Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm so vain, you probably think this post is about me.

I really wish that I could stop obsessing about my weight. I'm sure that other people around me (i.e. TH) also have the same wish. I don't know why the whole weight issue has been so much harder for me with this second baby than it was after I had J. Well, ok, I know some of the reasons why.

I have never been "skinny." Never. I don't think I've ever even qualified as "thin." At my smallest, when I was the head cheerleader in high school and looked (in my humble opinion) freakin' fantastic -- I was a size 12/14. So always squarely in the "curvy" category. (TH likes to use the term "thick," which he thinks is a complement but I don't know any woman alive who would get happy about a man calling her "thick.") I was very active with sports and activities, and I had plenty of um, male attention, so it never bothered me that I was technically "plus-sized" back then. I never really felt overweight until I started college. I went to a school with one of the fittest student populations in the U.S. (Boulder has been named America's "healthiest city" several times), and there, I was definitely not the average. The dorm I lived in was RAMPANT with girls who had eating disorders - I'm not kidding, I remember one time I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and two girls came in and I could hear BOTH of them vomiting in stalls behind me and then they just walked out gossiping like it was nothing. Everyone was always obsessing about how fat their legs were or how many calories were in the pasta or how many hours they planned on spending at the gym. It was a whole new world for me. Not only were me, my twin sister, and my roommate the ONLY black girls in the entire dorm, we were also the "thickest." I was so petrified of gaining the Freshman Fifteen that I started obsessing right along with the rest of them, worrying about how fattening every item on the salad bar was and going to rec center to work out in the middle of the night, especially if I'd "slipped up" and had pizza or something. I actually lost a little weight my freshman year, a fact which made me insanely proud. By the end of my undergrad career 5 years later, however, I had gained a bit of weight but still felt active and healthy so it didn't concern me much.

After TH and I got married between my 2nd and 3rd years of vet school, I completely stopped caring about how much I weighed. We were having so much fun - I was always trying different recipes that were heavy on oil and butter, we drank lots of wine, we ate out a lot. Between the grueling vet school schedule, late nights at the teaching hospital, and being a newlywed, working out was put completely on a back burner. It got so much worse when we moved to Vegas right after I graduated - if ever there was a city that is geared towards excess, it's Sin City. After a year of buffets, drinking at nightclubs after work, and still eating out a lot (it was so easy when it was just the two of us), I realized that I was about 30 pounds heavier than I had been 10 years before, so TH and I joined a gym and started eating better. I didn't lose a huge amount of weight, but was back on track with healthier habits.

Then I got pregnant, lost the pregnancy, and immediately became pregnant again with J. I was so worried about everything with J's pregnancy because of the miscarriage - I was paranoid about working out and stopped that altogether, but was still eating healthy and managed to only gain 25 pounds. I easily lost all my pregnancy weight within 6 weeks, thanks to breastfeeding. I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that first year with J, I didn't really even think about my weight much, until he turned 1. At that point, once he was sleeping better and I wasn't bf'ing anymore, I finally got fed up with being fat and really made an effort to get healthier. I started running, which I had never done before in my whole life. I ran a couple of 5K's, started Weight Watchers, and 1.5 years later I was pretty much at my high school weight again....

For about 2 weeks. Literally 6 days after I posted this last year I found out I was pregnant with Jr. Of course, isn't that how it always works? I didn't gain a crazy amount of weight with him (35 pounds), but I fell off the wagon again with exercise and definitely abandoned everything I learned with WW about how to eat. I think I fully expected to just drop all the weight within 2 months like I did with J...yeah, not so much. Right now I'm at a very annoying in-between, too big for my pre-Jr. clothes, too small for pre-J clothes from when I was at my heaviest. Add to that, I'm super top-heavy--even at my thinnest we're talking DD's, you add in breastfeeding and it's not a cute look.

I've been trying not obsess about it but it's hard, especially because I was on such a high last year after losing all of that weight. It was the first time in years that I'd managed to stick to an exercise and eating plan and see some major results. That's the part that is getting to me, I KNOW now that I can do it. But I also know that I just don't have the energy and stamina (mental or physical) to really commit to it right now the way I want. Jr. still wakes up multiple times a night to nurse, and J pretty much doesn't nap anymore, so I can't see where I can fit in real exercise -- it's either at the end of the day when I'm completely drained of energy, or early in the morning when I'm trying my best to cram in 2-3 hours of sleep. I've rejoined Weight Watchers, which is a blessing and a curse. I love WW and the whole points thing, but in some ways it makes me more obsessive about my eating habits to constantly monitor every single thing I put in my mouth. Not to mention a side effect I didn't even think about, I kind of freaked out the first week I was back on the program because I although I lost 3 pounds my milk supply IMMEDIATELY went down so I had to dial back a bit.

sigh...I know I'm being too hard on myself. There's only so much I can do when I'm sleep- deprived and working full time and lactating. I know that if I just calm down and wait another 6 months like I did with J I'll have an easier time getting back to where I want to be. It's just so hard when I look in the mirror, and see photos of myself exactly a year ago looking and feeling fantastic...


LauraC said...

Have been there, most definitely been there. That is why I was rarely in pics the first year the boys were born. I went from size 4 to size 14 post-partum with no hope of dieting or exercise because of energy/sick kids/busy schedule.

I also can not do weight watchers. I tried it again this year but it makes me think about food ALL THE TIME.

You will get there!!

Maria said...

I hear you! I am just getting toward where I want to be. It is hard, and harder to not let it take over your life. You will get there, you will find what works for you, and you will be you again. Cut yourself a break, you are raising two amazing boys, and running a household. You can do this.

Steph said...

I am worried about this w/this new baby and the baby weight. The combination of two children and one of them an infant and the sleepless nights does not bode well for me to lose weight in time for my sister in law's wedding in September- just under 3 months from my due date. Bridesmaid dress stress. I did WW after Cooper was born and it does work, I am just an easy wagon faller-offer when it comes to eating right. Misery loves company? I am sure you can do it Desi and I hope I can too.

OMG, the word verification today is 'fartings'. Totally cracking up, must be spending lots of time w/the boys :)

Julie said...

First of all, there is WAY more to beauty than being skinny. Being thin is so overrated in our culture. In college, practically every woman I met had an eating disorder either active or in the past (I had 3 roomates and they were all recovering bulimics) and it really was eye opening to me regarding how self-critical women are about their bodies and their relationship with food.

Nourish yourself and your baby. When you get a little more sleep you can focus some attention on healthy eating habits and exercise--you know how to make yourself healthier, but try not to be so hard on yourself about what the scale says. It's better to be a curvy healthy person than a totally unhealthy thin person.