It was no surprise that I’d gained close to 70 pounds while I was pregnant with my first son. I ate like eating was the new black, figuring that I’d simply breastfeed those pesky pounds away after I popped him out. When, unrelated to my weight issues, he didn’t nurse, the weight didn’t fall off, I was stuck losing it the old fashioned way. And I did. Every single pound.
I got pregnant with my second child determined that I wouldn’t repeat the mistakes of my first pregnancy. When I was hungry, I didn’t reach for a candy bar, I grabbed a bag of green beans and ate them steamed—no butter. I was shocked when I still gained 70 pounds. Certainly, I could breastfeed those pounds off…right?
Not so much. I dieted, I exercised, I nursed and the scale barely budged until my son turned a year old. Then, the weight began to really come off. My friends begged me for dieting advice and all I could say was, “This is finally the baby weight coming off.”
I got pregnant pretty quickly after my son turned a year which meant that I hadn’t finished losing the baby weight before my body decided that I probably needed to hold onto every single calorie I ingested…just in case my developing fetus needed it. (I was shocked that none of my babies weighed 70 pounds) This time, I’d resigned myself to the weight gain and stopped worrying about it. When the nurse weighed me in, I simply turned my back to the scale. No use in being upset about numbers I couldn’t control.
After my daughter was born, my thyroid crapped out on me, adding insult to injury. I wanted to wear a shirt that said, “I have a glandular problem,” but ultimately decided against it. Instead, month after month, I got my hormones tested and finally fixed my thyroid.
Diet, exercise and (most importantly) time have allowed me to finally lose the baby weight and I’m finally within five pounds of my first goal weight, the weight I was when I was first pregnant with my sons. It’s a good, healthy weight for me and although I’d like to lose more, I’ll be happy to be there awhile.
While I’m happy that I’m nearing my goal, I’m sorry that I let those numbers rule my life for so long. I should have spent that time knitting sweaters for the poor (I don’t knit) or breastfeeding baby alpacas. I didn’t need to obsess over something that really didn’t matter to anyone but me. And believe me, those numbers could make or break my day.
I forgot something important along the way: I was beautiful as I was. That’s not something any scale can measure.