Struggle to lose weight after giving birth

It is not as fast as people say, breeding insecurities about your looks

In Summary

• I gained nearly 30 kilos in my pregnancy, have only lost 10 after eight months

The motherhood journey
The motherhood journey

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I, like many women, would often obsess over the uncontrollable weight gain and changes to the body. I gained nearly 30 kilos in my pregnancy! Every time I watched the scale climb at the doctor’s office, I would cry, thinking of the amount of work it would take to lose it all.

One of the biggest lies sold to me was how I would lose most of the weight after giving birth, and how breastfeeding would help me shed the weight. I was astounded at the fact that I lost a measly 4kg immediately after the birth of my baby. I know people who swear that one could lose up to 10 kilos right after birth.

Here I am, eight months postpartum, having lost only 10 of the 20-plus kilos I gained during pregnancy. I seem to have reached a plateau in my weight-loss journey. My son is breastfeeding, hence I can hardly go on a diet. My breasts are twice their original size, my fupa (fat upper pubic area) dangles precariously over my C-section scar, and the extra weight is visible in the forms of tires and rolls along my midsection. 

I got tired of hiding in maternity dresses and baggy clothes. I got tired of being surprised at the fact that I am not losing weight as I had hoped. Therefore, I have decided to take proactive measures to get control over my new body.

For starters, I installed a wall-to-wall mirror in my room. Every day I make it a habit of standing in front of it completely naked. Staring at the scars and stretch marks as I apply oils that promise to reduce the blemishes. A false promise, as the oils do not do much. However, I am slowly learning to embrace every mark on my body, as they are the battle scars that show the hard work of bringing life into this world.

My fupa shows just how amazing the human body is. Most people do not realise that the uterus can grow up to 1,000 times its size during pregnancy. It grows from the size of a fist to the size of a watermelon (or larger) by the time of delivery. To engage my weak pelvic floor and reduce the size of the fupa, I make it a point to do pelvic floor exercises at most three times a week.

It takes a long time for us to learn to love our new bodies as mothers. And it takes a heck of a long time to shed the excess weight. But we need to brace ourselves as we have just come off a long and arduous journey. We need to be kind to ourselves and allow our bodies time to heal before embarking on a self-improvement journey. We need to learn to love our bodies and embrace everything we do not like, as they are the physical markers of a great and beautiful story.

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