I debated on whether or not to even post this, but I figured, I’ve shared the ugly truth about grief and losing a child, so why stop sharing?
I’m a southern girl with a healthy love of sweet tea, buttermilk biscuits, and red velvet cake. I also have an early-90’s-Delta-Burke type figure. I’m overweight. There, I said it. Now, if you’re reading this, and you know me in “real life,” please know that I’m sharing something very personal and please treat it as such…not an opportunity to gossip and be hurtful, not that southern ladies gossip! ;) I do love (loathe) that if you say, “bless her heart,” after any horrible comment, it’s acceptable. But really, this is about healing. K thanks!
I was actually a fairly thin young girl. I hit some serious growth spurts and was even the tallest kid in my class in grade school! My weight didn’t really ever creep up until my junior year of high school. I kind of pudged up that year, but then went through a bit of a rough time and dropped about 30 pounds and was very active. I sailed through staying effortlessly thin until my junior year of college. I had met my husband the year before and we were engaged by this point. I guess I felt comfortable, so the pounds started packing on. Realizing that this was an issue, I joined Weight Watchers to get the weight off before our wedding. I did pretty well, and considered it a minor success (I didn't quite meet my goal). After we were married and I had graduated from college, I started working and was too busy and stressed to take care of myself (excuses, excuses).
Fast forward 6 years. We’d been trying to get pregnant for a while (read at least a year) and weren’t having any luck. My OB-GYN had consistently told me that I was overweight with each visit every year. One more reason I LOVED getting to go for that yearly checkup…Not! Then she said that it could impede our baby-having. That got my attention. So, I sucked it up and joined Weight Watchers again. I was slowly losing a little, then I got the positive pregnancy test. I really took care of myself when I was pregnant with Caroline. I tried to baby my body as a way of babying my baby. I made it through that pregnancy healthily, gaining 25-30 pounds with a healthy baby girl…until she wasn’t. I have to admit that I’ve wondered if I’d been thin, if she would have made it. Apparently this isn’t the case, because I even worked up the nerve to ask my doctor.
After Caroline was born, the grief took care of the weight. Those pounds fell off. My very heart was broken and it hurt to breathe, eating was the last thing on my mind. Nothing tasted god, nothing sounded good, I was just trying to keep breathing. A few weeks later, I had started to gain back a tiny bit of appetite, and tried to eat things that were good for me, not junk. I had lost all of my pregnancy weight by about 5 weeks…I started thinking about getting serious about weight loss again, then I was late on my period. I was pregnant again! What a miracle! 6 weeks after her sister was born, I got pregnant with Addalee. I still looked pregnant! Like really pregnant. But hey, at least I really was again, so I had a reason to let that belly just be free! But seriously, I was self-conscious about my weight even during pregnancy.
Through my pregnancy with Addalee, things weren’t as peaceful and easy as they had been with Caroline. I had TROUBLE gaining weight. Wait, what? I was put on these shakes 2-3 times a day. She measured on track, though a little on the small side, so it wasn’t a huge concern. Through the pregnancy, I developed gestational diabetes which meant that I had to really watch what I ate. I essentially went on the South Beach Diet to manage the diabetes. It worked, and I didn’t require medication! The end result was that I gained 4 pounds in my pregnancy with Addalee. She was born weighing 5lbs 5oz at 36 weeks, so as soon as she was born; I was done with the pregnancy weight!
The weight is only a portion of the story…back to back pregnancies have done nothing for my figure. My body is really kind of sad looking! Nothing fits and I’m uncomfortable in my own skin. I always feel self conscious and frumpy. The reason I’m sharing this is because there is surely another person out there who has looked at all the pictures of friends and acquaintances who have a baby and leave the hospital looking like they did before pregnancy. Only to look at themselves and wonder what was wrong with their body and feel bad about their pooched out tummy and crazy stretch marks.
I realize that I’m more than my body, thank God for that! But I also realize that appearance is important. I don’t want to be embarrassed to see old friends. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. Why shouldn’t I feel pretty? Why shouldn’t I be able to find one.single.pair.of.flattering.jeans? Since Addalee was born, I have lost 23 pounds beyond my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m proud of this, but know I still have a long way to go.
Do any of you face weight challenges? What are you doing to lose weight? Do you have an accountability partner? What works and doesn’t work for you?