From Twins to Baby 3 and back to me
Part 4: The view from here…
Hello and welcome and/or welcome back! This is part 4 of a four-part blog series about how I lost the baby weight after having twins in 2018 and baby 3 in 2019. I lost all the weight in 2020 and was within 1 pound of my goal weight. The past 3 posts detailed the first, second and third part of this process, which I call “Part I: Denial, Exuberance and Delusion” followed by “Part II: Reality Check”, followed by Part 3: “In the Zone”. This week I will detail what happened when I got within range of my goal weight, which does not mean I was done – actually when you get towards your goal you are really just beginning.
Part 4: The View from Here
Where does this bring us? We are done with summer of 2020, squarely into fall. My brief love affair with a cocktail after dinner has ended, and for the most part I am back to my lean protein/veggie/fruit/water nutrition plan. I feel great, and the scale is moving in the right direction. I am running 5 days per week, sometimes 6. I literally feel as if I have scaled a huge mountain and am looking down at my progress. I feel proud and a little incredulous, like is this real? And yes, it is real. The magic of hard work is that you get to enjoy it when you finish. I had some very practical reasons for wanting to lose the weight. The first was for myself, in terms of getting back to feeling like me. I have always had a high level of body awareness, having always been an active person. I really craved that feeling again. Being pregnant brought a whole new sense of body awareness in terms of being bonded with the growing child in my womb, but it also brings lots of discomfort as your body packs on fat to protect that child. Once the baby is out, I wanted to fat to go away too!
This phase lasted until the holidays of 2020. At that point, I eased up a bit. I had wine with dinner because my Dad was over a lot spending time with the kids. I enjoyed hearty and rich holiday meals, and even though we couldn't socialize, friends saved us delicious treats we could share in a drive-by kind of way. And yes, I gained some of the weight back. I only checked once, but at some point (do not remember when) I had gained almost 4 pounds, which kind of frustrated me because I was literally 1 pound away from my goal weight. But whatever! I kept my eye on the bigger picture: I had done what I set out to do. I had transformed my body back into a version that felt comfortable and familiar to me. I was able to wear my old clothes (that’s huge!). I only weighed myself once during this holiday/post holiday time. I am sure I gained a little more, as I hung on to some of my holiday indulgences into the new year. By the end of January, I felt the difference, and as of now, March 2021, I have been back on my Weight Watchers points and running, for about 3 weeks.
Remember Phase 1, Denial? It’s a tricky little bugger, because of course when you are in denial you don’t know that you are! So here I am thinking, OK awesome I have lost the weight, time to chill and just enjoy. Right? Wrong! Losing the weight is just the beginning. Indulging over the holidays is great and I really needed it – but it got dark AND cold outside so I also stopped running. See what happened there? Not only did I start to eat differently, but I also changed my exercise routine to include weights (awesome for my strength!!) but no running. Weights will never burn what running 20-25 miles per burns, unless one is doing INTENSE stuff like CrossFit which, during a pandemic, when we are all subject to our living room workouts at 5am, will not be happening. My denial was so great, my ego was so inflated because of my success, I gained back a few. Things felt snug here and there. I thought I could maintain what I had AND eat whatever AND not workout as intensely - this proved to be a highly misguided assumption!
Denial is a powerful thing! I wanted to share all of this because I know that sometimes I get a little bitter when I think about women who seem to have bounced right back after childbirth and maybe they don’t run 4 miles every day and watch their intake. Or maybe they do. I remember reading that Claire Danes runs 6 miles a day when she is training for her role in “Homeland”. And she looks like she does. This is satisfying. I know that for me, it will always be hard work maintaining the size, strength and energy levels I want to have. I hold myself to high standards because I believe most of us, myself included, are operating well below our God given potential. I keep trying to match my expectations with action so that I can be living out my vision for myself.
I came across so much negativity when I was becoming a mother – people told me I would never sleep again (false), that I would be constantly exhausted (sort of true but totally fine) and that there would never be time to take care of myself, let alone work out and find that inner drive again (also false. Plenty of time as long as you are willing to wake up early or squeeze in a run anytime you possibly can!). I was and still am determined to shut out the negative noise and keep striving to be the best Melinda I can be. And I always feel like I am just getting started and the best is yet to come.
Thank you for reading! Enjoy this bikini photo mashup: White bikini, 2016, followed by same white bikini, July 2020. Black bikini, 2018 and 8 months with twins, followed by same black bikini, July 2020. Woah.