WRITTEN BY CASSIE FINE
Anyone that knows me and my Virgo mind for real knows how hard it was for me to decide to post this before and after, but since becoming a mother and experiencing how amazing the female body is, I felt it necessary to share.
At the time of the picture on the left I was a little over one month postpartum and 30lbs heavier than the picture on the right from yesterday (8 months postpartum). It is the only “before” picture that I allowed my husband @alexfine44 to take of me. Honestly, it was a struggle for me to even allow him to take it because one, in the moment I didn’t even recognize myself looking in the mirror and two, I didn’t understand the importance of a before picture. It made me cringe. I just wanted to do the work and wake up one day and be back to my normal self - no before picture! It was TMI! 🤣 That being said, I now know that if you are working towards any health goal, taking a photo at the beginning of your journey is really important. Should you choose to share it is up to you. Take the picture for yourself.
So to rewind a bit, I had my daughter Frankie on December 6th, 2019. I gained a total of 60lbs. Yes! I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy lol. I lost 20lbs within the first couple of weeks which I was told was normal and then another 10 gradually over the next 2-3 weeks. I started to workout when I had a goal of 30lbs to go and when my doctor cleared me to. I went pretty hard at first. By mid March I was down another 15 and feeling pretty good. I had a bit of unexplained anxiety, but I was able to work through it and down another 15 meant I only had 15lbs to go to get back to my pre-baby weight. That only lasted a couple of weeks and out of nowhere I gained the 15 back. I was right back to where I started. After a few weeks of bloodwork I found out that I had something called postpartum thyroiditis. Basically my thyroid was hyper for a short period (hence the anxiety and weight loss) and then slowed down causing me to gain weight back. From what my doctor told me it’s not super common. About 5-10% of women experience it within the first year after childbirth.
The next 3 months following were confusing and depressing to say the least. I changed my diet paying attention to things that I reacted negatively to (ie, bloating). I actually started roughly following an autoimmune diet (AIP) in fear that my thyroiditis would turn into Hashimoto’s Disease (an autoimmune disorder). I had completely lost my mind, but I’m glad that I did. I needed to understand what was happening with my body. I went from creating and bringing life into this world to trying whatever I could to get back to feeling like myself again. It wasn’t about my weight anymore, it was about being happy, feeling good and not developing a disorder I’ve never heard of. After that 3 month period and a few more bloodwork sessions my thyroid finally regulated. From the beginning of learning about my thyroid issue I went up and down with working out. It was discouraging. Once I started to become more consistent, I started to see and feel the results very slowly but it was happening. I know a lot of people think, well she’s married to a personal trainer, it shouldn’t be hard for her or she should be in shape she has no excuse, but I was unhappy with myself. Shit happens, I’m human. Truth be told, Alex spent those months in quarantine with me trying to drag me out of my slump to workout because he wanted me to be happy again, but more often than not I didn’t budge. I finally started working out 2-3 times a week and I’ve gradually moved up to 5-6.
I wanted to share my story because I want it to be a reminder that no two weight loss/get fit stories are the same. Gaining that much weight in pregnancy had many negative physical effects on my body. I spent a lot of time @sportsrehabla trying to correct my back pains from the weight and neck pains from breast feeding and constantly looking down at the baby. Once I was able to rebuild my core strength a lot of my pain went away. Consistency was key. The program that Alex designed for me was the best gift he could have given me besides Frankie, of course. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but it was worth it and I’m so glad I didn’t give up. Today I’m in better shape than I was before the baby. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been in this good of shape. I was always thin in the past so I got away with looking fit but didn’t really work out consistently. In fact, it just wasn’t my thing.
As women, (not all of us, but a decent amount) we put so much pressure on ourselves to look a certain way when I think what we should be focused on is our overall health and happiness. Working out has given me a place to get rid of any negative energy and emotions that I might have, boost my serotonin and practice discipline. Everyday that I workout isn’t perfect, but I show up and I push myself.
Whatever your goals are, choose to be healthy. For me, this is what it looks like when I’m taking care of myself. This is what healthy looks like for me. It's not about being thin or muscular or whatever people have in their minds as looking “healthy.” Health comes in all shapes and sizes, it’s different for everyone. Health is a peace of mind. I hope that reading and seeing this is uplifting and that no matter how and what you do to be a healthier human being you are doing your best and that’s all that counts. ♥️