Okay, so here we go. I’ve avoided posting this for long enough. Once I hit post, there is no going back. We’ve talked a lot about how you have to have a strong “why” in order to reach your weight loss goals and keep the weight off for good. It can’t just be to “wear skinny jeans” or to “look good on this one vacation”. For overeaters, it’s got to transcend beyond one event or one idea. Your “why” has got to get to the core of why you’re overeating. What are you afraid of? What is the biggest thing in your life that you want that being overweight is keeping you from? What is your “why”? I wrote about a lot of my “whys” during that week but my biggest “why” has yet to be explored on this blog.
As always on this blog, I will share what I’m going through on what I hope is the final leg of my weight loss journey. I will share it in hopes that it helps you figure your own situation out. Being overweight has caused me so much pain over the years and hearing other people’s stories has really helped me. If I can help one of you out there then sharing my story – the good and the bad – will be worth it.
So what is my biggest “why”?
Last post I talked about the fears that can keep you from losing the weight and keeping it off. Today I want to talk about the fear that is actually my biggest reason to lose the weight.
My biggest fear is Pregnancy Weight Gain.
I have a large fear related to pregnancy in general but of all the fears I have, the biggest is weight gain. Since around age 27/28 I’ve been questioning how on earth this is supposed to happen. Like, how is this going to go down? Seriously. How does a woman who has been battling her weight for 20 years now, expected to engage in a process where she is not only gaining weight but expected to gain some of it. Weight gain on purpose? Crazy.
[Tweet Pregnancy = “Weight gain on purpose” – what an insane concept. #fears of a recovering overeater #fear of pregnancy weight gain”]
I mean, really? Have you thought about that? We have established that as overeaters we have big problems with portion control and maintaining a healthy weight as a result. Now all of a sudden these same people are supposed to engage in a 9 month period where not only are we gaining weight but a portion of it is “on purpose”. That is crazy to me. Absolutely crazy and I really just don’t know how to unpack that.
I hesitated for a long time about confessing this fear to anyone, let alone on this blog for the world to see. Especially after looking this up on the web- a lot of people were saying mean things like, “you have no business being a mother if that’s what you’re worried about”. That really made me want to hide in a corner. But then I thought about how I was feeling and I wanted to explain.
This is not about vanity. Trust. No. This is about health and peace of mind and success of one’s goals. I have wanted to be a healthy weight for years now and I’ve even accomplished it twice only to have it slip through my fingers once again. As I wrote in the last post, losing weight for me is about breaking the barriers to all my other goals in life, including being a healthy mother. This is about being a role model.
I want to be a healthy, inspiring role model for my child. I have a dream that my child will never experience issues with food because I will raise him/her in such a loving and healthy environment that he/she will never relate food to anything negative nor will they ever associate food with comfort or refuge the way that I have. But how can I do that if I’m overweight? This is my fear and this is why losing weight at this moment in my life is my biggest “why”. If not now, when?
As I approached my late twenties my main thought started to become: you need time in a new state before it feels normal. I wrote about the difficulty of finding your New Normal in an earlier post. So I always thought that I needed a few years of being thin under my belt before I got pregnant. Because otherwise how would my body know how to get back there after the baby came?
You know how we have muscle memory? Our brain remembers certain things about the way we use our muscles for certain activities and so even if we leave that activity for a while when we come back to it our brains remember how to do it. Like swimming or riding a bike, or even playing piano to some extent. Well in my mind I think we need skinny memory. My body and brain need to connect over a few years and really sink in the feeling of being thin. That way after I have a baby, my body and my brain can get together and say, “Hey, this is not how we usually are. That was a weird little blip in the norm. Let’s get back to our norm.” But if skinny has never been the norm how will my body know how to get thin again?
Can you see my logic in this reasoning?
Since about age 29, I’ve been on this race to lose weight and then keep it off for some given amount of time to create this “skinny memory”. That allotted time kept getting shorter as I got older all the way up until last year when I was begging “just give me 6 months”. And now here we are. I’m 34 and time is up.
I won’t risk the chance of having an unhealthy pregnancy or a complicated pregnancy just because I couldn’t get my act together and lose the weight.
Because of my other fears of pregnancy, I’m giving myself a portion of this year to get my mind together and wrap my head around this whole process before I try to get pregnant. I hope I can lose weight in that time but if I cannot – then that’s just what it’ll be. I can’t wait anymore.
So nothing gets written on this blog without at least venturing into the topic of solutions. I had you worried there for a second, right? You were thinking: wait, what’s the plan? Don’t worry. I’m not going to leaving you hanging, I promise. As happens often on this blog, I don’t have all the answers. All I can do is tell you my initial plan and then let you know how it’s going along the way. So here’s my plan as of now:
Step 1 – I’m going to work on believing in my heart what my Nutritionist keeps telling me.
- She says, in the beginning of the pregnancy you can actually still lose weight so even if you are close to your ideal weight but not there yet you can still reach that goal before the ‘baby weight’ starts to arrive. So even when you officially get pregnant, it ain’t over yet!
- Of all the times in your life when you have motivation to lose weight, nothing will ever be stronger than your desire to keep your baby healthy. When you are pregnant something comes over you and you want to be the healthiest person you can be. She says, “I have seen you grow and care so much for your own health and well-being – there is no way that this is not going to transcend to your desire to keep your child healthy and it will impact every decision you make regarding food during those 9 months.”
- Once you have the baby, after that, your life will be busy and you will be focused on raising your child – so quite simply you will have better things to think about than food and you won’t eat as much.
I desperately want to believe her. And my brain understands the possibility of truth behind what she’s saying. But my heart is not there yet. So I am going to work on truly believing her and allowing her to repeat this to me every time I see her until I start to really believe it myself.
Step 2 – I’m going to search for more stories online. Hopefully other people have already talked about this issue and I can learn from them. I just recently guest posted on my friends blog and she is a former overeater turned mother and she wrote a great post about her weight loss history here. She also did a meticulously great job of chronicling her weight gain during pregnancy which was also very helpful –here. I found all of this to be very comforting and informative and I felt the angst and nervousness start to release a little just by reading her posts. So I’m hoping that searching for more of this online will lead me to some more helpful resources. As I keep saying, we need your stories. If you have a story, you should share it.
Step 4 – I’m going to continue what I’ve been doing and keep trying to lose as much weight as I can before the baby and work hard to keep instilling the good habits that I have learned into my everyday life so that with each passing day they seem less and less like effort and more and more like just – what I naturally do. My hope is that then when I have a baby I can continue these habits even though I’ll be busy being a mother because they will be so ingrained into my life that I won’t’ know how to do anything differently.
Step 5 – Prepare for a Plus Size Pregnancy
It may be that I don’t lose the weight before I get pregnant and that’s okay. That has to be okay. So I’m going to mentally prepare for the idea of having a plus size pregnancy. ‘m going to focus on the positives of having a plus size pregnancy. Many women do it and they don’t let it impede their joy of being pregnant. I will work hard to do that same.
So that’s the plan. Whew. I feel so much better now that I’ve revealed my truths. What a load off. But now the real work begins. Acknowledging your fears is one thing. Conquering them is a whole other. I am hopeful that my fear of going into pregnancy in an overweight state is the final “why” that I needed to lose this weight before I get pregnant and then keep it off after.
Do any of you have these fears? Please share with me. I’d love to know how you’re dealing with them. Did my post help? Please share. As always, I’m here, my fellow readers are here. And we’re listening.
p.s. check out my guest post this week at: http://www.expectinghappiness.com/2016/01/guest-post-unexpected-resource-html