Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Like Tree7Likes

When is losing the pregnancy weight too much...

  1. #1
    NewMommie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    39

    When is losing the pregnancy weight too much...

    I am getting concerned about a mother that I have known for about half a year now. At first we engaged in the typical chat about losing the pounds after having our children. But I noticed after awhile that it was a real obsession with her, and that she kept reporting her progress to me and constantly depriving herself of meals (skipping lunch or skipping dinner, refusing to drink anything but water and tea, etc), slipping in extra exercise such as telling me about how she takes her child to the playground so she can also get in extra running around to burn calories, etc.

    From what I can see she is at a healthy weight or even a bit on the thin side (hard to tell in clothes of course), but as she has pointed out, her lower abs protrude a bit. She claims this is all fat and she needs to diet more and more until it goes away. I have two kids and I just came to terms with the fact that I am going to be a few pounds heavier than I used to be, so I don't think she really listens to me when I tell her she is taking the dieting too far.

    My question is - what can I tell her about post-pregnancy bodies that might help her? Should I simply tell her her stomach may never be flat again b/c her skin is looser, or would that be insulting and/or wrong? I know some people manage to get fit after having babies - she talks about all the celebs that do.

    My other question is whether from the sounds of this I should be saying something to her. I grew up with a sister who had anorexia and had to be hospitalized, so I worry that I am being overly sensitive. But then I feel like her skipping meals all the time and talking of nothing but dieting and even making playing with her child into a calorie-burning exercise means she's being obsessive, and I know that for many people with eating disorders, they say that part of their issue was no one said anything about it until it was really a problem.

    I tried to look up post-pregnancy anorexia online but there doesn't seem to be anything about it....

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    i had a best friend die from complications arising from anorexia and bulimia. i would be as concerned as you are and no, i don't think you are being overly sensitive.

    it's a difficult position to be in. as you know, anorexics will push you away if they think you may intrude on their disease, just as an alcoholic would. also, you have only known her for 6 months... maybe her husband or someone closer to her would be better able to broach the subject? is there anyway for you to voice your concerns to her husband?

  3. #3
    mduchess is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    hong kong
    Posts
    3
    I gave birth to my angel 4 months ago and I'm trying to lose weight too. Sounds like your friend has in fact lost the baby weight already - if she really wants a flat ab, maybe she can consider doing slimming treatment in beauty spas. that treatment helps tone the body. also, a true pro pregnancy flat ab can really be achieved by surgery.
    she really should stop killing herself.

  4. #4
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    I would tell your friend that skipping meals is achieving the opposite of what she wants--it slows down your metabolism and eventually forces your body to "eat" it's own muscle which just leaves you with the flabby bits anyway. Muscle burns more calories RESTING than fat does. So, her body will be consuming muscle, literally leaving her less toned. If she eats small, healthy meals several times/day she will keep her "engines burning" and her body will keep burning calories which will not only give her more energy and make her feel better but it will help her lose weight in the long-run.

    But if your friend has become compulsive about this it probably has turned into something more than just "losing weight after baby." Is she suffering from any other psychological issues (depression or anxiety especially?) I know it's hard to tell sometimes with people but when I was in secondary school I starved myself all the time and for me it was a coping device to deal with the family stress in my life. I was scary-thin--ribs protruding and I started getting injured all the time because my muscles were weak leaving me vulnerable to injury. It took several years for me to recover from this.

    As far as what she can healthily do after baby to get a flatter stomach (not promising it will be absolutely as flat as before)--I recommend pilates. Tell her that she needs to build her core strength. Weight doesn't matter at all. For example, you could weigh 15 kilos more than you look like you weigh just because you are solid and toned. I would rather have a strong, toned, shapely body with a strong core than a lighter body (kilo-wise) that is nothing but jiggly fat.

    But, I've been going to pilates for about 6 weeks now after returning from having a baby and I can already tell the difference in my mid-section. The improvement has been wonderful and confidence-building. I recommend this studio as they are all women and they are all very body-positive and encouraging and will take you at whatever level you're at and give you the appropriate amount of challenge and encouragement to move forward. It's also a small studio so the class size is usually never more than 6 people. I go three times/week and it has changed how I feel about myself.

    If you want to teach your children how to be healthy (not starve themselves and hate their bodies) then you need to model it. So, I hope you can speak out and encourage her to get to a healthier place emotionally and physically. Be prepared, though because when both of my coaches, my best friend and my mom all confronted me lovingly on different occassions regarding my eating disorder I either lied through my teeth and denied it or got incredibly angry and lashed out at them. But, now I am so grateful they had the guts and love to confront me.

    When I was in the throes of post-partum depression and body self-hate after I had my first child (this lasted a good 2 years until I got pregnant again) I found this website encouraging (warning, there is some nudity here). I shared my story with pictures a couple of times there. Also helpful is the sister-site here.
    elle likes this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  5. #5
    elle is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    hk south side
    Posts
    386
    Totally agree with everything Thanka says, particularly about skipping meals being a big no no and pilates being great to tone up after pregnancy. Especially if you have lost the weight, pilates-type exercises can help you get back into pre-pregnancy form. While what she is looking to do is possible (I am back to pre-pregnancy weight, or a few pounds lighter, with a flat tummy - no surgery or any crazy diets or, in my opinion, silly slimming treatments) it took a lot of discipline, eating healthy (and the 'right' type) of food and exercise. Losing the weight was the easier part, and toning back up took longer and a more targeted approach than just 'slipping in some extra exercise to burn calories' or running around at the playground with the kid - I really really had to target certain muscle groups with hours in the gym/ at pilates.

