Balancing Hormones, Fertility and Postpartum Weight Loss

Balancing Hormones, Fertility and Postpartum Weight Loss

Randi Wood & I met when she reached out to me via email & invited me into her store. She had no clue I was pregnant, but I need a few outfits for France. So in I walked with my 5 months pregnant belly hidden by my sweats.

After Randi helped me find some cute pieces ( like beautiful pieces ) I just fell in love with her as a person. She’s beautiful, kind & smart & I ended up telling her I was pregnant. I don’t know why, but it just happened.

THEN Randi told me she was pregnant too! It was just all so crazy. We both went through our pregnancy journeys sending texts & voice notes back & forth to share what we were experiencing. Randi opened up about her thoughts & anxiety so I told her it would be an honor to have her on the blog to talk about it.

Since I got pregnant with Zaza I’ve become passionate about sharing stories about fertility, pregnancy, birth, hormones, postpartum anxiety & depression –  you know, all that fun stuff.

In this post you’ll hear about Randi’s experience with imbalanced hormones in her 20s, how to trust yourself & YOUR body, and her postpartum experience.

Let’s welcome Randi Wood to The Skinny Confidential.

Balancing Hormones, Fertility and Postpartum Weight Loss

♡♡♡

Hello TSC Community ! It is such a pleasure connecting with you all. My name is Randi Wood Dittmer & I am the owner of Entre Nous Showroom in LA. Entre Nous Showroom is luxury online boutique that focuses on designer & vintage women’s clothing & accessories.
In the past year I have moved from having a brick & mortar location in West Hollywood, to solely being online. Recently ( although not that recently now ) I had a baby. Lauryn & I actually had the same due date! The first time we met, we were both pregnant but hadn’t shared with anyone & were trying to hide our pregnancy symptoms! I had a baby boy ( Hudson ) on Jan. 7th of last year. 
 
Originally I am from a small town in Canada, but have lived in Los Angeles for the past 12 years, which is where I still live with my husband & son. In addition to fashion, I am also passionate about fitness & health. I have written a post for you to share my journey with my health through my twenties to pregnancy and beyond. My hope is that something that I share resonates or helps a reader in some way. 
Balancing Hormones, Fertility and Postpartum Weight Loss randi wood pregnancy

♡ The hormone battle of my 20s. 

After gaining the freshman 15 in college, I had to start thinking about how to lose weight…. Nutrition, exercise, fat, thin, calories etc. had never been discussed in my house. So I really didn’t understand what a calorie was, or how to gain or lose weight.

After two months of living on my own & no longer fitting into my jeans, I thought to myself… “I better look into this.” Flash forward 5 years later, I had gone so much into a  deep dive that I was on the other side of the freshman 15 & lost an additional 10lbs, which for me at 5’2” is a lot of weight. I was EXTREMELY regimented & ate pretty close with what would be considered a bikini competitor / body building diet- super low carb, high protein, little fat, no sugar etc. & I worked out 6 days a week.

This worked for me for awhile… until it didn’t.

I hadn’t gotten my period for a number of years. I went to numerous doctors about it & no one thought there was really anything strange about it, they just chalked it up to me being a fitness instructor at the time. Which I thought to myself… “Ok… I guess it is ok then..” ( even though something didn’t sit well with me on it ).

Cut to a few years later & I am living in LA, going out a little more, drinking a little more… going to school & I start to gain weight. Common sense told me, “Ok Randi, you are just eating too much & not exercising enough.” So I upped my workouts… sometimes working out twice a day. For example, taking a SoulCycle class in the morning & doing cardio & weights after my school day at night. But still, I was struggling to see the scale move.

Not to mention I had anxiety, poor digestion & I was looking puffy all the time. I struggled on this path for a couple more years until it got to a point & I thought “THIS CANNOT be how everyone else is thin!” – two a day workouts & bodybuilder diet? I know most of the other woman out there are NOT doing what I am doing & they are still thinner than me & I am sure they get their period.

I came to the decision finally that I needed to see a progressive doctor.

Not an OBGYN, not a General Practioner, but someone that understood nuances about how the female body worked from a stress & hormonal level. That’s when I went to see a functional medicine doctor.

I got a full blood work panel done & we discussed my history & she explained to me that my adrenals were shot & I had extremely low thyroid & I had very low progesterone & estrogen. She felt that it could be explained by an extremely non-diverse low fat diet for a number of years. At the same time, I came to find out that my Grandma had always battled with low thyroid so it was hereditary.

I was put on a bunch of supplements, as well as a low dose thyroid prescription. At first I started feeling a little better, but was still SO sleepy ( another affect of low thyroid ), but eventually after a higher dose of the prescription & adding some healthy fats into my diet, I started to feel better & didn’t have to try as hard to stay lean.

