Weight Loss after Pregnancy for a Working Mom

Weight loss after pregnancy can be a difficult and emotional journey. However, it is possible to lose weight and get back to your pre-pregnancy weight with the right support. This week MetPro client, Melissa Urso, joins us and we discuss her postpartum journey to lose the weight she gained during pregnancy and nourish her body while doing so.

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Welcome to the show. I am joined by MetPro client, Melissa Urso. We will be discussing losing weight after pregnancy. Melissa, thank you so much for joining me.

Thank you for having me. I am super excited.

I am too. I have so many questions about this. I never even had thought of a program like MetPro existing whenever I had my daughter. It was so very long ago. I am curious how you came to the conclusion that MetPro was the right program for you.

After listening to your other podcast, The Clip Out, I heard a lot about MetPro through that and through the Peloton community. I have tried a lot of different programs throughout the years. I was interested in finding one that worked, especially after gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy. It seemed like the right fit for me initially, based on how it works and how individualized it is and how it focuses a lot on your individual metabolism. It is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. I was interested in that and I thought that could be what I needed to get to where I needed to be.

Feel free to tell me if I ask anything that you are like, “I do not really feel like talking about that.” Whenever you were pregnant, did your doctor say you gained a good amount of weight? Was it difficult to stay within the range you were shooting for? Did you have any issues with that?

I was a normal BMI prior to being pregnant. I have always been very muscular. I did CrossFit for a long time pre-pregnancy and then once I got pregnant, I fell away from doing CrossFit. I got more into Peloton, cardio, and strength stuff at home. I went into pregnancy at a normal BMI. She was not really concerned. I did not like how much weight I had gained. They never outwardly told me like, “You better watch it or you gain too much.” I just did not feel good. I physically did not feel great.

You did not feel like yourself.

I did not have terrible morning sickness, but in the beginning, fast food and cereal, of all things, were all that sounded good. I feel like my diet was fast food and cereal for nine months. In my second trimester, I got back to feeling a little bit normal. I worked out a little more. I ate a little healthier. Towards the end, it was like, “I need to get through this.”

Those last couple of months are so rough. I had constant heartburn at night and I could not lay flat. It was so frustrating. The medical profession often will say lots of positive things about exercise. I feel like when I had my daughter was a totally different experience. That is so cool that you had encouragement and felt good to work out and that you could work out during the pregnancy. What has your experience been like with MetPro? Can you walk through that with us?

I joined at the beginning of December 2021. My daughter was born in March of 2021. I had her. I was trying to do it on my own right after she was born and get back. I had counted macros in the past. I thought, “I know what I need to do.” I was trying to get back into working out. I like the initial however many pounds that you lose after you have a baby without doing anything and then hit that plateau. After that first summer, I was like, “I need to do something. I need somebody to hold me accountable.” I joined in December. It was amazing how they took into account everything about my personality and my interests to pair me with my coach. I feel like we were meant to be.

She also had just had a baby. Her daughter is a few months younger than mine, but we are navigating a similar situation. That was huge to have a coach that is going through the same thing. She can relate to, “I was up 3:00 AM last night. I did not get a lot of sleep today. I did not get the workout like I wanted to.” The fact that they took all of that into account when they paired me with a coach was amazing. I think that, right off the bat, made my experience. I knew I was set up for success because the coach they paired me with, I knew we were going to click. I knew she was going to be able to help me.

You are with Coach Shannon, right?

She is awesome. She is so great. That was huge. It is the whole design of the program, how it does not feel restrictive. I have a plan, but I have also had birthdays and vacations. I have had so many life events since I joined MetPro and I do not feel like I have missed out on any of that. I also do not feel like I have lost progress by enjoying those things. That is what makes it so great.

I feel like it is fascinating that by applying a little strategy to those celebrations, you can enjoy fully, no holding back and then you are right back where you were. It is amazing.

That is why it is so different than other programs. It is truly a lifestyle change. It is not a diet. It is sustainable. It is not like, “I will do this for a few months to drop the weight.” It’s like, “This is just my life now.” I have never been able to say that before about any program I followed. It has never been something I could sustain.

I feel like I have a very similar thought process about it. It feels weird to call it a diet as compared to so many other kinds of programs that are out there. I think we are both naturally calling it a program because of that. Diet does not seem like the right word. It is not all about restriction. It has been a while since I have had that young child at home, but I know it is tough. How are you able to keep up with caring for such a tiny one, plus doing meal prep and workouts?

