Thursday, October 4, 2012

the state of my skinny jeans

There is a huge-ass {technical term} Rubbermaid bin sitting in our bedroom that has become somewhat of a permanent fixture.  While it's currently earning it's keep as Side Table Upon Which to Pile Outfits Deemed Unworthy, it's intended function is Keeper of the Maternity Clothes.

And keep it is... 85% of my preggo wardrobe is tucked neatly away inside.  The other 15% is on loan or, in the case of a few choice tanks, still in use {NO JUDGMENT. Those suckers are so lovely and long... I may never buy regular tank tops again.}.

Suffice to say, I should really store the bin away, but that would require making a space for it in our very own Cupboard Under the Stairs.... which sounds quaint and provincial in the world according to JK Rowling, but is actually really hot and dusty and crammed with defunct-Christmas-decor-I-should-really-throw-out-but-was-first-used-to-decorate-my-dorm-room-in-2001-so-the-sentimental-value-still-remains and the like. 

And so the bin perseveres. 

Several months ago, I retired perhaps my favorite maternity / post-partum staple -- my GAP Always Skinny jeans with the demi-panel.  I wore the hell out of them in my second trimester and then again after L was born.  They made me feel trendy and slim whilst sporting my baby bump and sucked everything in as I was transitioning back into normal clothes.  I admit I was sad to see them go, but my first pair of pre-baby jeans were finally fitting... Sure, they weren't my favorite pair by any means - bootcut; lighter wash; definitely not going to garner any style points - but I figured other, more fashionable pairs would soon follow.  Plus, it was a thousand and twelve degrees outside, and I had cheapo Target shorts to get me through the summer... No need to fret about skinny jeans for a good while! 

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I gained 42 pounds during pregnancy.  

That is twelve pounds more than I'd hoped. 

But when doctors start uttering words like "growth restriction" and "decreasing fetal growth percentiles," I start funneling Blue Bell.  To the tune of half a gallon a week.  Well, really it was more like "every four days," but I only allowed myself a once-weekly purchase. 

RESTRAINT, FOLKS. 

To be fair to my very intelligent medical team, no one advised me that consuming more calories would help L pack on the pounds in-utero.  However, to the surprise of our doctors, I gave birth to a nearly 8 pound baby, so... 

Insane Consumption of Dairy for the win, right?!

So, yeah, 42 pounds.  Blech.  

But, I had an adorable newborn - one who entered the world unscathed by the oddities of my uterus, no less... plus, I had breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding!  Miracle Weight Loss Cure!  I would be waif-like by swimsuit season -- everyone said so.

At first, "everyone" was correct.  I actually left the hospital one pound heavier than when I checked in {WTF}, but by my 8 week postpartum appointment, I'd lost 27 pounds with zero effort.

Breastfeeding was officially the best diet since the Swine Flu.

Until it wasn't.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This morning I did something I'm not entirely proud of.  I dug through my Rubbermaid Bin of Elastic Waistbands and pulled out those demi-panel Skinnies.

Seven months post-baby, and I am wearing maternity jeans. Again.

My body is hanging on to these last 10-15 pounds for dear life.  I eat well; I exercise... Doesn't matter, they are very happy where they are, thankyouverymuch.

I'm not completely naive.  I'd heard that various bodies respond differently to the caloric demands of breastfeeding {and pregnancy in general, for that matter} -- some people bounce right back and some hold on to a chunk of fat reserves until their children wean.  Why I thought I'd land in the lucky former group is beyond me... I've never lost weight easily... ever.

Unfortunately, it's not just the extra weight... If that were the case, I'd buy a size or two up, call it transitional clothing, and move along with my life until our breastfeeding journey ends.

But, Y'ALL.  Nothing fits correctly.  Pants that zip comfortably over my {apologies in advance for this descriptive} FUPA {shudder} are ridiculously loose everywhere else.  My chest is akin to that of a Playboy bunny... that is, if ginormous "National Geographic" style jugs were Hugh Hefner's bag.

It's frustrating.  I know how to lose weight in a healthy manner.  I can pinpoint certain changes in diet and exercise that would positively affect my body, but not without negatively affecting my milk supply.  I'd be fibbing if I said I don't feel a bit stuck between a rock and a hard place... that is, continuing to provide my child with the best possible nutrition and returning to feeling infinitely more like myself.

