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Food for Thought

Did you know that when I was pregnant with Freddy, I topped out at 183lb the week I gave birth? I probably started that pregnancy at 140lb, so I gained 43 lb total. Something like that. I lost 18lb right off the bat and settled in at around 165lb and stayed there for a solid 5 months postpartum.

I didn’t run during Freddy’s pregnancy, but that’s not the only reason I was heavier back then. After I had my first son Jake (my pregnancy story with Jake is here), I ended up at Women’s Reproductive Psychiatry with a major anxiety crisis and was put on medication to help stabilize me. I was put on Paxil, which is an SSRI and then I took Ativan for short term relief for things like panic attacks, although I was too anxious to take it because anxiety is stupid. Paxil was amazing. After the first few weeks, I began to feel totally chill and that’s when I really started to enjoy my life! For the first time ever, food tasted good, and it digested well, and was just overall an enjoyable experience. Anyone with anxiety knows how much it wreaks havoc on our digestive systems.

I weighed about 130lb postpartum with Jake and happily put on 10lb that year, then got pregnant with Freddy. Freddy’s pregnancy was a dream! I wasn’t sick, I had no preterm labour issues, no spotting, nothing. I didn’t run because back then I believed my running had put me into preterm labour with Jake so I felt better just avoiding it altogether. I also craved really weird things like laundry detergent, and I’d constantly chew ice, breaking teeth and trashing fillings. I found out later that Freddy has a blood disorder which explains all of my weird cravings but at the time I just pretty much ate anything to try and meet those nutritional voids.

The only reason I ever lost weight after I had Freddy was because he and Jake and I all contracted hand foot and mouth disease and I couldn’t eat or drink anything for all the sores in my mouth! I dropped 25lb in a short amount of time and figured it would be a good time to start running again, so I did. And then I got pregnant again which ended in a D&C, so I resented my body, and shed even more weight to deal with the stress. When I finally got pregnant with Katie, I felt comfortable enough to keep running a little bit throughout that pregnancy and I didn’t pack it on the way I did with Freddy.

But guess what? My pregnancy with Freddy, weight included, was perfect. My anxiety was low, my overall love for life was high, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a wife and mama, being pregnant, and breastfeeding my babies. I had visible rolls, 38D bras, and the softest, warmest lap for my boys to recline on. I felt like a Goddess.

I say all this because I want you to know that nobody collects $200 when they pass the “Go” of gaining between 25-35lb during pregnancy. That life isn’t black and white like that. I know super tiny women that gained 13lb during their entire pregnancies and some that gained 30lb after they give birth! Nobody acquires superhero status if they run through to their due date, nor do they fail at life if they don’t. If you truly love running, it will be there for you when you’re ready for it. In fact, I didn’t qualify for Boston, run Boston and come in third at the Whistler 50 miler until after I had three kids, or get my 3:06 marathon PR until I after I had my fourth, and I plan on hitting a sub-3 after my fifth.

It’s easy to compare ourselves to others, and we all make that mistake. I still do. But we gotta give our heads a shake, boil off all the bullshit and do what’s right for us in that moment. It may not look pretty on Instagram, but most of the best posts don’t!

So, there. Did this story surprise you? What do you think of the photos? LOOK AT HOW YOUNG I AM! And Freddy was my second baby!





{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Steph May 17, 2017, 1:02 pm

    I’m lying on the couch next to my one week old baby and it is so hard not to compare myself to others or even my former runner status…or just feel bad about myself for the six weeks I have to recover. I stopped running at 16 weeks, but stayed active and have already lost 18 of the 28 lbs I gained. We are both healthy and that’s what matters. You are inspiring and I appreciate you sharing your life with us!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 17, 2017, 3:48 pm

      STEPH!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! AYYYEEEEEEEEE!!!! So exciting. I hope the birth experience was okay! I’m glad you are both healthy! YAY!

      So, I went from 120-148 with Callum, so I gained 28lb too! And then GET THIS: I came home with him from the hospital the next day, stepped on the scale and it read 142lb. I ONLY LOST SIX MF POUNDS. But you know why? I was given Pitocin (Oxytocin) to induce labour because of a bunch of issues, and although I was contracting, I wasn’t dilating and blah blah blah, a couple days passed and they had to go over the safe amount of Pitocin by like 5000% or something crazy like that. A side effect of Pitocin is water retention, plus I had to be hooked up to an IV drip for the 3 days I was in there, so that’s where all the weight came from but STILL. I WAS PISSED. I couldn’t even get my wedding ring over the very first joint in my finger, while I could wear my ring right up until the day I went into the hospital to have him. I carried around a huge ass container of water and drank it all day and all night long, and the water went down slowly, but eventually. I can’t remember exactly but by around May or June I was back at 120lb. I still ate like crap: chocolates, pizza, chicken wings, nachos, but I frigging FORCED myself to drink at least 3L of water per day.

