Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

Featured community question with accompanying forty-five pounds

Today’s featured question comes from user Brookelyn Bridge:

I don’t know if every pregnant woman feels this way, but during the last month of my pregnancy with Marlo I was always thinking, what if I never lose these extra forty-five pounds? What if this pregnancy has changed my body forever? And then I’d follow up that thought with, I’m going to be pregnant for the rest of my life. And if by some miracle I do give birth, it’ll be a hermaphrodite alien who votes Republican.

Mind you, at that time I was more at peace then than I’ve ever been in my life. Can you imagine the thoughts I have now? Don’t answer that question, JON.

It took a little longer to lose the weight this time, but only because this time I didn’t wake up every day contemplating suicide. I cut way back on the donuts, kept an eye on bad carbohydrates, and breastfed the baby for seven months. And then one day I didn’t have to perform a series of gymnastic maneuvers to get my jeans over my thighs. Add to that a case of shingles, the stress of bullying a multi-billion dollar corporation into fixing my broken washing machine, the death of my Granny Boone, and a bevy of other catastrophes that our lawyers say I can’t talk about publicly, and there goes an extra five to ten pounds.

Stress is very effective when it comes to losing weight! However! It’s not fun! And can result in divorce!

A few months ago I committed myself to a vigorous workout routine wherein I hit the gym five days a week. Mainly to help cope with the stress. I had to take a bit of a respite when I broke my tailbone, but now that I’ve been back at it for a month I can honestly say that I’ve never been in better shape. The thing is, I know I’m lucky to have a naturally thin frame. I’m the five-foot-ten daughter of an incredibly thin-framed father whose father was naturally thin-framed. Our legs start at our shoulders, and scientists would have a hard time locating our butts.

I don’t take it for granted, though, and my diet consists mostly of veggies, lean meat, and whole grains. I snack on fruit and raw almonds. And at the gym, I really push myself to the limit. And I do it because it feels incredible. Which I guess is a really long and winding answer to the question. I love my body after Marlo. Because I’ve worked really, really hard to get here. And the work continues to fulfill me.

More accurately, I’ve really enjoyed and learned so much through this journey.

  • katiebeez

    Ah hah! When you said you lost it due to a various sequence of events I figured that was a little misleading. I have started back to the gym more seriously this week. Our new daughter is still not sleeping through the night though…

  • Bluestalking

    This subject makes me so depressed… I’ve lost and gained “baby weight” over and over. Due to a knee injury, resulting in surgery – then the HOLIDAYS – I’ve put on more weight more quickly than I’d ever have thought possible. Before that I was dedicated to the gym, but admittedly didn’t eat as well as I should. Still, my body was much better then.

    It just feels like you have to be so perfect to be in shape. I know, whine whine, but the depression makes it hard, which “feeds” (literally) the bad self image, and on goes the cycle.


    Now I’m still in pain from the knee injury, and my first time back at the gym I pulled my hamstring which hurts like Hades.

    What I wouldn’t give to be naturally thin!

  • Bluestalking

    This subject makes me so depressed… I’ve lost and gained “baby weight” over and over. Due to a knee injury, resulting in surgery – then the HOLIDAYS – I’ve put on more weight more quickly than I’d ever have thought possible. Before that I was dedicated to the gym, but admittedly didn’t eat as well as I should. Still, my body was much better then.

    It just feels like you have to be so perfect to be in shape. I know, whine whine, but the depression makes it hard, which “feeds” (literally) the bad self image, and on goes the cycle.


    Now I’m still in pain from the knee injury, and my first time back at the gym I pulled my hamstring which hurts like Hades.

    What I wouldn’t give to be naturally thin!

  • Daily Cup of Jo

    The veggies, lean meat and whole grain thing is a little hard to wrap my head around (never mind my mouth) but I’m glad you know that you love your body now because you worked so hard on it. Breast feeding works wonders. I, too, nursed the last one for seven months. The rest of my fitness came from running a lot of miles and doing a lot of sit-ups. It takes work, but the end result is worth it. More energy to deal with babies is necessary.