After overcoming all our struggles with breastfeeding {a whole 'nother post entirely}, it's really not much of a decision.  I'm able to breastfeed, I enjoy it, and it continues to be beneficial to my child... I'll power through the chunky hips for this particular season.

I'm temporarily at peace with my new shape... And I think there are some small things I can do to improve what I see in the mirror for the time being.

This post isn't intended to be all woe is me or to take a turn down Mommy Martyr Lane.  Rather, it falls under the "I Wish Someone Had Really Told Me..." category.

And honestly?

All I want in this interim period is a freakin' pair of good looking jeans that I can tuck into boots {boots I can wear this season now that my ankles aren't swollen to the size of Iberian ham hocks... small victories!}.

Is that too much to ask?

Nope.

{Said my maternity-jean-clad, seven-months-post-partum, unapologetic ass.}

IMG_1216
Possibly my favorite photograph ever taken.  At my big-time, UN-ideal weight.  Go figure.

42 comments:

  1. I so appreciate the honesty, because none of know wth we'll be getting into for real ha! I have a couple yrs left bebe-free but I'll need about 5 more to prep my control freak brain anyway. Filing away

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  2. You rock on with your unapologetic maternity-jean clad ass. For real. Because you know what will happen? I only speak from experience. You'll wear those maternity jeans until your baby self-weans around 5 months. You'll continue to wear them for a couple months after while your body adjusts because, like you, I AM NOT THE LUCKY BITCH THAT DROPS POUNDS LIKE THEIR HOT WHEN I BREASTFEED and then a couple more months later, you finally fit into your fattest fat jeans on a good fat day.. but it's OK.. because they don't have an elastic waistband. So now we're at about 13 months post birthing a child. And then you know what happens? Two months after that? You're knocked up again. And with baby number two? You're wearing maternity jeans at EIGHT WEEKS because your belly grows exponentially pretty much the moment you pee on that stick. So? It's totally cool. I pretty much plan on wearing maternity jeans until I'm done with babies. And maybe not even then. Because those elastic waistbands? Are comfy as hell. Love this post.

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  3. OH GIRL! I feel your pain {I gained 50! what the what?!}. I in fact used the exact same FUPA terminology while trying on jeans this weekend. Brutal. The ones I bought fit that situation but are stupidly baggy everywhere else. I think I'm going stick with dresses/skirts to disguise the lumps. Take heart though, you aren't alone!

    PS-you both look adorable in that pic!

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  4. I feel ya on this one. My "baby" is 19 months old. I only gained 23 pounds each pregnancy, but there was a pesky 10 pounds I didn't lose between having two babies in a year and a half and pow- here I am 20 lbs over my prepregnancy weight and about 40 over my ideal. The hardest part is that I know how to eat well and exercise, but having two babies so close together really effed with my metabolism so I can't lose anything. I finally have bought new clothes because although I've always had a big butt & thighs, the post-pregnancy muffin top is new to me and its a real bitch to hide in jeans. Also, I can't remember if you had a c-section or not but according to my Dr this FUPA is here to stay. Thanks a lot modern medicine. Also, sorry for the bitch fest. You just hit right where I'm hurting. Hopefully nursing is your trigger and when she weans you can drop the last few pounds like a bad habit.

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  5. I love maternity jeans! But in all honesty, I gained almost 60 lbs. I lost 40-50 within the first 6 months but then stopped. Figured I would have to wait until I weaned but then magically one day around around 9 months with no change - I was still nursing I lost the last few and then some. So every body is different and don't fret about those pounds bc you have a beautiful, healthy, happy baby girl.

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  6. So glad you wrote this post! My baby girl, Chandler, was born the same day as L....The doctors said I had IUGR and I too heard the words "Growth Restricted"...I ate and ate and ate and chased down all the food with an Ensure so baby girl could get all the calories she needed. 65lbs later I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy 5lb 10oz baby girl....Go figure....If she was only 5lbs what the hell was the other 65lbs?! 7 months later and only 25lbs lighter Im still rockin maternity jeans. It is frustrating! I have been to every.store.i.can.think.of. No one has jeans that look right on me. I know it takes some people over a year to lose it, I just didn't think it would be me. She is worth EVERY single pound though. Love your blog and it's good to know I'm not the only one that can't lose baby weight.

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  7. I could have written this post. I gained almost 50 lbs when I was pregnant with my now-14 month old. I lost all but 10 lbs within about 6 weeks, but since then, I've only managed to lose another 5 or 6. Those last few lbs refuse to go anywhere, no matter what I try. I'm now resigned to the fact that until my guy weans completely, I'm destined to carry those last few badges of honor.

