I’m not fat.
Okay, so maybe I’m a little bit fat.
I had four 8-pound babies in 6 years – all of my deliveries were C-sections because I have a spinal deformity. I gained 40 pounds with each pregnancy.
I’d lose 30 fairly quickly each time, but then hold on to the remaining ten. Let’s see… 10 lbs. x 4 kids = 40 pounds more than I’d prefer.
I experienced some depression after my last baby. Having weird post-partum hypertension headaches and carpal tunnel in both arms did not help matters. I’m also not one of those moms who shed pounds like crazy while breastfeeding. I was ravenous.
Anytime the babies were nursing, I’d be shoveling food into my face faster than they could suck it out (please pardon the visual.)
My oldest is now 8, my youngest now 2 – and I still haven’t been able to lose all of the baby weight. With my back issues, some days I’m barely able to walk, much less hit the gym early in the morning.
I’m not obese. I don’t eat horribly and I’m not lazy. I ride my bike when the weather allows. I swim when I can. If given the choice between fried or grilled, I choose grilled. I eat vegetables. I drink water. I rarely eat dairy.
But I don’t want to break my leg and have gravy fall out, if you know what I mean.
So, sometimes I’ll eat the watered-down version of what I serve to the kids. For example, if they have cheeseburgers with lettuce, I’ll have…lettuce.
Or if they have PBJs, I’ll have a turkey on wheat.
But when I sit down to eat (which is a rarity, as all moms know), I am constantly distracted by spilled drinks, strange questions, flying forks and requests to go potty. Usually I get up from the table and think, “Wait…Did I eat anything?”
Then I proceed to scrape the leftovers into the trash can – otherwise known as my mouth. Cheese! Gooey peanut butter crust!
I’m pretty sure this is how calories sneak into my body. They’re very stealthy, those calories.
That has to be it, because I’ve stopped eating Oreos. I haven’t had Crab Rangoon in months. My taste buds have forgotten the frozen deliciousness of Mountain Dew Slushies.
Because I want my kids to make healthy choices. When my little one asks for more cauliflower or says how great the broccoli is tonight, it totally makes my day. But I also want to lose some weight. Not so much for the sake of appearance, but because I need more energy.
So I looked for advice. I came across a study which informed me that moms of children ages 6 and younger are eating worse, getting less exercise and therefore gaining more weight than women who don’t have children.
Wow. Really? This is news?
The main problem I had with this study was the fact that they didn’t even address the extra weight that moms gain while they are busy GROWING A NEW HUMAN.
The study also mentioned that “mothers had a slightly higher average body-mass index than childless women — 27 versus 26.” Gee, a whole point? We are really beefing up. I find it rather hard to swallow (no pun intended) that it’s necessary to make us feel bad over one measly point.
The study went on to say that they weren’t trying to blame moms (oh, thanks very much), but warn them so that they can figure out some solutions. Looking for solutions, are they? How do my solutions sound to you, moms?
- Two years of paid maternity leave, so we don’t have to a) go straight back to work and stress out over breastfeeding, pumping, childcare and housework OR b) stay home and stress out about money, bills and threat of foreclosure. In either case, most of us sacrifice ourselves on the altar of neglect - in favor of our babies, of course.
- A free personal chef/nutritionist/trainer that can single-handedly turn us into the hard-bodied stereotypes that the media wants us all to perceive as “ideal women.”
- Paid time off for new dads, so we can have help with the laundry and fifteen minutes to ourselves once in a while instead of gorging on chocolate and Red Bull just to keep ourselves going past two in the afternoon.
- Healthy food on the value menus at every drive-through. Let’s face it. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to prepare healthy meals. And why are salads so much more expensive than cheeseburgers?
- Free baby-sitting, so we don’t have to pay money that we don’t have in order to go to a Pilates class (also costing money that we don’t have.)
- Someone to take over at night so we can get more than 3 hours of sleep at a stretch. Did you know that lack of sleep is directly related to weight gain? I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in eight years!
The point is, we all have issues with our bodies. We could all probably eat healthier, live healthier, be healthier. But the focus on my weight – I think I’m just about over it.
Could I stand to lose a little? Yes. Would I feel better? Definitely.
Do I feel bad about that one extra BMI point? No way!
And neither should you.