Starting Weight: 330 pounds
Last Weigh-in: 296 pounds
This week’s weigh-in: 320.1 pounds
So, it’s been quite a while since I have posted a weigh-in post. This was not really intentional on my part, as our scale was packed away during the move for a better part of that time, and then I got pregnant, so it didn’t seem as important. But, as I have always said here on my blog, I am nothing if not open, honest and real with you.
Ideally, I like to celebrate my victories with you, sure. I love hearing that I am a source of inspiration for you (as much as I sometimes don’t believe it). Truth be told (it’s “the moment of truth” after all, right?), I love all the wonderful, encouraging comments and thoughts everyone leaves when I have a successful week at this weight-loss thing.
And then there are these times. Times when I am downright embarrassed to admit how far I have fallen. Times when I really don’t want to post those numbers and cringe as the comments roll in, so sure that I will get slammed and criticized for how awful I am doing (rarely happens, because you all are just so great!). Times when I know I really have no justification for the number.
You see, it would be so easy to blame it on the baby. Oh, I’m pregnant, so I have a great excuse, right?
Oh, no. WRONG. So very, very wrong.
The only pregnancy I have ever really gained weight with was my first (I do tend to gain a few pounds of water weight at the very end of my pregnancies). I gained 40 pounds with my daughter. Technically, I only gained 29 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight since I lost 11 in the beginning due to nasty morning sickness. But I did gain those 11 back and then 29 more.
With all three of my sons, I didn’t really start gaining weight at until late in the third trimester. For the most part, that was water weight that was gone within a week or two of the birth.
Actually, I can’t blame any of the weight I have gained over the years on being pregnant, at all. I mean, that’s the ultimate excuse, right? And I know many women who can legitimately claim that pregnancy seriously messed with their bodies and their metabolism and they really struggled to take off those pregnancy pounds. I can’t say that though because with each of my pregnancies I have been back down to pre-pregnancy size within a month of the birth. The combination of round the clock breastfeeding, having big babies to begin with and gaining mostly water weight, means it has been very easy for me to lose that baby weight.
Now, don’t be too jealous. Because what that really means is that all of my weight gain has been of my own devices, and because I lived for years with poor habits and have been eating my emotions away for far too long. I have no medical condition related to my weight, so there is no blame to place there either. No, instead, the blame resides squarely on my shoulders and that is an uncomfortable place to be. I have no excuses.
And the same can be said about this weigh-in. I have no excuses.
I am 17 1/2 weeks pregnant today, and I can assure you that I have NOT gained 24 pounds in the last 17 weeks. Truth be told, I ballooned back up to 316 before I even got pregnant. I have gained 4 pounds in 17 weeks, for an average gain of .22 pounds per week, which even for an obese person such as myself, is a very healthy weight-gain for this stage of the game in pregnancy.
Here’s what has happened here: I have always been better at taking care of my kids than I have been at taking care of myself. Which makes complete and total sense if you think about it. I don’t hate my kids like I hate myself (work in pregress, remember?). I don’t think they are unworthy of care, like I have often thought of myself. I try very hard to make food a neutral thing for them so they don’t end up with my emotional attachment to food.
That has always translated to pregnancy. When I am pregnant, 95% of the time, my diet is near perfect. I am hyper-vigilant when pregnant about making sure I am fueling my body with whole, healthy foods and not eating crap. And surprise of all surprises, most of my weight-gain in pregnancy is the baby and water and it just falls right off, with very little effort on my part, after the baby is born. Very little processed food every touches these lips while pregnant. I eat a very high protein diet, focus on healthy fats, eat LOTS of veggies and plenty of fruits and drink tons of water, and I limit sugar as much as possible.
That, of course, is not something I can say I regularly did outside of pregnancy-at least before I started this journey. Sugar was like my best friend-so trustworthy, always there for me, always provided what I “needed” right when I needed it. Sugar never abandoned me. I could trust sugar. (We’ve already established I have issues, right?)
So what happened with those other 20 pounds? I will tell you what happened. Stuff happened. I reverted to my old eating habits. I found comfort in food in the middle of one of the most stressful times I have experienced in my adult life. I readily admit I had a very hard time adjusting to the idea that we were moving halfway across the country, to a place where we virtually knew no one. The idea of leaving everyone we loved behind still puts me in tears if I dwell on it too long. Not to mention, the stress of packing up and entire house by myself and taking care of all the tiny, little details involved in the move-this was one stressed out mama.
