Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Letter to my Future Self #2: Weight Issues

My cousin Tiffany encouraged me to do a second letter to myself since I have been so frustrated with not being able to lose this baby weight...I don't want to go through this "heck" again so I guess I will again attempt to persuade my future self to not make the same mistakes I did while pregnant with Kyla. To be honest, it isn't like I pigged out while pregnant with Calvin or Kyla, I even went off sugar for a lot of the time I was pregnant with Kyla...but those last four weeks I gave up on that and that is when I really started to pack it on...and now I am suffering for it. So just like I need to learn from my mistakes with teaching my babies to sleep, I need to learn from my mistakes of gaining too much when pregnant.

ADVICE WHEN PREGNANT

1) Nope you don't deserve it....yes pregnancy is hard and it really stinks...but you know what else stinks...having forty pounds to lose after you have this baby! That candy-bar will not make your feel any more comfortable, it will only add to the girth you are carrying around, you might as well just tape that Butterfinger to your thighs cause that is were it will end up. You know what you do deserve, you deserve to avoid the post-binging guilt and extra baby weight! One thing I have realized is it is extra hard for me to lose weight post-baby. For some women breastfeeding helps them shed the pounds but for me, it seems to make me hold on to weight, and if I try and diet at all I lose my milk supply. All this is very frustrating but all the more reason to not overeat while pregnant.

2) You are not like other women...see I have a condition called PCOS which is basically a form of Pre-Diabetes which makes it REALLY hard to lose weight and so when I eat carbs it takes me about twice the effort to burn it...therefore, I need to remember that my pregnancy is not my time for "freedom from dieting". Yes other women just let go and pig out while they are pregnant but you CAN'T do that, it will hurt you a lot more than it does them. It always amazes me when friends talk about how they eat pizza and Chinese food every week...I would weight 500 pounds if I did that!

3) No you aren't eating for two...you are eating for one and an extra 300 calories, which you are probably already eating in excess anyway so really, you don't need to worry about getting your baby enough calories, I am sure she will be fine.

4) Its not going to all disappear when you have the baby...with both babies I seemed to lose about seven pounds which is the actual baby and then like three or four more...but that is it...and then it seems that I actually gain a little weight in the next month...and then I stabilize for about ten months no matter what I do! Its hard cause as I mentioned I can't really diet or I lose my milk so I just try and avoid carbs and sugar and exercise.

5) Exercising won't hurt the baby or make you misscarry...my doctor said once I can't let me heart rate get above 145...well that is pretty much impossible since I get to about 185 when I run so 145 is a very slow walk for me. I worry too much and I also just use it as an excuse to not exercise. Next time I am going to continue working out just as hard as I did before...just not run the last few months but other than that I need to remain consistent! My body will tell me if I am doing too much.

6) Yes your husband loves you no matter what but...remember that men like their wives to be thin, even if Moema is too kind to let you know that. He may tell me I deserve a brownie, and may even run to the store to get it for me but YOU have to decide you are going to restrain yourself.

POSTPARTUM ADVICE

1) It is all just vanity... Okay I know I am going to sound like I am going against what I said in my last point but I think it is important to remember it is not what you look like as much as the fact that you don't give up. I mean, I am never going to be one of those super-skinny ladies...it is not ever going to happen! And you know what, that is okay, but I am also not going to let myself go, I am going to try and try and that is going to have to be enough. In the end, God doesn't care what I look like, my husband loves me, and I really don't care if anyone else thinks I am hot. However, I do care that I am an example to my children of someone who perseveres even with little chance of success.

2)Its about health, not weight - What I really want is to be healthy, to be free of all the toxins that are in junk food...yes I would love to be thin as well, but that is not the end all be all. I have to admit every time I step on the scale I seem to go into a depression....so at times I avoid it like the plague...I am trying to learn not to go into panic attacks any time I consider weighing myself, it is a sign that I am way to concerned with my weight. I guess the main reason for my frustration is that I really do try so hard, I exercise, I eat healthy and so I expect results...but I rarely get them...of course I frustrated by that...but I need to learn to just accept and keep going...even if I am not losing weight I am still getting healthier.

3) Do what is right...The Word of Wisdom was given to us to help us keep the Spirit with us and I really feel when I am trying to eat healthy and exercise that I have the Spirit more in my life. When I am consumed by food I am using that as a crutch rather than relying on my Heavenly Father. Food is just as addictive, if not more, than drugs or alcohol and if I feel myself eating to fill some emotional void than that is certainly not what the Lord would have me do.

4) You really don't look that bad...I mean yes I could be skinnier, but things could be worse and be happy for what you do have and stop complaining about what you don't. I have been so blessed with health and beautiful children, and a wonderful husband - don't let body image issues keep you from enjoying the here and now...don't say life will be better when I am skinny, today is the day the Lord has made, enjoy it! I look at old photos of myself in high school and I was so skinny but I remember thinking I was fat...I didn't even enjoy those times...we are never satisfied.

In conclusion, I know I sound obsessive but I know a lot of us women struggle with these issues. I really just want the cycle to stop...I want to stop the guilt and frustration I feel after having a baby. I find myself hugging my baby and telling her, "you were worth all this misery!" However, I hope this letter to my future self will help avoid future postpartum weight wretchedness.