losing weight after pregnancy

Keto Background

I wanted to give a little background about what made me decide to give this a try.

Read this post for the explanation about the weight gain. After trying a different medication that made me really really sick (and the doctor told me to stop it immediately), I went back on the prozac at the lowest dose possible. I haven’t gained any weight on the low dose, which is good. But I still had that pesky 10 pounds I gained last year. Oye.

Anyways. I talked to my doctor about a few things. I just have not felt like myself since I had Logan. The weight was hard to lose. I wasn’t a lucky girl who shrank back to my pre-pregnancy body with breastfeeding (NOPE I gained weight breastfeeding). I thought once I quit breastfeeding I’d lose the babyweight, but it was a hard, hard slog. I got close. I got down to 9 pounds left when I gained it all back on the prozac. So I felt particularly angry about that!

I talked to my doctor about how hard it’s been. I actually asked her about a diet drug. I know, I know. I was feeling pretty desperate. But a friend of mine had lost about 40 pounds on Contrave and I asked my doctor about it. She was willing to prescribe it for me, even though it wouldn’t be covered by insurance. I’d have to pay out of pocket (very expensive too) and I actually considered it. And then after further discussion, I decided against it.

Basically, Contrave is a combination medication of Wellbutrin (an antidepressant that I’ve had success on in the past) and some kind of opioid blocker that helps people get off drugs? At least that’s my understanding of it. It basically blocks the part of your brain that makes you crave/obsess about food and overeat. My friend said it made her have no appetite and food just didn’t seem appealing. Except when I talked to my doctor about it, the dosage of Wellbutrin in the Contrave was INSANE. I forget what it is now but it was the max dosage that you can take and way back in the day I took the max dosage of Wellbutrin and had seizures on it.

Needless to say, I decided Contrave was not for me.

It was a moment of weakness, anyways, to consider it, but I’m glad I got more information and I’m glad I made the decision for myself.

When I talked to my doctor about it and told her I wouldn’t take it, she suggested I consider the Keto diet. She said that there were a lot of people in her office doing it for the new year and being successful and happy on it. She had another doctor who was an expert in it call me and tell me more about it. She gave me some tips and ordered some blood work.

Well, last week I did two things. 1) I weighed myself for the first time since before Christmas and 2) I got my fasting glucose tested.

My official starting weight: 177.2

(Pre-prozac I was 166, my pre-pregnancy weight was 157, my goal weight is 150)

I would like to lose 20 pounds. 27 would be AMAZING. Talking to Michael, I tried to figure out what would be a realistic goal for the first month of the Keto diet. Somewhere between 4-6 pounds for the month of February? I really don’t know. I’ve never done such a severe low carb diet before. Even when I did the low-ish carb thing before, I still had a lot of carbs. I didn’t give up my coffee creamer or my fruit or my yogurt….so we’ll see.

As for the fasting blood test. I was honestly pretty surprised at how high it was:

I’m not pre-diabetic but i’m getting there. Could it be because I had the flu and didn’t work out for almost two weeks before the test? Maybe? I have no idea. I’ve made a lot of changes to my diet in the past few months (for the better) but still my fasting sugar levels are high. Too high.

So here’s to hopefully a successful go at Keto!

Reflections on Losing Weight

Recently a reader asked why I wasn’t trying to lose weight this time like I did the first time. I wanted to address that.

When I lost weight the first time, it was definitely “easier” (weight loss isn’t really easy, but looking back, it was definitely easier then than now). I was younger, I was living alone and in complete control of my diet. I cut out trigger foods entirely–no pizza or ice cream. I counted my calories and was somewhere between 1600-1800 calories during the duration of my weight loss journey.

I ate the same things every day. I had a fake egg McMuffin for breakfast (an English muffin, egg beaters microwaved and a slice of cheese) or oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch was a turkey and cheese sandwich on low calorie bread with a serving of Wheat Thins. A snack was an apple. Dinner was a Lean Cuisine with a salad. And dessert was sometimes a rice krispie treat (90 calories) or a chocolate Fiber bar (150 calories) and a glass of milk.

I didn’t drink my calories. I drank a lot of diet soda. Then eventually I cut out diet soda and switched to sparkling flavored water.

