Written by Tammy Strome C.Kin, RNCP, IFBB Pro
Yep even someone like me can gain almost 70lbs during pregnancy!
What do I mean when I say someone like me? Well I am in the business of building beautiful bodies. I help people look and feel amazing. I am educated in nutrition and exercise science and I'm also someone who is, as a pro athlete, normally in top shape herself. Gaining this much weight during my 2nd pregnancy really threw me for a loop!
I'm not immune to weight gain, as it can truly happen to anyone. The important thing to realize is that it doesn't have to be the last stop. You can take charge and get your body back in tip-top shape; no matter how far off your body has strayed from its original healthy shape.
If I did it then so can you!!
I became pregnant with my daughter Ava in January 2011. Ava was a little bit of a surprise as I was actually just beginning my contest preparation for the 2011 competitive season. I'm an IFBB Figure Professional. It is similar to bodybuilding but we maintain our feminine structure and size.
My son was already 5 years old and, at 34 years old, the timing would've probably been about right for another baby. I had gained 35 lbs with my son and I was determined to keep my weight gain to this amount, if not a little less for the 2nd time around. I made sure my workouts were tailored for the right stages of pregnancy and I made sure my nutrition and supplementation were in check to support a growing baby. I actually had a hard time eating with both pregnancies. I suffered extreme nausea and vomiting with both babies until 22-26 weeks along. It got so bad that I even had to be prescribed medication in order to keep foods down. I wasn't even keeping water down for the first little while.
I didn't worry too much at first when I gained 10lbs in the first 8 weeks. I had started off leaner than most women and I had the same thing happen with my first child. Generally speaking, a lot of lean athletic women notice this rapid gain in the beginning right at the get go. I believe the body increases fat stores a little faster initially to support the baby when you start off a little bit leaner. I was working out 4 days a week as usual, working around the nausea. In the early months, I was a bit limited as to what I could keep down but I made sure to keep my eating healthy and clean. I was gaining weight at a rapid pace and, at one point they even tested me to be sure I hadn't developed gestational diabetes. All tests came back fine and that everything was normal.
Things became pretty complicated in the exercise department. I have a pregnancy condition called Pubic Symphasis Dysfunction. I had it with my first child but it didn't present itself to be a real problem until almost 7 months but I was still able to work around it. What they didn't tell me is that this problem tends to get worse with each pregnancy. Does it ever!! I started having pain just moving around at about 4 months and by 8 months, I was crawling up the stairs because I couldn't walk and I even had to sit to make meals in the kitchen or do the dishes. This was not the active lifestyle I was used to and it made me very frustrated. I felt like a shadow of my former self.
I had to abandon weight training by 8 months as it became just too painful on my body. I also have an autoimmune disease that affects my joints, muscles and connective tissue. It can make movement painful on even a good day. Listening to my body was very important. I also had to be careful as I had my son 4 weeks early and I didn't want to have Ava early. Tristan may have been 7lbs despite being born 4 weeks premature but that may not be the case if Ava decided to arrive early as well. It just wasn't worth the risk.
I have to say that the hardest part was working with my contest prep athletes. I got to watch them get in amazing shape and I was starting to feel like I might never see that again. I lived vicariously through them during my pregnancy. However, I often found myself having a small pity party and I was the only one invited.
Ava was born 4 days overdue on October 24th 2011. She weighed in at 9lbs. I think I was hoping she was going to weigh 30lbs, as that would have accounted for most of the weight gain. No such luck!! I was able to drop 30lbs in the first week but then I was left with another 35lbs to lose on my own. At the time, it seemed terrifying. I have never had to lose that much weight in my life. I started my fitness journey as an underweight teenager - not overweight. The question I asked myself was Could I actually do it? Then I remembered all the clients I have worked with over the years. I've seen both men and women go through amazing transformations. They've always looked up to me for my knowledge, experience and achievements and I realized that now it was my time to be inspired by their strength.
I used all the tools in my tool belt to make sure my mind would be in the right place. Just like when I was hungry to achieve my IFBB pro status. I immediately began my mission to lose the weight as soon as I got the doctor's okay. I started with walking and some gentle floor exercises and was back in the gym by 6 weeks. I was so happy to be back there. It's like my home away from home. I thought the weight would just fall off for sure. I had forgotten one thing from my first pregnancy however. I am one of the 20% off women who does not lose weight while breast feeding. Oh yes, they all tell you that you will drop weight like crazy but not every woman does. In fact, I normally can drop 8 or 10lbs in a month but I struggled for 3 months just to lose 10lbs. It was continuing to be an uphill battle for me. I realized I would have to use my strongest mental reserves to keep the passion alive to motivate myself.
I could've quit breastfeeding but I was dedicated to breastfeeding both my children for at least 5 months. I felt strongly about that and I knew my body could wait a little while longer. I stopped breastfeeding at 5months so my body could start letting go of the weight. I needed to get back in competitive shape. It wasn't going to happen otherwise and I had a photo shoot at the start of September. I really wanted to get back to where I felt comfortable and there was no way that I was going to do a photo shoot unless I was happy with how I looked.
I started taking Six Pack along with my diet and training program at 5 months post partum. I set monthly goals and stayed focus on where I was going. I did not allow myself to become side tracked by the natural day-to-day ebbs and flows of the body. I realized I had to remain focused, just like I did for my contest prep, and focus on the big picture. I did it! By August, I had lost the 35lbs I set out to lose. I was ready for my photo shoot. In fact, I went on to lose another 7lbs after my photo shoot, which put me lower than my starting pregnancy weight and body fat.
It wasn't easy but I had a goal and I had a plan and that is what you need to succeed. I followed a fat loss nutrition program and I followed a structured training program to increase my success but do you know what I liked about taking Six Pack2?
- It gave me energy without over stimulating me. I could work out harder and felt stronger
- It helped control appetite and cravings
- It helped promote more fat loss via healthier blood sugar and better stress hormone control
- The night time formula helped me sleep deeper and also supported healthy growth hormone levels, adrenal function and testosterone levels. Zinc and colostrum are great for the immune system too. All of these are very important for fat loss and vibrant health.
I just felt great! I recommend Six Pack2 for many of my clients and friends. I can confidently recommend it as a great and reliable 24-hour fat burning formulation!
As for my Six Pack, well I train my abs hard and have been for over 20 years. If you want to show your best abs then you have to drop the fat that is covering it. It starts with exercise, diet and proper supplementation. You may even discover an 8 pack under there instead of a 6!
I will leave you with some of my expert advice as a fat loss coach and busy mom of two:
- Set realistic goals and stage your progress. All good things take time
- Don't discount the importance of nutrition and exercise tailored specifically to you
- Talk positive to yourself. Negative self-talk derails motivation!
- Don't feel guilty taking time to care for yourself. A healthy mom equals healthy kids. You will set great examples!
- Use Six Pack 2 as part of your fat loss success strategy.
Yours in health and fitness,
Tammy Strome C.Kin, RNCP, IFBB Pro
Tammy Strome and IFBB Pro, Body Transformation Specialist, Contest Prep Coach and the founder of The Hot Mama Method. If you are interested in getting in amazing shape after baby or just getting in the best shape of your life visit Tammy at www.tammystrome.com