Eventually, I got my period back & really started to feel great with tons of energy. My only regret is that I didn’t see a functional medicine doctor earlier & I wasted all that time stressing my body to keep the weight off. Also, for a long time I felt that something was off & that there should be a better explanation for not having a period… even though I was brushed off by countless doctors, I should have trusted my instincts.

Balancing Hormones, Fertility and Postpartum Weight Loss Balancing Hormones, Fertility and Postpartum Weight Loss

♡ The thyroid connection.

For the last 7 years I have been on & off a prescription for low thyroid. On & off because I have moved around a little & usually you only get a prescription for 6 months. If you start seeing a new doctor they make you do a full blood panel & then assess if they are going to write you a new prescription or not. I had been off for a year or so, because I had “broken up” with my last functional medicine doctor & was just going to a general doctor at ONE Medical.

At the time they felt my thyroid levels were good & that I didn’t need the prescription. Which honestly, was great. I don’t love the thought of being on a prescription at all times. So if I got my body to figure out how to maintain good thyroid levels – I was happy with that! My husband & I starting loosely trying to get pregnant in the summer of 2018. We were “trying” but “not trying” if you know what I mean… I wasn’t tracking my ovulation or anything like that, because I wanted the process to be natural & not be stressful or anxiety ridden.

By November of 2018, I had not gotten pregnant & at the same time I was feeling VERY lethargic & was having some weight creep on, my digestion was off & I was running cold – which are all clear signs that my thyroid was low. So I went to the doctor & explained the situation along with my symptoms & asked for my thyroid levels to be checked.

They took my blood & told me it all came back “normal.”

I thought it was odd when I left. As I am very intuitively in touch with my body, especially when something is off. Meanwhile my husband & I were continuing to try & when we were not pregnant in December we decided to really “try” & I started tracking my ovulation.

In February, I again felt off… same symptoms as before, so I went back to the Dr. & asked for my thyroid levels to be tested again. Again they came back “normal”. When I had not gotten pregnant by April, I was starting to get anxious. So I booked an appointment with a fertility doctor. I went in to see her & got all the right tests done. I got my eggs checked, my ovulation monitored, an ultrasound on my Fallopian tubes etc., etc.

The last thing they wanted to do was take blood. Which I said to them, “ I got my full blood panel in February – I can give that to you?” To which they said that would be fine. I handed it off to the doctor as I was walking out one day & she stops me & says “whoa whoa whoa, your thyroid levels are LOW… are you taking anything for this?” I replied no, but that I thought I possibly should be, but my general practitioner said they were fine. She replied with “Well they are “O-K” in ideal in circumstances. But not OK for someone who is looking to get pregnant  – they are way too low. You need to get on a prescription immediately.”

I walked out with my prescription so mad, but so relieved I had gone to the fertility doctor!

Even though everyone in my life at the time said I should wait & I hadn’t been patient enough to get pregnant, I knew something was off. I went on my prescription & 10 days later I got pregnant! Just another time where I knew better than everyone else that something was wrong with my body.

randi wood pregnancy experience randi wood pregnancy experience

♡ Postpartum body journey.

When my husband & I found out I was pregnant we had been trying for about 9 months. During that time & the years before I had a lot of time to think about what it was going to be like to be pregnant. I couldn’t wait for the glow, for my cute baby bump, having an excuse to go to bed earlier & to feel like a goddess ( as people say you do ).

At the same time I was mentally gearing up for the postpartum “get back into shape” stage post baby. I did a lot of mental self talk about how long it would take ( 9 months to put the weight on, 9 months to take it off ), how hard it was going to be, how I wouldn’t feel like myself etc. What really came to my surprise after finding out that I was pregnant & then having my baby, is that neither experience is what I thought it was going to be.

First of all… I didn’t like being pregnant.

I know that may sound terrible. But it is the truth. I had debilitating nausea for the first 12 weeks & then after 5 weeks of feeling like myself I had intense heartburn, back problems & worst of all a pinched nerve in my ribs that lasted for my whole pregnancy.

I could barely workout & if I did even a little too much walking, sitting in one spot for too long, or anything else physical, my pinched nerve would bring me to tears by 3pm every day. And I DID NOT feel like a goddess in the slightest. I was uncomfortable & down most of the time because I was so physically limited & in pain.

My husband & I had started couples / family therapy with Dr. Alyssa Berlin ( who has been on the The Skinny Confidential HIM & HER podcast ) because I wanted to prepare our relationship for the change of having a child. What we ended up talking about the most in the first two sessions though was that pregnancy was not what I thought it was going to be… & basically what a hard time I was having.

I was seeing other pregnant women enjoying their pregnancy, feeling all glowly, zen & beautiful & I was jealous.

At the time she said “Randi, everyone has their time.” Meaning everyone has their time of struggle at some point or another throughout the journey & the pregnancy part was mine.

