New Pregnancy Weight Worry: Gain Now, Keep It Forever

Sasha Brown-Worsham
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Mothers-to-be who gain more than the recommended 25 to 35 pounds of weight have a much greater chance of still being obese decades later.

Researchers at the University of Queensland followed 2,000 pregnant women for 21 years later and found that those who gained too much weight (which I assume is code for more than 35 pounds) were close to five times more likely to be "obese" decades later.

Is that so?

I'm so tired of these endless studies that suggest we have no control over our own weight. There are aspects we can control, of course, but in general, it's possible to lose weight. Always.

I'm a fit person, probably far more than average. I run marathons at a decent clip (my best time is 3:48), I work out every day. I bike, I eat decently (albeit, not perfectly), and I lift. My BMI is around 21 and I wear a fairly small size (4), but I still gained 50 pounds in each of my pregnancies.

My midwife never complained about my excessive weight gain because she knew that I was still running and eating well. "Some women just gain more," she told me, shrugging it off.

And by six months postpartum, I was back in her office, flat belly, one pound above my pre-pregnancy weight, a size 4 again.

It wasn't easy, but it also wasn't terribly difficult. I am loathe to sound like Gwyneth Paltrow and say all moms can do it, but I also think the last thing a pregnant woman who has gained 40 pounds needs to hear is that she will never lose it and be obese for life.

If you work at it, you will lose it. Simple as that. I'm not saying all moms have the time or that you will not develop a thyroid problem that needs to be addressed or even that you will never put a little back on and have to lose it again. What I'm saying is that, if it's a priority and it matters to you, you will get your body back or at least some version of it you can live with.

How did you lose the baby weight?

 

Photo via xJasonRogersx/Flickr

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