Body After Baby: Two Years

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back another day!

I know it may seem a little odd to do a body after baby post so long after giving birth, but for me personally it has taken this long to really feel good about myself. I wanted to be sure other women know that if it doesn’t happen in 3, 6, 12 or 18 months, IT’S OK. Slow progress sticks around better for me anyway as opposed to a quick fix, and I much prefer lifestyle changes instead of “diets”.

For a quick refresher before we dive into the now, let’s take a look at what I looked like one month postpartum below:

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and then again six months postpartum below:

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and now (2 years postpartum) below:

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Also here’s a shot from the day I had Emma Kate (9/24/14), and then from August of this year:

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When I was 12 months postpartum, I was one pound over my pre pregnancy weight, so I weighed 151. At the time I was happy with that, but what I didn’t realize then was that I wasn’t in the best shape when I got pregnant…so getting back to my pre pregnancy weight still wasn’t my “happy weight”. I wanted to be stronger and have more muscle. I wanted to feel better, to be the best mom I could be.

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I am now sitting at 143 pounds, so I have lost eight pounds since probably about mid June (yes I sat at 151 from last September until this June, fluctuating a pound or so here and there). So what changed? Well, a couple of things.

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(The above photo was taken on day FOUR of eating out at restaurants for every meal. If only I had been able to take photos at the beginning of the trip!)

1.) I amped up my workouts. I was doing bootcamp 3-4 times a week and running 1-2 times a week while resting 1-2 days. It just wasn’t giving me results as fast as I would like, so I moved up to bootcamp 5 days a week and running once a week, sometimes twice. I also started running stadiums on Wednesday mornings before class. Some weeks I do take off two days, but I aim for only one day of full rest. My current schedule looks something like this:

Sunday: OFF

Monday: Boot camp

Tuesday: Boot camp

Wednesday: Stadiums and sprints at the track, HEAT class (like Orange theory)

Thursday: Boot Camp

Friday: Boot Camp

Saturday: Long run

As much as I enjoy racing and will continue to do so, it just isn’t working for me right now to run tons and tons of miles to get faster for longer distances. I would much rather be strong than fast, so it is what it is.

2.) I cleaned up my eating. I seriously loathe counting calories, but knew I at least needed an “idea” of how many calories I was eating in a day, so I counted calories for a week or so (as well as macros) just to get a good starting point. What I realized is I don’t get enough protein, and I was eating too many carbs and fats, as well as overall calories. Lots of snacking folks! After counting on My Fitness Pal, I felt like I had a firm grasp on my hunger cues, and about how much I needed to eat a day to still be able to workout hard and not feel weak.

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So what happened? I started eating foods that filled me up more to fuel my tough workouts instead of empty calories. I stopped eating late at night, and I was just more mindful in general. Do I still eat candy and drink alcohol? Heck yes! But for example…if I know I’m going out with friends that night, I am more careful during the day and the day before. It’s seriously all about planning ahead and meal prep these days, and it really does pay off (I talk about meal prep more in my book!)

After a couple of weeks, I started noticing that I could SEE my muscle more in my arms, abs, and legs. It was under there the whole time, it was just hidden. Smile

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I have been able to go up in weight when doing a lot of exercises, and I don’t tire out near as easily. It’s such a good feeling to be able to add that 25 pound plate at the squat rack, or use heavier dumbbells for bicep curls or kickbacks.

The beginning of November marks one year of boot camp, and if you look back and read my 12 month body after baby post, you will see I was just about to start boot camp and had a “we’ll see what happens” attitude towards it. Never did I think I would end up falling in love with it and making great friends at my gym.

I started really PUSHING myself at boot camp this summer, in spite of having been going since the end of 2015. I began not just doing the bare minimum, but really pushing myself to my limits and taking it seriously. I work out way too hard to ruin it with a bad diet or injury, so I am more careful with everything I do now. I have lost fat, gained muscle, and still managed to lose weight in the process. I honestly am not as concerned about the number on the scale though. I just want to feel good in my clothes, and have energy and confidence.

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I want to be a good role model for my now two year old daughter, and teach her to work hard for the things in life she really wants. I want her to learn discipline, self love, and respect for her body. I want to run races with her, teach her how to lift, and help her find her passions.

