Home #ScaleFreeBaby “Now That You’re Pregnant, Do You Feel Like You Lost That Weight For Nothing?”

“Now That You’re Pregnant, Do You Feel Like You Lost That Weight For Nothing?”

by Erika Nicole Kendall
"Now That You're Pregnant, Do You Feel Like You Lost That Weight For Nothing?"

One of the more peculiar questions I’ve been receiving since I announced the impending arrival of The Sproutly One, is how I feel about “gaining back all the weight I lost since I’m pregnant now.” Lots of people have snarked – lovingly, I presume – that I “lost all that weight for nothing.”

Don’t get me wrong, I get it – I totally get it. If your idea of weight loss is the ultimate battle with a treadmill and eating celery, then, I mean… for you, pregnancy is going to mean “doing it all over again.” I tend to look at my weight loss a bit differently.

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When I first started out, I needed to learn how to commit to a workout. I had to learn how to train, how to be active, how to really stick to that whole “exercising” thing. Commitment ensured that I’d get up off my ass and go work out, regardless of how I felt, regardless of how much progress I’d seen, and regardless of how much progress I thought I should be seeing. Commitment guaranteed that I was making “active living” a regular part of my life.

Early on, I had to learn how to eat differently. I had to learn that no, not all calories are equal and that yes, some kinds of foods simply will not get me to my goal. I had to learn the importance and meaningfulness of whole foods, and how they make my goal that much more attainable. Understanding that my food intake was just as much about what I ate, not how much I ate was life-changing for me.

I had to learn that, if I wanted that hard, solid, athletic body I desired, a 100% cardio routine wasn’t going to cut it. The treadmill wouldn’t be my saving grace. I needed to strength train, and I needed to figure out a consistency that would work for me and my goals. Over lots of time, after trying it several different ways – and becoming a certified personal trainer helped – I learned not only the best way to strength train for me, but I learned that my training can and should adjust to my life, and that a shift in my life doesn’t have to mean a stop to my training.

I learned how to train for races. I learned how to craft training plans, nutrition plans and schedules. I learned what worked but, more importantly, I learned what didn’t work. Failure gave me boundaries – bumpers, if you will – to help me understand that, regardless of what I tried, there were some things that would never work for me. And, just because it “worked” for someone else, doesn’t mean I’m the problem – it could simply be a matter of the two of us not defining “worked” the same way… or any other number of reasons, none of which have anything to do with me.

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I also needed to learn how to tune folks out. Everyone would have something to say – they’d snark before I made progress; they’d snark while I was making progress; they’d snark after my progress had slowed down. They’d ask me if I was losing weight through surgery (I wasn’t – couldn’t afford it.) They’d ask me if I had a tapeworm. They’d ask me if I was eating cucumbers and carrots three times a day. They’d tell me I had to be eating cucumbers and carrots three times a day. They’d tell me that I wasn’t losing fast enough; I needed whatever product they or their momma’nem were selling. They’d tell me I was losing too fast, and that the only thing to want a bone was a dog. (I’d had plenty of “things”I was celibate. I wanted a man, thanks.) They’d tell me everything, alllll the things. People mean well – even when they don’t, it does me no good to assume they intend harm – but say all kinds of stuff without knowing the whole story. Their assumptions aren’t my problem.

Most importantly, I had to realize why I ate the way I did. I had to learn what emotional eating was, what it did to my brain, why I became such an emotional eater, what I could do to fight my addiction, and where I should begin to heal. This was a journey that took me years to learn, to understand who I truly am and how my relationship with food will never be the same as anyone else’s. All those people who wanted to shame and embarrass me for being fat, for losing weight, for not losing it fast enough or losing it too fast? None of them could ever understand the struggle of fighting an emotional eating habit. None of them could ever empathize with that – if they did, they wouldn’t have ever said such things to me.

All of this contributed to my ability to successfully lose that weight and keep it off. And, for the past years, Eddy and I struggled damned hard to finally get pregnant. This pregnancy, coming when it did, was like a gift – telling us that we finally had a handle on what’s going on in our lives, and were finally ready to take on the task of having a new little one… nine years after the first one. Oy.

