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When The Baby Weight Sticks To You Like Glue

When I was pregnant everyone said, “Oh yeah, if you breastfeed the baby weight will fall right off! You’ll be back to your pre-pregnancy weight in no time!”

Those people are lying liars.

Some experts say breastfeeding can burn an extra 500+ calories a day.

That’s probably a lie too. Or there should be an * by it disclosing that you may burn the calories but it makes no difference AT ALL.

Because I exclusively breastfed Owen for the first 11 months of his life, and I would only fluctuate +/- 5 pounds. I mean, a lost 20 pounds within two weeks of giving birth but 10 pounds was baby and placenta, and I’m pretty certain the other 10 pounds was water. But after those 20 pounds I was pretty much stagnant.

My body had a death grip on the baby weight– like pry from my dead, cold fingers death grip.

In January, I started Whole30, because it worked for me in the past, but I noticed a dip in my breastmilk supply so I stopped because feeding my kid was more important than fitting into my pre-baby clothes. So I told myself that I’d give it time. And I tried my hardest to accept that I probably wasn’t going to start losing the baby weight until I stopped nursing.

My weight really affects my mentality. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life, which I talk about in this post. When I’m not happy with how I feel and look, it starts to mess with my head. I could go on and on about the subject but instead of yammering, here are some things that I’ve done to help me feel better about my post-baby self.

1. new jeans

Instead of attempting to squeeze myself into my pre-pregnancy jeans, which wouldn’t be a good look, I broke down and bought two pairs of jeans in the next size up. I didn’t have maternity jeans to turn to because I fit into my regular jeans until I was about 20 weeks (I was slow to show) and by that point it was warmer out so I started wearing maxi dresses or dresses with leggings. So don’t be afraid to wave the white flag and buy a couple pairs of regular jeans that fit your new mom bod.

2. lashes

Back in November, I decided to try out Xtreme Lashes eyelash extensions after a few of my friends raved about them. And I LOVE them. It may sound silly but they make me feel prettier. When I wake up in the morning and look in mirror I feel better about myself. Not to mention it has significantly cut down on the time I spend putting on makeup because there’s no need to curl and apply mascara any more. And I’m not gonna lie, most days I don’t put on makeup at all, but I still feel ‘put together’ because of the eyelash extensions.

Here’s some before and after shots of me so you can see the difference. And as you’ll probably notice in the photos, I’ve also started to get my brow waxed every couple months. I’m a fan.

Xtreme Lashes eyelash extensions

In case you’re wondering about the process, each eyelash extension is individually applied to a single eyelash, resulting in a natural appearance. I’ve had my extensions for 9 months and no one has flat out asked me if I have extensions because they look like real lashes.

Xtreme Lashes eyelash extensions

If you’re in Indianapolis and considering getting eyelash extensions, you have to check out my lash stylist, Kate, at Rogue Lash By Kate. Kate and her other lash stylist, Steffi, do an amazing job. Tell them I sent you!

Please be careful about where you get eyelash extensions. I’ve seen some crazy photos of lash jobs gone wrong, so make sure you go to a certified lash stylist.

3. engagement and wedding rings

My engagement and wedding rings haven’t fit me since I was about 20 weeks pregnant. My fingers kept swelling because it was getting warmer outside so I decided to hang them up because they were too uncomfortable to wear. They still don’t fit. *hangs head in sausage finger shame*

I was tired of looking like Brad’s mistress/the mother of our love child. When we’d go out he’d wear his wedding ring and my chubby finger would be bare, so a few months ago I bought a fake wedding set (pictured below) that’s similar to mine for around $50. It’s amazing how far cubic zirconia has come, my friends. I get just as many compliments on my fake set as I did with my real rings. And I know this probably seems trivial, but I always liked wearing my rings, so being able to wear something similar (that fits) makes me feel better.

fake wedding rings

4. group fitness

Back in February I started attending weekly hip hop cardio classes at my gym. I’m sure I look ridiculous 95% of the time, but I nail it the other 5%.

Attending the classes gives me something fun to do every week for a little ‘me time’. I get some cardio in without feeling like it’s a work out because I get to pop and lock to some great hip hop music. My next goal is to start going to more classes.

hip hop cardio

I’m happy to report that since ending our breastfeeding journey a little over a month ago, I’ve lost 10 pounds without trying super hard. So if you’re breastfeeding and the baby weight isn’t melting off like everyone told you it would, don’t get down on yourself. I never regretted choosing to breastfeed Owen. I’m so thankful breastfeeding worked for us and how it bonded us together. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Why did I share all of this? Because I’ve mentioned in different social media posts about my struggle and people have commented saying they’re in the same boat and they’re glad they aren’t alone. So I thought I’d share what I’ve done to give myself a little bit of a boost.

