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How I lost 50lbs Postpartum

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Maybe the title should say how I STRUGGLED to lose 50 lbs postpartum.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I conceived during the beginning of the pandemic. Everything was shut down. I remember walking to the grocery store from our midtown apartment and it was a bit like a scene from The Last of Us.

Streets that would normally be littered with traffic were suddenly empty. It was a trip to see the normally packed Beltline barren except for one or two other locals walking back with their groceries. When on any given Tuesday you could find tourists, cyclists, skaters, dog walker and buskers crowding the pavement. The Pandemic was a wild time.

Everything was shut down and this included gyms. Home exercise equipment was in short supply and I remember Jonathan had to fashion homemade dumbbells for me out of pvc pipe and sand.

This post is about postpartum weight loss but I would be remiss if I didn't mention being pregnant during Covid and use it as an excuse for why I got so fat. Not that I really owe anyone but myself any explanation.

So I am just going to do a little TLDR version of my weight gain during pregnancy.

I was already a bit up on my weight. At 5'1'' I was 145 lbs when I got pregnant. Up from the 135. lbs was when I met my husband. On the day I delivered I weighed 192 lbs. When I came home from delivering I weighed a whopping 201. WTF?

I had the baby and I am even bigger?! I was not expecting that and it really wasn't great for my self esteem while I was extra vulnerable with all the hormones coursing through my veins.

I had a cesarean and I was given a lot of fluid. My legs were so swollen they literally looked like Vienna sausages. I had swelling during my pregnancy but nothing like this. Needless to say I was looking cute as fuck. ;)

I took this photo right shortly after returning from maternity leave.

I wasn't able to do any exercising until after 8 weeks. My abs were now nonexistent. Johanna is currently 2 years old as I write this and I am only now able to enjoy being able to do a sit up with ease.

During those first 8 weeks I lost 18 lbs of fluid, blood and guts. Yum. And so after getting approval from my doctor I started my postpartum weight loss journey. I started out following postpartum exercise videos on YouTube, following body positive models on Instagram and listening to a lot of Lizzo. Love her.

I was trying to exclusively breastfeed my baby and was struggling to produce. I was also tracking calories but it was not very effective because I was concerned that not eating enough was affecting my milk supply. I read breastfeeding burns a ton of calories but for me my weight loss stalled.

At around 6 to 8 months my milk dried up. I was struggling with pumping at work and I never produced enough for her to not need some formula supplementation. At this time I started doing keto. I had done keto in the past and had success so I was excited to try it again.

I did keto on and off for another 6 to 8 months along with home workouts 2-3 times a week and managed to take off another 20 lbs. However keto wasn't sustainable for me because of the need to frequently eat separate meals from my family. This was especially true for holidays.

Finding myself at 160, which was still a lot for my height I was beginning to get my strength back. I even started climbing with Jonathan. I was finally starting to feel good about my body. However my weight loss seemed to be slowing down.

So I talked to my doctor and after running some tests, which included testing my heart, my doctor prescribed me phentermine. I took this weight loss medication and lost 15 lbs in 3 short months.

I am glad I started taking this drug because at about 1 and 1/2 months of use I took a bad fall while climbing and suffered a compound fracture in my left ankle. Having a broken ankle obviously made exercise almost impossible.

Phentermine worked to suppress my appetite and made it easy for me to control my caloric intake. I did need to make sure I ate enough to stay healthy and drank enough water. Constipation due to dehydration can be a side effect.

I did have some other side effects, like headaches if I needed to eat and trouble sleeping if I didn't take the pill early enough. It did not make me feel high or anything. Bummer, lol.

Ultimately I stopped taking the pills to prepare my body for conception for baby number 2.

Diet pills aren't for everyone and I could see how folks could get in trouble with them. I will say I don't think the diet pills would have worked alone.

Looking back I think building good exercise and mindful eating habits worked the best and the diet pills provided a nice extra boost when I needed it.

Postpartum weight loss is definitely a journey. My body needed time to heal. It took me almost 2 years to lose 56 lbs and my journey isn't over yet. I'm still recovering from my broken ankle as well. My plan is to take off 10 more pounds in an effort to conceive our second child.

Current photo of me at the time this was written.

Wish me luck!

I am grateful that I have build some healthy habits and have learned to love my body again after pregnancy. I am constantly a work in progress after all. Hey, I did finally get boobs thanks to pregnancy so it's not all doom and gloom!

Yas, bitch! Get it!

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