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Coping With Weight Gain After Weight Loss

    Post Pregnancy Photo - The Lemon Bowl

    Pregnancy or not, most people don’t enjoy gaining weight. I get that. But it can particularly difficult to handle after you’ve achieved significant weight loss success. After spending years counting calories, weighing food and measuring serving sizes, there is something very counter intuitive about watching the scale creep up week after week. With every new “decade” you hit on the scale (150’s, 160’s, etc) you can’t help but think back to the sense of accomplishment you felt when you originally broke through that particular plateau.

    Liz Before and After

    Of course, weight gain during pregnancy is a good thing. It’s a necessary thing. I am nourishing developing brain cells and supporting the growth of an an entire little boy for goodness sakes. In my first trimester, I couldn’t stand the thought of kale and I can assure you there were no measuring cups around when I was scooping out ice cream. :)

    My body craved carbs, and lots of them. One tablespoon of peanut butter? Ha! I listened to my body and threw everything I knew about calorie counting out the window. But in the back of my mind, there was always that lingering fear that this weight would never come off and I would never get back to my old ways of eating.

    Now that I’m safely in my second trimester, I’m happy to say that vegetables are once again my friend and I have a decent amount of energy to go to the gym or go for a walk most days of the week. Am I taking boot camp classes? No. But I’m moving and finding a healthy balance.

    With 20 weeks left to go and at least 20 more pounds to gain, I’m going to remind myself of the following:

    • Healthy eating is a permanent part of my life. Just because I randomly craved corn chips in my chicken noodle soup or splurged on a box of Reese’s Pieces doesn’t mean I’m not eating healthy, whole foods 80% of the time. It’s ok to let loose once in awhile.
    • Kickboxing will be there when I’m ready. Since I get out of breath walking up the stairs to my gym, I can hardly manage lasting through my usual one hour kickboxing class but I will get there again. Just because some women run marathons at 9 months doesn’t mean I have to feel badly about taking a break from my old workout routine. I will get back to it.
    • The weight will come off again, I promise. The first year after my first pregnancy I lost 65 pounds and wound up 15 pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight. Just because you read about women who gain 10 pounds with every baby doesn’t mean that has to happen to you. Everyone is different. And if you do keep those last 10 pounds it’s ok too.
    30 Day Plank Challenge - The Lemon Bowl

    As fate would have it, yesterday I came across a 30 Day Plank Challenge shared on the Fit Mom MOVEment Facebook page. On a whim, I challenged my friends on Facebook and Instagram to join in the fun and it took off like wildfire. Apparently I’m not the only one who loves a good challenge!

    Want to join? Leave a comment below, send me a note on Facebook or tweet me! We can give each other a virtual fist pump when we’ve finished our plank for the day. I’d love the support and would be happy to cheer you along as well. And by celebrate I mean commiserate about our sore abs for a month. :)

    Have you ever struggled with these similar feelings about gaining back weight you’ve already? How did you cope? Would love to hear from you.

    Disclaimer: My feelings towards pregnancy-related weight gain are not to be confused with any lack of appreciation for being pregnant. Anyone that knows us personally knows that our two pregnancies have been pure blessings from God and complete miracles. Please know that I am not and will never complain about being pregnant. I can assure you I’ve never been happier in my life than when I’ve been pregnant. 

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    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:

    49 Comments

    1. I am so glad to have found this site. I have struggled with my weight since sixth grade, coming in at 144lbs! At 10 years old, my 16 year old sister passed away, and at 11 my parents bought a convenience store. Because of the grief and shock, plus the absence of my parents – owning a business doesn’t leave much time for family – combined with convenience store pizza and chicken, by the time I graduated high school I weighed 265. Fast forward 5 years (2009) and I was down to about 240, started working at a pizza place part time and within months I was back to 260. This pattern repeated until about 2011, when I started dating the man I am currently with. I steadily lost weight by eating better (thanks to his healthy habits) and being more active. I became pregnant and the first few months my metabolism sped up so much I actually LOST weight. By the end of my pregnancy I had only gained 15lbs, and I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Three weeks after birth, I was at 209lbs, back in my size 16 jeans (a long way from the 24 I wore in high school) and I was feeling great and looked the best I ever had. Even though I tried to continue eating healthy and being active, starting a desk job led to too much “bored snacking”, and inactivity, and I am disappointed to have to say I am back up to 255. After feeling defeated for a year, I have finally set my sights back on those size 16 jeans. I have started a nightly workout routine, researching healthy, satisfying, and nutritional snacks and meals, and I am very determined. I am aware of what weighing 209 feels like now, more than I was when I actually weighed 209, and I am looking forward to everything from looking better to moving better! I just keep telling myself I have lost weight many times before, almost effortlessly, so there is no reason I can’t do it again, especially if I am actually trying hard. Thank You for your inspiration, recipes and helpful hints – they are exactly what I need to start my road to weight gain recovery.

      1. Oh Megan your story breaks my heart. I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through but so proud of you for making the choice to make your health a priority again! Congratulations on making the first steps. You WILL get back to 209 and I’m confident you’ll see 199 before too long as well. Take it one day at a time, one smart decision at a time and just do it again. And again. You can do this. Keep it up!

    2. My pregnancy days are years away haha (I’m only 17), but I completely related with this post. After losing 40 lbs, because of the senior year pressure and not being able to find time to exercise, I have gained a lot of the lost weight back. I’m afraid to look at the scale and I’ve decided I’m not going to because that’ll just make me more upset. I have just 2 more months of school left and I can’t wait to get back to focussing on my health.
      Thank you for this encouraging post and for reminding me that this is just temporary :)

    3. Excellent post! I had to make a lot of adjustments in my diet but the end result was great. I’ve shared some great information about my experience on my site. Please check it out. I’ve bookmarked this and shared it with my readers. Thank you for posting!

      Cathie.

    4. The thought of nourishing a young baby inside our bodies could really make us forget about diets and calorie counting. Why would we do that, the baby might just be in lack of nutrients if we do.

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