That was pretty much my diet for 16-ish months. Small variations here and there. Sometimes for dinner I’d cook a chicken breast on my George Forman grill and have a salad and some cooked vegetables. Sometimes I’d splurge and have a cheat meal in a restaurant.

Once I reached my goal weight and maintained it for a little while, I changed my diet. Eating so much processed food was not great. Yes it helped me lose weight because I could accurately count my calories and I had built-in portion control, but really it wasn’t something that was a lifelong thing. Eating processed foods like that helped teach me portion control and realize how I should  be eating.

When I moved in with Michael (a million years ago), I started eating REAL FOOD. I’d have Lean Cuisines at work for lunch because they were easy and portion controlled. But other than that, I wasn’t eating a lot of processed foods. And that has pretty much been my life for the last 8 years–eating real food.

I maintained my weight loss for 10 years–give or take a 5-10 pounds.

Then I got pregnant.

I did really well when I was pregnant. I didn’t go nuts and say “I’m pregnant! I can eat anything!” I wasn’t “eating for two”. I gained 33 pounds while pregnant. I lost about 18 of that right away, I’m sure part of that was just baby. LOL

But then I struggled. Breastfeeding became my focus and my goal and whenever I tried to lose weight my supply would tank. So I decided to just wait until I was done breastfeeding to actively try and lose the weight.

Fast forward to today. I’ve been trying a few different things in order to lose those last 15 pounds. The reason I haven’t done “what I did before” is because I don’t really want to do a highly processed food diet in order to lose the weight. Sure it worked last time, but I don’t necessarily feel like it would be the healthiest option for me now. I am not sure what to do or why what I’m currently doing isn’t working.

Part of me wants to just be ok with being 15 pounds overweight. I want to be one of those people that loves my body no matter what size. But I really struggle with that. It’s weird to feel like I did when I was 250+ pounds. I KNOW I am not back to where I was, but psychologically I feel stuck in a weird place in my head where I am overly critical of my body, I hate that none of my clothes really fit properly — even though I’m not really in a much bigger size — and I hate having my photo taken.

Then I think, is this the message I want to pass on to Logan? Do I want him to grow up and be critical of his body, self-conscious, or have food issues like I always had? No. I don’t. I don’t want to look at certain foods and thing “these are bad” and I don’t want Logan to feel that way.

I realized recently that my brain had changed into that “Bad food, Good food” frame of mind. Doing this diet recently that’s limiting carbs–I am now looking at foods that are high in carbs and thinking “I can’t eat that, there’s too many carbs in it.” It’s very weird–especially since 6 months ago I would have eaten that rice or English muffin and not even thought twice about it.

I’ve seen it creep into my brain in regards to everything. “Bad Food.” Logan is exploring eating “real food” and I’m trying different things. I caught myself the other day when I was making him breakfast of a frozen whole wheat waffle with peanut butter on it (one of his favorites) and I thought “carbs are bad.” Um, he’s 16 months! He doesn’t need to limit his carbs. Absolutely ridiculous. But that’s where my brain is these days–being critical of “Bad Food.” I don’t like it.

Since March I was doing the lower carb diet thing and lost about 7/8 pounds (gaining and losing the same 2 pounds since the initial loss) and lately I’ve kind of stopped for a few reasons. First, I stopped losing. Second, I was tired all the time. Third, I was feeling frustrated that I was restricting and not seeing results. Lastly, I didn’t like how much I was focusing on “Bad Foods.”

I’m not going crazy eating carbs now, but I am eating more of them on occasion. I’m still trying to keep it to a minimum but I’m not being super restrictive. I’m staying the same in weight. Several of my pants are loose and baggy, but I’m not seeing results on the scale.

I emailed my doctor and spelled out exactly what I eat in a day and what my exercise looks like in a week. I was honest and told her exactly what I was doing and said it wasn’t working. Her response? “Wow, you’re already doing everything I would suggest.” GREAT. 🙁 Except she said eat whole foods, drink more water, and reduce my calories to 1400 a day (instead of the 1500-1600 I was eating). Okey dokey! Reducing my calories it is.

So that is where I am at currently. I’m considering tracking my macros on Cronometer instead of tracking calories (a friend suggested tracking macros instead of calories because it is working well for her). I am also considering turning off the calories I burn exercising in MyFitnessPal so that I am not eating back those calories I burn. I will keep you posted on what I decide.