The beginning of this year marked my dedication to losing weight and getting healthy. I upped my water intake, exercised hard 3-5 times a week, and ate well. I dropped 25 pounds and two sizes from January 1st until mid-May. I was right on target with my goal of losing a safe 4-5 pounds a month. Then I got pregnant. We threw caution to the wind once and … well… here I am 13 weeks pregnant.
I am over the moon with joy, but this teeny little part of me is frustrated. Not with the baby, but frustrated that the 25 lbs (of the 146 lbs I needed to lose) could come back. Frustrated with none of my clothes fitting and of being in that weird place where I don’t look pregnant yet, but I just look like I’m letting myself go and gaining weight. I had planned on not continuing to attempt weight loss, but to still track my food and eat healthy so I don’t gain excessive weight.
Then the nausea hit. The smell of vegetables and fruit make me hurl. I also just today had a half-cup of coffee and it tasted delicious. The past 6 weeks I’ve abhorred the smell of coffee, broccoli, oranges, spinach, “flavorful food”… “nutritious food.” I’ve subsisted on fried fish sandwiches, chicken, bread, and taters. I think the only veggies I’ve actually kept in stomach include Caesar salad and sweet potatoes.
I felt like a Miss Fatty Failure.
I decided to just concentrate on three things to work on in my early pregnancy: 1). water intake, 2). prenatal vitamin, and 3). sleep. I am exhausted constantly. I mean, I am pregnant, nursing, working full time (with some added drama from workplace drama queens), and I have a teen, a tot, and a husband. I haven’t done any exercising or completed any of my stitching projects in favor of napping and sleeping every chance I get.
I will say I’ve noticed that I haven’t put on weight as quickly as I did when I was pregnant with Atticus. I was in maternity clothes by 8 weeks pregnant. Now I am 13 weeks and I’ve just now donned maternity wear and I’m still wearing a few stretchy pre-pregnancy things. I am not nearly as hungry as I was with Atticus, during that pregnancy my blood sugar kept dangerously dropping and I craved sweet tea, Mexican food, steak, and spinach. I ate and ate and ate and was never full. I’m not feeling that way now, so I’m hoping that means that I can control my weight a bit and not let it spiral out of control.
The second trimester usually starts about 13/14 weeks and on Wednesday I will be 14 weeks along. I’ve come up with new goals for this trimester: 1) start logging my food again, 2) attempt to add in fruits and veggies, and 3) go for a walk 3 times a week. I’m constantly thirsty so keeping up with water isn’t a problem and my prenatal vitamin is a habit now so I feel okay with adding other goals. Sam is encouraging me to sleep as often as possible and he never makes me feel guilty.
My ultimate goal is to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. Baby #3 will be born around February 9th and I’ll be on maternity leave until about May 1st. That gives me time to recover from surgery (c-section and tubes tied), get my milk supply well-established, and start exercising again.
In thinking ahead, I was overwhelmed when Atticus was born. I had Hope vaginally and didn’t expect the pain and discomfort of a c-section (folks who tell you c-sections are easier haven’t had a baby vaginally… c-sections suck) and Atticus had horrible colic stemming from a dairy intolerance. All of a sudden the healthy yogurt, cheese, muffins, etc… were making my kid sick. I was hungry and felt like everything would make my baby ill (y’all dairy is in EVERYTHING). I’m better prepared this go. I have my list of dairy-free snacks and I’m planning on doing some freezer meals sans dairy. JUST IN CASE. I’m also stocking up on groceries early and overall preparing for the recovery from a c-section. After I had Hope I spent maybe two days feeling crummy (I had to get some… ahem… stitches) and then besides being tired I was bebopping around the house. With Atticus I was swelling from pitocin to the point my skin was splitting, I had an incision that reopened, and I was frustrated that it seemed to take my milk longer to get in. I was so determined to have a “nuts and berries hippie sunshine birth” that I refused to read about c-sections, tour the OR, or prepare for a potential operation. I have to have a c-section this time and I’m determined to not go into it scared and ignorant.
What does all that rambling about childbirth have to do with weight loss? A lot. I’m a perfectionist. I say I’m doing the weight loss for health, but I am doing it for vanity just as much. I want to feel pretty and wear what I want and I feel like less of a woman if I don’t match that ideal of how a woman should look. I wanted a natural childbirth because it is best for baby (in my opinion) but also because I wanted to feel powerful and independent in my own body… I felt like I would be copping out by getting a c-section. I want to be a perfect mama from birth onward. I have to accept that my body is my body is my body and this body isn’t ever going to be the “ideal” anything, because the ideal woman is a myth air-brushed, edited, and manufactured by patriarchy.
I think liking your own physicality is a difficult thing for a plus-sized woman. On one hand I believe we should like ourselves and feel beautiful and confident. On the other hand I have big issues with the fat acceptance movement. That deserves its own post that will probably make me an outcast fat girl, but I will say one issue I have with fat acceptance is that it almost advocates for passivity with weight loss. When I started trying to lose weight after college I weighed 356 pounds. When I renewed my commitment to health this past January I weighed 296 pounds. Sure… my numbers were good (cholesterol, sugar, blood pressure), but I wasn’t healthy. Or maybe I am healthy now, but I know that if I am 296 at age 50 I will be suffering. I’ve seen my overweight relatives struggle with fatigue, joint pain, foot issues, and other ailments. I want to be hiking, getting tattooed, and running around with grandkids. Not on the couch suffering from wear and tear exacerbated by weight. Fat acceptance seems to say “I love myself.. I’m confident… I’m sexy.. and I’m going to stay this way!!!” Fat acceptance to me should be “I love myself. I’m confident. I’m sexy. And I love myself enough to change for a healthier, longer life.”
That’s the plan: healthy pregnancy, healthy recovery, healthy breastfeeding, and then back to losing weight so I can wear those cute dresses and live to a ripe old age.