As a blogger who has focused a lot of her writing on weight loss, I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading about others’ weight loss journeys. I think many of us can admit to having done this. We’re fascinated by success stories and women who have reached their goal weight, even to the point where we’ll do whatever they did to achieve their goals. What is the best weight loss plan after pregnancy? The bottom line is though, there isn’t a perfect plan. Different things work for different people for different reasons at different points in their lives.
At various points in my life my body has responded differently to what I’ve eaten and how I’ve worked out. Sometimes I was surprised and other times I wasn’t. What worked for me at 21 may not necessarily work for me at 31. I’m a different person 9 years later, with different habits, different responsibilities, and different routines. What has remained the same however is what causes me to struggle and to gain weight.
As I’ve shared this week, it’s going to take time to transition into motherhood and I am so excited about this next chapter! While I don’t know when I’ll officially start working towards weight loss after pregnancy, I do know that I can at least strive to work on my struggles and to build upon what I’ve learned about myself during pregnancy after pregnancy.
Many of you have asked what weight loss plan I’m going to follow after pregnancy, with the biggest question being “Are you going to join Weight Watchers again?”. Over the past 15 years I’ve joined Weight Watchers many, many times. I keep going back because 1. I often lose weight while on the Weight Watchers plan and 2. I love a lot about the program. On the flip side though, I’ve quit Weight Watchers many, many times. Whether it’s because of the cost, my desire to eat intuitively, or major plateaus in my weight loss, I’ve yet to reach my goal weight while on Weight Watchers.
Now this is no fault of Weight Watchers, but I think it’s important for me to really think through whether or not to join Weight Watchers again. While I haven’t made any final decisions and don’t plan to until I’ve transitioned into motherhood, I’ve at least taken some time to think about why I’d want to return to Weight Watchers after pregnancy and why I wouldn’t.
For me, Weight Watchers provides me the stability, structure, accountability, and support that I need in order to lose weight. I love the accountability that comes from weighing in at a meeting every week and how easy it is to track everything through the Weight Watchers App. It keeps me focused each day and helps me to stay on track. In the same way, I love the support system! Whether it’s the friends you make during meetings or the support system you can find online, I really love the community that comes with joining Weight Watchers.
I also love the structure that the Weight Watchers program bring to my life. These past few years I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what my body needs in order to function and in order to lose weight. I’ve had my metabolism tested twice, I’ve met with a nutritionist, and I’ve tried a lot of different plans. For me, finding the right number of calories for my body has been difficult, causing me to over think weight loss. In the same way, eating intuitively has been difficult because I have unhealthy habits that sabotage my efforts. With Weight Watchers, I weigh in, am given my weekly Points allowance, and then can choose whether to count Points or to follow the Simply Filling/CORE plan. I love that it’s structured and doesn’t require me to think too much or to figure out what works for my body.
On the flip side of all of the reasons why I’d love to join Weight Watchers again, I do have a few reasons why I wouldn’t want to join again. The main reason is that I want to be able to do this on my own. I don’t know if it’s pride or what (I’m sure it is), but I wish I could just change my eating habits, eat intuitively, and lose weight. I’m sure I’m also scared of failing again. As I’ve joined and quit Weight Watchers a gazillion times, I’m scared of doing it again and quitting.
I am also hesitant to join Weight Watchers again because my weight loss has stalled many times while on the plan, which is discouraging. The CORE program and previous Points plans worked really well for me, but I’ve struggled to lose weight on the Points Plus plan. Whether it’s the zero point fruits or something else, I just found that my body didn’t respond as well as I would have liked while on the Points Plus plan.
While I love being able to eat a variety of foods, which Weight Watchers allows me to do, I’ve found that you really have to be eating the right combination of foods in order to lose weight regularly on Weight Watchers. For me, the less carbs I eat the more successful I am. This isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it’s easy to just eat whatever fits into my daily points instead of thinking more about the nutrition and value of each thing I’m eating.
I know there is no right or wrong way to go (or an ideal weight loss plan for after pregnancy), but I do think this will be a big decision for me when the time comes. A big part of me wants to join Weight Watchers and to use it in combination with my nutrition goals (eating less carbs and sugar) but then on the flip side I think about how Weight Watchers may be a crutch that I keep going back to.
My ultimate goal is to reach a place where I am eating intuitively, but I know that a structured plan can help me to get to a healthy place. Eating intuitively off the bat is scary and as I’ve seen in the past when I’ve tried it, really requires a lot of professional support (meeting with a nutritionist 1-2 times a month and possibly a therapist). I think eating intuitively really boils down to dealing with one’s issues with food that way they can really focus on their body and the nutrition food provides them vs the pleasure it provides. I want to reach this place and to deal with why I overeat, but I think a good stepping stone to this place might be through Weight Watchers or another structured plan (counting calories through My Fitness Pal).
Without essentially starting a new blog post, the main reason I am hesitate to only use My Fitness Pal is because I really have no idea how many calories I should be eating for my body. I have not been successful when following the calorie recommendations for my body given to me by doctors or professionals in the nutrition field. I feel like I’m still eating too many calories, but tests say that I should be eating a lot. I struggle to find the balance and to know how to adjust my calories with the workouts I’m doing.
My Fitness Pal also opens doors into counting macros and/or micros (carbs, protein, fat, etc.), which for me is a whole new ball game. Without even going down this road I know I just need to eat more protein and vegetables each day. Period dot. I’ve had a really hard time with counting calories in the past and often find that it consumes me, which Weight Watchers does not. I could see myself wanting to count calories the rest of my life, where as I know I don’t want to count points forever. Still, using My Fitness Pal may end up being a great option for me after I’ve transitioned into motherhood and decide to start working towards my weight loss goals again.
Ultimately, I know I need to work on correcting the unhealthy habits that have kept me overweight and from achieving my goals. I need to conquer the things that make me struggle and lead me back to weight gain. I may not have a specific nutrition or diet plan at this point, but I know that no plan is ideal unless I’m willing to change. I’m really looking forward to this next phase, as I’ve shared, and to see how I grow and change as a person these next few months. The woman I become after our daughter arrives is sure to affect the decisions I make surrounding my own health and fitness goals. I think I’ll find more clarity as I transition away from pregnancy and into motherhood.