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!
27 thoughts on “Jane”
While I am amazed at your drive and determination to achieve your perfect body, I think that one should remember that not all women want/need to look like you do. Some of us like our womanly curves, like to spend the first year snuggles, nursing and cuddling instead of working out constantly. It’s all a matter of perspective :) What is important to one is not always that important to another.
You look great and I’m happy for but it is possible to be okay with your body NOT looking perfect. Personally I would like to look better but there are lots of things that are so much more important to me. I would rather spend my time doing those things than obsessing about how I look naked.
Well, at least you’re humble.
Work full-time by any chance?
Wow! You have given me something to strive for–I have had a hard time getting back in shape because I never HAD exercised before…and now that I’m starting to, I was afraid that maybe it was futile–maybe I was stuck with this. But now, I know…I want a butt like yours! You have a woman’s body, a mother’s body, and a strong one at that!
I think your pictures are awesome and inspiring!
I do weight management counseling and I see people who come in all the time with 40….50….75 pounds of extra weight from pregnancies that they claim they can do nothing about! I teach them that by making small changes in diet and activity can lead to wonderful results!
Yes, some stretched skins can never snap back to what they once were….and some weight gain is inevitable with aging….but people shouldn’t assume that middle age means obesity, a life of TV and packaged snack foods. We should all do whatever we can to be healthy.
Healthy moms = healthy kids!
i hate to say this, but your pics look like you are sucking it in. good for you, though. bit constant exercize is not the ability or the right thing for every woman. we really can’t make general statements on “what worked for me, will work for you,”
I would first like to say that you are a beautiful woman and have a gorgeous body. I appreciate your suggestions, however, genetics does play a HUGE role in how a person is shaped. I used to work out constantly, at my “optimal” peak I was 127 lbs and a size 4 (I’m 5’7″). Even though I worked out every day, weight training as well as cardio, I still had cellulite, I still had “junk in the trunk”. My family is built this way. This was BEFORE kids. Now, I’m at 140 and a size 8/10. Maybe it’s just me, but the way you came off was that any and every person can have that nearly unattainable perfection. That just isn’t the case. I appreciate that you want to motivate other women, but I think you are going about it the wrong way. Women are beautiful creatures, we have curves and we are all different. This site was made so EVERY woman can realize that while we may not be “perfect” we are beautiful in our own ways.
Well, I agree with you in part…but not everyone is as fortunate as you. Please keep that in mind.
I am 28 years old, I have three children that are ages 5, 4, and 2. I am almost 5′ 9″ and I weigh about 150 lbs. Before my kids came along I weighed about 137, and everyone told me how “skinny” I was, and I have to admit I never thought I looked “bad”. I was very athletic in my youth, and I’m sure that helped a great deal.
I did get stretch marks with my first pg, and I gained about 47 lbs by the end. I had lost all of my weight and then some by the time my baby was 6 months old. I felt pretty good about how my body reponded to pregnancy & I thought “this is easy”. Babies #2 and #3 followed very soon after & I found myself getting more and more unhappy with my body. The weight didn’t come off as easy & I got more lumps, bumps and stretch marks! My husband worked A LOT, and I didn’t have any way to pay for a gym membership (some people can’t do that…that’s always an assumption I see people make), and my “youthful” body was starting to seem a memory of the past.
However, I DID decide to do something about it & with the help and support of my family I was able to train for and run my first ever marathon this past January. I was in the gym 6 days a week! I fought injury and some significant debt in order to be able to train for, and complete those 26.2 miles, but it was worth it to me. I never did get back down to 140 lbs, and my tummy was still saggy, but I was pleased with all my hard work.
I have been working out 4-6 days a week for the last year & to tell you the truth I DON’T feel 18 again. Nope! I’m still tired a lot because I have three little ones to care for, and let’s face it spending time at the gym means we have to make up for that time after the little ones go to bed. I’m up late a lot, and I still need coffee to wake up every morning-LOL!
