Being pregnant is advertised as this magical, wonderful time filled with colorful rainbows and dancing unicorns. For some moms, like Alisha Hall, pregnancy is anything but joyful and that fact makes the experience painful and emotional.
Like many new moms, Alisha thought she could eat anything because she was “eating for two.” Before she knew it, the pounds piled on and she gained 65 pounds. Adding to the weight gain, she was often sick with colds, sinus infections, daily headaches and frequent migraines. Her blood pressure had wild fluctuations going too high and then dropping too low. For months five through nine, she struggled to deal with her swollen, unfamiliar body and ended up with carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.
The issues mentioned were in addition to “normal” pregnancy issues including sleeplessness, frequent trips to the restroom, and feelings of riding an emotional roller coaster. Like many expecting mothers, she felt out of control.
Though it is not politically correct to say this, Alisha said she hated being pregnant. She admitted this fact to herself and others close to her. Frankly, any woman that is so sick and miserable every day for nine months would most certainly say the same thing.
Delivery and a body that’s not mine
Rylee Nicole Hall was delivered by caesarian section, a healthy baby. Complications after the surgery caused Alisha to be hospitalized two more times in order to get rid of blood clots. She was on close doctor supervision for about two months after delivering Rylee.
Alisha commented, “When I was pregnant, I realized my body was no longer mine. I was sharing my body with this little miracle of life. Almost immediately after delivery, there was a little voice in my head that said, ‘You are fat!’ There were stretch marks, flab and extra skin in places on my body I thought would never be capable of hosting these imperfections.”
Constant comparison to others
It was hard enough dealing with her own feelings of insecurity and then came the comparisons to others. She said, “Once Rylee was born I was 55 pounds overweight, depressed and no long viewing myself as beautiful. I would look at other moms around me and hear people tell them, ‘Wow, you don’t even look like you had a baby!’ while I’m standing right there, all fat and still not able to wear normal shoes because I was still so swollen. I know that I had just carried this miracle and this beautiful baby for nine months so I should know it will take some time to get back to being myself; but I just couldn’t shake the fact that I looked so awful.
Alisha is fortunate that she has a supportive husband, Taylor. As she looked at herself in the mirror for the fifth time, tears in her eyes, Taylor reassured her, “Babe you look great, you just had a baby.” She knew she just had a baby, but why didn’t she look like those other girls? Why didn’t she feel as pretty?
Social media and expectations of society played with her head. She knew it and she had to do something to take control.
Fat-Burning Machine pilot group
Alisha’s frustrations coincided with the first pilot group to implement the principles in my new book, “Become a Fat-Burning Machine: The 12-Week Diet.” The book was written to help people with Metabolic Syndrome, a condition that plagues nearly 35% of US adults. This condition makes people’s bodies store the food they eat as fat, rather than burn it for energy.
In just eight weeks of implementing the plan, Alisha lost 12 pounds.
The top 5 things Alisha learned from becoming a Fat-Burning Machine
- Not all fats are bad and not all “healthy,” organic or fat-free foods are good. Before becoming a fat burner, she tried to avoid fat in her foods because she thought fat was bad. After adding fat and protein to breakfast and avoiding high carbohydrate choices, she felt more satisfied and it seemed to help her get off of the emotional roller coaster.
- Build your plate around veggies. For her entire life, Alisha thought her plate should be built around a big protein portion. Now she builds her plate around a list of healthy vegetables, adds a right-size portion of protein and healthy fat, while minimizing low-quality carbohydrates.
- Sugar is in everything!!! Become a label detective. When something says “sugar-free” it doesn’t mean there is zero sugar in the product. Instead of adding sugar, some products add artificial sweeteners or some chemical cocktail that can trigger hunger just like sugar.
- Write down your goals. My main goal was to lose the weight for me – not anyone else. I wanted to be under control of my body, feel good and to be able to keep up with my baby girl as she grew. When you’re having a day where you’re struggling to stay on track or wanting to cheat by eating sugar – remind yourself of your goals and why you started in the first place.
- Most importantly, don’t give up and be patient. Getting to a healthy weight isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s not a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle change. It may be slow, but it’s so worth it!
Find out more about the book, Become a Fat-Burning Machine: The 12-Week Diet, at www.fat-burning-machine.com. Flip your switch from fat storing to fat burning.
By Gale Bernardt for the Healthy Moms Magazine
Gale Bernhardt is a two-time Olympic coach and author of seven books. She was recognized by Men’s Fitness as one of the top online trainers.