This post is really personal (and embarrassing!!) but it’s real. Lots of people have been here.
I’ve told countless friends and clients to chuck the scale, and base progress on pictures because that’s been eye-opening for me.
And here’s a **disclaimer**
This was not a crazy fast transformation. This was a year and a half in the making, of hard work and persistence. It’s also not photoshopped 😉
Everyone has a story…
I had Mason (baby #2) January 2013. I gained 40 pounds (I’m 5’2″).
I carried different this time, in that I stuck. straight. out.
Mason was just under 8 pounds, but when you’re short, there’s just nowhere for that baby to go!
I’m one of the lucky ones that doesn’t get morning sickness, but I get famished immediately, and gain 10 pounds immediately. The rest eases its way on. Lovely.
And I had another c-section, planned this time.
And I loved that beautiful baby the second he came out =)
Now shi gets real..
I took pictures every month after til I lost the baby weight, and those first couple months were ROUGH. I jumped back into exercise as soon as I was able. My husband was gone a lot, we didn’t have our gym or equipment yet and I couldn’t take a newborn to Golds.
I had a crappy old mirror down in our unfinished basement, and I had 2 sets of free weights.
For a solid 2 months, I did everything I could do with those weights, watching my form in that old mirror, and cringing at the body I had. I didn’t see noticeable progress, and it was so frustrating but I kept at it.
I jogged around that basement, I did jumping jacks, lunges, shoulder presses, you name it. It was depressing starting out, but I had to build my muscle back up, and I was determined.
There is a month difference in these 2 pictures. I almost look fatter in the 2nd!
The following months:
My bedroom was also getting a makeover in the meantime haha.
Change did happen. I obviously did lose weight over time, but the more I stepped on that scale, the more frustrated I’d become because it didn’t change as much as I wanted it to. But the proof is in the pictures!
So I need to address my biggest issue. Two pregnancies has destroyed my abs. I have LOTS of stretch marks around my belly button, 2 hernias, and diastasis recti (separated abs) plus c-section scars.
I ruled out competing forever, seriously. Unless I would get a full tummy tuck to fix all that after I’m done having kids. Because there’s nothing else you can really do.
I actually had a consult with a plastic surgeon. To get my boobs back up where they used to be, and fix my abs, it was going to be 3 surgeries, and $14,000. That’s what my body needed to be repaired.
My body needs $14,000 of improvements! Talk about overwhelming depression…
I let that horrible fact sink in, then had to just ignore it and refocus on my fitness, just for me…
I realized that there is no sense in whining and worrying about things that you can’t change.
So…I’ve always had abs. It’s kind of genetic, or maybe leftover from gymnastics days. I’m proud of them, but they’re weird, and you can kinda see the weirdness in this picture.
(It’s worse in person, I promise!)
And FYI I don’t do a ton of ab exercises. I target lower abs more, but there’s really no secret move. Just work em in to your weekly routine, and keep good form, engaging core when lifting other muscle groups =)
So…. I got the itch once again to compete despite the way my midsection looked. Even though I might be up against 20-year old girls who don’t even know what stretch marks and cellulite are. There’s nothing I could do at that point anyways, so what the heck.
Well, as it turns out, when you get really lean, your waist gets smaller, and looks a lot better 😉
Because on a regular basis, when I’m not super lean, and relaxed, I could still pass for 5 months pregnant.
I’m not joking.
Then you get a spray tan, decide you don’t care that you have stretch marks or weird abs (because lots of ladies that compete are moms and have stretch marks too!)
And you pull out all the confidence you can muster.
And then you win.
Carrying a baby (or several!) in your body is an amazing thing. And just because there’s a little scarring left, you are not doomed.
You are not stuck with that baby weight forever, rather you are entitled to take care of yourself.
You have to work for it, and you have to want it.