I know I’m doing something good for my body & I feel better about taking care of myself. However, I’m no size 0, and I know that I will NEVER be that thin. Also, despite working very hard at my training I still can’t run very fast ….nor can I lift what I would like either. Being “fit” is something that can be difficult to measure in terms of speed strength, or dress size. I know I’m fit…but not everyone may have the same opinion.
I’m happy to see moms who love their bodies after childbirth, but really…you ARE very fortunate. I know you may have worked hard to “earn” the body that you have, but there are other women that work just as hard and don’t have the same “model figure” outcome. I certainly didn’t think that after 2 1/2 marathons, and 1 full marathon I would STILL look bumpy and saggy, but I do. I’ll still work hard, but I know better than to think that one day I’m going to look like you.
You go girl! As an exercise fanatic, it is very encouraging to see that it is possible to keep it going during and after pregnancy.
I think I am a bit put-off by your preachy tone. You look great, glad you are happy with your fitness routine. But yes, I am put-off by the tone of this entry.
Thank you for this post. I had my baby girl at the age of 20. Because of depression I haven’t been motivated to exersize until recently. I’m already starting to see a difference in my body, my energy level and my emotional state.
I was afraid to have a second baby because I don’t want to go through ppd again and I’m afraid of what a second pregnancy would do to my body. Thanks to your post I know that with a little healthy eatting and exercise I’ll be fine. You look great.
If I’m being completely honest, I’m just not sure how I feel about this post. I’m torn between wanted to say “Congratulations, you look fabulous, all your hard work has paid off” – and yet, kinda wanting to follow that with something snarky about how alot of women on this site carry their flabby tummies with pride and acceptance because thier bodies (no matter how perfect or imperfect) created a precious child.
It is great to see how well you are doing and I agree it is equally important to encourage people to fit workouts into their lives – but it is also important to be aware that every body is different.
I run nearly every day, I have even taught running and I think it is very important to emphasize that success will look and feel different for each person.
Getting a walk in everyday can be a serious accomplishment to be proud of.
I think you look great and congrats to you for getting back into shape :)
But personally I think life is too short to spend all of my free time exersizing when I can spend it doing something with my kids or with my husband etc…I couldent even fit an exersizing rutine into my life right now,and to be honest,I chose not to,even though my body jiggles and my thighs have the “cottage cheese” look about them lol.
Sure,it can be done..but not everyone has the time or even wants to work on a six pack after having kids.
Id probably feel alot better if I looked like you..thats very true.But how many family moments would I have to miss out on to maintain a spectacular body? ;) Its just not worth it to me.
I look like a mom because thats what I am…thats my excuse lol.
You do look good but I guess I just don’t want it that bad. I’d rather paint!
I think you look wonderful and you seem to have a healthy positive outlook about your body. But I do have some things to comment on. I am 5’6 and have always been around 135. I am pregnant with my second now and had no problems getting back to my regular weight. I have gained 35 this time around (about what I gained last time) and I am not worried about getting back to my desired weight. BUT I do not work out every day, or at all for that matter. I live an active life that includes little driving, walking most places and running after an extremely busy three year old (and our diet consists mostly of whole organic foods).I do not feel that I am setting myself up for “failure” by not working out everyday. I also do not feel that the fact (yes fact!) that I have cottage cheese thighs prevents me from showing a “positive role model to our children and society”. I think that woman can be healthy and happy with their bodies and be extremely good role models even if they don’t excercise. My “excercise” is my life. I am living the most positive and productive way I can and want to.
Again I think that your story is wonderful and hopefully every woman who comes to this site can one day feel as good about their body as you do. BUT your 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.” is a bit skewed. Some of us are happy where we are at and I personally feel no sense of failure with the choices I a have made. I am a great mum,I love my body, feel energized every day, AND have cottage cheese thighs!
I’m glad that you bounced back so well… but not everyone is you. All of the workouts in the world aren’t going to get rid of my stretch-marks or cellulite. Even when I was in high-school and worked out 7 days a week, 2 hours a day, and ate one meal a day, I still had fat in certain places and stretch-marks (puberty). Try to remember others. I know your intention wasn’t to make some people feel bad, but try to be a little more empathetic.
