A year before my Son was conceived, I tipped the scales at two-hundred pounds. Aside from the low self-esteem that I was harboring, I also got flack from my Boss at work, (she was nice about it but, still...). The boiling point came around New Year's when, I noticed that the top of my right thigh felt numb to the touch.
At first, I went to a Chiropractor, thinking that it was a back problem and getting adjustments would solve the problem. The Chiropractor suggested that I get a massage, (they had a in-house masseuse). I had never had a massage before and, I was nervous about it but, I decided to give it a try.
The Masseuse was excellent but, she told me that the muscle in my right buttock was REALLY tight and, she set to work on it. The pain from the Masseuse's hand, working my butt muscle was so intense, I started Lamaze breathing, for which I was praised. LOL.
After my massage, I thought that I may be able to further things a long if I started merely stretching as often as I could. At this time, I lived with my In-laws and, they had a treadmill in their spare room. I would go back to the spare room, stretch for a good twenty-minutes and then hop on the treadmill for another thirty minutes. I was sporadic about this exercise but, I noticed that it did really improve my right thigh and, I felt much better.
As an extra incentive to lose weight and become healthy, I had my Husband take pictures of me in my Underwear and, it was those pictures that really fueled the fire. I had NO IDEA that I was THAT fat. I couldn't believe how the fat bulged in my midsection and really made me look bloated. Those pictures were truly awful and, just what I needed to further my motivation.
In addition to the stretching and exercise, I started a raw foods detox diet which was supposed to be for two weeks but, at the end of the first week I was so desperate for some meat that I decided to bake a chicken breast without any seasoning. It was the best chicken breast I have ever tasted! I didn't feel bad about cheating because, by this time, I really felt the effects of the detox diet and I felt great!
After the detox diet, I started cooking meals from the South Beach Diet recipe series. I ate salad's with low calorie dressings. Breakfast was often a low-fat yogurt cup and a piece of fruit. It's no surprise that I started dropping the weight immediately. I stopped going to the chiropractor because, I found out that my insurance was NOT covering my visits, when I thought they were but, it didn't matter because the stretching, exercise and change in diet were really making a difference.
In six months, I had lost forty pounds. By the end of the year, I was around 130, the thinnest I had been in almost ten years. I felt and looked so great! I was having a lot of fun shopping for clothes that I had always looked at longingly before, because I didn't think I would look good in them. For the first time ever, I bought a bikini. I didn't wear it out in public but, I would lay out on my In-law's back porch and soak up the sun while reading a book and drinking margarita's on the weekends.
I felt so light, so free. A lot of people remarked on my weight loss which, made me feel bashful and self-conscious. Although I was enjoying my new body, I wasn't enjoying it for the attention I was getting, I was enjoying it because of how good I felt.
In the fall of that year, I conceived my Son. My Husband and I had been married for nine years by this time and, had never conceived before, (I was on and off birth control and, often, our interactions were unprotected) so, I was surprised. I truly believe that I conceived because I have PCOS and, the weight loss enabled me to get pregnant. Our Son was unexpected but, we were thrilled!
As the pregnancy progressed, I found I was hardly ever sick but, instead, RAVENOUSLY HUNGRY. I tried to eat healthy but, as time went on, I just NEEDED certain types of food. I NEEDED carbs. I NEEDED Beef and Spinach. I NEEDED to be full. Now, I know what you may be thinking, "There is no way that she "NEEDED" any of that stuff! She could have eaten healthy! If she had, she wouldn't be complaining about being fat now!". Well...you would be wrong. If I could take you back and put you in my body and let you FEEL how I felt then, you would be eating your words, because you are SOOOOO HUNGRY!
There were times when I actually had emotional meltdowns because I was so hungry. During the last half of my first trimester, all the way to the last week of my second trimester, I often shoveled food into my mouth, hardly tasting it at all, because I was so hungry.
Once, during my second trimester, my Husband and I went to a Cuban Restaurant for lunch and, we ordered a Empanada. I shoveled a bunch of black beans and rice in my mouth, washed it down with a gulp of Sprite and then, bit into the Empanada. I actually got tears in my eyes because it tasted so good. I was smiling and laughing because, for the first time in so long, I was actually tasting something and, it tasted delicious!