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  1. I didn’t start gaining weight or maintaining until my daughter went to solid foods around age 6-7 months even though I breastfed till she was 2 years old. I think you have to factor in hormones and maybe not being as active as we once were and not taking care of ourselves post-baby. It wasn’t until my daughter was 3, that I decided to join a gym and took up running – I felt guilty for taking “me time” but then I realized if I was sick or morbidly obese, then I wouldn’t do any good for her or my husband.

    1. Definitely. Good for you for joining a gym and running! The mom guilt is real. I feel guilty about putting Owen in the gym kid care so I can work out. I know it’s silly but I still feel guilty.

  2. Girl, you make me laugh! Kudos to you for sharing this– one of my favorite things about sticking with reading (and sometimes writing) a blog is realizing that people out there who you’d never otherwise have “met” are struggling with the same feelings and such as you may be. I’m not battling baby weight, moreso too much wine and pizza weight, but I can relate to so many things that you said and just wanted to thank you for sharing. I’m also needing to find a hip hop cardio class near me ASAP– nothing like feeling like Beyonce but looking like Napoleon 😉

    Have a great week!

    1. Yes! I feel like a lot of people are embarrassed to admit they’re struggling with something. But I’m totally cool with putting it out there in case it helps one person feel like they aren’t alone. And yes, you must find a hip hop cardio class!

  3. I know that you have probably heard this from everyone and their mother, but BeachBody literally changed my life. I gained 53 lbs when I was pregnant, and the weight did NOT fall right off. Staring at the calendar, knowing his 1st birthday was coming up, I knew I had to do something. I started T25 and never looked back. I lost the weight AND then another 15 lbs. I’m lighter and more FIT that I have been in the better part of a decade. It’s SO hard to fit in time to take care of yourself when the baby needs SO much.

    1. Good for you! That’s awesome! Yes, I have like 10 friends in my FB feed always looking for people to join them in a challenge. Hah! I’ll look into it if my current plan doesn’t pan out.

  4. A hearty amen! I commented on instagram about the myth that seems to be breastfeeding and weightloss. Awesome post. And I too hung up my real rings for a fake set. It just feels good.

    1. Yesss, fake rings! Thanks for your comment on IG. I hope this post made you feel like you’re not alone with this BF and non-weight loss stuff.

  5. christina says:

    Did you buy anything special for the lashes to keep them up? I really want to do this but not looking to buy 100 new products. I agree about breastfeeding. I only lasted 6 months until my milk dried up and after that I focused on my food and exercised daily and lost 60ish pounds. I still have 30 to go but I have taken a break for lots of reasons but mainly our kitchen is being redone and we are living in my in-laws! I know they last 30 will be the hardest!

    1. With eyelash extensions you have to go in every 2-3 weeks to get them filled because you naturally shed lashes so your lashes, with the extensions attached fall out. It’s kind of like with fake nails, you have to go in and get them filled because your nails grow out.

      Good for you for losing 30 pounds! And congrats on getting a new and improved kitchen!

  6. I love this article! Breastfeeding my two boys was a sacrifice– a sacrifice I would make again and again for my babies though! I actually gained weight while breastfeeding AND dieting like a maniac. I immediately dropped 10 pounds once I was done, but about 60 to go. Very refreshing to hear/read about someone who struggled like I did. I got so sick of other moms telling me that something is wrong with me because I’m not shedding the pounds by just breastfeeding!! Bravo to you!

    1. Ugh. The struggle is real. Yeah, like you, I definitely plan on breastfeeding again because it’s worth it to me. I just want to lose this baby weight first before I have another and gain back what I lost. Hah! Best of luck losing those 60 pounds!

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! for posting this <3

  8. Here’s to the Napolean look…I, personally, think it’s a great look:)

  9. THANK YOU for posting this! I honestly read it while pumping at work and wearing the new work pants I had to buy because none of my pre-baby work pants fit. My little guy is 8 months old and I’m proud to have breastfed him for this long. But, I am looking forward to having my body belong completely to me and I’m hoping the hormone gods will be kind to me and give me a least some semblance of my old hips and thighs back…

    1. Good for you for sticking with breastfeeding and pumping! I have so much admiration for moms who work out of the house and breastfeed because it’s such a commitment. And yes! Having a baby and nursing him is amazing, but after almost two years of your body not be totally yours starts to be draining. At the end of our breastfeeding journey I was getting anxious to have my body be mine again.