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  8. I feel like I could've written this. As I keep lamenting to my husband--it just isn't fair! Why do some people reach their skinniest ever through nursing, yet I can't get the last 7-8 pounds to budge despite nursing, walking and pushing a stroller 45 min a day, running 3 miles 5 times a week, etc. Here's to hoping I, too, drop the last few pounds when my baby weans.

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  9. Matthew is now 9 months old and I still have about 5 pounds to lose. And you know what? I don't care. I have absolutely no desire to send my kids to the gym day care while I work my ass off. Between teaching, raising two crazies and, you know, maintaining a house and everything....work out like a mad woman just to lose a few pounds? Yeah, doesn't sound appealing. This is just a season of life and soon enough I will have time to deal with this post-baby bod. Props to you for recognizing it too!

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  10. Great post! I can relate, and I'm sure most other moms out there can as well. The maternity tank tops are STILL in my wardrobe (my son is 2) and I make no apologies. And the whole "lose weight but still breastfeeding thing" ? totally get that as well .... I had that same conundrum.

    But, like you say its just a season and all totally worth the inconveniences and few extra pounds. And that is a great picture of you two!

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  11. I gained 41 pounds with my son. I still am hanging on to 10 pounds and he is a year old now. I can't lose it for the life of me! I finally quit trying to fit into some mold I had created for myself and am doing my best to embrace my new body. I will say as much as I hate low rise, it is the only style that works for me right now.

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  12. Thank you for this post! I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and i have only gained about 3 pounds thus far but i know it's coming, I know one day it's just going to happen and i will be off from there. i have already been thinking about the after effects. i appreciate your reality post and the way you have put things into perspective. it is always refreshing to me to read something "real".
    as a sidenote, i always look forward to your menu sundays!

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  13. I just read last week that Christina Applegate (whose daughter is almost 2) just stopped wearing her maternity jeans. You do what you have to do to be comfortable. No shame in it. Sometimes I wish (my son is almost 3!) that I could still wear maternity, it would just be more comfortable. You look great.

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  14. Here is the article:

    http://celebritybabies.people.com/2012/09/25/the-talk-up-all-night-christina-applegate-maternity-jeans/

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    Replies
    1. I love this - thank you! I love Christina Applegate and have been very impressed with her appearance on Up All Night - she looks like a real person / new mom and not a perfect celebrity.

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  15. L looks so much like E in that (totally gorgeous) picture it's scary.

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  16. I love this post! And can totally relate! And when I finally packed up my maternity clothes a few months ago (my son is 14 months) I definitely kept the maternity tanks out for use in my regular wardrobe. LOVE the pic of you and L!

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  17. That picture is adorable! I'm three months post-partum and realizing that my body will never be the same. It is a sad, sad day.

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  18. I love this post!!!! I was one of those 'lucky' people that breastfeeding caused the pounds to shed. However, do you know what happens to most of those lucky people when they STOP breastfeeding. Ummm I currently weigh more than I did when I was pregnant YIKES!!! Happened to my best friend too we stopped breastfeeding at the exact same month. Even though i've cut my calories back down it is slow slow slow to come off! On a happy note for you I've had LOTS of friends that hung onto that weight while breastfeeding but it shed right off when they stopped! On another note you maybe have tried but try the Matchstick JCrew and see if they fit properly! Beautiful picture

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  19. Could've written this post word for word myself! Except that I wore my maternity skinny jeans until my baby was 9 months old! Then I found some "curvy" skinny jeans at Ann Taylor Loft in two sizes up from my pre-baby size. They're tiding me over for now. I too would like to diet and exercise more hardcore but don't want to risk it for now because of breastfeeding. Someday we'll have our bodies back...but the babies are worth it!

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  20. That picture of you and L is so perfect. You both look beautiful. I can only imagine the body issues and feelings I will have when I am pregnant/postpartum in the future. Thanks for sharing yourself and your "journey" so to speak!

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  21. Whitney did a post recently about milk supply and breastfeeding. http://willisandtboff.blogspot.com/ I honestly didn't give it a whole lot of brain power since I wasn't able to breastfeed. However, she's an avid exerciser and nurses. Might get you over your plateau. As for me, I can totally relate, but I have no hard place to say I'm up against. I'm just tired all the time after working all day and going to school. SO, that's why my ass is still bigger than I'd like.