Jump forward & I ended up having my baby 2.5 weeks early & having a very quick, but PAINFUL labor ( I did plan on having an epidural but there was no time ) & then I was on the other side of pregnancy.

For being an extremely active person, 6 weeks seemed like FOREVER to not workout. But I was so busy in the baby world that it actually went by quite fast & it was a relief to not have working out on my to-do list every day when I was learning & adjusting to my new life. During the first 6 weeks though, I was losing weight…. this was “my time” I guess.

Breastfeeding was difficult for me at first, I didn’t have great milk production, my baby wasn’t latching great ( another stressful part ) but I was losing weight without much effort. My appetite was on fire, much more so than when I was pregnant & I was eating everything I wanted ( mostly pretty healthy – but not worried about too many carbs, calories etc. ) & the weight kept gradually falling off.

After I got cleared from my doctor, I started very slowly to ease back into exercise.

I started walking with my baby a couple times as well as doing prenatal Pilates and prenatal & postnatal Melissa Wood Health workouts ( she has also been on the HIM & HER podcast – 1 & 2 ).

I was doing prenatal still, because I tried a regular Pilates class at home ( which is what I did for years pre-pregnancy ) but it felt REALLY uncomfortable & too hard. For 6 weeks after that I was incredibly consistent working out 4-5 times a week, but for only 20-30 mins at a time & walking for 45mins 3-4 times a week. By month 3 postpartum I was 2 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight.

My body looked a lot different though… I was much softer & had lost a lot of muscle. Since then ( I am at month 10 postpartum ) I have had to increasingly become more strict with what I am eating & how active I am. Just recently I have felt my body become pretty close to where it was when I got pregnant. But the last few months have been much harder to see change.

I also stopped breast feeding around month 5, which dramatically affected what I could eat. Furthermore, COVID has not helped the situation! I am sure everyone can relate that it is harder to move our bodies & not walk in circles in our kitchen when we can’t be out & about distracted by our day to day normal life.

Since month 3 I really have not lost any more weight & have had to try increasingly harder to tighten up & get back to where I want to be.

Right now I am doing MWH twice a week, TheMethod Pilates twice a week & 1 circuit training day a week along with some walking. I try to practice intuitive eating, along with trying to eat as healthy as possible during the week & relaxing on the weekend. I drink alcohol when I want, but maybe not as much as I want…( because I have a baby that will get up at 7am no matter what – LOL ).

I am thankful that getting my pre-baby body back was a little easier on me than I anticipated. As I needed to catch one break throughout this process. If I had to give advice in regards to it though, it would be to be kind to yourself. You just accomplished an amazing feat & everyone’s pregnancy & postpartum journey is different. Some parts will be easy & some tough, relish the easy ones & forge through the tough ones! We all have our own unique experience!

♡♡♡

As I said, it’s really important for me to share these stories because as Randi says, it’s not all glowing skin, white flowing dresses & feeling like a goddess. Pregnancy can be a total mind fuck & affects everyone differently.

Hope you guys loved this post. Be sure to follow Randi & her beautiful store on Instagram @randilynndittmer & @entrenoussshowroom

x, lauryn

+ why I love compression wear

++ scope my pregnancy weight gain story.

SHOP BABY ESSENTIALS:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Replies to “Balancing Hormones, Fertility and Postpartum Weight Loss”

  1. While I appreciate you sharing your journey with this, as I too have struggled with low thyroid condition and was so frustrated and confused at why I was gaining weight when I was so obsessive with my food intake. I also went to get my blood done and the first doctor, I switched later, said they were normal. Luckily, my parents are doctors and when I told them my levels they said sure they’re “normal” but on the VERY HIGH side of normal (as you know with your thyroid if your low-thyroid you actually have more of the hormone in your body). Thank god for them. So I went to another doctor, she did ANOTHER panel, then ANOTHER more specific one looking at just my thyroid because there are three different hormones and finally I just got on medication. I was told it would not be easy to lose weight, it won’t just come off, but I won’t have to starve myself and workout 6 days a week as you said you were at first doing to literally lost 3 pounds/not gain more weight.

    This brings me to my primary concern, which is that the way you describe your eating and working out after you gained the freshman fifteen is an eating disorder. As someone who has struggled with them, I just think it’s important to realize that what you were doing, working out 6 days a week and your bodybuilders diet, is not really healthy, and is not something that should be romanised as I felt your post did.

    I LOVE your blog, I just think people need to be called out when they have a voice and that voice is perpetuating something unhealthy. However, thank you for sharing in your journey, I love your blog and it is very inspirational.

  2. I don’t have kids and don’t plan to ever have them and yet, I still really enjoyed this. Thanks!

  3. As someone who is wanting to start trying soon, I really enjoyed this post. I’ve been loving reading everyone’s perspective on pregnancy and post partum.