Monday, May 4, 2009

Here Goes Nothing

There is nothing that I hate more than our culture's preoccupation with weight and weight loss. Yet at the same time, I am constantly disappointed by my own inability to get control over my weight issues. Flip sides of the same ambivalent coin...

I have struggled with my weight all of my life. There were highs and lows; the lows usually brought on by a motivational remark from my mother and subsequently, unhealthy measures on my part; yet the results were met with praise just the same. I have always been a mind over matter kind of person and believed that if I wanted it badly enough I could just will it to happen. This rule never applied to weight loss, however, and in this respect I have always felt a bit of a failure.

In college I took a very eye-opening class where I learned that the preoccupation with weight loss, the constant worry about calories and intake, and food deprivation are all contributing factors to weight gain! I also came to the conclusion that none of my short-term weight loss measures were successful. On the contrary, I would "rubber band" sooner or later back to my previous weight with a little something extra. Turns out in the long run, this kind of "rubber band" dieting is actually worse for your long-term health than simply being overweight! Plus I could never, ever, trust myself to stick to a "diet" for life, nor could I give up certain indulgences that I enjoy on a fairly regular basis. So all in all, I came to the conclusion that no matter what, I would simply. not. diet.

And then I got pregnant.

I think that Hollywood has really done a number on the collective egos of women in this country. We all have this gross misconception that being pregnant means that we will be all glowy and cutesy with no other physical manifestations that slightly larger boobs and a lovely rounded belly. Ha! With both of my pregnancies the first place where I gained weight was in my bottom! Seriously! Who carries babies in their bottom? Both times it was so bad that I actually didn't fit into XL maternity pants! Can you imagine? When you are already bloated and having a hard time fitting into anything at all as it is? The horror. Post pregnancy weight loss is likewise disappointing for me. Don't expect to see me strutting down the red carpet in a slinky gown just days postpardum. I will be looking positively 2nd trimester for at least another 6 months.

My doctor(s) took issue both times with my weight gain and with my postpardum weight loss. I will never forget sitting in the office time after time, still confounded by the friendly reminders about my weight. I am not a stupid person; I am well aware that pregnancy does not mean a food free-for-all. As a matter of fact I tried very hard with both pregnancies to keep my weight under my control. Yet my body, to spite me, seemed to want to go where it wanted to go with absolutely no regard for my thoughts or feelings on the matter. After Joseph was born it took about 9 months before the weight really started to come off, with no assistance or insistence. And by the time I fell pregnant with Ryan I was only 10 lbs away from my prepregnancy weight.

So again, post Ryan's birth, I find myself in the same pants and shoes quite literally. And this time it seems to be taking even longer to come off! Admittedly, it does seem to be following the same pattern, and perhaps if I were more patient I would see a swift downward swing in a couple of months. All the same, the part of me that needs to have control (albeit irrationally) will not be subdued in the meantime.

I started Weight Watchers Online last night.

I am super-duper scared that I will fail. That I will only last a day or two and give up completely. Or that if I am successful, in time I will just bounce back to where I am now. Or worse, I will gain even more. The prospect of having to do this over and over for the rest of my life makes me weary and depressed. I feel that I shouldn't have to do this! That I should be able to just will it to happen, but my body defies me and I don't have that option...

I need encouragement and support now. If anyone out there has advice, or positive examples to reassure me in this challenge I would greatly appreciate it. In the meantime, I promise to keep you posted of my progress.

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