• Fact: With the joy of pregnancy comes weight gain.
  • Fact: You will lose some weight immediately upon giving birth. The child contributes to the belly and pounds on the scale (duh)
  • Sad Fact: When you have a baby over 30, the effort that takes is incredible and will mean sacrificing time with baby, time with partner and h-e-double-hockey-sticks some happiness!
  • Caribbean Fact: People are going to talk about your weight during and after pregnancy as if it is their business. Resist the urge to curse them by snuggling with your baby.
337c6b8600000578-0-image-m-17_1461484477503.jpg
Chrissy Tiegan looked like this 9 days post delivery…Photo: NYMAG

176 days ago my son was born. That’s almost 6 months and, I have not yet lost all the baby weight. Contrary to barrage of imagery of women in Hollywood that “snap back” post baby, my body is neither tightly toned nor sign free of my having carried a basketball on my hips.

Don’t get me wrong. I have lost weight, 38 pounds is nothing to sneeze at, but I don’t look like Chrissy Tegan who went out in tight pants 9 days after giving birth. Nine freaking days!!!! And for crying out loud, I could not jealously and not so secretly hate on Teyana Taylor, who I did not even know like three weeks ago, any more than I do as I type this.  (Ok…I was wrong, I hate her twenty-something year old hot body, looking so good after baby ass more now than I did 12 words ago).

I hate the term snap back. The statement irritates the actual shit out of me.

Insert crap emoji here!!!!

It is too hard to get (and stay) pregnant to worry about weight loss after baby but, here I am, being bombarded daily with comments about my weight and other mommies’ post pregnancy weight by people who have either forgotten how hard weight loss is or, worse, have never had to do it. That’s living in the Caribbean for ya – comments cyah done.

So, reality check. Losing weight after baby, takes most women at minimum a year and, let’s say you’re not so into eating right and exercise because, you know you have a demanding job and just like to eat? #hardluck

 

So its not a SNAP BACK. You see those two words? They should print them on copious amounts of toilet paper.

The term is perpetuated by foreign media that leaves out the stories of women who go under the knife, remove ribs and wear two corsets like Jennifer Garner confessed to doing post-delivery to get her body back faster. 

Want our reality? Here are some real Caribbean women examples that prove the post baby body Come Back is possible but call bullshit on “snapping back”:

Melanie, Engineer: Melanie has the body type of that petite chick who never ever gained weight from the very first day of high school. Post baby, she lost 24 of the 37 pounds she gained in pregnancy in early postpartum weeks. With breast feeding going well for 3 months the

fb_img_1473559469033.jpg
Photo: Facebook.com

weight, due to a high metabolism did come off but the loose belly did not. “(I have tummy fat that) I need to lose and tighten. I need to do some work to target it but find it difficult as I never had difficulty getting abs til now so this is a challenge for a skinny person especially when you feel and see the difference and others don’t and down play and even tease you about it . People view skinny people differently but don’t realize we have weight struggles just like everyone else and it’s not as simple as oh just eat something. I know my weight loss response may not be the typical one but it is a side of it…For all the skinny mommas who are adjusting to a whole new body! Lesson: Skinny or fat, the tummy is the hardest to lose – women of all sizes struggle so ease up on de talks nah! #jahknow

Krysta, Entrepreneur: 19 months after having her son Krysta has not lost much weight. “the tummy went down a smidge but it could def go a lot further. Exercise has been up and down due to my work schedule but more so a knee injury and a toe injury. I climb on the wagon rearing to go and by the second week something happens to throw me off and I have to dig DEEEEEEP for the motivation to start again. Diet also fluctuates.” Krysta tries to eat healthy but the demands of launching a business means eating on the go. Lesson: Life can get in the way. Don’t stress. Spanx Save!

