reader questions

what do you do to keep in shape, in terms of diet & exercise?

I figured I’d answer this one in addition to addressing the very sweet, much-appreciated positive feedback I’ve received on my post-twins appearance. Even typing that feels so silly & awkward! But I’ve gotten several questions on the subject, so I figured I’d share. I’ve had a few people comment on how small I look, and how they can’t believe there were two babies in there. However, I gained the same amount of weight during both pregnancies. Most twin mamas I know don’t put on astronomical amounts of weight. Usually, we’re doing all we can to gain! I treaded water just to keep from losing weight, especially towards the end. The sisters tried their best to suck the life right out of me.

DIET. This is a subject pretty dear to my heart. I didn’t grow up eating super healthy. My parents’ generation did not have to worry as much as we do. But these days, you can’t throw a rock in the grocery store without hitting something that’s been injected with hormones or genetically modified. It’s scary. I don’t want my girls to become women before they’re ready. I’ve seen how Avery behaves when he’s running on processed sugar, versus whole foods. Like a lot of people, I’ve hopped on the organic bandwagon. Chris & I shop all-natural and local as much as we can, which affords us the ability to splurge on occasion when we’re out. I can kill a Big Mac (don’t care how gross they are). And don’t even get me started on Chick-Fil-A. For us, it’s very simple – if we don’t keep junk in the house, we don’t eat it. And our kids don’t miss it. The eldest recently text messaged me during church, asking if he was allowed to eat the snacks served in his small group. He’d checked the label of a can of soda and read high-fructose corn syrup. How cool is that? Of course, we let him drink it. Moderation reigns!

EXERCISE. I don’t work out at all right now, for two main reasons: Milk supply & skin. I don’t want to damage the success we’ve got going with breastfeeding twins. I need all of the calories I eat to go to those girls. I’m still having a hard time keeping my iron level up, so my energy has been in the basement lately. And when I work, I’m on my feet all day at a job I consider to be manual labor. That’s exercise in and of itself! A friend of mine gave me some encouragement after Ames’ birth. It takes almost a year to grow a baby, and it should take that long to lose all of the weight (longer, if you breastfeed). I’ve been resisting the urge to drop a bunch of weight at once and be left with sagging skin, skin that will stick around for life. Slow & steady wins the race.

Truthfully, though, there are a few other factors to take into consideration. I’ve got the genes thing going for me. My petite mother has been known to wear my hand-me-downs. Also, I’ve discovered a bizarre track record of being smaller after babies. Lastly, I played sports practically year-round until college. I’m hoping to enjoy a few years of rest before my metabolism slows down.

Regardless, I’ve got a considerable amount of toning to do. Mama skin is different skin, that’s for sure! Things are much more soft & jiggly, and I occasionally have to pull a breast out of my armpit when I’m lying in bed. I’ll also let you in on a little secret… totally considering plastic surgery. My belly button is most likely never returning home, and this thing has GOT to be tucked if that’s the case. I can’t wear certain shirts because you can see it poking through! And if I don’t suck in, I look like I have a constant food baby going on. My abdominal muscles come to a weird point under my belly button when I try to sit up. I think I’m dealing with this phenomenon. My linea nigra has been there since I was fifteen weeks pregnant with Ames. I doubt it’s ever going to fade completely. The stretch marks are a new addition, as of the week the sisters came. I’m doing my best to get them to go away, all the while learning to accept them. For the sake of full disclosure, here’s what I look like today, at this very moment.

for the world to see.

It’s sort of hard for me to post this. I love blogging and sharing with people, but I don’t love tooting my own horn. I’m not a super-healthy, super-sexy super-mama with a success story to share. It’s also hard for me to not be self-conscious about the way I look these days. In public, I feel most comfortable about my body when I’m with my kids. And I just counted – I’ve spent only two months out of my two-and-a-half-year marriage NOT being pregnant or breastfeeding.

But that’s okay. Chris has taught me to love what the Lord has done with our family, and I’m doing my best to celebrate each season my body experiences.

22 thoughts on “reader questions”

  1. i think you look great! My stomach is saggy and stretch marked all over from when I was pregnant with Jude. I think I could get super fit and I would still want to hide my belly. However, I’m learning to accept my new mama body. I call my stretch marks my tiger stripes and see them as a permanent reminder of my pregnancies. (kind of like a commemorative tattoo)

  2. you look so amazing! I have been secretly thinking “oh my gosh she looks SO good after 3 babies!” and your stomach looks great too! seriously!! I hope mine looks that good after 2 pregnancies! Pregnancy has made me realize how much appearance really shaped my confidence….eeek…. I still have yet to see what Ill look like after my baby :) you look wonderful and thumbs up to you for being so candid :)

  3. You look amazing! and for the record my stomach always looks like i have a food baby, unless i flex or suck in. I think the muscles just relax and change after babies. I’m proud of you for posting this. love you gorgeous mama!

