The Train Wreck That Is My Body

11.27.09: Assessing the damage

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I guess it’s no small coincidence that I’ve chosen the day after our nation’s biggest food holiday to size up my post-baby body. And let me tell you: It’s not pretty.

The photo you see here is where I’m starting from. Five weeks ago, my belly was in the stratosphere. I wish I were brave enough to post a photo of what it looks like now. Because there really are no words.

I still look like I’m about five months pregnant. I just went to see my hairdresser who’s 19 weeks pregnant with her first baby, and my belly was bigger. A lot bigger. It’s still hard and round in places, like maybe Jack has a twin in there who mistakenly got left behind? But then… then… there are places that just sag. I’m talking about hanging, drooping, puckering skin—the kind that you might see dangling from a 99-year-old woman’s triceps as she’s waving goodbye in a tank top. I can actually tuck the bottom of my stomach into my pants, like it’s some extra flap of fabric on my T-shirt.

I weighed myself when I got home from the hospital, and after delivering a 10 ½ pound baby plus the placenta, amniotic fluid, and all the other stuff that supposedly adds up to 20+ pounds, I found that I’d lost 10 pounds. Nice.

I’ve obviously got my work cut out for me. But, I’m up to the challenge. I’ve lost my pregnancy weight twice already, and this time, I’ve got the extra incentive of never having to gain pregnancy weight again to make me really want to get my body back. I actually love to exercise. If I could, I’d work out every day. But, there’s the rub: I can’t. Between Will’s work schedule, the kids’ schedules, nursing a newborn, and my own schedule, it’s just not possible. But, I’m trying to do what I can.

For starters, I’m equipping myself with everything I need: new running shoes; a new gym bag; a new combination lock; some nursing sports bras; and most importantly, a plan. I’m realizing that for now, my plan has to include the baby, and Charlie some days, too. So, I’ve been walking with the little guys in the stroller as much as I can. Will is on board to help me hit the gym by myself a night or two a week. When the baby is a bit older, I'll try the babysitting room at the gym. And while I’ve never been very good at dieting, I’m trying to stock the fridge with quick and easy healthy food options like yogurt, fruit, and hardboiled eggs. It’ll have to be enough for now…at least until the baby's sleeping through the night, or until he has a food source other than me.

My first trip back to the gym felt incredible. Just being able to move around without a giant bowling ball in my belly felt so freeing. The next day, I could even feel some remnants of muscles hiding somewhere deep inside my neglected body. Still, every morning when I look in the mirror, I’m reminded that losing all this pregnancy weight is going to be a long, uphill climb. But, I know I'll get there... eventually.

Join’s Managing Editor Dana Rousmaniere each week as she blogs about her third pregnancy and her new baby.

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