Monday, December 3, 2012

Magic Monday: When numbers are more than numbers

Yep, this downer post is all about weight... if you are looking for a craft, sewing project, or happy/cute/crazy story about my kiddos; feel free to come back later in the week.

I know that I am not the only woman who struggles with weight, body image, or post baby clothing size issues - I am one of millions.  I have never been a small girl, I've always been curvy.  At my smallest, leading up to my wedding, I was a size 8 - I hadn't been that small since middle school.  An 8 on my frame looks pretty dang good if I do say so myself.  Sadly I didn't stay an 8 very long.

Stressful jobs, starting my own company, & not having that goal of fitting into a dream dress all led to inconsistent eating and working out and a gain of about 15 lbs over 3years.  Add to that coming off birth control and dealing with infertility and you can add another 10 lbs.  So we can just say I wasn't at a happy weight when I finally got pregnant with my twins, but who cared - I was finally pregnant!  I lost the baby weight easily after the boys - but gained a ravenous appetite.  An appetite that didn't really go away when I miraculously/unexpectedly found myself pregnant with baby girl.  I gained more while pregnant with her than I had while carrying twins!

I gained about 30lbs in that pregnancy - which isn't bad, but not great when you weren't at a healthy weight to start with.  At about 3 months postpartum  I had lost about 25 lbs... wohooo only five to go!  But remember that appetite I mentioned???  Well it was there and increasing with a vengeance.  I wasn't getting any sleep and I didn't have time (or the desire) to eat anything healthy with three babies underfoot, so I went to sugar, carbs, and caffeine to stay awake and functioning.  In three months I gained back 10 lbs that I had lost.

So here I sit, 15 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight - which we can already see is 25 lbs above my wedding weight  and a number shows up on the scale that I haven't seen since I was in college.  I depressingly large number that pushes me to the bottom of a pool of guilt, shame, anger, and hopelessness.  I have fought and swum to the top of this pool before, but I know exactly how hard that fight is.

And we can all say: 'But weight is just a number' or 'What matters is how you feel inside' or 'At least my husband still loves me'.  But the truth is, I don't feel good inside - and that reflects into every aspect of my life.

A month ago (when I stepped on the scale and saw that number) hubs and I made the decision to join the Y.  I know from past endeavors that I can't loose weight without adding exercise to my routine.  So I started working out, I would run on the elliptical, stretch, and do some crunches.  Pick up my babies from the free child care, drive home, and sit down and eat a large bowl of ice cream.  You can see how this would be problematic.

It isn't that I don't know how to eat right, or what to eat and what to stay away from - it is just that I was/am constantly hungry.  I never feel full or even satisfied.  I had an eye opening experience a week ago at my bridal conference.  There were sandwiches for the vendors to eat and everyone kept commenting on how HUGE they were, and how they couldn't finish one.  When I finally got a break to grab something to eat, I polished off a sandwich and could have easily eaten two and still been looking for something sweet to finish it off with.  While perusing pinterst the next day I stumbled upon an article about B.E.D (binge eating disorder).  I fit - every possible marker could have been traced in me that day.  It wasn't that I sometimes wanted dessert or could occasionally eat a large amount, it was that I could sit down and eat an entire box of crackers and not realize it was gone EVERY DAY - and after those crackers I would still be looking for something else to eat. Something in that moment clicked - my brain and body were not connecting on this whole food thing and it was time for a change.

I'm the kind of person who needs rules and fairly strict directions, so I decided to go back to a place I have used successfully in the past.  In order to re-teach my body what 'full' and 'satisfied' feel like, I need to only give it what it should need to feel those things.  I also know that I don't have the time or energy to make myself real meals during the day.  So I need something quick, easy, and nutritionally balanced.  Introducing: the meal replacement shake.  I can't over eat it (honestly who would want more than one serving at a time?). I get three snacks of fruits and veggies to spread out through the day and keep me from getting too hungry.  And then I eat one healthy meal - usually dinner, because honestly I am less likely to overeat in front of a witness.   I will probably need to do this for a month and then I will most likely restart the Weight Watchers guidelines (I did WW pre-wedding so I still have all the materials and tools).  I wouldn't want to live on shakes for the rest of my life, but this is a period of training that my body needs.

Today is day 5 and I can already tell a difference in my mindless need to keep eating - although I am still hungry.  I have a long way to go, but hopefully I can fight to stick with it for myself and my family.  I would LOVE to lose 10 lbs by Christmas, but 5 would still be 5 in the right direction.  I'd like to loose 30 lbs all together - I think it is an amount that I will then be able to maintain   It won't be pre-wedding weight, but I am ok with that, it will still be a healthier place than where I am today.

And for making it through this whole post you get a crazy picture of my children:

A: "Deck the squish with this big wreath... Falalalala"
B: "This is boring, I'm outta here..."
Baby Girl:  "YOU - get back here, YOU - get that wreath off of me, mom wants a picture"

Merry Christmas!


  1. Lucky you, you only gained 30 lbs. I gained 60 with my first two, and 70 with the third. I was able to get rid of all the baby weight, and go back to my pre-wedding weight after #2, but I have had a hard time getting motivated, and finding some time to work out so I can get back after this last baby. Who isn't so much a baby anymore, at almost 18 months old.
    Good luck. I enjoy seeing how others do it. And hopefully I will get motivated this go around!

  2. I am in the same boat Suzanne. I realized the other day that when I don't sleep enough then I have to eat a lot more to make up the difference. Great job, just keep working.