Actress and celebrity influencer Isabelle Daza was raw and honest when she spoke about her introduction to motherhood after giving birth to 10-month-old son Baltie. The video, which she uploaded on her YouTube channel, was like a diary of her emotions during her pregancy and after childbirth.
The first time mom hopes to inspire other moms who want to reclaim their bodies but have no idea how to do it. But if you're hoping for a secret quick fix to losing weight, Isabelle offers none. She's proud to say she now weighs less than her pre-pregnancy weight, but it took her 10 months and a lot of sacrifices.
Through the video, Isabelle shared that she had gestational diabetes on her 38th week of pregnancy, suffered from clogged ducts, and was diagnosed with "the beginning of mastitis." Throughout the video, she walks us through her weight loss as well as overcoming the demands of being a new mom.
Having an unplanned C-section
At 38 weeks pregnant, Isabelle weighed 205 pounds and had just been told by her doctor that she has gestational diabetes. Isabelle's ultrasound also showed low amniotic fluid, and the baby was in a triple cord coil, so she had to deliver her baby via cesarean section (CS).
Isabelle revealed she wanted to have a natural birth and having a C-section made it harder for her to recover. Just three weeks after giving birth via CS to her son Baltie, the new mom tried exercising even though her doctor advised she could work out at eight weeks postpartum.
"I'm so tormented because in one way, obviously, the cesarean section saved [Baltie's] life and I'm so grateful for that," explained. "But in another way, when I see my scar it makes me so sad," the new mom admitted as she started to cry.
Breastfeeding challenges and lack of sleep
Isabelle had breastfeeding struggles — she suffered from clogged ducts, mastitis — and lack of sleep. She barely had time for herself, let alone address her weight though she tried to start working out earlier than her doctor advised.
Isabelle described her state at three weeks post-birth. "I don't have time to eat because he's always feeding. I feel so unproductive right now. I answered one email in the past three days because he's feeding nonstop." She and Baltie also had to overcome latching problems.
To avert having full-on mastitis, the doctor advised Isabelle to express more milk so her breasts wouldn't get engorged, and her milk ducts wouldn't get clogged and infected. Then her milk supply bcame a concern.
"My baby is drinking so much milk at night that I'm not having enough milk to store for emergencies. I don't want to pity myself but honestly, I'm so freaking tired, and I'm like, 'When will this just go smoothly?' It's not even six weeks yet," Isabelle said.
Accepting her postpartum body
"My weight is really my issue," the actress admitted. "I'm so effing huge, I can't even stand seeing myself. Every day I weigh myself, and I kinda feel bad."
"It's so shallow, right? It's so sad to think that I have all this weight, and I hate seeing it," she continued. "Everybody's talking about 'loving my body,' but I'm just at a stage in my life where I'm insecure of my body, and I don't want to go out of the house. I get anxiety seeing people."
Isabelle wasn't sure if her frustration over her weight and new-mom struggles pointed to a postpartum mental health issue. But she said she was feeling overwhelmed, especially with the pressure to shed the pounds fast for her job where looking good did matter.
"How I feel right now is like...I have to breastfeed, I have to produce enough milk, I have to get enough sleep, I have to be able to work out. I have to be able to at least transition back to work. And I don't know where to start, and I'm just drowning," Isabelle said.
Shedding the pregnancy pounds
In June 2018, Isabelle started pushing herself to work hard and lose weight with the help of a trainer and her friends. Her workout consisted mostly of weight training with calisthenics on the side. "When I kind of felt that I was bored with it, I would try other sports like swimming, running, doing yoga at home, because I always just wanted to keep moving," she added.
Her trainer also put her on a specific macronutrient count diet, which was also approved by her doctor. It consisted of 76 grams per meal of carbohydrates (camote, pumpkin, brown rice, or quinoa), 56 grams per meal of protein (white fish, snapper, Lapu-Lapu, tilapia, salmon, or tuna), and 20 grams per meal of fat.
"Almost every day I took a photo of my food to make sure I was on track. But more than that, I think having a support system when you're trying to diet is very helpful," Isabell stressed. "I also conditioned my mind into changing my relationship with food. It was to nourish me and not as punishment," she said.
Aside from going on a diet and working out Isabelle also made sure to check on her mental well-being. "Meditation really helped me decompress. It was really hard at first because I always want to check my phone, but I slowly got into the habit of it to learn how to cope with anxiety," Isabelle shared.
If Isabelle had a secret, it would be "to build a sustainable lifestyle incorporating healthy eating with occasional indulges as well as finding the right workout that suits you," she said. Throughout her 10-month weight loss journey, Isabelle, who lost 68 pounds, drills down what it took to achieve her goal.
Limit your food intake but don't deprive yourself
Isabelle tried to limit eating favorites like chocolate croissants when she and her family visited France, her husband Adrien Semblat's home country in August 2018. "But I also didn't stop myself from eating [becuase] otherwise, I'd feel too deprived," Isabelle stressed.
Get everyone on board your weight loss journey
As with going on a diet, it helps to have friends and family supporting and motivating you to work out. "I really tried to work out with my family, my mom and my sister, we went to the gym together," she said when she attended her cousin's wedding in Bali in September 2018.
Keep moving and make healthier food choices
"It's just about keeping active and making sure that I don't overindulge," the new mom said when she was in the U.S. in October 2018. "I'm not going to say I never cheated because that would be a lie. But I try to choose what I would eat carefully."
Sleep and rest are vital to fitness
"People often neglect rest, but I think you should listen to your body," Isabelle said when she decided to cancel a workout and meditate instead. Prioritizing sleep and rest helped her cope after she got back to work and the days of taping made her feel like she couldn't work out.
"It's all about the work you're willing to put in, focusing on your goal and not stopping until you reach it," Isabelle stressed. "It's really about consistency, hard work, and determination. If you want it that bad, then you have to be able to make sacrifices," she added.
Watch the full video below.