My Fitness Story: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

{This is the story of my fitness journey including some parts that I purposely never blogged about and some parts that I did–I have met a few people that have jumped on this journey at different parts so here is a general recap, of sorts}

I started this whole thing pregnant, 5 months pregnant and unable to slow down. I was completely a little whiny about the fact that I could no longer attend boot camp, and workout like I wanted to because my energy levels we SO low and it was a bit of a rough pregnancy physically. Between the sciatica and the non stop morning sickness, the last thing I could to do was workout. But it was all I wanted to do.

And despite the fact that I was sick all of the time, and I still worked out a good while throughout pregnancy (when I had enough energy), I still managed to gain around 50 pounds. (And if I have a 3rd, I think that might happen again. I think that is just what my body has to do to create life. I am okay with that)

Fast forward, and I had my second C-Section on 12/20/2011 and my second beautiful son arrived. It was a rough recovery, but finally after 3 weeks, I started feeling like myself again.

I entered the gym exactly 6 weeks postpartum and that day happened to be my birthday. I was too thrilled to be back in that funky gym. It is my happy place.

I started losing weight, I was really excited. Overall since the 6 weeks began I had lost around 17 pounds, yes!

Until I decided that I (for the first time in my life) was going to do birth control. And not any normal birth control, but the IUD, the copper based version that lasts for 10 years.

I got the IUD in May. By June I had noticed several pounds creep up on the scale. I really didn’t pay it any mind and I chalked it up to an increase in BBQ’ing and summer weight gain. Despite the fact that I had been going hard at the gym, I wasn’t losing an ounce.

Okay, so I said whoa, I need to switch up my eating. I cut out juice, I reduced carbs, watched fat intake, ate  more veggies and still nothing–just an increase on the scale–consistently. I found this very weird because I had successfully lost 45 pounds 2 years ago, I know what my body needs to lose weight…

I started feeling weird. Like high anxiety, jittery, and I had honestly never felt this way before. I also noticed that my midsection would bloat to give me the appearance of a woman who is 6 months pregnant. My stomach was not “fat” in the traditional sense but it was round and protruding, it was alarming. I showed it to my husband as it progressively got bigger and bigger to the point where even he was concerned (and so was I, I knew I was on BC but I took a EPT to be safe, I wasn’t pregnant)

I googled to see if there was any link between my symptoms and this BC because the symptoms started around that time. My instincts were right, there were hundreds of threads on the topic, all with my same symptoms. Especially the unusual bloating. I knew right then I had to have it removed. Some call it copper poisoning, some call it other things, but what I know is that particular type of BC did not agree with me, at all. It agrees with most, but not I.

I had to wait 3 long weeks to see my OB to remove the device. At the beginning of September, my OB removed it finally and for the first time in 5 months, I had a dream. I realized that I wasn’t even dreaming the entire time the device was installed…isn’t that bananas?

Within a week my stomach had reduced dramatically–while it  ain’t at six pack status–it is no longer protruding in the pregnant kind of way. I had more energy, my curves started returning–I felt GOOD. (And people stopped offering me seats on the Subway!)

Unfortunately, during the period that I had this BC I gained a total of 12 pounds. It didn’t matter that I was working out 4-5 times every week and eating reasonably. I never had a chance.

Late September, I joined weight watchers again and began to lose weight again. Since then I have lost a total of 13 pounds and counting. So since having my baby at the end of 2011 I have lost a total of 18 pounds. (Update 11/13/13 – I have lost a total of 21.6 pounds!)

{(Lost 17 (pre BC), Gained 12 (With BC), Lost 13 (Post BC removal)}

In November 2013,  I got my Zumba license and started teaching a weekly class at one of my church’s facilities. It is truly one of the highlights of my week, and there is no where else I’d rather spend my Saturday mornings.

Now, I am getting closer to my goals, but more than anything I am enjoying the ride. I have stopped putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect, and lose the weight by a certain time. I have goals yes, but they can be changed and adjusted at any time.

JUNE 2015 Update: Last year I fell in love with running. I decided last July that I would run a half marathon and I have already run 7 Half marathons and countless other races in less than a year. I am currently training for the 2015 NYC Marathon. I am a runner, spin fangirl, a Zumba Instructor and a girl who loves.her.weights. I love fitness in all forms (okay, maybe not bootcamp!) my love for endorphins never quits. I’m not even sure what goal weight is for me right now because at this moment I am pretty happy with my body and what it can do instead of the number on the scale.

I am learning to develop my inner athlete by pushing harder, lifting stronger, challenging myself to new heights, new moves and new distances. As my pastor says, change is a process, and I am enjoying every minute!