  4. You are beautiful, inside and out! Thank you for being so open and honest, you inspired me today. Our youngest is 8 months old and I still have a few pounds left but haven’t really dug in full swing because of breast feeding. But, like you, I’m a nurse and I work out all day at work! You are awesome!

  5. you’re doing great…and not just coming from another mom, but one that’s (been) there too. i got smaller after my 1st 2 pregnancies and this time, i too have a ‘food baby’ (love that phase by the way!)my babies turn 1 next week… i still struggle with accepting the stretch marks, the non-existent stomach muscles & the fact that i’m no longer an athlete. i try to be thankful for the youth i have and think of how bad it could have been. you’re inspiring so many by being honest & transparent, so thank you. keep feeding those girls!!

  6. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m 8 days postpartum and even though I claim I’m not thinking about how I look, it creeps in anyway. You look wonderful and even if I don’t have your genes, it’s so reassuring to see post-baby bodies out there.

  7. I just want to say that a LOT of people’s stomach’s don’t even look HALF that good, when they’ve had ZERO babies!!! You go girl!!!

  8. Loved this post…especially loved that you put yourself out there! You look AMAZING! I want to get plastic surgery on my b button as well. That guy never went back in ;)

  9. Way to go for sharing!

    I don’t really mind my mama body, but I do have trouble buying clothes. I’m used to shapes that fit my old body and really need to learn what to gravitate towards that will look flattering with my newfound curves :)

  10. I have to agree with Olivia Grace. You ARE beautiful, inside and out, and it shows. Thanks for always sharing.

  11. The shape as also the slope of the stride though it has good looks and is what you could expect an excellent fitness product to look like. Another reason for the popularity of abdominal exercise is that they are able to be utilised by almost anyone.

  12. I THINK YOU LOOK GREAT!!! Thanks so much for sharing this! I LOVE working out and eating well, and so often am so scared to think ‘what will my body look like after babies?’ A baby & twins — your stomach looks GREAT!!!

  13. Umm… OK. I’m 11 months out from having my twins and still look awful. I’ve got 25 lbs to loose. You look great though. You’re my inspiration! Haha!

  14. I found your blog from Sometimes Sweet and you have me hooked!

    I’m dating a guy now with a son so it’s always nice to hear (read) about people who have gone through the step-parent experience. He’s also straight edge ;).

    Anyways-into my google reader you go :)

  15. I found you over on Sometimes Sweet and had to come say hi! I love that your marriage centers around you and your husband and not around your kids. I’m sure that’s hard to do these days but it’s wonderful that you make that a priority. I hope to do the same one day when I have kids :)

    You are absolutely gorgeous on the inside and the outside! Can’t wait to read more :)

  16. Just discovered your blog today and I love it! My husband and I are about to have our first and I have been totally inspired by your blog…especially your philosophy on moderation…we try to eat organic and natural and local…but I, too, can throw down a Big Mac. ;-)
    God bless you guys!

  17. First, you look great! Second, I bet the fluffy tummy business will totally get waaay better in a year or two. I know people always say it, but it just takes time. The jiggles and fluff and saggy skin will all improve over time. When I was a few months post-partum, I really thought my tummy would stay looking like that forever. With an almost-two-year-old now, I can say that my tummy looks really close to the way it did pre-pregnancy. It’s not perfect, but it’s 100 times better than it was back in the early days.

  18. You look great. I’m just about at 39 wks with my first and the stretch marks are freaking me out! I hope they fade soon after delivery. Also you mentioned your stomach bulging into a point when you sit up, I’m a RN too and it sounds like something I’ve heard before. It sounds like diastasis recti where the left & right abdominals have spread weakening the abdominal wall and need some help coming back together. It’s really common in multiple births. Check it out & talk about it with your MD if you think the description fits what’s going on with you. Wish you and your adorable family the best!

  19. oh my gosh, if it’s any encouragement, your belly looks better than mine after twins and a third AND I’m so encouraged to know that I’m not the only one who has lost her belly button! I have totally considered lipo!!! HAHA! oh, the joys of birthing children….

  20. Totally feel you in this post! Just had my twin girls and all the stretch marks appeared in ONE day at 33 weeks (I call them tear marks, ouch)…it’s definitely a “surrender moment” when I look in the mirror :)

Comments are closed.