That’s beside the point.

'Now That You're Pregnant, Do You Feel Like You Lost That Weight For Nothing?' Share on X

The point is, a weight loss journey isn’t actually about losing weight – it’s about learning which components of how you live contribute to your external and internal fitness, and finding ways to change them that make you happy. It’s about learning those boundaries that work for you, and finding ways to adhere to them. It’s about figuring out what contributes to the choices you make – for me, it was hard to skip the sweets at first because of the food addiction – and how to change that.

Of course I don’t see the journey as a waste! If anything, it has changed the way I look at and handle issues during this pregnancy. I mentally compare how I handled things before, and how I handle them now. I think about solving problems the way I did before, and remind myself that using that method doesn’t bode well for me. I remind myself that, no matter how intense the craving might be, it wouldn’t do me any good to go back down the path of giving in to cravings just because I feel like it. And, this method has helped me have a healthier, smarter, and happier pregnancy. Not to mention, because I already know much of what I need to know… getting right back on the saddle afterwards will be a breeze. I mean, about as breezy as life with an infant can get.

So, it’s safe to say that I’m not worried in the slightest. If anything, I’m kind of excited in a weird way – what new game am I going to learn? How different will the journey be without the emotional eating challenges I had in the beginning? With so much more muscle, a more solid understanding of how to eat better, and a healthier metabolism, combined with breastfeeding, why would I worry? I’ll have my baby and everything I need to make this happen in a healthy way. Who could feel bad about that?

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Veronica May 19, 2015 - 2:13 PM

Where was this post when I was packing on the 65 from baby number 2? Lets not talk about the 20 with baby number 3. This is amazing. You are so right. I keep seeing skinny moms and wonder what the frack. But they have done the work already. Or lived the right way in the first place.

Ash May 19, 2015 - 2:33 PM

This literally made me cry. I’m amazed of how I can feel so proud of someone I don’t know!

Carrie June 2, 2015 - 12:38 AM

I feel the exact same way! So glad I was led to this site.

Aria May 21, 2015 - 2:12 PM

I’ve packed on 40 lbs since becoming pregnant almost 7 months ago and it has been a challenge because I’m in the high risk category and can’t do many of the things I did before. For me, the weight gain has been a positive experience because I was slim and not very curvy. It’s nice to fill out my clothes and not look like a stick compared to my sisters. However, I miss the ease with which I once jogged up a flight of stairs. I miss talking without getting out of breath. Part of the discomfort is that my organs have taken a back seat to my uterus and growing baby, the other part is that I’m simply not used to carrying the extra weight. I’ve gotten used to people commenting on my weight because I was “so skinny”, now people tell me how “big” I’ve become. I think they’re just shocked that I’m a Brick House now lol. All in all, I love being pregnant, I love my Pumpkin and not one snarky or inappropriate comment is going to ruin this time for me.

Annette May 24, 2015 - 10:28 AM

You will always be my hero! Everything you say inspires confidence and embodies the true meaning of this journey. I’m so proud to be a member of this community.

Tiphanie May 26, 2015 - 12:13 AM

This post could not have come at a better time. I’m struggling to loose the weight of baby #2 who is now 5mths. I find I get very discouraged especially since I spent a lot of time prior loosing the weight from the first and now I feel like I have another mountain to climb. This is the encouragement I need.

Selah June 2, 2015 - 10:11 PM

This was a beautiful, well-written post! And so inspiring! I feel the same way, and tbh, when I read the itle I was like, “huh?” Clearly the people asking don’t understand all of the things that you so simply laid out.

I’m not pregnant, nor do I plan to be for at leeeeast another 3-4 years (bf’s gonna propose soon, and one of my stipulations to saying yes is that i need to be at least 30 before we discuss kids, and I JUST turned 27 lol). But I want to be in the position you are when I do decide to get pregnant – physically AND mentally. I want to be prepared as possible, and starting a journey to learn and better myself, my eating habits, and my life in general seem to be a very necesssary step in preparing. Thank you for the article!

Erika Nicole Kendall June 3, 2015 - 9:52 AM


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