The short answer to that would be my husband. He is absolutely incredible. He is super health conscious. He is a runner. He has always been very into fitness, so he gets it. From day one, he will never tell me I cannot work out. I cannot do what I need to do. I do not deserve him. He is great. I could not do it without him. I do not know how single parents do it because I feel like I do not know how people do it. It is incredible. He is the reason I have had success with this program. I will give myself some credit. He is in the background doing all that.

My daughter is so fun, but she is so busy. I cannot do anything. I cannot even go to the other room because she sees me and she wants to be there. She is crying even if she can see me. It requires both of us to be able to meal prep or even heat something up in the microwave because she is mad at us. She is ten feet away.

That really speaks to how having supportive folks in your life, whether a spouse or any other family member, makes a huge difference in your journey.

I cannot imagine doing it without him. He is the short answer. The other half of it is the habit formation, which takes a month or whatever they say of how many days to develop a habit and a routine. The key when I started was to do the same thing every day over and over, as far as meal prep, making my grocery lists, and even the meals I was eating. I found it easier in the beginning to eat the same thing.

For me, that works. I do not usually get sick of stuff. That helps me to know, especially with the carbs and the protein and all the numbers that go into it. I knew like, “I am eating my turkey and my green beans and broccoli and rice for lunch.” I know exactly how much I need. I could quickly put it in the containers. Trying to form those habits and staying consistent in the beginning, then it becomes mindless, almost. You do not have to think about it.

I think that is a big key when you do decide to go off plan for a birthday or any other celebration because your routine is there. You do not have to think. You just start doing what you were doing yesterday and it is not so hard. I am curious when you say that your husband helps. Does he cook the food for you or is he hanging out with your daughter while you are cooking? How is that working?

We do both. He mostly spends time with her because she is in a phase right now where she loves me, but if she has both of us at her disposal, she will pick him over me. It works out. He always will cook a batch of ground turkey for the week. That became his thing. He will do that on the weekends. We alternate grocery shopping, but he will go a lot of the time on the weekend. Most of the time, he will hang out with her and let me do the prep, especially packing my lunch every night and doing all that, which is great. He is so helpful. I am very lucky.

I hate when people say that their husbands or their spouses are watching or babysitting because it is not what is happening. It is their child. You guys take turns splitting up workout time too.

I am a nurse anesthetist. I do anesthesia. I work in the operating room. I work Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, no weekends. It is pretty standard, but I get up at 5:00 every morning to get to work. He works from home. He works in finance. During COVID, he started working from home and he just works from home. Our daughter goes to daycare, so he takes her in the morning. I generally pick her up after work, as long as I do not have to stay or have other errands to run.

He will do his workouts. Usually, he can carve time into his day since he is home to do his workout. I have tried so many times to be a morning workout person, but getting up for work at 5:00 AM would mean I have to workout at 4:00 AM. I cannot get to bed early enough the night before as much as I want to. I do my workouts when I get home from work. That is our routine. That is her time with dad.

When I get home, I do my workout, they hang out, and then we go on with our night. We have a good routine. On the weekends, we switch off. He is running the New York City marathon. We are very excited. We are making a whole trip out of it. We are going to go and that will be, Cecilia, my daughter’s first time in New York.

You have to hit the Peloton studio while you are there.

I cannot wait. Timing-wise, it should be good. Hopefully, I will be able to get into a class. I have been thinking about it since I heard that the studio was going to reopen. I cannot wait. That is on my list. He will be training. He will have to do long runs on the weekends and we divide that time up. We switch off days who gets up with her because she is programmed to wake up like a typical toddler at 6:00 AM, even on the weekend.

It is sad, though. Whenever they are teenagers, you miss it.

I know that day will come for sure.

It is bittersweet. There are positives. What about whenever you are at work and being in the medical field? If you are working on a case, you cannot necessarily duck out and have your food whenever. How are you working that in?

That is the trickiest part of my job. Before I became a nurse anesthetist, I was a critical care nurse. It was a little easier, but it is hard to get a break anytime you are a nurse of any kind because it is crazy. It was a little easier then because I could decide when I needed to take lunch. In the beginning, being in the operating room now, I cannot leave until someone comes in to give me a break or lunch when I am taking care of a patient. Generally, we have times of the day when we get a morning break, a lunch. It is a range of a couple of hours. We get a morning break between generally 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM. Lunch is between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.

You know that is when you are going to eat. My body is used to eating at those times every day and I stick to that on the weekends too. I make sure I get my morning snack. The nice thing about where I work is we all are very close and everybody takes care of each other. We always get a break and a lunch, which is great because there are a lot of places where that is not guaranteed. The staff is short and you have to fend for yourself. I am very lucky I work at a great place. We always get our lunch and breaks. That can be tricky, but I try to make it work with those times.