I will never forget that Empanada...
Anyway...*cough-cough*, the end result of all this ravenous hunger was that I gained fifty pounds during pregnancy. It didn't matter that I moved into the house that my Husband and I bought, when I was six months pregnant, a two-story house, that I practically unpacked and arranged by myself. I still gained fifty pounds. By the end of my pregnancy, I was weighing in at two hundred and two pounds...OUCH!
After the birth of my Son, I weighed myself at home and found that I had lost twenty pounds, SCORE! Unfortunately, I was still pretty hungry and had picked up some pretty heinous eating habits during pregnancy. I also developed a habit of stuffing my face and, because I was breastfeeding, I kept on eating. For some reason, after the birth of my Son, I had a huge craving for sweets and, regularly bought a big box of Gobstoppers and would crunch them in bed at night. Horrible, I know. I mean, it's my post-partum shameful secret. I just outed myself. LOL. I mean, GOBSTOPPERS! I just bet my Milk was super tasty! LOL.
Even though I lost twenty pounds with the birth of my Son, I gained it back within a month and, what's worse is, as of today, I've only lost ten pounds of it.
When I look back on all the things I felt and thought about my weight from when my Son was twelve weeks gestation to when he was about six months old, I laugh at myself. I had vowed to not gain a lot of weight but, I did. I had vowed to exercise and lose the weight after my Son was born, I even worked out some but, I didn't count on my attached and spirited Son. I didn't take into account how, when I gave birth to my Son, I also gave birth to a new me. The new me was more focused on becoming a Mother and, it has turned out that, for me, being a Mom is a full time job.
Eventually, I gave up on exercise and diet, except for a few spurts of inspiration that failed almost as soon as I had started to try. I stopped focusing on myself, who I was before I gave birth, my dreams of slimming down and focused on who I had become and my dreams of being a Mother. When I looked in the mirror, I saw my new bulges but, I didn't, (and still don't) see them. I fit in to clothes I fit into. I looked just fine for what I was. I managed to get a shower in once a day and, that was good enough for me. Sometimes, I even put on makeup and did my hair and, that was a special treat but, articles and comments about weight started trickling in, reminding me that I am Morbidly Obese and sadness, dissatisfaction and frustration seeped in.
My weight has fluctuated often over the years but, my Husband has never said anything about my weight, until recently and, it has crushed me. We had an argument one night about it. My Husband mentioned my weight and, I yelled at him, "You just want me to be Skinny, don't you?! DON'T YOU?! JUST ADMIT IT!!!"
He said yes.
"DON'T YOU THINK I WANT TO BE SKINNY?! DON'T YOU THINK I WANT TO BE PRETTY?!" was my answer.
I attended a social function a couple of days ago and, pictures were taken and posted on Facebook. I got a good glimpse of my body, even though I've lost ten pounds and, it really hurt me, deep down.
I keep hearing comments, surely not meant maliciously or, even pointedly but, I hear and feel them like jabs to my heart.
I AM THE FAT Mom in my Mom group.
I AM THE FAT Mom to my Son.
I AM THE FAT wife.
On the night that my Husband and I argued, I told him that, unlike when I was without a child and we had two disposable incomes, I don't know how to lose weight like I did before. Having a child throws in a whole new aspect and, I just haven't figured out how to manage with a TIGHT budget and a Toddler so, sue me. I also have not had ENOUGH.
How can I say that I have not had, ENOUGH, when I am clearly upset by my body? It hurts to be this way, it does but, I am not angry ENOUGH or, fed up ENOUGH. I have my limits and I just have not reached them yet.
For now, I am the Elephant in the Room. Most days, I don't think of myself that way. Most days, I am who I am and, I am a Mom to a spirited toddler and a Wife to a Husband, to a Marriage that is still finding it's place now that there is a child between us.
I would really like to just be happy with myself. I will lose weight eventually. I have already lost ten pounds but, it's not going to be the six month miracle that it was before. I just want to accept myself and be accepted for who I am NOW.
For now, I am just going to work on being a happy Elephant and then work my way to a sleek Leopard.
It will happen, I know it will. =)
4 weeks ago