    How did I feel about MY body after baby? I didn’t have time to feel. I was outnumbered.

  • urbanitemom

    I wish healthy food tasted better. That’s a big part of my problem in losing the baby weight. And of course, if there is a healthy food I like, it is always something fatty like avocados.

  • maxsmom

    Finally in my late 20’s I figured out how to eat right, (without dieting and with my daily chocolate dose) exercise in moderation and have a flat tummy. But since I had my baby at age 32 I just haven’t gotten back to what I looked like before, although my weight is exactly the same. So I guess I need to hit the gym and work hard….

  • sgigs

    I’ll be damn. I was just complaining about this this morning. I hate the disappearance of my breasts- in all aspects. Basically what’s left is a couple of small sacks of loose, lifeless skin. That’s honestly what it’s like. The life that they supported was worth every once, but ghish, save a little for me and my (sex) life too.

  • Figtron


    Snaps for being an advocate for exercise EVEN THOUGH YOU APPEAR TO NOT NEED IT. I am not one of those haters who think thin people don’t need to exercise, we ALL need exercise to stay healthy and live longer, more productive lives.

    Our children will benefit from having healthy parents, not only physically, but also as examples of the importance of caring for our bodies.

    I am short and thick, but I will be the healthiest short, thick woman I can be.


  • Natalie A

    Wow, I am truly amazed that no one else has remarked about the hermaphrodite comment save that one person who commented here (kudos to you for your well-worded thoughts about this). Political correctness most certainly is tiered – some things are funny and in the right context can be mocked, some things are not. The not-funny topics simply lack any humorous qualities because people who have done nothing wrong are harassed, discriminated against, and sometimes killed. Race, sexuality, and bodily features are never a choice of the individual or even a cultural more, but they still result in extreme repression and violence. Seriously, you are hilarious and so likeable 99.9% of the time, which is how you make your living – people like you and want to read about you/ your thoughts. But this just made me really really sad. And it was only “funny” in a very junior high way, to boot.

    I’m not writing this to start a little rants and raves section here, but it’s food for thought. There are some things people with humanity, compassion and understanding need to stick together on, and not perpetuating hate and mockery towards intersexed human beings who already have an extraordinarily difficult life is one of them. Thank you for considering this. In a big picture sense, it is a big deal…

  • angenaline

    I’m not a mother, but I found a fantastic site where mothers post their post-baby photos. It’s a fascinating look at normal women as opposed to the celebrity glossies claiming “She got her body back in two days!!” It’s called “The Shape of a Mother”. To me it’s both depressing and empowering.

  • jg2010

    I find it incredibly depressing and disempowering that as women and mothers we are now expected to look like models or even athletes after giving birth. Giving birth. To a human.
    If men were the ones who had babies, they’d so be allowed to go to seed after the first one! We’re expected to be flinging ourselves around a gym or Pilates studio a few weeks after having a baby come out of our vaginas. Whatever.
    If you like exercising and it makes you feel good, great go for it, more power to ya. But if you like to sit and stare at your newborn and eat Almond Joys, I think society should sanction that too 🙂

  • Bluestalking

    To: jg2010

    I am so diggin’ what you’re sayin’! 🙂

    I should stop saying “I wish I looked like…” and just be the best me I can. I know it, but it’s so easy to forget…

    Thanks for the post!


  • laurenot

    I’m 5’10” but my family is dutch, which means I’m built in a way I could compete with oxen. I’ve not yet been pregnant but I am TERRIFIED about the weight I could put on. I have to run 20 miles a week to keep at 155lbs and it’s quite a battle. I’m guessing it won’t be a regimen I’ll be able to keep up with a giant dutch baby inside me.

    I track my exercise on my blog: and that helps with accountability.

  • Nina Amelia

    Thank you. I needed to hear this. I’m only 22 weeks in and 33 pounds later I’m already at the “I’m going to be pregnant for the rest of my life.”-stage and have been for a while

  • Becky H

    I feel very much like you. I’m 40, and now that my son is 4 I have a bit more time to myself than I did before. I started working out 5-6x/week and then about 6 months ago started running for the first time ever.

