Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weight Loss After Pregnancy

I've mentioned this in past posts, but I've struggled with weight my entire life. I remember wearing a two piece bathing suit when I was ten years old and being made fun of by a friend's brother because I was chubby. I remember being so jealous of my friends in middle school for being able to shop at 5-7-9, while I could barely squeeze myself into a stretched out pair of cutoffs in the biggest size the store carried (in case you were wondering, it was a 9). I know exactly what I weighed on every single important day in my adult life. I know what my weight was the day I graduated both high school and college, the day my sister got married, the days that both my nephew and niece were born, the day I visited my brother in prison for the first time, the day I met my husband, the day I married him, the day I found out I was pregnant, the day I gave birth to our daughter. I especially remember the day I got to my highest weight ever and I vowed to never see that number again. I also recall the day I got scarily close to that highest weight ever when we were going through fertility treatments while trying to conceive. For some people, important events can be recalled by a certain smell or song. For me, they're recalled by numbers on a scale. And for each and every one of those events, the number was different!!  I HATE that my weight is such an obsessive topic for me, and yet I can't seem to break the obsession. Right after Abby was born, I lost a large amount of weight super fast. By the time she was a few weeks old, I weighed 22 pounds less than I did the day I found out I was pregnant. It was wonderful! I still had quite a bit to lose to get down into a healthier weight range, and I was so sure that breastfeeding was going to make weight loss easy (for the first time in my life!). It turns out that I was wrong! Breastfeeding makes me feel like I am STARVING. I'm seriously hangry (that's hungry and angry combined) if I don't eat something every hour or two. It is absolutely ridiculous. And so, over the past few months, I've actually gained weight! At one point I had gained back 12 of the 22 pounds I lost after delivery. Talk about depressing! Thankfully, I have a very supportive husband who is also watching his own weight. Together we've been tracking our calories (for the most part anyway...I'm determined not to get too obsessed about the numbers this time around) and I'm feeling better about myself these days. I'm also trying really hard to distinguish hunger from thirst, because while I sometimes think I'm hungry, breastfeeding also makes me really, really thirsty. Sometimes a few glasses of ice water can be the difference in whether or not I'll have enough calories for an evening snack. Mostly, I want to focus on eating balanced meals and healthy snacks. I also want to raise our daughter in a health-conscious environment, as opposed to a weight-conscious one. I don't want her to grow up feeling like the fat kid like I did! I just want her to have access to healthy options and not feel the need to use food for comfort like I did as a child. It's a lofty goal, because as a society Americans are very focused on weight and body image. I still have quite a few pounds I'd like to lose myself in order to feel more comfortable in my own skin. Hopefully the combination of making healthy choices, being accountable for what I eat, and having a good support system will help me to be successful!

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