  10. I love this post! I feel like there are craaaaazy expectations put on new moms to immediately be back in pre-pregnancy clothes, and it just isn’t realistic for like 98% of us. (The other 2% need to just keep quiet about it.) I’m glad you found ways to feel confident and beautiful, regardless of the number on the scale. And I am impressed by your commitment to breastfeeding, even when it meant hanging on to a little extra weight. I didn’t breastfeed Forrest for very long, but I made it a whole year with Darcy and I loved having that special time with her. And those lashes look amazing! Sometimes extensions are over-the-top and look totally fake, but I never would have guessed those aren’t your real lashes.

    1. Right? Ridiculous expectations. “A little extra weight” is kind of an understatement. Hah! Good for you for making it a year with Darcy! It definitely takes dedication but it’s very fulfilling. Thanks! I’ll be sad if I ever have to give them up.

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this! I wasn’t able to breastfeed my first baby, and I lost the (enormous and shameful) amount of weight I’d gained by the time she was 9 months. Now, my second baby is 3 months and I’m thrilled that breastfeeding is going swimmingly…but I haven’t lost an ounce since that initial shedding of weight that happens directly after birth. I even gain ed a couple pounds when I started really really cracking down on sweets! Ugh. It’s been hard to accept that, for now, this is my body’s healthy weight. Like you said, feeding my baby is more important (especially after the disappointment with not being able to breastfeed my first!) But it is a daily struggle to swallow my vanity and be okay with my appearance. So, that is my verbose way of saying that hearing I’m not alone means so SO much.

    1. Congrats on breastfeeding working this time around! Yes, you are not alone! You said it perfectly– it’s a daily struggle to swallow our vanity. I can’t tell you how many times Brad has said to me, “You had a BABY. Go easy on yourself. It’s not like you went to town on junk food.” Hah! It just stinks. And it’s not even that I feel the pressure to look a certain way because of society’s obsession with women’s bodies, it’s that I feel the most comfortable with myself when I’m a certain size/weight. Keep feeding that baby and give yourself time. But know other mommas feel your pain.

  12. YEEESSSSSSSS girl. Your eyelashes are fab in person! I’m so glad to know your flawless skin and long lashes aren’t both natural. ? It gives me a little hope for myself. I too bust out a fake ring and am glad I’m not the only one. Now tell us how you keep your teeth so white.

    1. Haha! Yeah, not everything on my melon is real. ;P High five for rocking the fake rings! I thought I was the only one until I posted this and other people have said they do it too. Do my teeth really look that white? I always feel like they could use a little work in the whitening department. I don’t do anything special– just my Tom’s whitening toothpaste. I don’t drink pop and I only drink coffee on the weekends. Maybe that has something to do with it?

      1. That must be it. No pop here either, but I just can’t get moving in the morning without my coffee!

  13. Breast feeding does help to reduce baby weight. But thats one part the other part depends on what the mother eats. When you eat healthy food along when breast feeding it does help reduce weight and its more nutritious for the baby too. Brest feeding help me reduce around 15 lbs after delivery.

    1. Breastfeeding helps some people lose weight. When I got very strict with my diet, my breastmilk supply dipped significantly. And it’s not like I sit around eating potato chips and cookies, because I don’t. When I was nursing my diet consisted of oatmeal, eggs, salads, baked chicken breast, salmon, roasted vegetables, etc. and lots of water– all healthy things and I never lost weight. I was also getting in 10,000 steps a day with no difference. It’s different for everyone.

      1. That is true! I agree. Everyone’s different and everyone comes from a different background. For me ( According to Indian style) my mom stayed with me for 3 months and cooked good healthy food. It wouldn’t have been possible without her.

  14. I’ve been going to the Live Light Clinic in Zionsville since my third baby was around 12 weeks. They kept me on a modified program while I was breastfeeding and told me to only expect moderate results until then (but with zero pressure to stop). The Dr explained that your body produces hormones while nursing that cause your body to hold onto fat to protect your milk supply. Dang hormones. She was right. Once is stopped my progress sped up!

  15. Ok first of all, I’ve been dying for eyelash extensions!! I have super blonde brows and eyelashes though so I want to make sure they look really natural. I love how yours turned out. Is it expensive to keep up with? I thought you had to get them filled every so often.

    Also, I know this isn’t a fun thing to write about so a big thumbs up to that. In the last two years I’ve gained about 40 pounds and I’m starting to really notice the difference in my closet. It makes me feel really sad and I don’t feel good about myself when I’m brave enough to check myself out before a shower. I’m disappointed in myself, I think that’s the best way to put it. I get so upset when people tell me, “Oh please you have nothing to complain about” I think if I’m reaching out to talk about gaining 40 pounds you should be sympathetic! It’s like nobody will pay attention to your cries until you’ve gained 200 pounds or something. I don’t know if that makes sense or not.

