Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pregnancy Weight Loss Myths

There are several myths regarding weight loss after you have a child that I feel I must address.  I don't want to deflate the hopes of so many (and, indeed, for some lucky women these are not myths but truths), but to not do so would be cruel.  Please forgive me.

Myth 1: You Will Quickly Lose the Weight You Gain During Your First Pregnancy

I gained 55 pounds during my first pregnancy - I didn't start out to do so, it just kind of happened.  I kind of watched what I ate, but for the first time in a long, long time I didn't have to worry about what I was putting in my mouth, so I didn't.  It was depressing watching the scale go up, but I kept remembering everyone who said that losing the weight after the first baby is so easy, it's the second baby you have to worry about. So, I have baby #1 and, by 6 weeks postpartum, I had lost 30-35 pounds. Surely this was incorrect - why was there still 20 some odd pounds hanging on.  And they wouldn't go away. I didn't start at 186, it seemed royally unfair that I stopped losing there (I will confess that at this point I wished my tiny six pound nine ounce baby had weighed 20 pounds so that I wouldn't be having this current problem with my weight).  Alas, it took five months of really hard work to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. On a side note, I gained 55 with my second as well (this time I really tried to not gain that much) and, 10 months later, I still have 10 pounds left to lose.  Life can be a bitch.

Myth 2: If You Breastfeed You Will Lose All the Pregnancy Weight and Possibly More

LIE!  This is a horrible, wretched lie.  I did not lose any weight because I breastfed my children.  All I did was eat more and end up with two deflated balloons to show for it.

Myth 3: If You Don't Lose Weight While Breastfeeding You'll Lose Weight When You Wean

See Myth 2 

Myth 4: Cutting Out Dairy Will Speed Up Your Weight Loss

 My youngest daughter didn't handle dairy well so I cut it out of my diet for the first 6 months of her life. I ran into an old friend just when I began my dairy ban and I was surprised at how thin she was. She said it was because she had cut dairy out of her diet. I was beyond ecstatic - if she had gotten this thin without dairy then how thin would I be? I felt like I was going to be rewarded for having to give up something I love. I forgot one, small, important fact: Just because it works for someone else does not mean it will work for me. In fact, it never does. I am cursed to lose weight the hard way - diet and exercise. Doesn't matter anyway, I've decided I don't want to be that thin.

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