    Also, beautiful photo!

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  22. I've been back to my pre-pregnancy weight since six weeks postpartum. BUT, butt, my body is SO not the same. I've developed a muffin top I never had before and my bottom is saggy and since I'm BFing I have the gynormo jugs and somehow no waist at all. But I've been happier! I just avoid mirrors.

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  23. I am in a similar situation to yours. I have stacks of premium denim that I cannot zip over my very own FUPA -- 16 months post partum.

    My savior jeans-wise?? Rock Star skinnies from Old Navy, in a size bigger than my pre-pregnancy size. They are cheap, so fit my rule not to spend on expensive clothes until my squishiness is manageable.

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  24. I have that bin in my bedroom too!!! And yeah... I also have a large pile of jeans that I tried on this past weekend (at 10 months postpartum) that I have decided won't ever fit appropriately again and I'm donating them! Maybe if they're not in my house, they won't make me feel bad. Who cares if your favorite jeans are maternity jeans? If they make you feel good about yourself I think that is HUGE right now. HUGE. Rock them. Us mommas are too hard on ourselves. You grew a baby! Of course your clothes don't fit right. :) Do you have a TJ Maxx or Marshall's near you? Maybe a shopping trip is in order. You can find some designer denim there for great prices sometimes.

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  25. I echo the others when I say that I could have written this post. I'm on kid #2 in 3 years (and I'm done). I've lost a lot of weight, but now I am stuck, stuck, stuck, and I don't want to sacrifice my milk supply. And, on top of that, I am starving some days while breastfeeding. Starving. I like Lucky Brand Jeans that have some spandex in them. I buy them at Ross for $24.99.

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  26. And, where did you get that shirt for L? I love it and must get one.

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  27. I hear you! Our baby girls were born about a week apart and I am in the same boat. I bought bigger jeans (2 sizes up, AGH!) but I am still wearing my GAP "perfect fit" black maternity pants.

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  28. Kate,

    Your honesty in your posts is so wonderful. Ashley responded to you about being able to wean and the boom you are prego again. True story. I weaned my daughter because she was having feeding issues (no clue I was pregnant again and that is why my milk was funny) and then I just turned around and started wearing pregnancy jeans by 8 weeks. My son is now 6 months old. I am smaller than I was when I got pregnant with him but have been the same weight since 6 weeks post baby. It just sticks. And breastfeeding...the days I try and eat better I am STARVING...and then I end up eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's or two glasses of whole milk to make sure I have enough calories and my milk supply doesn't drop. I have a closet full of beautiful clothes that don't fit and I am afraid that never will. Then again, since I am staying home with my two blessings I keep telling myself that in this season that just want me in the picture with them. Someday I can rock an awesome outfit but for now it probably just get spit up all of it. So until then, hear is to muffins tops and maternity jeans, tank tops, etc to make me feel comfortable in my body.

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  29. I love your blog and never comment or probably officially follow. I apologize, I am a nasty lurker. Anyway, I too hung onto weight while breast feeding while my best friend gained those crazy man cuts from abs. (Did I cuss her silently daily? Sure did.) Once I was done breast feeding I did a low carb diet while trying to stay active without too many rules- you know minus the most delicious thing in the world- bread. My daughter was 2 years old when I started feeling like my old self again. Right around the time you start thinking about another child... What I can tell you is your body is strong and proud of the life you have brought to this world- and will change this world for the better! Try hard to stay healthy but be proud of what your body can do. There are some things we can change and those things we can- focus on the wobbly bits you can change and let go of the things that just are because of your build. You are beautiful and are an intelligent woman bringing another strong woman into the world. Never question yourself. Congrats!

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  30. I was the same way. With both my girls I lost everything but the last 10-20 lbs (depending on which kid) but then once I stopped BFing the weight dropped like THAT. caps for emphasis obviously. With my oldest, I lost 10 lbs in a month once she weaned. My second it went a little slower... heck, she's 16 months old and I'm still a solid 5 lbs heavier but baby steps, right? Hang in there momma and enjoy this time, I never ever thought I'd say this but I miss BFing... that one on one time is so special and definitely worth wearing maternity pants still at almost a year post-partum.

