One Week Post-partum

There are two things you NEVER ask a woman – her age and her weight. Everyone knows this. Why? Because more than likely they are the things she’s most sensitve about. So I just want to start by saying that the following is MY story. It is in NO way an attempt to make any other woman feel sensitive or bad about her weight. There are certain posts that just flow out of my every day life and then there are those that just pull at me until I get them out. This is one of those that I have been avoiding for quite some time. The only TRUE gifts I have in this world are writing and being honest, but there is one lie I have been telling myself and other people for awhile now and I think it’s time to come clean. “Baby weight” is NOT the reason I reached my heaviest weight.

Do You Still Have A Baby In There?

Six months ago my son Jayden pokes me in the belly and says, “You have a squishy belly.” “I did just have a baby six months ago,” I tell him. “I think there is still one in there,” he replies. Kids don’t mean to say things to hurt their Mama’s feelings, but it’s like they can’t help but be brutally honest. The AMAZING blessing of my life is my family who loves me no matter what. My husband would NEVER make any reference to my weight even though I was stick thin when we met in college. The last time I intentially got in shape was for my wedding. Then the babies started taking over my body, each one carving their own stretch marks on my belly, and creating the pooch that just hangs around my mid section.

The “Baby Weight” Was Gone A Few Months Post-partum

I’m so thankful to have had had healthy pregnancies and my body rebounds pretty quickly from them. The photo above was taken just one week postpartum. Within a month or so of giving birth I usually lose 90 percent of the 20 to 30 pounds I typically acquire with pregnancy. I’m not saying that to brag. I’m only setting the scene for the biggest lie I’ve ever told myself – that my changing body when I found myself at my heaviest weight was because of pregnancy. The truth is I hit my heaviest weight BEFORE I even got pregnant with my third child.

It Was My Right Not To Care (Or So I Thought)

I’ve gained weight since my 30s for sure, but when I started staying home three years ago I REALLY stopped noticing. I didn’t have to squeeze into work clothes anymore. I didn’t have to wait till lunch time to eat. I really didn’t have to pay attention to myself at all or so I thought. I was content to live in yoga pants and t-shirts and spout that I didn’t care and it was my right. I WILL ALWAYS be a low maintenance girl, but that’s where the lie crept in. When I had to buy all new clothes in a larger size, I cared. When my wedding rings no longer fit, despite telling myself that I’m not a jewelry person and I don’t need a ring to prove I’m married, I cared.

Pregnancy Does Change You, But I Used It As An Excuse

Even when I signed up for the gym in June, they asked me about my goals and I offered up my trusty friend – to lose the “baby weight.” I was already at pre-pregnancy weight and was embarrassed it was still high. It’s been easy to feed the lie to myself and others. Most women and men understand what “baby weight” is. We understand that women’s bodies fundamentally change with pregnancy. So it’s been easy to tell others and myself that the reason I was at my heaviest was because of “baby weight.”

The Trusty Cliché

So why bother coming clean at all? I guess it’s because I’ve recently taken a good hard look myself and decided that getting healthier had to start with a clean slate. I had to stop lying to myself if I was going to take ownership of MY choices. Yes, MY choices. I ate without ever paying attention to anything – serving sizes, how much sugar was in something, how many times I was “cleaning my kids plates” for them because they are just so wasteful with food. I also started my quest to get healthy for the cliché reason of not wanting to become my mother. My mom had the biggest heart for others, but for herself she didn’t have much love. More than once I heard her call herself ugly. She was my first introduction to the lie. She used to tell me that my brother and I were the reason she was heavy. Mind you she didn’t put on most of her weight till I was near the end of my elementary school years. Then she started disappearing from photographs and if she did make an appearance she would shove me or my brother in front of her like human shields.

Two months ago I started tracking what I ate with and going to Planet Fitness at night while the kids were sleeping and I've lost 14 pounds.

Two months ago I started tracking what I ate with and going to Planet Fitness at night while the kids were sleeping and I’ve lost 15 pounds.

Screw Being A Size 2, I Don’t Want Type 2 Diabetes

That wasn’t the worst by far. That was watching her suffer from the HORRIBLE complications of the type 2 diabetes she developed. She called me at work one day and told me she woke up that morning and couldn’t see anything. She went to the eye doctor who sent her rushing to a regular doctor to test for a possible brain tumor. I was out of my mind and bawling. She regained partial vision in one eye though it was forever blurry. Then there were countless stints in hospitals for wounds on her legs and feet that refused to heal and infections so bad amputation was threatened. Ultimately her kidneys failed and she passed away a few years ago.

In It For The Long Haul

I tried to get her to stop drinking soda and eating fast food and sweets, but anything I said only made her mad at me. She was living under her own lie and she didn’t want me to mess with that. When I started tracking my food and exercise with and working out several times a week at Planet Fitness it wasn’t because I want to be a size 2. I don’t aspire to be the weight I was in high school. I aspire to live long enough to play with my grandkids; to be able to see every curve of their cubby little baby faces.

So two months and 15 pounds ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of taking a selfie, but I’m ok with it now. I’m living the truth that nothing but hard work, discipline and wanting a healthier lifestyle for myself got me here. No gimmicks, just hard work and a little honesty.