When I was just 8 weeks pregnant with my first child, a well-seasoned mother of 5 began talking with me about my pregnancy. She asked how I was doing and feeling, and some of the ins and outs of motherhood. At some point in our conversation she shared with me that she wore Spanx. Everyday. I was in shock. Up to that point, I had been determined to gain as little weight as possible and certainly by the time I was finished having children, I’d be back in regular clothes and look just like I did–if not better than–before I ever got pregnant. I sort of laughed in my head at her comment and walked away in disbelief that women actually did that.
Four and a half years later I put on my first pair of Spanx.
I was 11 weeks pregnant with our fourth baby, had a barely-4 year old, almost 3 year old and an 8 month old baby. We were attending a wedding and hadn’t made any announcements about the new baby yet. As much as I wanted to hide the news, there was definitely no hiding my growing abdomen. So a kind friend gave me her maternity Spanx, along with some regular Spanx that she didn’t need anymore, and I squeezed into that thing for the wedding. I’m not really sure if it worked to keep our news a secret, but at least I tried, and I felt a little bit better.
I gained 60 pounds during that pregnancy. And that was on top of the weight I still hadn’t had a chance to lose from the pregnancy before. When the scale started reaching numbers I had never seen –and kept rising–I knew something would have to happen once I birthed my baby girl.
She came late, all 10 pounds of her, and I thought surely by having such a big baby the weight would come off pretty quickly. It didn’t. I left the hospital having lost only about 12 pounds and knew it would be a long road.
And I became what I thought I never would: A woman who sometimes wore Spanx. To church, to the store, anytime I needed to get into a dress, sometimes just around the house. Basically anytime I wanted to feel thinner and not feel all of the extra rolls and squishes that had overcome my body.
Spanx really are a great invention. Somehow they push everything together and hold it all in so you look, and feel, thinner than you really are. Yes, they can be uncomfortable, and yes, they can make you sweat, but boy did I feel more confident with everything hidden!
Some people say, “Oh, the baby weight will just come off as you nurse your baby.”
It is SO NOT true!!
At least not for me. As much as I tried to cut back on what I ate, the extra pregnancy weight lingered and I got questions from strangers asking when the baby was due. Why do people feel the need to assume that if a woman has something other than a flat stomach she is pregnant??
I knew something had to change.
Perhaps it was my age (I’m only 32) or the fact that I had five pregnancies in a span of 5.5 years, or perhaps it was the double cheeseburgers, milkshakes, and ice cream I ate while I was pregnant–whatever–the extra pounds I had put on and off, and then on again during each of those pregnancies didn’t come off until I combined a strict diet with exercise.
Self-control combined with determination enabled me to watch the pounds go away, some of my rolls to lessen, and clothes that I hadn’t worn in six years began to fit me once again (the yellow pants in the picture at the top, for example. I’m not even sure if yellow pants are still in style, but I WILL WEAR MINE ANYWAY).
I feel good and healthy and I haven’t worn a pair of Spanx in months.
No matter why you might be trying to lose excess weight, it is hard. I’m not an expert in nutrition or dieting, but I have learned some things as I’ve pressed on to lose the extra weight I gained from each of my pregnancies.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing a few posts about my pregnancy weight loss journey. I’ll share some practical tips that helped me to lose weight, and also some thoughts on body image that I’ve struggled with, specifically as it relates to bearing children.
If you have any questions you’d like for me to answer or issues to cover, feel free to contact me using this contact form. I’d love for these posts to be beneficial to you, my readers!