That is great for you. It is great that you had the time to do all that to stay in shape. I am glad you prioritize your body over most else. I did not return to my optimal shape. I am about 30 pounds from it and love myself to pieces, my husband loves me the way I am and so do my sons. I found I was too busy with a new baby and life to prioritze excersize over all else. Getting back to my prebaby weight was just not that much of a priority. I would not have exchanged the time I spent doing other things. I guess I just don’t get what exactly you are trying to say. -Marie
First off, let me say that you look great! Congrats on your LO’s and on having the will-power and time to get that body! I agree with what you said. One CAN get the body she wants, provided she works out religously. However, there are a lot of us who, in between work, going to college (or for some, high school), and caring for our babies and the house, that we just don’t have that time. Walking and yoga one night a week will just have to be enough for me. And while I would LOVE to have more time to work out (I love working out!) and have a better body, I am absolutely satisfied with my pouchy tummy and a little bit of extra flab on my thighs. I think I look great for having had a baby! You are successful in showing us that we can do it, but unfortunately it’s not the reality for a lot of mothers…
I agree that you have to work at it to regain your shape. However, there certainly is a genetic component, as well as other factors, such as post-partum depression and external support. I have a great support system and never had to deal with depression, I run at least 3 miles a day and do ab work and weights 3-4 times per week. I ran a marathon between my second and third baby. But I certainly can’t eat everything in sight and don’t have tons of energy. I absolutely applaud you and your incredible body, but I feel like your post, instead of encouraging, could make others feel rather badly about themselves.
You look great! I applaud your discipline and your proactive approach towards looking and feeling your best. Obviously you have benefited from that attitude. It’s always inspiring to me to see women here who have worked hard and look strong and fit as a result.
One thing I’d like to add, though, is that our genes DO affect our results to a degree. One of the most passionate and energetic women I know runs regularly – runs marathons, in fact – and she is still what this society considers overweight. I try to work out, but my commitment waxes and wanes. I still come out of it fit and firm although I’m much less dedicated than my friend. I can only think that our genes, our body types, are just different and therefore react differently to the work we’re giving our bodies.
Keep up the good work, though. You do look good!
I applaud your commitment to a healthier lifestyle however I must say that some mothers (including myself) do not feel like failures because we carry a little extra baggage or have stretch marks everywhere. I hope that you don’t see post partum women as being lazy, or failures because of the way we look.
The purpose of this site is to embrace mothers who come in ALL shapes and sizes and accept that women simply do not fit into a cookie cutter.
I feel that the one thing new mothers should learn is to take time for ourselves. We do spend all of our time with our newborns, and sometimes housework- but for mental health it’s important to do something for yourself.
Exercise is an excellent source of stress relief. I myself use my elliptical for 30 -40 minutes EVERYDAY. It gives me a short break from my twins and allows me to focus on ME for a change and gives me that extra boost of energy for the rest of my day. Plus, I sleep better.
Congratulations on the birth of your children and being enthusiastic about reshaping yourself.
I actually don’t appreciate the tone of your post. I think it’s rather condescending, and you are presuming that everyone without a body like yours is unhappy. Maybe this kind of lifestyle makes YOU happy, but some of us out here realize that there is more life than not jiggling. I think you are missing the point of this website.
While I commend the author of this post on staying fit after three children (way to go!), I just wanted to say that not looking like that does not make any of us failures. Or out-of-shape individuals.
It’s implied in this post that working out and eating right will keep all your body parts lifted and cellulite-free. And that is simply not true.
Sure, fat is partially responsible for cellulite, but heredity is also involved. A big determining factor is how the connective tissue under your skin is constructed. If the connective tissue is like a fishnet stocking, not much fat can poke through the “holes”, making cellulite not much of an issue. However, if the connective tissue is more like basketball hoop netting, then fat will be more likely to “poke through”, even if you don’t have a whole lot of fat in the first place. I am in good physical condition. Work out six days a week. I even did a little modeling a couple of years ago. However, I will always have cellulite because that’s just how my body is. Even when I was 15 lbs. lighter than I am, I had cellulite. Granted, I didn’t have as much, but it’s genetics. It’s always there.
