I have visited this site from time to time and commend the impact and connection this creates for woman.
However, I come from the other side of the street and wanted to share my thoughts.
I have been in optimal shape since the age of 15 (Body Mass Index of 18) – height 5’7 and 130 pounds (approx. 10 pounds of pure muscle). I modeled, instructed aerobic classes and studied personal training. My six pack of a tummy held that little baby in so tight, you couldn’t even tell I was pregnant at 5 months. I delivered my first son at 20, went right back to my “optimal” shape within 4 months and had my second son at 25. Within 1 year after a very scary internal infection resulting from the c-section, I again was back to my “optimal” shape. Let me also tell you, that my second son was 10 pounds. Strangers would assume I was having triplets because my stomach was so large. Now, five years later I continue to maintain the same BMI, eat everything I want and wear a size 0-2. The last time I owned a scale was 9 years ago. I worked out to the end of both pregnancies, and also ate everything in sight. I still gained 50 pounds with each pregnancy. Since I had trained my body for so many years, it was easy to lose and regain shape.
After the birth of my sons, I did have the initial, oh my goodness, what just happened to my body? In fact, the first time I saw myself in the mirror, I cried both times, several times over. I took this shock and sadness and turned it pro-active and made the most successful outcome I could provide myself.
My advice: If you do not exercise almost everyday (at least every second day) including weight training and are educated upon how to do this, then you are creating and setting yourself up for failure. Take a look at my photos and see what I mean. Yes, I do have some stretch marks on my tummy and scar from the c-section, but as you can agree, they are from this magnificent experience in my life. However, does that mean we wear this badge of honor, do nothing about it and wonder why we don’t feel well or look well? I have tons of energy, and no, I don’t have a lucky gene. I could easily gain weight if I allowed myself, believe me!
I do about 200 crunches everyday (while I watch tv), workout every second day and run very fast in between those days for 45 minutes. It feels great. When my children were babies, I would exercise with them in my arms to create resistance…I always made this a priority and fit this into my busy life.
Our bodies are susceptible to saggy tummy’s, flabby bums and cottage cheese thighs, however why not try to combat and do something each and everyday to feel better about this? Fad diets don’t work, breastfeeding is not enough, nor is walking and keeping busy. It is continual hard work with an educated mind on how the body works and responds to exercise and diet – but it is important to feel good and show a positive role model to our children and society. And let me tell you girlfriends, the feeling is amazing and you’ll be instantly addicted once you get there! After two children, I still run down the street as fast as I ever could and not even one body part jiggles. You can do this too! You go girls!