    Assuming she doesn't have any deeper issues with weight and eating going on (not sure, don't know here it sounds as though she may) she might also just be frustrated that her self-deprivation approach isn't giving her the results she wants, which would be expected as what she is doing goes against sound medical advice on how to effectively lose weight and tone up. Perhaps suggest a pilates studio or other professional help (would steer clear of those young personal trainers at gyms though, they more often than not have not much sense and no real training in fitness). Hope all works out well with your friend and good luck.
    Last edited by elle; 12-07-2011 at 10:52 AM.
    thanka2 likes this.

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    Quote Originally Posted by elle View Post
    Totally agree with everything Thanka says, particularly about skipping meals being a big no no and pilates being great to tone up after pregnancy. Especially if you have lost the weight, pilates-type exercises can help you get back into pre-pregnancy form. While what she is looking to do is possible (I am back to pre-pregnancy weight, or a few pounds lighter, with a flat tummy - no surgery or any crazy diets or, in my opinion, silly slimming treatments) it took a lot of discipline, eating healthy (and the 'right' type) of food and exercise. Losing the weight was the easier part, and toning back up took longer and a more targeted approach than just 'slipping in some extra exercise to burn calories' or running around at the playground with the kid - I really really had to target certain muscle groups with hours in the gym/ at pilates.

    Assuming she doesn't have any deeper issues with weight and eating going on (not sure, don't know here it sounds as though she may) she might also just be frustrated that her self-deprivation approach isn't giving her the results she wants, which would be expected as what she is doing goes against sound medical advice on how to effectively lose weight and tone up. Perhaps suggest a pilates studio or other professional help (would steer clear of those young personal trainers at gyms though, they more often than not have not much sense and no real training in fitness). Hope all works out well with your friend and good luck.
    I just wanted to add that it's important for women to have a realistic view of themselves as well after childbirth. For some women, getting down to pre-pregnancy weight will be possible. For others it won't be.

    What I mean by this is that in the past, because of my issues with food, although I was thin, I was actually probably under-weight for my build. After children my hormones have changed dramatically as has my figure. I have wider hips which makes me more curvy and my bust size is markedly larger than it was before. Before children there were times when I could get away with just wearing a tight t-shirt instead of a bra under my clothes but with breastfeeding especially that is totally different now.

    So, for me, I've pretty much thrown the concept of "weight" out the window. I refuse to let a scale determine how fit/healthy/happy/content I am. I actually make it a point to rarely look at a scale because it just makes me feel bad. For me, I'd rather be able to fit into clothes that I like--that's the point for me because those other numbers are arbitrary. Even when I was at my thinnest adult weight I told a trainer at a gym how much I weighed and they didn't believe me because I looked like I was 20-30 pounds lighter than what I actually weighed.

    So, sometimes the best thing us women can do is throw the scale out the window--especially if you're not in the category where a scale is actually necessary (extremely underweight or extremely overweight to where you're having health problems because of it) and you don't need to monitor your weight. I think I'm accepting that I will possibly never be as light as I was before my first child was born but I can still be fit/beautiful/satisfied/content/sexy anyway and that's what matters to me. It was a BIG realization for me!

    Anyway...spent so many years hating myself and my body because of some number so I think I've entered a new phase.
    carang, jvn and elle like this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #7
    NewMommie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    39
    Thanks so much for your comments - especially thanka2 for her personal story. I chatted with this mom again and I passed on some of the helpful tips, particularly on being healthy and fit rather than 'thin', and working on her abs with pilates rather than starvation! I don't know her husband, or other friends, but I am trying to be a friend and encouraging her to do healthy and productive things so hopefully that is enough for now.

    I actually went online again yesterday and found some articles about Mommyrexia. Have you heard of this? It is where the pressure to be thin during pregnancy and then to immediately bounce back after having a baby are so severe that it causes women to gain very little weight while pregnant and/or not breastfeed so they could diet and exercise immediately after birth. They pointed to a lot of these celebs who pose for the postpartum photos 6 weeks after they give birth and have 6-pack abs. They said also that traditional anorexia is often not about looking good, but about control. I do get the sense from this mom that she feels out of control and that might be fueling the obsession. New baby, new responsibilities, new job as a SAHM after she quit her job, expat living away from home, etc. All I can say is...it's hard to be a woman in today's world.
    Last edited by NewMommie; 12-07-2011 at 03:56 PM.
    thanka2 likes this.

  8. #8
    elle is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    hk south side
    Posts
    386
    Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like for everyone all the weight will come off and you will re-gain your pre-pregnancy body if you work really hard. I just meant to highlight that perhaps a better approach if she is really serious about flattening out her tummy is some targeted exercise and toning rather than starving herself - I think it needs to be a healthy diet and correct exercise approach if one is to have any chance. Also, I didn't just bounce back into shape - it took months and months of an almost obsessive gym and training routine that affected my social life and time with my friends. There was basically baby, work and the gym. If my husband was not so adament about me regaining a pre-pregnancy shape (which is a whole other issue - unsupportive/ unrealistic spouses) it probably would not have happened because it was just so damn hard. I also don't know if I could do it again with two children.

    Factors like age, genetics and your individual physiology (including hormonal changes etc.) all also play a part as insightfully noted by Thanka above, and I guess that I am lucky all things considered.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. losing post pregnancy weight !!
    By dpmother in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 07-07-2011, 10:36 AM
  2. Losing my mind over baby's sleep routine
    By anotherone in forum Sleep and your Baby
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-02-2011, 10:50 PM
  3. Weight Gain during Pregnancy
    By kahling in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 08-13-2009, 06:37 PM
  4. I'm losing my mind
    By aussiegal in forum Sleep and your Baby
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11-21-2007, 10:31 PM
  5. losing one...
    By kellyst in forum Preconception
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-30-2007, 08:59 PM
Scroll to top