Part 4: Getting Fit if you’re Fat
This is a sensitive issue. I completely understand! After 3 very closely spaced pregnancies, and lots of bedrest I gained a lot of weight. It took me just over a year to lose the close to 50lbs I had gained.
Being overweight when you get pregnant puts you at risk for many issues, like high blood pressure, diabetes, a big baby (think about the stitches!!), and later your baby has a higher chance of being overweight. These are long term issues, which may make it easy to put aside. But the elephant in the room is that if you’re bigger when you’re trying to get pregnant – guess what? You’re just going to get bigger!! If you’re already feeling it, it’s not going to get any easier! Even in the best of pregnancies moving around is challenging, being overweight makes it much harder and many times more exhausting.
How do we know if we should drop some weight? Check your BMI on a calculator.
If you are over a BMI of 25, you most likely have weight to lose. In some cases, if you are under a BMI of 25 you may still have weight to lose. You should be at a weight where you feel energetic, and feel confident. For me, this is around a BMI of 22/23 because I have a small frame, and I am still nursing. But when I was not nursing, it was lower. However, someone with a larger build might be much more comfortable around 25.
I think there are hundreds of ways that people could los weight, so do what works for you, as long as you are eating healthfully.
How did I lose the weight?
I think a lot of the success I had was due to the fact that I was tracking my food, weight and workouts.
I kept track of what I ate on MyNetDiary which is a calorie calculator. The goal was not to be overly strict, but studies have shown that people who keep track of their food tend to eat less. I had a range of calories that I would consume depending on my activity level, and if I was hungry I would eat closer to the top end of my calorie range. (1500 to 1800) If there were days that I consumed much more than I planned, like at a special dinner, than I might go as low as 1250 the next day. Because I am nursing I stayed above 1200, and listen to my body.
I tried to get on the scale once or twice a week. I didn’t want to get obsessive about it, but if I let it go too long, I would also slack on the other areas of my plan.
I went to the gym when I could. This means I had a plan to go 3 times a week. If I couldn’t go then I would try to go for a good walk, or get up earlier and go for a jog on the treadmill.
I focused on eating whole foods, which means food you could find on a farm, or make in your own kitchen. I ate lots of fruits and veggies.
I drank lots of water.
If you want a treat, try to eat just half and see if it will satisfy you.
Eat more mindfully, slowly enjoying each bite.
The main change that I experienced was to avoid being excessively strict, but aim for a balanced approach. I stopped feeling guilty about eating foods that are not perfectly healthy. If I really wanted a piece of delicious chocolate cake, I would plan for it calorically, and make sure it was the best darn cake… or wait for the chocolate chip cookies Grandma makes when she visits. YUM!