Ask anyone who knows me in real life, I am the type of person who can handle big, crazy, big picture kind of news really, really well. But when it comes down to nitty, gritty details, day in, day out stressors that disrupt my routine-I am like a monster. I physically cannot handle the stress. For the first time in my life, I started having panic attacks. I was a crying mess half the time. It was not pretty. In fact, it was downright ugly.
And then we got here. And then came the stress of living for a week in a hotel and eating out for every meal because none of our stuff was here yet (huge kudos to Allied Moving Co, though, who paid for all that since they arrived later than their guaranteed time). Eating out for three meals a day is not exactly conducive to maintaining a quality diet. Of course, I was pregnant by this time and going through some nasty morning sickness, so all the weight gain came in the weeks leading up to the move.
Reading all of that, it sounds an awful lot like I am making excuses doesn’t it? But I’m not. What I am trying to say is that this is a sad, sad situation for me. The stress of our move made it glaringly obvious that I haven’t conquered my demons at all. No, they are alive and well. Still, when faced with intense stress, I broke down and turned to food for comfort. I continued in bad habits, knowing full well that I was destroying all of the hard work that I had done. I made choices that were counter-productive and nearly un-did everything I had already done.
So what do I do with this information, now that I have put a halt to the insanely rapid weight-gain? The way I see it, I have two choices. I can beat myself over the head with it. I can make myself feel like crap for it and tell myself how hopeless I am and how I should just give up because I am never going to succeed anyway. And I can follow those thought patterns up by sulking in the corner with a plate of brownies.
You know what, though? As ashamed and embarrassed as I am to admit this all to you, I know I’ve tried that unproductive attitude before. And surprisingly enough, it hasn’t worked out so great for me. Instead, when I think like that and backslide a little, or a lot, and berate myself for it, I just sink further into that hole. How sad.
My second choice is to recognize and admit my failure. Apparently I am a glutton for punishment for admitting it in a very public way. The reason I do that though, is to hold myself accountable. When I know I have people watching me I am much more motivated to do my best and succeed at this thing, than if I were doing it on my own. I also know after over a year of blogging about this stuff is that there are a TON of people out there just like me who have those exact same thought processes and who have given up on themselves too. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.
Once I recognize and admit my failure, I have to ask myself what I am going to do about it. Being pregnant makes the choice obvious to me. I need to pick myself up, dust myself off and move on and get right back into those healthy habits that I have worked so hard to establish. For me, it’s super easy to do because I know someone else is depending on me to do so.
If I wasn’t pregnant though? Who knows if I would even be writing this post and sharing these things with you. I imagine I would still be stuck feeling sorry for myself and my situation and wallowing in that with my best friend. You know…sugar. And I would be so ashamed at what I was doing that it’s possible I would just give up on this blog completely.
Nothing about our situation has really changed. I am still stressed. I am still terribly homesick. I am still testing the waters here and learning the area and trying to find a new church and make new friends and find good relationships for my kids and get my house in order and find new doctors (nearly halfway through my pregnancy and I have had two failed attempts and just found a new doctor on Monday). Deep breath. The only thing different about the stress I had before and during the move and the stress I have now, is that now I am pregnant. I have another little person depending on me to keep it together.
Pregnancy puts everything in a whole new perspective for me. If I am willing to do it for my child, then why not for myself? My children are really extensions of me and if they need anything, it’s a healthy and whole mother. It’s not enough to just take really good care of them and feed them good food and teach them good habits and be sure they stay active and healthy. No, they NEED me to do the same for myself too.
Really, at the very heart of it all, my bad habits and self-pity are very, very selfish. While it may sound selfish to say I need to do this for myself, it’s really one of the most unselfish things to do. I need to focus on myself and my own health so I can be here for a long time for them. As much as it may make me feel like a good mom sometimes to neglect myself and give everything I have to my children, the truth of the matter is that it makes me very, very selfish. I need a little short-term “selfishness” in the form of reserving time and energy to work on my issues, so that in the long-run I can live selflessly and truly give my kids the greatest gift-a healthy mom who is there for them and active with them for a good, long while. My family NEEDS me to be selfish. I am so very thankful for this pregnancy that has given me a renewed sense of purpose and hope for weight-loss journey. Now you all remind me of this once the baby comes, okay?
That’s the truth.
Did you weigh-in this week? How is your healthy living journey going?
Are you like I am, and often feel like giving up on yourself? What have you done to move past that and focus some time and attention on taking care of you?