A year before I had Colin, or B.B., (Before Baby) I had whittled my weight down from 190-ish to 130-ish, (the, "ish" is not some sly way of avoiding any real numbers, I just don't remember). I accomplished this massive weight loss by starting off with a detox diet, then a casual adherence to the South Beach Diet. The casual adherence to the South Beach Diet worked pretty well for me, (I had tried following the South Beach Diet three times prior, big FAIL) because the pounds just seemed to melt right off.
In fact, the amount of weight I lost in such a short time was slightly alarming. I thought perhaps I had some serious illness. Turns out I did not have any serious illness, much to my great relief, and after a period of adjustment with my new body, I was able to do something I had never done before, wear a bikini.
I didn't wear one out to the beach, just the backyard, but still, it was gratifying. I would have been mortified to wear one out among so many strangers, but being able to walk around the backyard on sunny days, working on a tan while reading Ayn Rand books was incredibly awesome.
As the fall neared, I had begun to gain some weight, prompting me to buy some detox pills and vowing to begin again on New Year's Day. My plans to lose the ten pounds I’d gained were put aside when I found out I had conceived.
During my nine months of pregnancy, I steadily gained 55 pounds. The little baby growing in my womb demanded food IMMEDIATELY upon the first hunger pang. Hunger had become a life threatening situation in my mind, and if I did not stuff my face with carbs, I became a cranky beast, capable of shrilly screaming at my husband through the phone, "WHY ARE YOU NOT HERE YET? WHEN I SAY LUNCH IS AT 11:30 A.M., I MEAN IT!"
I would get jittery and emotional, and several times I would have to start lunch without my husband, who was driving from the house to my work, and was often running behind. He just didn't get it, but in the end, I survived, the baby survived.
I stuffed my face with food, and not completely healthy food all the time, (I craved red meat and leafy greens, Taco Bell, Cheeseburgers and French Fries). In my defense, I worked full time while trying to buy a house for the first time. It was stressful, busy and I was EXHAUSTED.
Looking back, I have no idea where I got the energy! I had meant to exercise and eat sensibly while pregnant. I had been fully determined to practice Yoga, eat organic food and take regular walks. I did NONE of that. In fact, at one point during my pregnancy, I had joked with my Mother-in-law about how Women in parts of the world other than America, had better things to do than go to Yoga class, shop for expensive diaper bags, and shop for organic produce. Mainly, those Women in parts of the world other than America were too busy lugging their pregnant bellies around rice paddies, sewing factories, full time jobs and large families to practice yoga.
I admit it; I was jealous, and tired, and irritated, and tired. I wish I had had more time to practice Yoga, because now, I'm 195 pounds five months after having my first baby.
I look at pictures before I had my son and pictures while pregnant and think about them while I stand in front of a mirror, trying not to dwell on how much I hate being so darn fat now.
Everybody says, "It took you nine months to gain that weight, it will take nine months to take it off," or my personal favorite, "you're breastfeeding, and it should come right off!"
You know what can come right off? That look on your face, that can come right off when I tell you where to SHOVE IT. Hopefully nowhere near me, because if it has any sugar or fat, my body will find it like a hound dog and devour it like there is no freakin' tomorrow.
No, Ladies and Gentlemen, the weight is not coming right off for me. I wish it was, oh god, I wish it was!
It's not for lack of trying! I have been trying to exercise, but do I even have to tell those of you who have children, especially young children that really love your attention, how hard it is to find even ten minutes to workout? My baby is no small little duckling either. My kid is in the 95 percentile for his weight, so I'm hefting around a twenty pound five month old, all the time. ALL THE TIME. I am constantly working my arms lifting him. I am always doing squats, off the couch, chair, whatever, while holding him. I workout all day. Sometimes, I barely find the time to eat, get the housework done and a little bit of me time to keep my sanity.
Sanity...wait. What is that?
Aside from finding the time to workout, there is the whole nutrition thing. I eat whole wheat bread, drink 2% milk, drink water all day long, and eat snacks of fruit, protein and fiber. I cook meals in the evenings and rarely do we go out to eat. I am at a loss as to how I can get a balanced, low calorie diet while breastfeeding. How do I find the time to prepare those low calorie meals? Where does the money to buy the fresh fruits, veggies and meats come from?!?!
My family lived on frozen Stouffer's meals for the first couple of months after Colin was born. He was colicky in the evenings, and all I could do was hold him. Have you tried cooking with a crying newborn in your arms, Dr. So-and-so?
I want to lose weight so badly! I want to fit into pants that I wore before I had my Son. I want to feel good about my body, because it ties in with so much else that I don't feel so great about. I hate having pictures of me taken, but then I think, "When Colin gets older, don't you want him to have pictures of you two together?" of course I do! Still, when I see a picture of myself, my double chin that Mark and I named, "Clarissa" I get sad.
All I can do is keep on trying, right? Eventually, Colin will be a little more self sufficient and able to entertain himself, right? Then, I can workout while he happily babbles and plays nearby, right? I will be able to quell the anxiety of leaving my baby with anyone other than my Husband for a couple of hours enough so I can go to work, right?
Oh lord, please tell me I’m right. Please tell me I won't be a fat mom. PLEASE!
I have thought about my current dilemma, and it seems to me that I may just be hanging onto the fat because I’m breastfeeding, that it's not going to melt off until I stop. All I can do, if this is the case, is keep myself well fed on a balanced diet, continue to exercise, and when Colin begins to wean, I’ll be able to adjust my diet so that I’m taking in less calories. I just have to wait until then for my weight loss hopes, dreams and goals to be fully realized.
Really, it's only for another seven months, providing I breastfeed him until he's a year old, which I fully intend to do.
So, please be kind. I'll try to be kind to myself too.
4 months ago