Gabrielle Pollanais (nee Walcott), Miss Trinidad and Tobago 2011: Another hot new mom I know, Gabby managed to get back into shape in time to play mas in 2016. I reached out to her while pregnant and she assured me  that the journey to post-baby weight loss was not trinidad-carnival-2016-6-587x500.jpgeasy for her (though she sure made it look that way). Gabby was serious was nutrition, ate right and invested in some at home equipment to get the weight off. When she hit the Savannah stage in Harts this year, less than a year after giving birth, I swear she looked even better than she did when she represented T&T on the Miss Universe stage. Lesson: Eat right and exercise – and be serious about it. Great genes and knowing where your body can get to certainly could not have hurt either. 

Natasha, Lawyer, Fitness Competitor: I went to ballet school with Natasha. She was always a powerhouse packed into a petite body. It is not surprising that power helped her birth a healthy, happy but big baby that caused ab-separation. “It’s been quite a journey for me as I aim to get back to my pre-pregnancy size which was post competition weight. I had a big baby and with that ab muscle separation. There was no automatic snap back for me despite being in top condition when I got pregnant. Not even breastfeeding helped my weight loss. Though I must admit I was eating everything in sight even post pregnancy. I enjoyed my journey though. Am now down 40 pounds and that’s from sometimes two a day workouts and eating mean and clean. My belly still has a little way to go but am fitting into those sizes I enjoy wearing again. Overall this journey has taught me and continues to teach me patience. That even though there was no two week snap back for me- I was ok with that. I am older, wiser, stronger and am ok working harder to get to where I want to be. It will make getting there that much sweeter.” Lesson: Breastfeeding is not a miracle – even for women who have bodies that look like miracles. Accept weight loss as a journey and reject the notion of snapping back. 

Samantha John, TV Anchor: If you needed incentive to lose weight, be a cute skinny chick on TV before giving birth. Sammy Jo, known for her slender features and toned arms and legs has a three year old son but seriously dropped stones of  weight after getting serious about fitness – with Cross Fit. I’m sure Sammy would say the scale is not your friend in this but tone is. Good grief she looks great right? She’s promised to post a “how to get fit after baby” story on her blog and website http://www.babybabblenetwork.com/. We’re tuned in Sammy!!! Lesson: Train your way back to fitness.

Kathryn Innis, Founder Luna Mar Cosmetics: Kathryn rolls in some seriously cool circles in T&T. Her friends include models and fashion designers. I last caught up with Kathryn at my first solo mommy night out, a fashion show

20160910_221334.jpg
Photo: Lunamarcosmetics.com 

by Bikini Cabana (more on that in a subsequent post), and she looked simply stunning. Svelte, fit and fabulous, it is almost impossible to know just by looking that Kathryn has not one, but two boys under 4 years old. She fessed up that losing weight after baby number one was not easy even with diet and exercise. After baby number two, a serious change in diet due to a health condition made the difference. Lesson: If you want to lose the weight, cheese, dairy and alcohol should be very limited, if not completely removed from your diet. She works out too and admitted that even with the strict diet, it took about a year to shred the weight. I’m pretty sure founding a business with two toddlers to take care of certainly also helped but oh man, she makes it look good!

 

Ang, IT Professional: “Prior to getting pregnant I had 10lbs to meet my goal weight. I went up to 195lbs while pregnant which was the weight I had been before serious diet and exercise. After giving birth i had 21lbs to loose to get back to my goal weight. I would admit exercising while breast-feeding helped a great deal, added to the fact that i was extra cautious of what I ate because I was breastfeeding. The moment I stopped breastfeeding it became a little challenging to maintain but persistence is the key.” Lesson: Goals help get you started, persistence gets you where you need to go.

Faye Ann Lyons, Soca Artiste: Having had the honor and horror of working out with Faye

156459.jpg
Faye Ann and husband Bunji Garlin

more than once, I can say if you want to look that awesome post baby, you better be willing to drop on the ground and no only roll, but do burpees, run (like seriously run) Chancellor and pump some iron. I worked out with Faye Ann after she had her baby under the watch of our then shared celebrity trainer, Gerard at Long Circular Mall Gym in St. James. Faye Ann looks good because she works out harder than anyone I know. She’s committed and has the abs to show for it. Lesson: Work hard for rock hard abs. 

