It's been so long since I put my thoughts and feelings down on "paper" that I'm honestly afraid they'll all come out pretty chaotic and jumbled...but even so, it needs to be done. If this is as far as you read, I totally understand!
So...turns out having a baby changes your life a bit. Who knew. You'd think I'd never done this before. Maybe it's because this was the first pregnancy I've had where I was active and healthy and so I was absolutely certain that the day Cooper was born, I'd hop right back on that weight loss wagon and it'd be cake. Or baked chicken breast. Or something healthy, whatever. My point is....For the months building up to his birth, I was beyond excited to get my body back and to get back into my rigorous workout routine and get back to eating 1500 or less calories a day and lose all the weight I'd gained. I'm hilarious. That was a funny joke! Here's how it's ACTUALLY gone down.
As of my last appointment with my midwife in December, I was 269lbs. That was about a 55 ish pound gain from when I learned I was pregnant. Not my worst pregnancy gain, but it was far more than I expected to gain with as often as I was working out. I was still teaching Zumba until November and working out 3-4 times a week on top of that. Unfortunately, I let myself eat whatever didn't irritate me or make me feel ill pretty much the whole pregnancy. I knew what that would do to me, but I accepted my fate. I was sure that once the pregnancy was over, everything would revert to normal.
(This was me at 209lbs, before I got pregnant)
(This is my before/after pregnancy pic)
(And this is what I look like now...)
My sweet baby Cooper was born on December 22nd just after 5 in the evening. He weighed 7lbs 15 oz. and was absolutely perfect. As I was hoping to, I was able to deliver him without any drugs and while it was the most painful experience of my life it was also the most amazing. I'm grateful that my body (and mind!) were healthy enough and strong enough to get through such an experience. I was up and walking around very soon after and I was sure that was a sign of things to come. But from day one, I should've realized that life was going to change. Drastically.
I think I got maybe 10 hours of sleep the entire first month of his life. Between his jaundice (he had to sleep on a bili-bed for a few days) and trying to exclusively nurse him whereas I'd used bottles with my other babies...it felt like I was living with a little human attached to my body. It wasn't much different from carrying him inside me! Not to mention...I'm 35. I'm no longer in my mid-20's trying to care for a newborn. No matter what physical shape I was in, it was a LOT harder than I remember it being! I was exhausted, both physically and mentally and worrying about what went into my mouth was the last thing on my mind. I continued to just eat whatever I had the time or the stomach for and that was usually something fast, convenient and loaded with calories.
I kept telling myself that once the 6 week mark came and I could get back to the gym...everything would be okay. Life would go back to how it was. Wrong again.
6 weeks came and I got the go ahead to work out from my midwife. I went back to teaching Zumba and taking classes at the gym, but with a baby in tow. What started out as 4 classes a week quickly turned to 2...and then 1. I forgot how much STUFF babies have. Trying to get him changed, fed, dressed, packed up in the car, diaper bag filled and then drag all that up to the aerobics room of the gym was NOT enjoyable for me. THAT was a workout in itself...and I got sick of it. Luckily he loves Zumba and would sit/sleep happily through the entire hour anytime I did bring him. But it was just too stressful. And as has always been the case for me...when I'm not working out hard, my eating suffers as well.
One thing hasn't changed. I can still start every single day fresh with a healthy breakfast. And I do. But guaranteed...4pm rolls around and I throw in the towel. Add in a newborn and it becomes more like...2pm. He sleeps a bit better at night, but I still can't get more than 20 mins at a time usually where I'm not having to hold him. (I'm surprised he's slept the entire time I've been typing this! That baby swing is a Godsend.) So it then again becomes... Eat what I can, when I can and feel guilty about it later. I had hoped that I'd be one of those people who, when nursing, burns calories like a mofo and can eat whatever they want and lose a ton of weight. No such luck. I, apparently, am one of those people whose hormones get all out of whack when exclusively nursing and is ravenous ALL THE FREAKING TIME!!! I'm lucky if I can keep my calorie count under 2,000...never mind that 1500 a day nonsense. And my craving for sugar? HAHAHAHA. I have zero control over that little bastard (pardon my language). But seriously. I can't even go a full 24 hours without giving in to some sort of treat.
So what do I do? Cooper is now 4 1/2 months old and cuter than ever. I am blissfully happy being a "new mom" all over again and I love watching all his milestones and watching my older kids as they learn to take care of him right along with me. But I need to find a way to make myself a priority again. Not top priority of course...but at least A priority. Top 5 at least. He's 4 months old and I'm still hovering around 265. Not acceptable anymore. People are so sweet and keep pointing out that I just had a baby and it's okay and it will take time....and I appreciate that. But I need some tough love now. I need someone to crack down on me and stop letting me make excuses. I'm running out of clothes to wear here people! I have an entire wardrobe that was bought at 230lbs and I refuse to live in maternity clothes forever. Nor will I go buy all new plus size clothes after I had just gotten rid of them a year ago. Nope nope. My only option is to buckle down, get serious, stop making excuses and get healthy again. No one needs to eat 3 cupcakes in one sitting. No one needs dessert every single day. No one NEEDS to eat out several times a week just because they hate to cook. (that one will be harder to fix...cause seriously...I hate to cook. And that doesn't help me any.)
Something has to change. I am still running Jilly's Losers, which I love doing...but if I'm being honest with myself, it's not helping me like it used to. It's SO wonderful to watch how it's helping others and it inspires me every day...but after 17 seasons, I no longer feel that accountability that I used to. I feel so loved and accepted by these people that it no longer scares me to weigh in or post full body pictures in front of them. I'm completely nonchalant about it and that's not good. I talked to a good friend of mine yesterday about the possibility of trying Weight Watchers. I need to physically go to a place where I have to step on a scale in front of strangers and be held accountable for my choices each week. Maybe counting points instead of calories will help (although with a year and a half streak going on myfitnesspal.com, I'm not likely to stop doing that anytime soon). All I know is I have to figure out what will light my fire again because it's almost gone out and the thought of returning to 330+lbs terrifies me. Needless to say, it's hard to try and motivate other people when I can't even motivate myself.
Nathan has a new job now that has him working from home. This means I no longer have to drag the baby and all his belongings with me to go workout. This is a good start. In the last week, I was able to get in a couple extra workouts and was genuinely sore for the first time in a year. I can't spend hours a day working out like I used to, but I am hoping that if I can at least get back to working HARD in the time I do have...it will start a cycle that will help with the eating part of things as well. You know things have gotten bad when your children come to you and beg you to make something healthy and turn down dessert because "We've eaten too much bad stuff lately mom." I know better.
So there you have it. Hopefully putting all of this out there will help me to feel a bit more accountable again. It's why I started this blog in the first place. It helps me. I'm grateful for all of the blessings in my life. Life is amazingly good right now. I just need to re-learn how to live it to the fullest. Change doesn't have to be the undoing of years of hard work. Right?
So before I end this, I want to make myself a goal..publicly. I usually tell my group folks to set goals that aren't scale related, but in this case...I need to make an exception. I want to lose 10lbs by my birthday (Which is 1 month from today). And by the time our family reunion rolls around in August, I would like to re-hit my 100lbs lost mark (230.6). Now I realize that this may not happen and I am not going to beat myself up if I don't quite get there. 35lbs in 3 months is a big goal. But right now I think I need to have a big goal. Now if only I could come up with an equally big reward that would actually push me! We'll see how it goes. In the meantime...if you see me eating a cupcake, slap it out of my hand. You have my permission.