When I became pregnant in 2004 I had a constant sense of hunger. I ate tremendous quantities of everything in sight and had a very special place in my heart for Lawrence’s fried shrimp. By the end of my pregnancy, I had gained 50lbs. That is the equivalent of five gallons of paint and simply not right! I brought my beautiful Sofia home from the hospital in 2005 still 40+lbs overweight, and three sizes bigger. To add to the shock, I had grown a new accessory — a tiny stomach pouch with stretch marks I hadn’t noticed during pregnancy. I started eating healthy and joined Curves. I worked out Monday-Friday at 6:30am, and when the weather was kind I ran there and back. Ten months after having Sofia I was back to my original size, weight and tone with the exception of my slightly looser tummy.
Since it took me seven months to get pregnant with Sofi, I decided to come off the pill when she was 11 months to get ready for the next one. To my surprise, I became pregnant one month later! I had lost 40lbs of blubber and boom, pregnant in 4 weeks. Giana’s pregnancy was more of the same; much more. I gained 65lbs. My 8 year-old doesn’t even weigh 65lbs. I was literally a tower of power.
When she was born in Oct 2006, I was 50lbs overweight. I was so scared of being four sizes bigger that I had to be aggressive. I joined LA Boxing and brutalized myself against a 150lb bag three times a week. I balanced boxing with Bikram yoga five days a week with, of course, very healthy eating. Bikram is an intense, 90min, 26-position routine performed in a 105°F room.
By the time Gigi was six months old I had lost 30lbs, but still had 20 whole pounds to go. While I was proud of myself, I still didn’t fit into my clothes and putting maternity jeans on battered my soul. I decided my body needed something to cut into the fat and get to my muscles. I quit boxing and yoga, and joined X-Sport Fitness.
I hired a personal trainer, began a high-protein diet and learned to activate my body with a 30 min run before methodically lifting weights to tone every muscle. I met the trainer three days a week and at the end of each session he gave me a copy of the workout. When I got home, I transcribed his worksheet into a journal I still use today. I added two independent workout days to the week and in five months had shaved off the 20lbs. I was stronger than I had ever been before. Although down to one size smaller than my pre-baby body, I still had the mommy tummy that was even looser and now looked like I had gone toe-to-toe with a tiger.
I became pregnant with Lorenzo just before Giana’s 1st birthday gala. I gained 45lbs while carrying my little king. I got back into the gym four weeks after he was born, five days a week and ate incredibly healthy. This last time was certainly harder, but I did it. I wear my stretch marks proudly, but my only point of contention is this tummy that I have to tuck into my clothes everyday. It is, however, a price I would pay ten times over to have my perfect little monkeys. I have learned how strong I really am through all of this, having gained/lost 160lbs and given birth to three children in three years.
The key: Maintain your health and positive self-image relentlessly to be your best self.
Trina M. Fresco, Vice President of Operations for the IT firmsmarTECHS.net since 2007 and NBCLatino Contributor, was named one of “50 Powerful Minority Women in Business” by MEA Magazine. Fresco is the Chair of the Chicago Foundation for Women Investment Subcommittee and serves on a number of additional boards & committees. Fresco resides Chicago with her husband, George and their three children Sofia, Giana and Lorenzo. You can contact her at FrescoRealTalk@gmail.com or on Twitter @trinafresco.