I love how appreciative you are of all aspects of the support you have in your life. That is nice that you recognize that and that you appreciate it.

I do not take it for granted.

How about Coach Shannon? How has she supported you on this MetPro journey?

She is wonderful. I schedule a call every week with her to touch base. It is a fifteen-minute call, but I talk a lot. It usually turns into a 20 or 25-minute call. It is funny. I think of her as my friend. She is my coach, but I am like, “We will talk about our kids or something that happened even unrelated to MetPro.” It is awesome how it morphed from saying, “She is my coach giving me nutrition tips,” to saying, “Guess what happened to me today.” It is great. It is just wonderful. This is also the first program I have ever done where if I do get off track and I have a few glasses of wine that I did not plan to or we get pizza and I blow it for the night.

In the past, when I have done other programs, I have tended to either not tell the person or the program like, “I will not enter that I ate that.” I think it is just because it is so transparent and we are such a good match. I never neglect to tell her like, “I went off track today because I know she is not going to make me feel bad about it.” I think that is why I have had such success with this because there is no shaming. It is like, “It is fine. Do not beat yourself up. We will get back on track.”

That is it and because of that, I feel like I am so more apt to get back on track because I know like, “It happens. Everybody slips up and it is life. It is going to happen.” I am sure the other coaches are the same. It is such a nice support system. It is not somebody that is breathing down your neck and yelling at you. They want you to succeed. Yelling at you or making you feel bad about something like that is not going to help you succeed.

There are some people that need that extra and we have coaches for that.

Some people function better when they are under pressure. That does not make sense. I could see that.

I am not one of those people on either side.

I could not see you being that type of coach.

I would feel too bad. I would be a hypocrite. I had one of those weekends. It was very stressful and things did not go well. Besides that part, is there anything that you feel MetPro has done that was different for you that you want to share with everyone? Anything else just about MetPro we have not talked about, that you want to make sure people know?

The thing that I really like is how specific it is to everyone’s individual metabolic rate and all of the crazy scientific things that you guys do as coaches that I do not even understand. I love that because I have done other programs where it is a similar concept of you get macros. They will change the macros based on how you are feeling and your weight.

However, I feel like it is so different. It is so much more tailored with MetPro than a lot of other programs that I have done, whereas I have done other programs where I feel like I have been at the same weight for weeks. I have worked with a similar idea of coach and nothing changed like, “We will keep your macros here. We are going to keep you where you are at.”

It is like, “No wonder I was not having any success.” It is not going to change if you are just staying where you are at. I think that part has been amazing. Even if I am gaining a little bit, the science is so cool behind it. It is like, “I am going to increase your carbs.” It is like, “Why would you increase my carbs?” You trust it and then it works.

It is amazing. I have never once questioned it. Shannon knows what she is doing. You guys know what you are doing and it is crazy. It is almost the opposite of what you would think when you do other programs or if you have basic nutrition knowledge, you think more is bad. You just trust the science and it works. This is the healthiest I have ever been.

I was a runner in my early twenties. I pretty much only did running. I loved it. I hit a wall with running. That is when I started CrossFit. When I got pregnant, fitness was so cyclical. I get into something. I like it for a couple of years and then I stop. Since I stopped doing CrossFit, that is when I started gaining weight and fell off the wagon altogether with getting pregnant and fitness. It has definitely been something I needed to get back on track. It has helped me refocus. Another thing I love about it is that whatever fitness thing you are doing, you can keep doing it on MetPro.

I like that MetPro has a whole section in the app. There are all different things you can do that they can give you if you need workouts or you need a structure. I came in the MetPro being a Peloton fanatic and that is it. MetPro was not like, “You need to do our workouts, but maybe you can do Peloton too.” It is like, “That is your thing. We will work with you. That is what we will do.” That part of it is great, too. They adapt to let you keep doing what you enjoy. I think that is also what helped me be successful.

You brought up some excellent points I would not have thought to mention. Thank you for that. Melissa, thank you for your time. I was wondering if folks have any questions they want to reach out to you directly, would you like for them to reach out to you on social media? Would you like to share how to find you?

I am on Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook, I am Melissa Urso and then on Instagram, I am @Melissa_Urso.
Thank you again. I really appreciate your time.

Thank you so much for having me.

Readers, that is all for this episode. You can find all the MetPro Method episodes anywhere you get podcasts or MetPro.co/podcast. Please be sure to follow the show and rate and review. That lets other people know what they can expect from the show. You can also learn more about MetPro MetPro.co. I will be back next time. Until then, remember, consistency is key.

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