To all the new mamas out there or mamas about to have babies, I know, I KNOW, it’s so much easier said than done, but you can get to where you want to be. Don’t get bogged down in a timeframe. Enjoy your baby, and get back to working out when YOU feel ready. It may take you two years, it may not. Don’t let the amount of time it took me scare you. But just know if it does take two years, that’s ok. Do the best that you can, making small changes one at a time. Make your health a priority, and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can’t do it all on your own. We are all in this together, and other moms understand the best just how stressful it can be, so lean on each other. If you don’t have someone who supports you wanting to get healthy, FIND SOMEONE. In real life, online, at the gym, at church, etc. Find your people. You can do this. Be BRAVE! You can have a great body after baby!

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So what’s next for me? Sadly, this round of my beloved boot camp ends November 4th, and then I move to Tampa. I’m sure things will be up in the air for awhile until I find a new gym home. I hope I can find a new boot camp class as awesome as the one I have here, but it’s highly doubtful any group can compare. Smile I look forward to having more racing opportunities in Florida, and making new workout friends. Who knows what’s next? It will be a fun ride to find out.

QOTD: How long did it take you to get your body where you wanted it after having a baby? What worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?

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Comments

  1. I remember you saying Central Florida so I wanted to let you know that if you move to Lakeland, we have a great boot camp class here! Best of luck!

  2. You look amazing Heather! Great job!!! It’s definitely all about planning those meals and balancing it all when you want to eat higher calorie foods. My Fitness Pal is what helped me lose my weight. And I’ve got you beat…it took me 7 years to lose my baby weight lol!

  3. You look great. I am still working on my last 10 pounds, 2 years later. Can you explain what helped you learn your MACROS? I’m really interested in trying that route but totally lost at figuring out my numbers. Thanks!

    • Hi! I wish I could tell you. A friend of mine worked with a dietitian to get hers, and she is the same height and weight as me so I used her numbers as a rough estimate for me for my macros. I by no means follow exactly but it gave me a better idea of what to shoot for!

  4. I have lost all of my baby weight with this one plus an additional 15lbs. I blame it on complete lack of time to consume calories and chasing a four year old and newborn and full time job. Even though the number looks great I’m always amazed how unproportional things are for a while. Even though the scales say your old jeans/old cute shirt should look even better and they wind up looking worse than. Edits. Ring pregnant. .

    • That’s great! I hear ya on things not exactly falling back into place like they did before! Newborns are so hard. Keep going mama!

  5. Of course you have time to work out, you ship your baby off to day care so you can exercise. You are a fraud.

    • Hi Kate. I am so sorry that you feel that way because it’s not true at all. I work three jobs, but I have odd hours. I work out one hour a day, and I think even if I had a conventional job I could manage that. I did for years before I began working from home. The bigger issue here is that typically when people bully others online, it is because they are unhappy with something in their own lives, so they try to make others feel inferior so that feel better about themselves/superior. I don’t know what is going on in your life to make you bully a stranger online, but I do hope things get better for you. I have been there, it sucks, and I hope something changes for you soon so you can let go of your anger. Best of luck to you. I really do mean it.

  6. As someone who lives in Tampa, I can vouch for the endless fitness and gym options we have available. I’m sure you’ll quickly find a group you love. And kudos for being in better shape post baby than before. I’ve never had a kid, but always admire moms who take the time to keep themselves happy and healthy while running after their toddler all day.

  7. Love your honesty! My husband and I hope to start trying early next year so this has definitely been on the back of my mind. Mindful eating has helped me so much this year!

  8. Melinda Kopit says:

    I hope you document your move to Tampa. I’d love to read about it. I love reading your blog. Have you ever thought of vlogging? I’d definitely subscribe to your channel.

    Thanks for being an inspiration.

    • I’ve done a few things on YouTube over the years I just don’t have time to add in anything else right now. But I do vlog a little on Instagram stories!

  9. Right now I am 1 year postpartum. I got below my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly, probably within a few weeks, which I attribute to being very careful about not overgaining weight during pregnancy and having an active pregnancy. I’m still nursing so I don’t have any strong goals right now until we wean. I do try to exercise as much as possible. I would like to build more muscle, which is ironic because you would think I would have it from hauling the baby around. I like how you set your goal to be the healthiest mom you can be for your child.