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
♡ 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.
♡ 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.
♡ 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 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.
+ why I love compression wear.
++ scope my pregnancy weight gain story.