 

Zakiya, attorney: I went to school with Zakiya. Her post baby story could be so many of the women I know and love: “First baby at 37 and I put on about 40 pounds. I had a c-section. I lost the first 20 pounds within the first two months they just dropped. I had the baby at end of June and I registered to play (mas)and the following feb and my sister was getting married in November so in September I started training like a beast and of course watched what I ate and I dropped about 15 (pounds) by January. However I put back on weight cause I went back to work and is hard to maintain a consistent exercise and diet program..” She’s committed to losing the weight because she’s playing mas next year too LOL. Lesson: Find your motivation. Expect derailment. Get your ass motivated again. 

Sophie Wight, Media Personality: Her laugh fills rooms and airways. Her daughter’s birth

screen_shot_2011-08-05_at_7.36.12_am.png
Photo:www.twitter.com

is well documented by Mamatoo and her post baby weight loss honest and real.  Sophie confesses to “always having had an apple shape”. Like so many of us she enjoyed pregnancy making it “ok” to have a belly. Losing weight after was one thing, but keeping it off was harder for her. “I gain on my belly and working out in front of people became mortifying (after pregnancy) because it (the tummy) was so loose,” says Sophie. “I still struggle and the only thing that works for me is at-home videos like P90X.” Home videos aside, she and her husband have also gotten pretty serious about their diet and support each other in making healthy choices. “It’s not just about you, it’s about both of you influencing each other’s habits.” Lesson: Enroll others and become a healthier family.

Toni, Attorney, Accountant, Yoga teacher: I know what you are thinking. You read that description and figured that I’m about to share a story of a super mom. Well, Toni is kinda super but having two sons (both born when she was over 30) and living between two countries makes this story even more super. “First baby at 31, put on 19 pounds, weight lost in ten days with the last six pounds taking six months. Had a c section. Started doing yoga five weeks after birth. Second child at 39. Another c section. Put on 25 pounds, 15 pounds lost in first ten days. Last ten pounds took 18 months to lose. Ran two semi marathons, a five km, a fourteen km, did two five day juice cleanses, restarted yoga practice of once a week and ballet of two hours a week after twelve months. Swam one km a week in the sea for a few weeks. Used a personal trainer in the gym for a month. Did a raw food programme for a month.Just want people to know that I did work at it. It didn’t just slide off and skinny flab is flab all the same. It’s hard work to get your body back.”  Lesson: Want to look freaking awesome? Work freaking hard. Let me know how your juice cleanses and semi marathons go eh…

Me, PR/ Marketing Professional, Lecturer, Entrepreneur, Blogger and bad yoga student : I lost 20 pounds in the first two weeks after pregnancy. I ate very carefully. I started walking 2 miles a day at 5 weeks post delivery (don’t tell my doctor). 6 weeks after I was running with baby in the Bob stroller. Size was going down but not the arrow on the damn wp-image-2081037186jpg.jpgscale. Then 9 weeks after delivery, my appendix gave up on me. I had surgery. YES surgery after giving birth less than 4 months prior to same. I was devastated and banned from working out for another six weeks. I managed, with diet, to not put on weight during that time. Back at work I’m now at the gym, 3 days a week at 4am and doing yoga once a week to try to get my abs back. My ass jiggles. My boobs are smaller than pre pregnancy. I have back fat that I never, ever had before. But you know what else I have? A cute, loving almost six month year old that giggles when he kicks my tummy and copious amounts of salad. Lesson: Shit happens with weight loss after pregnancy. Love your damn self and your child. Your husband too if you lucky. Hopefully abs, like joy, commeth in the morning!

So there ya have it. A true cross section of weight loss stories by professional women who did not have their children at 21 and snap back like that Teyana chick. Everyone’s struggle is hard in some way or another. So, find your own way to diet, exercise and patience. Don’t forget to love your baby and your self in between push ups and downward dogs!

Namaste.