Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Losing the baby weight (the second time around)

I haven’t posted about baby/postpartum things in a while, and I’ve been hoping to write this post over the past year or so, but it’s taking me a long time to feel like I was done with my journey and ready to share an update. (Hm, that sounds dramatic.) I get really weird but I write these posts because body image is a huge issue and everyone’s pregnancy and postpartum experiences are so different, not to mention all the years leading up to that of being a woman in our society. I think I just have to leave a lot of my background out of this but remind you that we all are different and I don’t mean for anything that I say to be a judgment of anyone else. I will just share my experience.

OK, all that aside, the point of this post is how I (sort of) "lost the baby weight" after baby #2.

How I "lost the baby weight" after the second baby

As I shared back in this naïvely written post, I lost all the weight I had gained during pregnancy with Otto so quickly I couldn’t even track it. I think it was about 2 months, but it may have been less. I blinked and slowly came out of my sleep-deprived, shocked new mom state and the weight was gone. I shared in that post some reasons why I think that may have been. I was surprised, but then conversely, when I did not lose the weight anywhere near equally quickly after having Lucy I was surprised too.

Background: I had had a lot of anxiety about how my body was going to change with pregnancy before I got pregnant with Otto, and then due a combination of luck and probably healthy habits, it looked basically exactly the same after. Except a couple spider veins on my ankle. So I did not have that same anxiety going into pregnancy with Lucy.

However, I don’t know, second baby, couple years older… Two months postpartum after having Lucy I was still 10 or more pounds above my pre-baby weight. I wasn’t ready to do anything about it at that point and still wasn’t able to really work out much due to my low back pain (that I’ve had after both pregnancies), but then around 3 to 4 months postpartum, with permission from our pediatrician since I was still breastfeeding, I started counting macros.

Counting macros has been the #1 way I’ve been able to lose weight in the past. I have had some pretty big weight fluctuations over the past 10 years due to a couple of extreme diets and medications, and have had a couple different times successfully dieted, using counting macros and a figure competitor diet of multiple small meals of lots of chicken/broccoli/rice meals. I have found that counting macros was easier to fit into my lifestyle, and really flexible. They have usually gone with about a 40/30/30 balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. This is a little bit higher fat than a standard mainstream 1970s weight loss plan, more like the Zone Diet which came out shortly before Paleo got traction. You can count macros with any balance, and you could use it for keto or Paleo with a weight loss twist. My total calories for the day were never that low, and when I do it now I’m still breastfeeding, and started working out again regularly this summer, so I’m still eating quite a lot of calories but trying to get enough protein and keep my fats low enough. That’s always the problem for me: I can pretty easily eat relatively low carb but unless I change all my proteins to chicken breasts, I can really easily get over on the fat.

Back to the timeline: I started counting macros 3 to 4 months postpartum and lost some weight, but then it became too much and I stopped, and then gained a couple pounds back. A few months later I got frustrated with where I was and figured by now it has certainly been long enough that maybe this wasn’t after "baby weight," it was just weight that my body was getting used to continuing to carry. So I’ve been counting macros kind of off and on since then. 

We joined a gym in July and I’ve been really enjoying getting back to heavy strength training. I had done a few garage workouts with our big weight set, plus Barre3-type workouts in the living room, over the past year, but especially with having two little kids... having dedicated time to go to a quiet, climate-controlled weight room with all the equipment I need in one place while listening to a podcast is a fantastic form of self-care for me! Plus I can feel myself getting stronger again already. I’m still not close to what I was lifting when I did it for days a week back in 2013 to 2015, but I’m proud of my progress.
Not quite confident enough to share a belly or bikini photo, sorry, Internet!

Anyway. I decided to write this post now because, 13 months after Lucy was born, I have not lost all of the weight I gained in my pregnancy. But I don’t really care. I am healthy, and I’m still breastfeeding and have postpartum hormones changing, so who knows what that’s affecting. I can wear my pre-baby jeans again and I love my body and I’m confident. It would be really awesome to be leaner, but I think that would involve dropping my calories more and counting macros more religiously, and I just don’t have the energy to do that. I’m still juggling two little kids and working from home and life is kind of messy, and reducing body fat percentage is not high on my list of goals.

Also, while I haven’t lost all the weight I gained with Lucy, I am actually to my pre-baby weight before I got pregnant with Otto! I guess I lost a few pounds in between him and Lucy. So you could sort of say I’ve lost the both-baby weight.

One thing I've learned more than ever after having two kids, after years of off and on challenges with body image and my body: I am so grateful for my body and health, and who I am. Molly Galbraith quote: You can love your body while wanting it to look or perform differently. I am very lucky to have these babies and a body that works pretty well most of the time, and even looks pretty close to how I want it to. Right now the most important thing to me is my/my family's happiness, and I'm better off spending my energy focusing on reducing stress and filling my cup so I can support my family emotionally. Someday I hope to have more time and energy to devote to being super fit. Now, it's just not the most important thing for me.

I hope I haven't sounded entitled or vain or flippant about any of this. I know everyone has their own challenges. But, when I was worried about what my body would be like after kids, posts like this made me feel a little less anxious. My message is to anyone who's like my previous self: it will probably be okay! It might not be perfect, but it will still be okay.

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