Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, but for model and influencer Kourtney Reppert, it was anything but. As her body changed and hormones went wild, she developed an eating disorder that caused her to gain 100 pounds. All of this was compounded her baby’s father’s infidelity.
I recently spoke with Reppert about the trauma of her pregnancy, weight gain and what it took for her to reconnect to her body and herself. The model mama was brutally honest and incredibly deep. But whether you are a mother or not, her words of wisdom will ring true to anyone who has underdone a traumatic period in their life that caused weight gain.
For someone who is super fit, how did you end up gaining 100 pounds in pregnancy?
It was super easy! My son was a growing boy, and after being cheated on while pregnant, I turned to food, especially after I developed a semi-problematic eating disorder to make weight day in and day out with my agencies.
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I’ve never really showed or promoted my pregnancy but here it goes… This is me on the left literally about 4 years ago ready to pop before my son was born. I gained close to 100 pounds with my pregnancy, and I honestly had no clue as to how I planned on losing the baby weight after, but fast forward a few years and this is current on the right. With time, knowledge and discipline, you can achieve whatever it is you desire, as I am living proof of that. I couldn’t wait to get back to work, but I also dedicated the early years of my sons childhood to just only him. Looking back, I have no regrets, not even ALL the food I consumed or all the time I took off my modeling career. Like many others I questioned my own purpose in life, and after having to go through my pregnancy alone, my son became my purpose. I’ve learned that it is ok to enjoy your pregnancy regardless of any circumstance because it’s a very precious thing becoming a mother that many women are denied. After all, you are creating life… and my sons life was the only thing that mattered weighing in at a healthy 9lbs and 20 ounces. It is truly remarkable what the female body can create! 🤰🏼🤱🏼👼
So, like most people battling something, food became a way to cope with my emotions and of course, my ever growing/changing hormones. I just blew up and blamed it on being pregnant, but truly I was hurt and upset and just ate my feelings while I grew a healthy baby! Food no longer became the enemy, it was vital to get what I needed for my son, and if that meant destroying my body for a healthy child, I was up for it!
What was your pregnancy generally like?
It was tiring, scary, lonely in a way, but overall it was the break I needed to really put my life back in perspective after going through traumatic events a few years prior. I think it was the Universe showing me this was my calling, to be a mom and to help other women. To give me a purpose for life, to show me what unconditional love was supposed to feel like.
What was your post-partum fitness plan, and what obstacles did you run into?
How could I fit anything in for myself? I was raising a child solo with literally no support system and no family. It was hard. I also battled with depression and anxiety as well as the stress of becoming a new mom. Over time, I maneuvered and did little things to get in exercise, like simply taking my son for a walk. That helped me get us fresh air and I always seemed to feel better after!
What were your health and weight loss challenges?
Time, energy and even just the motivation of getting to a gym. It just became a hassle, and I was still shy and ashamed of my pregnancy weight. It wasn’t until I got surgery to remove extra skin, that I started to feel like myself again and became comfortable wearing tighter clothes.
Truly it’s taken me five years and could have probably taken another one year, but I did it all on my own while raising a child solo, in one of the most expensive towns, while building and maintaining a career—all with a baby on my hip. You see, I could have just focused on my body but not having anything in place to help (under my circumstances) I had to fight for every minute just to keep my sanity. It was a very high stress/high reward time for me.
When did you realize something needed to change?
I knew right away when the weight stopped coming off naturally that I would have to work off the remaining weight, if I was going to get back to where I truly was! I also knew not having correcting surgery was going to keep a lot of extra skin on my body too; that was also something that really bothered me. So I set goals and made a plan!
What was your diet and health regime?
I did meal prep and trained 2-3 times a week, and I would also try and get in as much walking as possible. Hiking and walking with my son—anything to stay moving.
Do you have advice for others going through something similar?
Don’t be hard on yourself and please allow your body to recover from making a baby. Allow your fitness regime at least two weeks before making any drastic changes, and find a plan that will work with your schedule of being a mom or a new mom.
Also, find someone in your life that will hold you accountable for your goals. I have a trainer and a small support system, but that was only after struggling for so long and not asking for help.
Enjoy being a mom! So many are denied the privilege. And one of the most important things, I understand now, that I didn’t get back then (as moms, I think we all hit dark moments)—try and be as happy as you can or find happiness in each and every day. It will help you vibrate higher, and bring you what it is you seek to make your life better.
I realized when I started living for me and my child, and not how society wanted me to live, was when things started shaking and moving. Don’t be afraid to share your concerns about your mental and physical health. Love yourself so much that you have so much to give to others.
And lastly, take that nap, you deserve rest too, more than you know!