Wednesday, February 22, 2012
KATE: The Latest Chapter in my Weight Loss Journey
I have struggled with my weight (and accompanying body-image problems) for probably my whole life. I imagine a lot of it comes from my Mom's similar struggle, combined with not eating well growing up. (I grew up in a single-parent home, and my Mom had to work SO hard to provide for my sisters and I). Either way, I was rarely comfortable in my own skin while growing up.
I was a typical University student and put on weight pretty steadily over the course of University and teachers' college. Mike and I got married while I was still finishing school, and I think being newlyweds combined with me being in school (and working three jobs) taught us a lot of bad habits. So although I made a few attempts at getting it under control, (joining a gym, trying to eat healthier etc.) nothing really seemed to work.
Then the baby happened! Oh my sweet little Thomas. I gained about 30 pounds while I was pregnant, which I considered not "too bad". But keep in mind that I wasn't starting from a particularly healthy place. My eating habits didn't change drastically, and I had only a few craving moments (I still tell Mike he got off easy! We'll see how he does with future babies!) things like cucumber, salami and red licorice. But not together.
When Thom came out weighing almost 9 pounds, I thought "Hey, almost a third of the baby weight, gone immediately!" and then after all was said and done I lost about 15 pounds by giving birth. So I figured, okay, halfway there! But I knew I had to do something, in order to feel better about myself, set a good example for my son, and just generally be healthier. I've also had problems with my liver in the past 3 years or so, and I thought maybe eating healthier and trying to be more active might help with my liver problems. So when a friend mentioned he was going to try a "Low G.I." diet, we thought nothing of it, until we saw a book with a similar title at my in-laws. Mike (who is SUPER skinny) thought maybe if we gave it a try, it would have the double benefit of us eating healthier, and he was hoping it would give him more energy. I think he forgot the part where we were new parents! No sleep=no energy. But we decided to "borrow" the book, and give it a try.
Basically the philosophy is that you eat good food that keeps you full for longer. G.I. is "glycemic index" which has something to do with how much sugar is in your food. I didn't really read the whole book, I must admit. But I read the important parts, and the recipes! I make a weekly meal plan and try to stick with the recipes and meals suggested in the book, but we do stray occasionally. Pizza is just so delicious. But a lot of smaller changes (I had to eat a bagel with peanut butter every morning for breakfast when I was pregnant. Somehow it settled my stomach) seemed to add up to bigger changes. I also started trying to get more active. I signed up for a "Mom & Baby" yoga class (which I love), going for walks with Thom and friends, and I've even tried Hot Yoga and a few Boot-camp classes (ow). I am beginning to understand how much my body needs to move, and how much better I feel afterwards.
Over the course of the past 7 months, I've lost around 65 pounds (since being 9+ months pregnant) and I'm finally starting to feel comfortable in my body. I'm not a "stick", and I never will be. My body has been through some crazy things in the past 10 years or so, but I know that I'm doing right by it. I can feel myself being more present, getting stronger and just being healthy. I used to get migraine headaches almost every day, and I can say I've had like one, maybe two since being pregnant. I'm actually excited for my annual appointment with my liver specialist doctor, because I'm curious if all my lifestyle changes have made a difference to my liver.
I am still learning to be comfortable with people commenting on my weight-loss, complimenting me and asking me my secret. I haven't figured out how to explain to people, some people really aren't comfortable with the "diet and exercise" as an explanation. A few people say something like "You must feel so much better!" which I never know how to respond to. I never really "felt" bad. I felt big, but I was super pregnant! And he was a big baby! And before that, I was just used to being big. I still had (and have!) a husband who loves me and supports me (and does most of the cooking! I'm so lucky.) no matter what I look like.
I don't really know how to conclude this post! We are still following the diet, (Mike gets to eat 2X more food than I do, because I'm so paranoid about him losing weight he cant afford to lose) but we are less strict about it than we were at first. I would love to lose another 30 pounds or so, (my ultimate goal is to weigh less than Mike!) and 7 months ago I never would have thought that was possible. I was convinced I'd gain the baby weight permanently. But now I know that if I commit and stick to it, I can achieve it. Or at the very least I can try. My body may not want to go that far, but I'm okay with that. I currently weigh less than I did on my wedding day. I tried on my "going away" dress from our wedding, and it's too big. And this is almost 5 years (and 1 baby) later. I'm really proud of that accomplishment!
The only problem I've found with losing a lot of weight is that very few of my clothes fit anymore... and we can't exactly afford to buy me a whole new wardrobe! Maybe someday...