Mommy. Fitness Addict. Socialite.
Schnelle "Nellie" Acevedo is a busy mom of two young boys (3 and 6), she is an Account Manager by day and a self proclaimed fitness junkie by night. Brooklyn Active Mama is a body positive community that focuses on demonstrating to all women that you can always find time for fitness. A recent running addict, Nellie has completed 7 Half Marathons and is currently training for the New York City Marathon on 11/1/2015. Nellie also is a co-founder of the annual A Healthy U Conference which is a conference dedicated to helping women improve their mental, spiritual and physical health. Nellie is a licensed Zumba instructor in Brooklyn. You can find Nellie on TwitterInstagramFacebookPinterest, PeriscopeGoogle Plus.


  1. I love your story! And you have pictures along the way.

  2. Mrs. Pancakes says:

    What a journey and it sounds like you’ve found your way back!! You are so inspiring!!

  3. I LOVED reading this story, and it was truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing it Nellie. :)
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  4. I am allergic go many of the bc around I have tried about 11 of them and only one didnt give me side effects. I am glad you shared because I have seen the bc shot blow people all the way up

  5. Go girl! Girl I cant do BC and the hormones it puts in your body. I swear it kills women daily…

    You look great and keep up the good work. I’m trying to get like you!!!
    Marie Young recently posted…Weekly GOODie: Mossimo Pemella WedgesMy Profile

  6. Thank you for sharing your story – I too have a copper IUD and never knew about copper poisoning; it’s been a great BC for me. I used hormonal BC in the past for over 10 years and had the “dreamlike” state with it and felt completely freed being hormone-free on the copper IUD. It’s important that we share our stories like this as each woman is so unique yet when we do have similar experiences that might seem off to us it’s good to know that there may be others experiencing the same thing.
    Quiana recently posted…Giveaway: Myrtle&Flossie Essentials for MomMy Profile

    • Exactly, I didn’t think that the copper could do anything to me really because there were no hormones involved but once I read the threads, I knew I was on to something. You are so right about us sharing experiences, because we never know who we can touch!

  7. Wow, dreamless…I didn’t know it did that. Thank you for sharing this very informative piece of your life. You’ve been through so much and hearing this makes want to root harder…if that is possible. You are doing great! Keep it up!
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  8. I had the same type IUD for about 8 years and while it didn’t cause the weight gain I had lots of other issues that I finally traced back to my IUD. Happy to have it removed and not deal with those things anymore – DRs need to be more aware of the issues that can come up with those! You are looking great – love the progression pictures!
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    • Thank Kim, its so crazy how these things affect certain women–my doctor totally convinced me that it was my easiest and most worry free option. He was SO wrong :/

  9. Wow, you have been on a journey and it seems like you’re in a good place and moving in the right direction. I love what your Pastor said about change being a process. Yes it is! So happy you identified the BC as a problem and was able to correct it. Thank you for sharing your life experiences with us. I wish you nothing but continued success with your fitness journey.
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  10. I loved getting the story front to back!
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  11. What a wonderful post, Nellie! I’m so glad you shared it. I’d never heard about those problems with the IUD. It’s unfortunate that you were oneof the unlucky ones.

    You look great and inspire many to lead a healthy life.

    Happy Easter!
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  12. I am so proud of you. That is one amazing journey, keep up the good work and keep taking pictures. It’s so good to see how far you’ve come, such a motivation. Good job Nellie, good job
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  13. Ahhh nothing like a good fitness journey post to get me motivated! I’m so happy for you! I am glad that you were able to find out the culprit and get it rectified! Congrats on the weight loss so far! I’m like you now when it comes to weight on the scale. I’m not just trying to focus on other non scale victories, and I am so proud of what my body is starting to do!
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  14. And this is why I chose the Mirena instead of the copper IUD! LAWD! The things we women have to put up with! Thanks for sharing your story, I sure it will help someone! And you are doing so great in your weight loss journey! You go girl!
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  15. Great story! I love reading things like these. I tried the shot and the ring, and I can honestly say I like being without birth control. We are careful because we want to space out the next 2 kids, but I do know what it feels like to gain weight from a birth control. The shot does blow you up.
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    • Yes, I don’t think my body is actually made for birth control. My doctor recommended YAZ but I said no thank you!

  16. I was just about to like your page from SITS and thought…”She sounds familiar”…and we met a few months ago at Fitbloggin! Hope things have been well since then…it was great meeting you!
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  17. Really nice job on this post. i appreciate your honesty and the way that you make yourself approachable and relatable. Thanks for writing.
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  18. Great story! The excitement of losing pounds just can’t be beat, can it?!
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