It all started one morning, when my husband joked, “Must be nice losing all that weight so fast. Wish I could breastfeed.” I laughed. Thoughts of my husband with chaffed nipples, breastfeeding our son ran through my head. I could just see him with his tit out, wearing with an 80s sweat band trying to work off his infamous “dadbod”. Ha! He was right. I was lucky. All that weight just kind of fell off...
...Until it was 3 o’clock in the morning and there I was nursing my son for the 8th time that day. In the darkness I started thinking, “Wait. Hang on a sec. Must be nice?” Like it was some super easy alternative to actual hard work? I started doing some math. Let's see...24 divided by 2... carry the one.... and at the peak of newborn breastfeeding I was clocking in 8-10 hrs a day. And 9 months in I’m still averaging about 2 hours a day. The words "must be nice" rang through my head again. No. I wasn’t lucky. This wasn’t some lazy replacement for going to a gym. I had been working out 2-10 hours a day and that’s if you don’t count the rest of the time when I was making the milk…WITH MY BODY. I thought,"Wow 2-10 hours a day. No wonder the weight was falling off" The most I’d seen a gym in the past 3 years was the one time I accidentally stumbled into a pilates studio thinking it was a smoothie shop...and then had to back away slowly.
As I continued to nurse, I continued the fictional argument I was having with my husband in my mind. It wasn’t just the hours put in, it was frequency too. We’re talking 5-15 times a day I clocked in to the boob gym. No matter what I was doing, or what I needed to do...I stopped to breastfeed. I had never been committed to a workout regime like this before. There were no rest days, sick days or cheat days. There were no excuses whatsoever. Even when I caught the flu, I showed up. And when I got mastitis? I showed up. I showed up and put my game face on at all hours of the night, all day every day.
It wasn’t just the physical act of breastfeeding either. No no. You have to make sure that milk is quality. So now we're talking meal prep, healthy eating, organic diet. There were no doughnuts, no dairy, no coffee or sigh…not even the sweet nectar of wine. I watched every single thing I put in my body because I wasn’t eating for me anymore. I was eating for his nourishment. I sure as hell wasn't eating like that before.
I championed through the pain. The sore nipples, cracked nipples, dry nipples, I kept going. Breast infections, uterine infections, I kept going. No sleep, no energy, I kept going. I made no excuses. I worked out in the middle of the night, at restaurants, and a couple times even on the shitter. Not one single excuse. As I tucked my boob back into my industrial, nude colored nursing bra and laid my son down to sleep, I thought, “Ya, you show me someone who works out 10 times a day for 9 months and completely overhauled their diet and I’ll show you someone who lost 45 pounds at least.” The idea that “it must be nice” and “I lost weight so fast” is a fallacy. I worked hard. It was/is intense. I stayed committed. I ate healthy and endured the most grueling, painful and demanding workout of my life. 45 minutes of pilates would’ve been a lot easier. So I’m gonna flip my hair, pat myself on the back and take credit for what I did. I've worked hard. This body was earned. All hail the milk machine, the hardest workout I’ve ever done. Breastfeeding is my workout.