Anyway, here I am. And I'm talking about post-baby bodies. Why? Well, it's a pretty sensitive subject for me. And I've been unsure if I wanted to open up a can of worms on subject that's pretty sensitive for a lot of people. My number one hesitation was not wanting to come off as smug or "preachy". I also did not want to come off as snarky, as many people have asked me questions about losing weight after pregnancy, and I truly don't mind those questions one bit.
So, I will go ahead and tread carefully and do my best to explain my story.
I was always a very active child and this continued into high school. I was a late bloomer (lol bloomer...who thought of that term?) and once puberty FINALLY hit I subsequently gained some weight. I still remember the doctors appointment, after a summer of lots of pizza and ice cream with friends, when I was shocked at the number on the scale. 130, the highest I had ever been. The cherry on top was the doctor telling me height and weight percentiles and that I was in the 75th percentile for weight. What I heard was, "You are 75% fatter than other girls your age". Now, NONE of that was truly bad. The truth was I was nowhere near fat - I was a perfectly healthy and normal weight. But not to teenage me. It was then that I began learning about diets and eating "healthy". Which back in 2005 meant eating fat free everything. Present day me is wincing as I even type that. Thank god things have changed because #avocados amiright?!
When I went to college, and started birth control to help regulate my periods, I gained some weight. Nothing terrible, and I doubt anyone could tell, but it bothered me immensely. Despite working out religiously and counting calories, I couldn't get the scale to budge.
*cue emo photograph to properly demonstrate somber tone*
This continued right up until I got pregnant in July 2015. I was so nauseous for most of the pregnancy, I could barely eat most foods. Forget eating healthy, I could hardly look at brussel sprouts without dry-heaving.
It's as though letting go of all of those rules and restrictions brought me back to square one: listening to your intuition. Naturally, I began eating the things I wanted when I wanted them. I ate what sounded good and - more importantly - what I could keep down at the moment. As a result, I stopped snacking out of boredom or habit. I rarely snacked at all. My sugar cravings shot down drastically.
I ate to nourish my body and my baby. I did not eat to fit a materialistic image.
I knew I was losing weight, but one I hit my pre-baby weight, I figured I would plateau. Greg deployed in October 2016, and I became caught up in being parenting without him. Greg being away meant far less groceries to buy. Without really realizing, I became an almost-vegetarian. I rarely craved meat thanks to having a major aversion to most of it while pregnant. That aversion never really left me and I'm still somewhat stumped by it. I still enjoyed it occasionally, but since Greg the Super Carnivore wasn't around, I hardly bought it or prepared it myself.
I scheduled a doctor's appointment just to be sure everything was alright. If you know me, you know I equate harmless doctor's appointments to a ticket to the grave, so this wasn't exactly a fun appointment for me. I'm sure nurses and doctors feel similar about seeing me, seeing as I almost always faint during the blood draw, ask a million questions, and then proceed to call them several times afterwards to re-ask the same questions that I was too nervous to remember the answers to.
Happily, the tests came back just fine. The doctor told me to eat more often. Greg told me to eat more meat, because of course. My grandma told me to eat donuts, play bingo, and listen to Johnny Cash, which doesn't seem very relevant but still sounds like great life advice to me.
I think my biggest issue, was that here I was, a twenty-seven year old woman who had just let go of all of society's pressure to look a certain way, who finally felt free of restrictive diets, and happy with the skin I was in - and I was being brought right back where I started. Weight was being made very important and defining who I was. When I saw people I hadn't seen in a while, I was greeted with "You've lost a lot of weight" as opposed to "Cool, you're a mom now!".
While I may have looked skinnier, behind the scenes I was a tired, emotionally-drained new mother, pushing myself through day after day with an infant, missing my husband terribly. I was wearing a smaller size in jeans, but I was also worrying about being the best parent I could be for my baby. I may have been carrying a few less pounds, but I was riddled with anxiety, afraid to read the latest news about a missile test in Korea, where Greg was. I don't mean to make it seem like I was walking around in misery and depression - because truly I was mostly happy - but my new weight had nothing to do with me as a person. I was still me. I AM still me.
Looking to the future, I plan on continuing eating the same way. As healthy as possible, but without restrictions. I refuse to obsess over food or rules around them any longer. I refuse to let myself be a slave to the number on the scale (no matter how high or how low). I will do my absolute best to raise my daughter thinking any of that is important. I will teach her that healthy is important. Happy is important. That's about it.
My body isn't textbook perfect. My boobs sag from breastfeeding. My butt is almost non-existent now. I have stretch marks on my thighs, on my breasts, and on my stomach. I'm starting to see the hint of wrinkles on my face, near my eyes and mouth. I will never have a six pack.
And I have never, ever loved my body more.