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  31. It will happen--I'd say that breastfeeding is way more important than your skinny jeans. That's what I tell myself anyway!! :)

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  32. i did not find breastfeeding to be the magical-no-effort-weight-loss-miracle everyone claims it to be either, and i don't trust people who say it is! i don't know what a fupa is (and am a little scared to google it), but i do know that pants don't fit me right either and that's why i love LOVE dresses! throw some tights and boots on with a dress- way more comfortable than jeans anyway!!

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  33. Girl, I hear you on the c-section FUPA. I got one too. I was lucky in that nursing really helped me shed the pounds pretty quickly. HOWEVER, my bod is not the same. The aforementioned FUPA, my rib cage is still bigger, and my massive chest. Oh, and I have back fat now. On the plus side, recently things have started returning to their previous positions, with no changes on my part. Nine months on, nine months off, I suppose? I think the relaxed attitude you're sporting is the best way to go. I'm just not going to worry about it- walking and a weekly jazzercise class are all I seem to manage. Once I stop working, I will have a bit more time to focus on my fitness when Miss Priss starts MDO. Worry about it later!

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  34. You are both beautiful (at whatever weight)! Great picture.

    I lost weight like crazy during the first 6 months of breastfeeding, and it was amazing and wonderful. I tried to accelerate the weight loss with Weight Watchers, but found it decreased my milk supply. Now, at 12 months, and a baby whose milk demands have decreased to 1-2x per day, I am at pre-pregnancy weight (which was not so great, but whatever). However, everything seems to have rearranged. No old bras fit, I have a crazy muffin-top unless I carefully choose my pants, and back fat. WTF?! Not really what I was expecting, but I have a super happy and healthy baby.

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  35. Great post! I am so glad to hear real people having the same issues I d--and I am so tired of seeing celebrities back in their size 0's two weeks after giving birth! Like that is even normal!

    I just had my third child (all boys :) and the weight has been soooo much slower coming off this time. I nursed for four months until I had to go back to work (he is six months old now). I have never been one that the weight just falls off of when nursing (and I think I hate the women who are lucky enough for that to happen to) and if I tried to diet whatsoever during nursing my milk supply dropped. So when I finished nursing, I became practically anorexic (unhealthy I know) trying to get the extra weight off and after one month of starvation (and misery) I was only down half a pound! While I understand that eating basically nothing is supposed to have the opposite effect when you are trying to lose weight, as your body just holds onto the calories you do consume because it is in starvation mode, this is what has always worked for me after my other pregnancies, so what is a little suffering if it meant being back in my skinny jeans in no time? Yeah.... not so much. A month of crash dieting after my other pregnancies and I was down at least 10 pounds! Within three or four months, I was good to go. Anyway this pregnancy has about done me in! I have always heard that the older you are (I am 30 now), the harder the weight is to lose, but I never really thought it would be a problem (although I have never been able to lose weight easily--hence the starvation). I have tried to be better this month and eat around 1100-1200 calories (versus maybe 600) per day and I am down 5 pounds this month (which is better than nothing), so maybe there really is something to the old slow and steady wins the race.

    But enough venting--it is just hard to find others in the same boat that can relate. None of my friends have had any children recently and some even have fertility issues so it's not like this is something I can really whine about to them. Good luck with the continued weight loss--you and baby both look great! And don't worry about the weight staying on a little while longer--if I could have kept nursing I would have, even if it meant that my jeans would not fit for a few more months!

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  36. Don't be so hard on yourself. I just started wearing real pants and Max is almost 5 months old. Yoga pants have been my besties since I found out I was preggo.

    I gained A LOT of weight when pregnant. A number than NO ONE needs to ever know. I am almost back to pre preggo weight but it is so painfully slow. Some weeks I only lose 1/2 a pound (WTF)!

    The whole process is so awful and those beyotches that lose all their pregnancy weight in the hospital are the devil. Nuff said!

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  37. My daughter is 6 months old and I am still wearing all maternity pants. I have one pair of pants that I broke down and bought that are 4 sizes bigger than my pre-pregnancy size. its all depressing. But like you, I am committed to breast feeding and losing the weight. So I joined myfitnesspal.com. Seriously it has helped a lot. Its like facebook meets weightloss. My friends on there have really helped motivate me to stick with the small things I can do to lose weight while not doing anything so drastic so as to mess with my milk supply (like you I am in that group of people who are holding on to those last 15 pounds...) As long as you stick to losing only 0.5 to 1 pound a week, it shouldnt mess with your supply. The trick is slow weight loss.

    If you decide to try myfitnesspal (its free btw), friend me! asra425.

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happy little comments!