March 25, 2013


To piggyback on to my last post, I suppose, I must say that it's not just the race records I'm looking forward to conquering again. My long dormant Progress tab at the top of my blog is aching to be updated, and I'm ready to help it out.

I'm seeing numbers on the scale these days that I never, ever wanted to see again. My pregnancy weight gain pattern was pretty much what my midwife predicted: a big gain in the beginning, a taper, and then a plateau. Even though Baby is gaining weight like crazy these last few weeks, my own weight has stayed the same, within two-tenths of a pound, for a month and a half. That's good - Baby is properly nourished, I am well-fed, and the number on the scale is what it is.

Still, the numbers I'm stalling at are ... high. Higher even than I wanted during pregnancy.

I'm not thrilled, but I have a very structured plan ready for when we get home from the hospital with Baby in our arms. It's, essentially, what I've been eating the past few months of pregnancy, which is a modified version of the diet I used for weight loss. It adds more calories and more protein, to satisfy my current needs. For example, when I was losing weight, I had a 100-calorie Yoplait Light yogurt for breakfast every single day. Now, it's a 140 to 160-calorie Chobani (almost exclusively blood orange) plus a piece of fruit (one of whatever variety of apple is on sale that week). It's more protein and higher calories to keep me going longer. Also, during my weight loss phase, I didn't snack between breakfast and lunch; now, I add a protein bar - again, for more protein to suit my current needs. I like the ThinkThin creamy peanut butter ones - 240 calories, 20g protein, 0g sugar, and gluten free. They're sweet enough to enjoy but not sweet enough to crave or binge on, which I really like about them. They're on the pricey side, so I'm not sure what I'll be substituting in their place now that I'm not working anymore (Sunday was my last day). But it will likely be another protein-packed snack, maybe hummus and fresh veggies or a handful of nuts.

All in all, I'm feeling alright about the condition my body is in right now. I know I have a lot of work to do to get back to my lowest, but at the same time, I feel a bit thrilled to have a lowest to get down to.

It may seem a bit backwards, but I am a bit grateful for this pregnancy weight gain, for a few reasons.

First, it makes me feel like a more average weight loss story, for the first time in ages. So many people say they'd like to lose weight, and have a pregnancy-based weight goal - they want to fit in their "before baby" jeans, they want to see X number on the scale again. When I started losing weight in 2010, I didn't have that. For my entire life, I'd always been big. The goals I set were based on BMI and general recommendations, not my past. When I fit into a smaller size, I'd reminisce - this was the size I'd been in X grade. As wonderful as it was to see results and be healthier, I still felt upset, robbed of having something "normal" to compare myself to. Now, I have this. The Old Navy size 12 jeans are no longer "the size I wore in 7th grade," but rather, "my pre-pregnancy jeans."

And second, because it's given me an entirely new perspective on my body, especially as related to weight. My time in California and the depression I experienced there really did a number on my self-esteem and my body image. I transferred location-based stress and anxiety over to my weight loss journey, expressing my dissatisfaction with where I was and who was and wasn't there with me through hatred for my body. It seemed like as far as weight loss goes, enough was never enough. I left California at 189 pounds, got down another pound or so in Chicago, to my lowest adult weight ... but the effect of the year of self-hatred lingered. I thought I was so fat, so ugly, such a failure. If you'd just bucked up, you'd be at your goal right now. What I lost sight of, though, was what my goals really were. There are so many, and the most trivial of them all are the numeric ones I'd become so focused on.

I'm looking forward to a period of active weight loss again, with renewed motivation and refreshed goals. To meeting milestones without fixating on them. To doing things the right way for me. And to seeing the bigger picture of success, which isn't measured as simply as stepping on a little box and seeing what number pops up.


Jillian said...

You have a lot of really good stuff going on here, but what resonates the most for me is that feeling of being robbed. I know what that's like. I know what it's like to not have a "starting point". I was so disassociated from myself and my body growing up that I don't even know what size the clothes were that I wore in specific grades. Not having that starting point is sometimes a really big hurdle for me to overcome because I can't imagine myself at a smaller size than I am now.

Connie said...

I remember pregnancy weight gain, it is no fun. But your attitude is good - I love your insights about feeling more normal!

I love that you are making plans to get focused - give yourself the control you can.

Your story is so inspirational! And now, here you are able to grow a tiny little life in a healthy body!!! I'm really, really happy for you!

ShakinforBacon said...

I'm due in about 5 weeks and am eagerly anticipating this baby girl. She was unexpected, but having her now helps me as you're being helped by your little one. I have always been big. I also didn't have the small goals like the pre-pregnancy pants. And now, I have two. Fitting into my pre-pregnancy pants and getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Before continuing on to my weight loss.
They make a blood orange chobani? I have been missing out! I must find this IMMEDIATELY!

Amy said...

I have two of those numbers personally. One is my "highest" in high school that I passed when I gained weight in my 20s and then there is my lowest in high school after I lost weight.

I try not to focus on the number, but I definitely have my skinny high school jeans that I cannot lie, would be a dream to fit into again.

Anonymous said...

You are doing so amazingly well. You astound me constantly with how you're handling the pregnancy related weight gain and your plan for the future. I'm so excited to see where this life takes you and Nugget. I'll be here cheering you on the whole way.