A couple months ago I got an iPhone as a reward for losing 50 pounds. A lot of people were shocked because either they hadn’t seen me in awhile and were surprised, or they HAD seen me recently and wondered, “Uh where did the 50 come from?”
I shall explain. When I delivered Jack I weighed in at about 258. When I had Isabella I was about 250. Something about those babies made me gain weight rapidly. With Isa I gained about 2 pounds a week. With Jack, starting out about 30 pounds heavier than with Isa, I gained very little at first but towards the end was on the 2 pound a week trend. I now have my theories as to why, but I’ll get in to that later.
So where were we. Ah yes, 258 pounds. A few days later walking around the hospital I found a scale and stepped on. 255. WAIT WHAT?!?! 255??! Are you fking kidding me?!?! I knew I was swollen from all the fluids they had pumped into me, but I had just had a 9 pound baby. And you lose a lot more than just baby pounds when you give birth, so how the hell did I only weigh 3 pounds less? At that moment I felt like my life was over. My baby was in the NICU, he had blood sugar issues, he had gotten stuck during delivery, and every dr and nurse was asking me about gestational diabetes. WHAT diabetes? I had the 4 hour GD test and I passed. They said I didn’t have it at all! But something was obviously very wrong with not only me but my babies. Why did I gain weight so fast when I was pregnant? I had been chalking it up to the fact that it was the first time in my life that I wasn’t on a diet. But maybe there was something more going on. I begged my Dr’s and midwives both pregnancies to tell me what to do. How many calories a day should I be eating? No one would give me answer. Just avoid fried foods was the usual response. I wasn’t eating KFC everyday! I would eat bean burritos or soft tacos but I knew those were ok in calories because I had been eating them before getting pregnant and while I was doing weight watchers. Could it have been the 10 calorie otter pops I ate? WHAT WAS GOING ON???
With Isabella I eventually just said screw it. I was tired of not getting to eat like the sitcom stereotypical pregnant woman. So I ate pop tarts like a crazy person for the last week or so of my pregnancy. Haven’t really had any since. If I had eaten those like that the whole time I was pregnant I would have expected 2 pounds a week gain. But I didn’t. My husband kept pushing me to relax and just eat whatever I wanted. But the stress of gaining 2 pounds a week was too much to take and I couldn’t just relax and eat whatev. I do remember having desperate cravings for fruit. COLD fruit. I wanted fruit so bad I would almost kill for it. I wanted carbs almost exclusively through both pregnancies. With Jack I did want some more meat and cheese, but overall I want bread and pasta and fruit. But wait, those things are healthy right? How could I gain all that weight while eating whole grains and fruit?
Because I was starving to death. Because the food I ate turned into glucose and went straight to my fat cells for storage. Then my body didn’t have any to use for energy, and it started sending out the OMFG I’M STARVING signals again. It didn’t matter if I had fruit and toast for breakfast, I was going to be starving in two hours. And they say, if you are starving your baby is starving. Well I must have had quite the voracious fetus in there because this was ridiculous. So I would eat more fruit or toast and the cycle would start again.
Somehow thru the grace of God, my babies and I survived these pregnancies. And for all of Jack’s struggles, he is now a happy healthy 15 month old. But where did that leave me? 255 pounds that’s where. But as the swelling subsided, my weight started to go down. Jack was born March 2, and by the end of the month I was down to 227.7. But that’s when then weight loss stopped. I was no longer swollen and my weight had actually gone up a few pounds. So that’s where this current journey started.
I remember the thoughts I had back then. Mostly I felt bad for my husband. I figured he must sit there and wonder where he went wrong in life to end up with a wife who weighed 227 pounds. He doesn’t like me skinny by any means, but this was ridiculous. I knew what weight I liked being at so I set out to lose 100 pounds. Really just so I could say I lost 100 pounds. But deep down I really didn’t think it would happen. 127.7? I weighed that in 6th grade. The lowest I’ve ever weighed post puberty is 140. And right now I still don’t know if it’s going to happen. 100 pounds seemed like so much to lose that I didn’t want to think about how long it would take or how hard it would be. So I just concentrated on small goals.
My first goal was to get to where I was after I had Isa. 217. Then I wanted to lose 10% of my weight. That was 22.7 pounds. By the fall I was down around 200 pounds. I had done this by following WW online. I was also nursing so I didn’t want to lose weight too quickly. I relaxed during the holidays, gained 5 pounds, and geared up for a quick detox using the “Eat to live” program (more on that in a separate post). In two weeks I was down to 190. Holy cow! 15 pounds in two weeks. Awesome. I started going to Weight Watchers meetings and lost about 7 more pounds. But then all of a sudden it started to get really hard to lose weight. Not that it was hard for my body, it just got hard to follow the program. I had lost a total of over 45 pounds, about 20 of which I had lost in the first couple months of the year, but by the time Jack’s birthday rolled around I was sick of counting calories. I was sick of being hungry all the time. I was tired of feeling restricted. I had worked so hard for a year and for what? I was 180/185 pounds, which was 10 pounds over my “fat weight”. Before having kids I would get up to 175 and say ok time to diet! I knew how hard it had been to diet my way down to 140 in high school and it was so hard to face that journey again.
The other “problem” I had doing WW this time around was that I was trying to eat real food. I didn’t want to eat low calorie bread with splenda jam. Aspartame yogurt and processed cheese. The book that really rocked my world was “Real Food”. It is a lovely book full of defense of traditional foods. At that same time my husband kept bringing up trying a gluten free diet. So I kept reading everything I could get my hands on. What finally completely shifted my thinking was “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes. Everything finally finally finally made sense. I’ll get into it more in another post but finally it made sense why I was always hungry. Why I gained so much while pregnant. Why I was burnt out from calorie restriction. I cut out the sugar, the gluten and most of the carbs and I haven’t looked back.
I’ve now lost a total of 62 pounds and I weigh around 165. I’m still concentrating on mini goals, such as weighing less than my DH and getting to my before baby weight. I still look down at my body and I’m not happy with what I see, but sometimes I do see a glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m about a size 12 now but I have a lot more fat and a lot less muscle than I did 5 years ago, so a size 12 looks different than it did then. I’ve started working out and I hope that will help change the shape of my body and help get back some of that lost muscle. I’ve also started to think about that 100 pound goal I set for myself a year ago. Maybe I can get there. I’m 62% of the way there, so why not? What’s another 38 pounds?
Peace be with you!