I knew long ago that I wanted to be a mom, but it wasn’t until I got married that the possibility became a reality. I feel like most women ask themselves “should I lose weight before having children”, but for me it was less about should I and more about how much weight should I lose before having children.
Having children was never my central reason for wanting to lose weight in my early 20’s, but I knew it was important for me to be as healthy as possible before having children. After college I started my weight loss journey, losing close to 60 pounds my first year. Though there were ups and downs in the years that followed, I worked really hard to lose weight, to get into great shape, and to be ready for pregnancy. When the time came for us to start a family however, I couldn’t help but feel like I hadn’t done enough.
Instead of recognizing what I had achieved and trusting that my body was ready, I grew insecure and started to create a list of reasons why I needed more time. Maybe if we waited just a few more months I’d be able to get back down to my lowest adult weight. Maybe if we waited a year I’d be able to reach my goal weight. Maybe if we waited I’d be able to become exactly who I needed to be before getting pregnant and becoming a mom.
I struggled to come to peace with where I was pre-pregnancy and managed to put things off for almost 6 months, but what I realized is that I had to stop allowing my fears and my body weight to keep me and my husband from living the life we had dreamed of. Letting go was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I had to realize that my weight loss journey is never ending. Even when I reach my goal weight I’ll have to work to maintain what I’ve achieved. I had to realize that I had already lost what I needed to lose before having children and now was not the time to obsess over an ultimate goal. My ultimate goal was to be a mom and I had to stop allowing my weight to keep me from living.
Since getting pregnant a number of people have reached out to me about their own weight loss journeys and their desires to have children. I have related to their struggles more than they’ll ever know, but with each and every e-mail I realize more and more how hard we all are on ourselves. While there is a legitimate reason why some are waiting to have children until they’ve lost weight, others are stuck in this limbo of wanting to have children but wanting to reach their goal weight before having children.
In the end, I think there is no right or wrong answer to how much weight you should lose before having children. The ultimate decision will come after you’ve talked to your partner, had a heart to heart with a doctor you trust, and are at peace with where your body is at.
Looking back, I know that my body was exactly where it needed to be before getting pregnant. The number on the scale may have been higher than I wanted it to be, but I was in amazing shape and was ready to carry a child… I just had to believe in myself and my body.
This body has carried our baby girl for 30 weeks now and has changed in so many ways. As I near the end of my pregnancy I can’t help but think about my goals post pregnancy and the shape I hope to return to. The difference is that I will be a mom and I will have allowed myself to let go in order to have the ultimate gift of motherhood. No goal weight will ever give me what these 10 months will give me…a daughter!
Please note: I am not a doctor nor do my opinions trump the professional advice and direction given by your doctor. These are merely my thoughts.