As a mother of seven children, my weight has been going up for many years. It got to the point where my health was suffering. I developed a condition called plantar fasciitis which caused horrible pain and inflammation in my heels. I found myself out of breath when walking up the stairs in our house. I suffered from frequent back pain. In my fifth and sixth pregnancies, I developed high blood pressure which became life threatening.
I hated seeing photographs of me. I would often think, “I look so fat in that photo!” and then I would delete it from the computer so no one else would have to see it. When I had to be in photos for group shots, I would always place myself to the back of the group or make sure I had one of my kids in front of me.
After each pregnancy, I would plan to lose weight before having another baby, but I always got pregnant again without having lost any of the weight. When I found myself pregnant with my seventh baby, I knew it was time to do something about my health, especially knowing that my developing high blood pressure again was almost assured. By this time I weighed 137.5 pounds (9 stone 9 pounds) above a healthy BMI for my height.
Not wanting to risk the baby during the early stages of my pregnancy, I waited until I reached 12 weeks pregnant before attending my first Slimming World meeting. A friend of mine had lost over 5 stone through Slimming World, so I wanted to learn more about it. I got my doctor's approval and began following the Slimming World plan. I started losing weight right away, and the more I lost, the more motivated I was to continue with it.
My husband helped by joining me in my healthier way of eating and found that he loved all of the food and variety that was allowed on the plan. He started cooking with me from some of the Slimming World recipe books and his weight started coming off too. We bought an elliptical crosstraining machine to use at home and both started working out on it daily. We started taking long walks together more frequently.
I developed a painful condition during the pregnancy that caused me a lot of hip and pelvic pain, but I was determined not to quit exercising. I continued using the elliptical trainer right up until within days of my delivery, but I did have to give up the long walks within the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy.
After only a short time on the plan, my husband joined the Slimming World club with me. Having his support throughout this has been incredibly helpful in keeping me on track with my healthy eating and exercise. And it’s been fun to plan our meals and take turns cooking them.
I felt stronger and fitter than I had felt in a long time. My husband kept telling me that he could see the weight loss showing in my legs, hips, back, bottom, arms and face, but I really wanted to be able to see it in my waist, which, because of the growing baby inside me, I knew would have to wait. What was great about the Slimming World plan was that I never had to be hungry, and I knew I was giving all the best nutrients and vitamins through my diet to my growing baby.
My kids enjoyed all of the fresh fruit in the house and trying the different meals we made each night. After my weekly Slimming World meetings, the first question my teens would ask when my husband and I arrived home was, “How much did you lose?”
To help me keep up my motivation, I started journaling on-line about my weight loss journey. I set up a blog at http://skinnydreaming.blogspot.com . I would take photos of some of the dishes we would cook and add the recipes to my blog, along with whatever twist we had given to them. I would post my weekly weight loss and my thoughts during the week about how I was doing or what would cause me to eat poorly. I would post useful articles for dieters. Blogging about my weight loss really helped to keep me focused.
My blood pressure remained good throughout my 7th pregnancy, and I am sure it is all thanks to the healthy eating I was doing by following the Slimming World plan and the daily exercise I was getting. I went past my due date and was scheduled to be induced, and by then I had already lost 3 stone 4 pounds. My son was born on a Friday weighing 6 pounds ½ ounce and the following Monday at my Slimming world weigh-in, I had lost another 6.5 pounds. I thought that was all I would lose from giving birth, but the following Monday I had dropped another 10.5 pounds!
My total weight loss to date is 65.5 pounds (4 stone 9.5 pounds). I started out with over 9 stone to lose and I am already half-way there. With the continued support of my husband and the new friends I have made through Slimming World, I am positive that I will lose the rest of my extra weight in 2009!
A note about losing weight while pregnant:
Although women should ALWAYS get the approval of their doctor before embarking on a weight loss journey, especially when pregnant, and, while pregnant, should have their midwives monitor their progress closely, it is a myth that all women will harm their baby by losing weight while pregnant. Seriously overweight women can safely lose weight by making simple and healthy changes to their diets during pregnancy and doing so may actually help them see some benefits. In doing so, they may reduce their risk of developing pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and other conditions. As long as the pregnant mother is eating a healthy diet full of a variety of nutrients and vitamins, the baby will be provided with the nourishment it needs.