I only say all of this because for a lot of us, we could do sit-ups from now until New Year’s, and it won’t change any sagging skin if our skin has no elasticity left to give, and we can do squats for an hour every day and still have cellulite.
We should focus on being happy and healthy. We have to try to keep up with our little ones, after all.
i think you look absolutely terrific. i have bounced back almost to my old shape by doing regular exercise and eating right, however, i find it hard to sometimes…honestly, like a lot of new moms, i just can’t find the time anymore. when my son was a newborn, it was easy cause he would sleep much of the time..but now that he is almost 9 months old, he’s awake all the time…and makes it hard to concentrate on working out. i have a home gym that i use as well as some other equipment….but without being able to keep him busy it’s hard…i have other things to get down in a day also…which makes it even harder. i really applaud you for getting back is such good shape. i was never quite as rock solid as you are, but i was in excellent shape for a “normal woman”…i wear the same size now as i did pre pregnancy, but i have a little layer of fat all over my lower tummy, butt and thighs…which is hard to lose for me. i also eat very healthy…but despite that i still have this layaer….i’m going back to work this week and i assume that will make it harder for me to fit fitness into my schedule…or at least to dedicate myself to it….basically what im saying is, i envy you
I was the lady who posted ’23 yrs old, 4 children aged 6, 4, 2, and 3mths’ and i agree with what you have posted. I myself have concentrated on loosing the weight after each pregnancy and i can proudly say that i have done so. I agree that the weight gained and the tummy muscle do not get better by themselves you ‘have’ to do something about it. pregnancy does effect the body that is obvious but the extent of the effects depends on your frame of mind. You look fab after having two children and a c section you show your figure off proudly!!!!!
This is from Jane:
Holy canoli! I had no idea how much of a response this would create. I appreciate the comments, different strokes for different folks, right? I don’t feel bad for posting what I did. You don’t know me, I don’t know you.
My simple and sincere attempt at addressing the power of fitness has seriously exploded here. I am sorry for those that have taken it away as something else. I felt there was a major component missed on this site, and that is fitness. Am I on a pursuit for a perfect body? No. In fact, if I was, I would have had plastic surgery by now! And yes, I have seriously thought of it after my second child, but am proud of what I have created and feel good because of it.
Yes, I am a size 0-2, so what. In fact, I don’t care what size I am, it was simply a factual statement. If someone is larger and works out on a regular basis, then so what? The main point is being healthy and taking the time to care of ourselves as we would want for our children…and do for our children each and every day.
Yes, I do work more than full-time. I manage a professional office and own my own non-profit. I travel often too and take many vacations with my family and lead a very full life. My lifestyle is simple; I make sure fitness is as important as eating and doing regular functions each day. It’s not to brag, not to make you feel less, and I’m sorry that some see it that way. That was not the intention. If you only knew what my non-profit did, you would know how humble and caring I truly am.
I am well educated on the human body and yes, I do accept we all have unique genes, however again, I will reiterate, being healthy and taking the time to care for ourselves is most important, not the size of jeans we wear or number the scale says. My comment of the lucky gene was to address the general cop-out that I see many woman do. That is it. And by the way, if I don’t work out for a week, I do gain at least 5 pounds. Before I started working out at the age of 15, I was 145 pounds! That was not a healthy weight. I do not believe I am an owner of this “lucky gene”, and so what…I work for it! If I had a dollar for each time I was told I was “lucky”, I would be a billionaire by now!
My main drive to work out and care for myself is simply from the pure feeling that I get after I work out. The release of stress is amazing and the energy it gives me is priceless. And the bi-product of feeling great in my own body is very addictive. I simply wanted to share my wisdom of this with you, just like all of the others do.
I will reiterate again that I truly felt that the fitness component was not talked about on this site, and sincerely wanted to bring it up and address it with very intimate photos – and that takes lots of guts to do! Perhaps I shouldn’t have posted any photos and kept a low profile. Either way, take it for the words I wrote, this is not to target any one person. I truly wanted to bring up the power educating yourself on your body and fitness. Ciao!
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