A Better Body After Baby

Surgeon Erin Bowman shed the pregnancy pounds and kept on losing until she was back in her (size 6!) wedding dress.


ididit-before
Erin Bowman, 35, 5'7"

Before: 204 lb.
Dress size: Maternity/14
I thought pregnancy gave me license to eat whatever I wanted—and so I did. My downfall: Mexican food, along with whatever fast food my husband brought home. Since I'm a surgeon who spends my days in elastic-waistband scrubs, it was hard to gauge my gain. During my last trimester, I noticed that my face, arms and legs had expanded along with my belly. By the time I gave birth to my daughter, Ava Gabrielle, at the end of March 2012, I had put on 58 pounds.

Good-bye, muumuus

Two months after giving birth, I signed up for Weight Watchers online. Its point system (I allowed myself 26 daily points) helped me make better food choices. I stopped scarfing down plates of 11-point fries in favor of healthier picks, such as zucchini tots (3 points) and shrimp-and-avocado salads (5 points). With my new eating habits, the baby weight fell off. By November, I had reached my 146-pound goal. Being a size 8 again felt amazing, but I wasn't satisfied. So I set a new goal: getting back to my wedding weight.

Next up: bikini

Until I stopped breast-feeding one year after giving birth, exercise had been nonexistent. When I was finally ready to sweat, I forced myself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. four to five times a week to run. My first few were horrible. But I stuck with it, eventually trading my run-walk intervals for steady 45-minute jogs. I also began working with the trainer who had whipped me into shape for my wedding. By summer I had erased 11 pounds, was at my 2010 "I do" weight and even fit into my wedding dress! A few weeks later, on our childless Caribbean vacation, I rocked my bikini. It was like being on our beachy honeymoon again—bridal body and all.

ididit-after
After: 135 lb.
Dress size: 6
Total lost: 69 lb.
Sizes lost: 4

Patrick Molnar
My Fit Celeb Inspiration: Beyoncé

She embraces her curves and she had a baby almost two years ago and is on tour right now showing off her flawless figure in skimpy outfits!

My Sweet, Savory Indulgence: Peanut M&M's

I can find a bag in any store. The peanuts curb my salt cravings, while the chocolate adds a nice hint of sweetness.

My Favorite Healthy Website: skinnytaste.com

I am completely addicted to this website. The blogger, Gina Homolka, posts healthy recipes daily and even includes the number of Weight Watchers points for each meal. Some of my favorites: Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Milk with Tomatoes and Cilantro, Turkey-Stuffed Peppers and Pumpkin Cupcakes. It shows that you can enjoy good food and still eat well.

My Exercise Mantra: Get Fine, Stay Fine

My trainer said this to me during a training session once, and I thought it was so corny, but it kind of stuck with me. Plus, it's the truth—you don't do all this work to just fall off again.

As told to Rozalynn S. Frazier
Last Updated: November 04, 2013

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