    I know I’ve looked better at other times in my life, but I *feel* better now. I’m also really proud of what my body can do, and I think some of that is because of having to recover from pregnancy.

    A perfect body isn’t nearly as fun as a body you’ve earned.

  • linuxchik

    i really have seen a huge difference in my life by adding 2-3 hours of exercise almost every day. i have to work out in a variety of group fitness classes, since i would die of boredom, and there is a reason Zumba is such a craze.

    mostly my heart rate averages 155 in an hour workout, and occasionally i average 170. i rarely get a cold anymore, and i believe rigorous exercise is to blame for that. 🙂

    i look forward to more discussions in the community about staying healthy and exercise routines people like to do.

  • MommyNamedApril

    Good for you. I was pretty good about getting back into shape after my first two kids, but now after the third I’m having a harder time of it.

    I feel like since we know we’re going for one more pretty soon and I can barely eat when I’m pregnant, that I’m going to enjoy my food while I can!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going crazy – I still fit in my jeans, but I’m not going to sweat a few cheeseburgers (and a jar of Nutella) here and there.

  • shadymama

    oh, mamas. i am *totally* an advocate for changing how you see, not how you look. i struggled hard with a post-baby body that seemed completely overtaken with saggy.stretchy.squashy.craziness – but i made a choice to come to terms and not spend my time and energy on self loathing.
    now i love my wide hips, ample tits and stretchy stretchy belly.
    i wrote a poem about it here,
    if you wanna check it out.

  • mia_rose

    Thank you for acknowledging your genetic blessings and naturally thin frame. It sounds like you do a lot to stay fit which is awesome. But so many women feel such pressure to immediately return to their pre-baby weight and are compared to women (especially celebrities and models) who can get their figure back without much effort.

  • mhsqrd

    I wish I had the freedom to get to the gym or take care of myself. I can’t manage to carve time out for me between work and (my now 2 year old) twins and possibly losing a job and trying to make sure my kids aren’t eating processed foods, and managing the household. I try to eat well, but I suck at that. So I’m still 35 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight and I feel fat and can’t wear half the clothes in my closet and it fucking sucks. I’m that person that is LIVING the fact that the body isn’t back to normal and time is working against me and now I’m the fattest mom I know and it’s depressing. But, I swear, I’m happy for YOU! LOL!! People like you are a source of inspiration.

  • tracythompson

    We give lip service to loving ourselves as we are (which is almost always a crock; very few of us actually do–even Heather can’t help remarking about her too-flat butt and inadequate boobs)–yet nobody here has questioned the premise that “working on your body” = good, and that this eventually leads to LOOKING good. I don’t think either assumption is true. I think reading a thought-provoking book is every bit as good for a person as working out in the gym, on occasion more so. As for working out leading to looking good–nope, don’t buy that either. Exercise does play a role in weight loss, but it’s not a simple “working out makes you thin” equation. (Check out NYT article on this:
    After many frustrating years of trying to exercise myself thin, I finally reached the conclusion that I would do as much exercise as made me feel good, and then stop. For me, this means a 30- to 45-minute power walk in the neighborhood three to four days a week. The idea of driving to a gym 5 days a week would be extremely challenging; putting in 2-3 hours a day there(as one writer mentioned) is simply ludicrous for me and for all the women I know (but obviously, I don’t know the ladies who live at the gym).

    If, gifted with a naturally thin frame and a revved-up metabolism, you still had to work REALLY hard to achieve the results you wanted, Heather, what hope does that give to those of us who are (literally) made of different stuff? Even Oprah, with more money than God, can’t seem to pull that one off. I’m glad you love your body, and I’m here to testify that from your pictures you look damn good. But do women a favor and either drop this subject or write honestly about the struggle to learn to love and properly care for the earth suits we were issued at birth, given the immense demands on our time and the wildly unrealistic standards of beauty in our culture.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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