Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Great Big Truth

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?


  1. Love your post today! After being pregnant 3-1/2 times my body is just trashed (for lack of a better word). I'm covered in funny skin that is refusing to shrink back up, stretch marks, etc. I've been thinking about joining up with weight watchers myself but just haven't yet. I'm still trying to nurse and so don't want anything to impede with my supply (which is kinda low anyway). I figure once I'm sleeping full nights again (who really wants to be dieting and sleep deprived at the same time...)and no longer nursing, I'll hit it with all I've got. Wish me luck and good luck to you too!


  2. Oh sweetie. I know the pain of being uncomfortable in your own skin. I've been fortunate enough to lose the weight, but the hormones have kicked in so much over these last two years that my skin is a total wreck as a result and adult onset acne has set in. . .sweet. I know that doesn't have anything to do with weight loss, but just wanted to say that I understand your pain in a way. Or at least not being comfortable in your own skin.

    With that being said, after my pregnancy with Cale I became long distance workout buddies with another BLM. We both wanted to lose the baby weight before getting pregnant again. It helped make me more accountable for working out. So if you are interested - I'd be happy to be your workout buddy. We can send each other workouts or just help hold each other accountable for our goals, even if they are different ones.

    No matter what you do - best of luck in doing something that brings you more comfort and happiness. You certainly deserve it.

  3. I am too a southern girl who loves lemonade, sweet tea, red velvet cake, biscuits, buttermilk pie, homemade ranch..blah blah!!!
    I struggle too. I had all my babies back to back and I lost all that weight years ago. In 2009, I had a miscarriage and I started packing on the pounds. Seriously. I then got pregnant again on Clomid and was overweight. After I lost Ryan, I really really tried to work out but I worked my way into such a deep depression and funk I just laid on the couch and stuffed my face while the kids were at school. And cried. WHen I got pregnant with Sawyer, I was already overweight but really tried not to gain much. I gained 25 pounds and at 2 weeks out, have lost it all. But I am seriously still needing to lose 40 lbs or so. My body is yucko. I have stretch marks and this csection did nothing but trash my tummy. Thanks for being honest and sharing!! I am nursing and that helps, but I am trying to drink more water and usind skinny taste and pinterest for healthy recipes.

  4. I was the complete opposite and ate like crazy after Reese and Scotlyn died. I was losing water weight (from preeclampsia) and gaining fat:( After about a year I finally got in my head that I was going to lose weight. It took me about 4 months (sounds so crazy, but it's such a mind thing) to get myself to a point where I was ready to start losing. I started small and kept getting more encouragement to keep going and make more changes. I started exercising, yoga is my absolute favorite. I found a really good class close by and then I would walk with a friend once per week. I do different things to keep it fresh. I eat a lot of protein and fruits and veggies, I eat often to keep craving minimal. I find that bad foods make me hungrier or eat worse or something. I've lost almost 50lbs in the last 7 months. It was slow, but I'm fine with it because I'm making permanent changes and that takes time. I am 20lbs less than when I got pregnant with Reese and Scotlyn. I would still like to lose another 30lbs. Hungry Girl has good recipes to replace bad foods/recipes.

  5. This is so brave of you to post, Nicole. Girl, you and I share it on this. I gained 50 lbs with Georgie, and was a tiny bit overweight when I got PG with her. 30 of that came off in 2 weeks--grief, water weight, you name it, I wasn't eating either.

    Also, I was the first woman in my family to have stretch marks--they started happening in my 7th month of pregnancy and by the time she was born I had a full sunrise across my hips and belly. Lovely.

    Add to that my sad, empty, pouchy belly and oversized bellybutton. I was in a sad state. Lots of my hair fell out and I developed a lovely white streak in the front of my hair as well.


    So fast forward 6 months later, 20 lbs heavier, and I'm PG again. I've now gained another 38 lbs, and am almost 30 weeks. So basically right on track as last time. Definitely overweight. No GD, but that was a real shocker.

    Yes, after this baby boy (God willing, please God?) comes to us, I have gotta get on the train, bigtime.

    Thank you for sharing. This is an important thing to talk about, and too often people hide behind their "perfect" lives and don't share things like this. I'm proud of you!!

  6. I also am a southern girl that loves all that you love, even though I no longer live in the south. I guess I was blessed with good genes I have always been trim. I have some very close friends that have struggled with weight and I know how hard it has been for them. I hate that we live in a culture that cares so much. I have had no appetite since Jonathan died, food taste like cardboard. Hugs to you, Your honesty is beautiful. The yoke is so much more important than the shell.

  7. I can't relate with weight problems myself, but I've watched my mother and my mother-in law and others close to me struggle with it tremendously. The only thing I wanted to chime in on was what I did after losing Sophina. I didn't need to lose weight, but I needed some serious endorphin therapy. I struggled with anger so much from my loss that all I could think to do with it was to run it off. I'd never been a runner before, but it is now my new passion. I am also a huge Yoga fan. Get yourself a DVD off of gaiam.com and do it in your living room. What I'm really suggesting here is that in addition to your dieting, find something exercise wise that YOU LOVE to do! I've found it can be very emotionally therapeutic. I admire you for sharing such a personal struggle. We all have them. They just manifest themselves differently.
    Much love!

  8. I love your honesty and I love you! I did the whole WW thing before getting pregnant with Addison and was really happy with it, then I tried it again after Addison was born and between the changes to the "new and improved program" and the grief, I decided the grief was too much and I didn't want to take junk food out of the equation just yet...I may have wanted to eat my feelings just a bit ;) I plan on getting back to WW after Mason is born (alive, please alive). You are doing SO good! I still can't get over how little you gained with Addie! Amazing!