Welcome to my “two years postpartum” fitness update! This post is a follow-up to my one week and one-year postpartum updates! I highly suggest reading those first if you’re curious about a realistic postpartum fitness experience.
In January I realized that I was already two years postpartum.
I wanted to do a fitness update then, but I remembered that I based my original postpartum journey updates on the date that I was cleared to exercise.
I felt that starting my journey comparison with “right after having a baby” wouldn’t be very accurate since a lot happens to your weight in those first few weeks.
Since I was cleared to exercise 6 weeks after having my last c-section, I decided to make 8 weeks PP my initial “starting point” for my personal postpartum weight loss journey.
So that means that March, not January, was my time for a two-year update! (My boy was born in late January 2018.) That post, complete with pictures and stats can be found here.
I want to start by giving some back story for those of you who don’t know me and haven’t been following me before this.
I’m Chantal, a 28-year old mom of two. I’m a personal trainer, blogger, and stay-at-home mom who has fought depression more than half of her life. I had severe postpartum depression after my first (she’s almost six now) and gained a LOT of weight during that time.
I was NOT a personal trainer then.
At my worst, I topped the scales at 174 lbs at 5′ 3″, and I was horribly unhappy and a tad bit suicidal. I felt gross, physically and emotionally. It was just a bad time and I was unhealthy in every sense of the word.
Related Reading: How To Exercise With Kids At Home
Anyway, I began to exercise more regularly after hiring my own personal trainer to help me lose baby weight. (I had already gone to my doctor for anti-depressants, but they made me fatigued and I felt worse, honestly.)
When I was exercising regularly, I began to see a pattern in my own mental and emotional health.
Long story short, I decided that exercise was super important for my mental health, and I became a personal trainer a couple of years later.
But becoming a personal trainer didn’t mean that I was suddenly fit – in fact, I still have weight to lose. But even though I’m a slightly overweight personal trainer, I’m glad.
I feel like my challenges have made me more relatable, and I understand the demographic I want to impact (moms) more because I have been through so much of what they might experience.
Ups & Downs Even At Two Years Postpartum
After both of my c-sections (which I feel impacted my depression and ability to nurse), I had back problems that set me back as far as exercise.
Within three months of having both children, I had crazy back muscle spasms that debilitated me and kept me bedridden for a few weeks at a time.
I went to the emergency room for the first one because I couldn’t move and the pain was insane.
Now I still have to be very careful about how I exercise, pick up my kids, and my posture. I still feel back pain, twinges, and weakness even at two years postpartum.
While my depression has been MUCH better with baby #2, I feel that it is just a part of my life that I have learned to deal with in healthier ways. I preach self-awareness for weight loss and overall well-being, so that has been key for me this time around.
The Weight Loss Roller Coaster
With baby #1, I lost ALL of the baby weight in about two weeks. (Which P.S. was a whopping 45 pounds.) I was down to about 135 lbs and happy with that, until I realized how lonely and unglamorous it was to be a SAHM.
My depression and self-pity helped me gain back everything – and then some.
Like I said, I was topping out at 174 ish pounds, even at about two years PP with number one.
I managed to lose a little weight and start training a lot before getting pregnant with baby #2. But I still sat at about 163 pounds. Even when I was working out 5x/week.
So that’s how heavy I was when I got pregnant the second time, over three years later. I struggled at that plateau (just above 160) for YEARS.
Related Reading: 19 Ways To Start Losing The Baby Weight Fast
Now, nearly six years after becoming a mom and two years postpartum with baby number two, I’m finally weighing in at 156-ish. (Even after two-week long free-for-alls!)
I realize that I still have a long way to go.
Also, I know that I could have done a lot better with the time that has gone by, but I don’t care. I’m learning to give myself a lot more grace in this season of having young kids.
I feel that as long as I’m not gaining (even if I’m just maintaining), it’s okay.
There’s no reason to beat myself up. True change comes with time, and I feel that I’m slowly creating better habits.
I feel more stable mentally and emotionally, and that’s a win that I feel will spill over into my exercise and food habits. I feel like I have learned a lot about naturally combatting postpartum depression (and depression in general) and that’s invaluable as I have such a long life ahead of me.
This is a big deal!
Two Years Postpartum Body Stats
The picture at the top is me today. I tried to wear the same clothes as last year, but there’s not a huge difference to be seen.
Though I haven’t lost a LOT of weight since baby #2, I have lost all of the weight I gained (25 lbs that time). I am also about 6 lbs less than what I weighed when I got pregnant, so though it’s slow, it’s progress.
Above are stats from my lovely Renpho Smart Scale. It’s a high-tech Bluetooth scale that gives me so much more insight than just a weight.
I am happy to see that my body fat percentage and BMI are down a little bit. I even saw a glimpse of 155 for bit (lol).
I’m “in the green” for a few things and body fat was most important to me. (This is compared to my last screening after having baby, which you read about here.)
I also see that my metabolic age has gone down, and it’s almost completely accurate now that I’m turning 29 soon!
Thoughts On This Year’s Postpartum Body Progress
Since I have two-year old now, that means I am still in high-demand as a mama. This makes it hard to keep a strict food or exercise schedule/diet.
Flexibility is key when you have a baby, toddler, or even just more than one kid!
I often daydream of a time when I can drop both kids off at school, then go to the gym…every day!
But for now, I have to settle for *trying* my best. I will get some exercise in and eat well when I can.
I have to continue learning to prioritize these things, but I also find that there’s balance to be found too.
In recent months, I have found myself obsessing a bit too much about my weight. It seems to backfire.
So, instead of being a die-hard trainer with 10% body fat, I’m focused more on a sustainable yet healthy lifestyle.
And, since I’m healthy from a medical perspective despite being eleven pounds overweight, slow-and-steady is my main goal. (For my height and age, I should be no more than 145 lbs and am currently teetering between 156-157.)
So even though I’m not exactly where I wish I was at two years postpartum, I am okay with things for now.
*P.S. I wrote much of this before the whole coronavirus thing started, and things have changed a little. Whoops! So sorry I’m late one this one.