    Anyway, I appreciated this post. I want to learn to love the body I have but not be afraid to change for the better, too. I’m not full of vanity, but I used to wear a size 6 and now I can fit into a 12 and I don’t even have a cute kid to say “worth it!” too. haha I’m hoping one of these days I can finally find my motivation again. I’ve even resorted to only high waisted jeans because of my lower belly.

    Oh man this whole comment is one big complaint, sorry about that! Lol Anyway, thanks for the honest post and a big congrats on the 10 pound loss, that is awesome! If I was in the Indy area I would totally go to class with you! I need a work out buddy!!!

    1. I can’t speak for every lash brand or artist, but the one I use (Xtreme Lashes) has different colors of lashes so if you decided to get them a good lash artist would give you the best color for your face. It really is an art. My lash artist will look at the shape of your eye and apply the different lash lengths to make your eye pop. Or if you’re going for a certain look, like a cat eye, she can use certain lengths to give that look. I get mine filled every 2-3 weeks. The price is really dependent on your location and lash artist. My lash artist charges a little more because she’s been doing it for 8 years and she’s a trainer. But the other artist who works with her charges less because she hasn’t been doing it as long.

      Oh, I feel you on the weight thing. After our wedding (and the stress of planning it and DIYing a bunch of stuff while working my day job) was over, I gained 10 pounds in a month. A MONTH! And the kicker was that I was eating better and working out after the wedding because I had time compared to before the wedding when we were eating out a bunch. Within 2 years I had gained 35 pounds. Then in 2013, I lost 20 of those 35 pounds. Then a few months later I got pregnant. Hah! So I understand the struggle of walking into the closet and wanting to be able to fit into your cute, smaller clothes.

      Yes! I think you guys should move here. It would be good for your health. Or you could always ask your neighbor if he wants to get in some steps with you during the day. 😉

  16. It took me 20 months to lose the baby weight after both of my boys. My body was just slow to do it. And like you, it totally made me feel better just to go out and get some new clothes that fit my new body until I lost it. And I highly recommend the ring thing as well! I bought fakes too and it just made me feel more like myself and less like the baby mama like you said 🙂

    1. It stinks when your body wants to hold on to the weight, doesn’t it? Good for you for losing the weight in the end! Yes, new clothes and the rings definitely make a difference. 🙂

  17. I’m curious… Since your little man weaned just shy of 1 year, did you have to switch to formula or were you able to go straight to whole milk?

    1. Well, I started out using my freezer stash, but I realized that some of it had gone bad. So I gave up on it and went to formula because I’m rule follower and I know it’s suggested to do BM or formula for 12 months. I think we’re going to have to look into coconut or almond milk because Owen doesn’t seem too keen on organic whole milk.

  18. Thank you for sharing. This post is wonderful. It is so important to be comfortable in the skin you are in now, and not wait for “when I lose the weight.” I are carefully and walked like crazy every day after my twins were born and it did nothing for my weight. But it was so good to get out and the girls loved it too. I wore my maternity shorts that whole summer, but bought some new things for fall. It was a great first step to making me feel like myself again.

    1. Definitely! It stinks having to shell out money for clothes you don’t necessarily want to buy but it makes a difference because you feel better wearing stuff that fits.

  19. If a Grammy can check in … I nursed all four of my kids and didn’t really lose any weight from any of the pregnancies. I, too have battle my weight all my life. Moms really do put themselves last and even now I struggle to do for me.
    My DIL was back in her prepregnancy jeans by 6 weeks and we growled at her. My oldest daughter struggled to lose with her first but was so sick with her second and then had gall bladder issues after his birth – she is back to her high school jeans now (18 years later) – actually she is smaller – grrrr.
    Hopefully everyone here remembers that breastfeeding is still best for both you and baby and size isn’t everything – it is truly just a number. Witness the different sizes we all wear for the same items. When the manufacturers finally agree on standard sizes then I will worry about size and I advise all of you to do the same.

  20. The fake ring that looks like your real ring idea is brilliant. I don’t have kids yet but hate the idea of not wearing my rings while pregnant/nursing…yet getting them sized up and then back down after each baby makes no sense either. Great idea!

  21. Thanks for posting this! I exclusively breastfed my daughter for 6 months and in that time, I didn’t lose any more of the baby weight than I had when I left the hospital. After stopping I went on a diet and really quickly lost 15-16 lbs. Now I’m only a pound or two up from my pre-prego weight, but my waistline is still 1-2″ larger and “pudgy”. No more bikinis for me, I’m afraid. It’s okay, my little human is worth it. 🙂

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