I had never had a weight problem until the pregnancy years in my late 30s. To think that a guy I spent time with in college actually told me I was fat (not phat) when I was less than 120 pounds makes me shake my head in disbelief now.
I first started gaining extra weight during the fertility treatments. When I finally got pregnant and remained pregnant until our girl was born, I had put on an ungodly amount of weight and I certainly wasn’t eating enough to explain the enormity of the increase.
It took a little time after I had my first baby, but the weight began dropping off. At around the time I was closing in on what I think is my “acceptable” weight, I found out I was pregnant again. Once a pregnancy is confirmed with the blue-line doo-dad, 50 pounds jumps onto my body on the spot.
Though nothing bad happened, the second pregnancy was much more difficult than the first. At about four months pregnant in December, people couldn’t even try to feign politeness when told the due date was in June. You’re sooo HUGE! Are you sure there’s only one in there? And a few other remarkably uplifting comments along those lines.
It wasn’t just friends and everyday people on the street who made comments either. Because each pregnancy was high-risk, I went to “World-Renowned Hospital” to be followed, but never usually saw the same doctor. I saw whoever was in the office that day. During one appointment, a male doctor who really should not be an OB because, despite his alleged training, is apparently completely and utterly oblivious to the female psyche and the effect of words on that fragile hormone-infused soul, said to me, “You need to lay off the cake and donuts, you’re too big.”
please don’t cry. please don’t cry. don’t punch him. don’t cry.
Guess who was on duty the night I delivered our baby girl? He was equally endearing that night. If I hadn’t been paralyzed by the epidural from just below the chest down, I seriously might have actually hurt the man. You know “doctor”, this birthing thing isn’t the easiest thing to do. And by the way, did you hear the part about how I can’t feel or MOVE any part of my lower body? So shut your pie hole on the comments about how long this is going to take if I don’t start doing a better job. Somebody finally got the bright idea to turn off the epidural drip.
After I finally gave birth to baby girl number two, I dropped 40 pounds within the first few weeks. Then, instead of continuing the downward trend, suddenly and inexplicably, I gained 20 pounds in one month.
I went through a time of working my butt off, except, well, it wasn’t coming off. It’s very discouraging to work so hard for an extended period of time and not see any difference. So admittedly, I gave up for awhile. What’s the point of working so hard if nothing changes? Especially when I’m exhausted to begin with? Since then, I’ve gone through spurts when I start up the exercising again, do well for awhile, but one bad PMS cycle and I’m down for the count. Then I pick myself back up at some point and start from scratch.
Reading others’ blogs on this subject has been encouraging and I have been trying to turn my thinking around, but I still struggle with where I’m at and how I perceive I look. My husband tells me I’m beautiful and really seems to mean it, but sometimes, I feel like I’m part of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s girlfriend is beautiful in the dark, but ugly in the light. There are moments when I look in the mirror and think, “You know, for someone my age, who’s had two transplants and then two babies at ‘advanced maternal age’, I look pretty darn good.” Then, literally moments later I think, “Wow, I look so fat today.” What is that? What happens in my brain that causes that?
When all is said and done, if I had known from the get-go that I would struggle with this weight and body image problem, I would still have my girls all over again. They are amazing young ladies. My concern for them is that I, because of my tendency to lack confidence in myself, don’t cause seeds to be planted in them to make them doubt their beauty and worth.
With that in mind, I’m going to start all over again — again. I am determined to be healthier and take better care of myself. But even if I don’t drop a ton of weight, at least regular exercise and better food consumption does improve my mindset and mood.
So, if you think about it and don’t mind doing so, I could use prayers to kick my diet soda habit which seems to be key to not only losing a few pounds, but also keeping them off. I also need help to overcome my struggles with fatigue and a peanut butter addiction that is only under control when there is none in the house—the young one might have to sacrifice pb and j sandwiches for lunch.
So, here I go again…
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13