later. My mom also lost the 10 pounds she had been trying to lose for 10 years. It was all about paying super close attention to everything you eat. I tracked everything from the 2 tablespoons of skim milk I put in my coffee to the tablespoon of sour cream I used to put on chicken tacos. It really worked! I ended up running a half marathon in 1 hour and 39 minutes this May, which was more than 5 minutes faster than my pre pregnancy PR. I am faster than ever and in better shape than ever at age (almost) 32 with a baby. It took me a full 9 months to lose my baby weight but I did it – it can be done.
I hope this post inspires everyone to realize no matter how hard it is, you can lose weight and you can become healthier no matter what your age or situation. It takes hard work and a realization you must pay attention to what you are eating – eating right and not drinking your calories is over 80% of the battle. Anyone can work out and go to the gym but it takes a lifestyle transformation to lose it for good.
XOXO, the Glam Runner