We are so proud to introduce you to one of our new bloggers, Sarah Layton, or as you may know her “Mrs. Motivated.” Her weight loss story is that of a military wife with a new baby and a new 48 lbs. Being pregnant right at the height of the holiday season didn’t help, especially since Sarah adapted that “who cares, I’m pregnant mentality” as she devoured treat after treat. After her husband left her for deployment (before her biggest trimester, in which she was her biggest) she was faced with a newborn and a new goal: mission, “never let her hubby know how big she had gotten.” Read on to hear Sarah’s first-person report.
When the doctor took my weight and measurements at my 8-week pregnant OBGYN appointment, I was 111 pounds and 5’1.5″. (Yes, I think its necessary to add the half of an inch. I’ll take what I can get.) The doctor suggested — or rather warned — that I should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during my pregnancy. I laughed in her face. The holidays were coming up, I am Italian, eating is a hobby for me, ummm… hello?! Not going to happen, I said. (And it didn’t!)
After Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, I was noticeably bigger in more areas than just my baby belly! Brownies, chocolates, candy, cookies and any carb-filled treat I could get my hands on, you bet I did. The amount of sweets and fast food I ate were truly shameful. I had the “Well, who cares I’m pregnant” sort of attitude about eating. I was up about 60 pounds at the end of my pregnancy, more than twice the recommended amount by my doctor. I managed to walk every day up until I gave birth, and I used that as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted.
When I gave birth to my son, I instantly lost about 12 of those pounds (yay!) but the rest I had to work off on my own. My husband was deployed overseas from the last four months of my pregnancy through the first three and-a-half months of our son’s life. I desperately wanted to lose the baby weight on time for his homecoming. I was afraid of what he would think of me; he never saw how big I got in the last trimester. I tried to do one “man” push-up the day I came home from the hospital and collapsed. That is where I started; my fitness level was what I would call “rock bottom.” Only one way to go from rock bottom, right?
Each morning I kept trying that one push-up. Soon enough, one increased to two, two increased to three, then five, and so on. I can now do 20 regular pushups (nose to the ground) in a row. More if I’m allowed breaks in between sets. I also wanted to start running again. This was very difficult and when I was cleared by the doctor to start running again, I was yet again humbled by my lack of ability. But, I accepted reality and started with walking. I chose to breastfeed and I am sure glad I did — you burn about 500 calories a day doing so, and in the beginning it was the only “exercise” I could manage with my little one. I was dropping two pounds a week in the first six months of my son’s life.
My sweet baby had colic which made the simplest of tasks monumental struggles. Eating, showers, sleep — these were seemingly impossible for me to do. (Although I made sure my son was fed, well rested and clean). My top two priorities during those hard times were to keep my son healthy and happy (as much as a colicky child could be) and to keep trying to lose the baby weight. My sanity and sleep were priorities three and four, and incidentally, I am still working on those.
Some days I barely had enough energy to go on a walk, and other days my son would scream and hold his breath when I got five minutes out into the walk. Those days I would go right back home and try again a few hours later. I never gave up, and that is my point. Whatever your excuses are, forget about them. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Fortunately, my family came as much as they could to help me out with the baby. I took advantage of those visits to go on a run or do a small workout. Twenty minutes was usually all I could manage. After time, I built upon my running and I signed up for a 5K race six months after I had my baby. Let me tell you, it was humbling. My time was about 15 minutes more than my 5K PR just the year before. I was actually passed by a woman who was walking. I used that terrible time as a starting point and motivation for the next race I ran. Two months after the September 5K, I ran a 5K Turkey Trot with my husband and baby in the jogger. I cut two minutes off of the last race’s time. It’s still about 13 more minutes than my last PR, but who cares! I’m going out, I’m trying, and I’m improving with each and every workout.
When my husband came home from his deployment, he took care of the baby for me in the evenings. I went to Pilates reformer classes which I really loved! I enjoyed them so much I bought a low-cost Pilates reformer machine for my home. I was able to finally reach my pre-pregnancy weight six months after delivering my baby.
But then, I had to get ready for a big move. My family was relocated across the country several weeks after my husband came back from overseas. After the big move and yet another hearty and sweet-filled holiday season, I find myself having gained a few (or perhaps more) pounds back. I know I can lose those pounds again, and I will!
It’s all about sticking to your goals and finding a way to move every day. Make smart choices by what goes in your mouth. You have control of this, no one else does. Now, when the baby naps, I go in my room and work out on the reformer. I am looking for another 5K race to sign up for as well. If I only find myself five or ten minutes, then I will do Cross Fit style workouts in the living room with a kettle bell while the baby plays with his toys. I know all of you can find at least ten minutes in your day! Find your motivation, moms, and stay motivated–do it for your kids and most importantly for yourselves!
To read more from Sarah Layton, Mrs. Motivated, click here.