  • Meredith @ the cookie chrunicles May 17, 2017, 1:30 pm

    And all I’m thinking is how well you summarized what had to be hard to offer in all in one post! So well said and perfectly expressed. I still don’t know what I gained. I went on the scale backwards. My guess is that I gained 49 and lost it all, and then some, by the time my son was a year old. I was the happiest pregnant person and ate whatever I felt like I needed and didn’t run at all! I gave up the gym fairly early on because the smell made me nauseous. I went for daily walks though which sometimes landed me in front of the yogurt store but whatever. It worked for me.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 17, 2017, 3:38 pm

      Your last sentence summed up my whole post and that’s what I want the world to hear and know: it worked for me. Because that’s all we can really do.

  • Helly May 17, 2017, 1:37 pm

    I love you so hard for sharing this.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 17, 2017, 3:37 pm

      Eeeeeeeep! I’m so glad I did! All of a sudden I was thinking, well, shit. So many pregnant women are reading my stuff and seeing me run a zillion miles and I’d DIE if they felt crappy about where they’re at because of my nauseating story. I hope so much that people know and understand that this pregnancy of mine is very unreal. It’s NOT NORMAL. I really do feel like I got handed a hot potato and I’m just like holy shit, let’s keep this thing in the air as much as I can before I get burned.

  • Amy Lauren May 17, 2017, 1:40 pm

    Your running is going amazing (and was before your pregnancy too), and your kids all turned out great too. These are really good reminders not to compare and to be happy with where you are- because every stage of life is different.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 17, 2017, 3:35 pm

      Yes, exactly, and perspective is everything. It’s so important to be able to take a step back and look at the big picture and not get so caught up in the moment!

  • Lisa @ Mile by Mile May 17, 2017, 5:07 pm

    You look like such a baby and I also see so much of Katie in those pictures! My mother in law always talks about how she gained something like 12 pounds with Rob (she’s really thin) and my mom was more in the 30-40ish range. Everyone is so different!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 17, 2017, 5:23 pm

      Yes, I remember when I was packing on the pounds, a close friend of mine who was super thin was also pregnant and she only gained 13lb. I’ll never forget it.

  • Allie Capo-Burdick May 18, 2017, 2:52 am

    I absolutely LOVE these photos and OMG you look like a baby yourself!! I love that you shared this because there is so much shame in weight gaining during pregnancy which is the most ridiculous thing ever. I gained 43 pounds with my twin babies and I did it happily because they were born so healthy. It took months to lose the weight and over a year to come back physically and mentally (maybe longer) but I don’t regret a single day of it. Pregnancy should be all about a healthy baby and mama – whatever that looks and feels like.

    • Susie @ Suzlyfe May 18, 2017, 3:50 am


      • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 18, 2017, 7:34 am


    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 18, 2017, 7:36 am

      I’d LOVE to hear about your pregnancy and birth story sometime, or maybe you already have it up on your blog and I missed it. I’d learn so much from you, your comeback during the first year after they were born and how you fit it all into your life while looking after TWO BABIES!!!!!

  • Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home May 18, 2017, 4:52 am

    I hated being pregnant–I felt fat and ugly. But I loved the feeling of the babies inside–the kicks were so amazing! The best thing about being pregnant is the reward–the baby at the end!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 18, 2017, 7:33 am

      I don’t mind being pregnant. I even kinda love it sometimes, BUT I also hate it sometimes too. I feel claustrophobic like I’m trapped somewhere in my own body. Like I’m sitting on the sidelines of life, watching everyone enjoy their workouts and boozy drinks while I stare at the clock. But, like you said, it’s all worth it.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets May 18, 2017, 8:01 am

    You know what pregnancy did give me? Some really funny fodder for blog posts. I really liked my post detailing what to expect in the first and second trimester. I never got to publish the third and there were some gems in there, such as, “It’s officially. I can no longer see my own vagina. Shaving is going to be a mystery now.”

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 18, 2017, 8:50 am

      I uhhmmm… was just telling Andrew last night that I’m starting to have to do acrobatics to tidy things up down there. Acrobatics involving a hand mirror and a robotic extension arm.

  • Christina @ The Athletarian May 18, 2017, 8:15 am

    This story DID surprise me. I had no idea! I can’t really relate because I’ve never been pregnant and have no intention to ever BE pregnant…but I do find the woman’s body so incredibly fascinating. You are so right that everyone is different. One of my very best friend gained a total of like 15 pounds during her pregnancy and was still running marathons/ultras. It was crazy! Then others are the complete opposite. Just like with anything else, you should never compare yourself to anyone else. The important thing is that the HUMAN BODY GROWING INSIDE YOU is healthy!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 18, 2017, 8:49 am

      Exactly! The human body is soooo fascinating. I LOVE IT.

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes May 18, 2017, 8:41 am

    I admire and love how in tune you were with your body through all the pregnancies! Like Lisa said, I see so much of Katie in your younger photos. I don’t know how much my mom gained with me or my sister (and she had to gain weight before the pregnancy, so I may have to as well), but she was one of those pregnant people who really only looked pregnant from the side. It fascinates me how different pregnancy is for every woman.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 18, 2017, 8:49 am

      Yes, and how different each pregnancy is for each woman! Like, there’s the linea ligra which is this line that goes along the belly vertically and it shows up during pregnancy (hormones give it colour) and with Callum, I had a super dark line and now with this one, there is ZERO LINE. Like, so weird right?

  • San May 23, 2017, 2:53 pm

    You were a baby! 🙂

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