Prior to class, while chatting with my trainer about the struggle of losing the rest of this stubborn baby weight, a man in my class thought it would be funny to joke that it’s because I “eat too much.” When I told him that I don’t eat a lot, he rolled his eyes, as if to say “yea right,” and started laughing.
It wasn’t pretty. I spoke my mind to him, but it was impossible to say all of the things I wanted to say in that moment, and it took a little reflection to even realize all of the things that need to be said, not just to him, but also to anyone who thinks a postpartum woman’s body is a laughing matter.
Not that I owe him – or anyone – an explanation, but I had a baby seven months ago. A perfect, healthy, thriving baby boy that I’ve breastfed for seven months, six months exclusively. I gained a little more than 50 pounds during my pregnancy, and contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding did not make it “fall right off” after for me. In fact, from my two-week postpartum appointment until I started back at the gym, I gained five pounds. It turns out that not exercising, not sleeping, and just shoving whatever you can in your mouth between feedings and diaper changes aren’t conducive to weight loss. Go figure. Plus, I had an unexpected C-section, and it took a while before I was able to have an effective workout where I didn’t have to modify half of it and wasn’t in pain through most of it. In fact, 7 months later, I’m still working to get back into true pre-pregnancy shape. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there.
But in the last three months, I’ve been in beast mode. I exercise 5-6 days a week (sometimes 7), and I’ve been doing two-a-days when I can. I track every bite of food that goes into my mouth on an app, and I’ve done that all while navigating the newness of motherhood and working full-time. And in the last three months, I’ve lost 19 pounds. I still have 12 to go to get to pre-pregnancy weight, and then a few extra to reach my goal.
And I am SO PROUD of how hard I’ve worked and of all of the things my body has accomplished in the last 16 months. I grew and birthed a human being for goodness sake. And I know my gym mate was likely just joking around with no ill intentions (at least I hope), but he needed to know he crossed a line. It is NEVER ok to joke about a woman’s weight, body, or food consumption, especially one who has recently had a baby. While you were cracking a funny for your entertainment, you were simultaneously tearing someone down who has worked harder than you can imagine.
So forgive me if I didn’t laugh at your joke or give you a free pass at my leftover baby belly’s expense. It was rude, inappropriate, and downright mean. And hopefully you’ll think twice before you joke about another woman’s weight or say that she “eats too much” ever again.