The Baby Weight Battle
I have always struggled with weight and my body image through out my life. I was never obese, but I have always been chunkier than what magazines and media portray as beautiful. Trying on clothes in the dressing room would usually end in tears, so I resorted to always wearing a sweatshirt to cover my body. I never felt as beautiful as the skinny girls in school. My mother one day insisted that we join a weight loss program together and in less than a year I dropped over 30 pounds. At 26 years old, I was at my healthiest at 102 pounds and 5 feet tall. I loved my body and the fact that I could finally wear the clothes that I wanted. It took a lot of work to get my body the way that I loved it.
Almost a year after I started dating my "soon to be future husband", I noticed that I was gaining weight, and quickly. I forced him to take me on runs in the park, even though running is about as fun for me as sticking a needle in my eye. I was eating healthy and cutting back on sweets, yet I was still gaining weight. I was on birth control at the time, so it definitely came as a surprise when I figured out that I was gaining weight because I was pregnant.
When I started getting pregnancy cravings, I would lose control and eat whatever I wanted. I figured of course that I was eating for 2 and that I could easily lose the weight once I had my child. I couldn't be more wrong of anything in my life. I gained a total of 60 pounds during my pregnancy. Once I was out of the hospital, I dropped 12 pounds within a couple of weeks, so I was of to an okay start. I figured breastfeeding would help me lose the weight quicker, but of course when I tried to breast feed, I ended up not being able to produce milk, so my idea of being able to drop the weight that way was blown.
At this point in my life, I was up all night with the baby and only taking short naps during the day, so for once in my life losing the weight was the furthest thing from my mind. Truthfully, I was lucky to even sit down and eat a full meal. But even with not eating as much, the weight just wasn't coming off.
After my daughter turned 6 weeks old I went back to work. I was able to get both of us on a semi normal schedule with a lot of help from my family, (you can't really expect too much with a newborn). With this almost normal schedule, came my old normal thoughts of having to get my body back. It is so easy to gain the weight, but extremely difficult to lose. While working 40 hours a week and dealing with the craziness of being a new mom, I was getting worn out and overwhelmed. With the stress came stress eating, and with the stress eating came weight gain. And with the weight gain came the guilt. I worked so hard to lose it, and in a short 10 months (because let's get real, pregnancies last for 10 months, not 9), I ruined it. I ruined it by eating for 2 and giving into every craving. By stopping at McDonalds for breakfast and Taco Bell for lunch. By not thinking about the repercussions.
Fast forward to four years later and I am still struggling. I am still going on diet after diet, taking supplements and vitamins and trying things like apple cider vinegar and whatever internet craze seems easy and cheap. I have now been able to maintain my weight (slightly fluctuating between 1-5 pounds here and there), but for the most part staying the same. But I am still heavier than I wish I was. Finding the time to go to the gym is like pulling teeth, and I just can't find the willpower inside myself to "count points" or calories anymore. I am trying my best to eat more healthy options and smaller proportions. I am trying my best to accept who I am and what my "adult body" looks like. I am trying my best to love myself for who I am.