March 4, 2013

Weighing on my Mind

With an emphasis on the "weight."

Since this blog has spent a good deal of time discussing my weight loss journey and my goals to living a healthier lifestyle overall, both physically and emotionally/spiritually, I think now would be a good time to talk about this aspect of pregnancy...

...the dreaded weight gain

I knew I would struggle with this aspect of pregnancy, at least mentally.  I had no idea how my body would change or gain weight, because I've never been pregnant before.  I also know that it's very different with every woman and even with every individual pregnancy the same woman experiences. But I knew that I'd struggle with the reality that the needle on the scale was going to go up higher and higher, whether I liked it or not.

Some of the things I was told:

* Your body is gonna gain what it's gonna gain, so eat what you want.
* You started out overweight, so you really shouldn't gain more than 10-15 lbs (by the lovely woman who works for United Healthcare's "Healthy Pregnancy" program on the phone...a woman who doesn't know anything about me other than my starting, pre-pregnancy weight).
* I'd like to see you get to this weight before you get pregnant, and keep your weight gain to about 30lbs.

Take a wild guess as to which I took the most seriously. 

If you guessed the third statement, you win the prize!  That was the advice of my doctor a year ago, when I became his patient and he encouraged me to drop about 20lbs to be at what he considered a healthy weight for me before getting pregnant, and what he said to me when I re-visited him after getting pregnant.

Allow me to go off on a tiny tangent here to say how much I love my OB.  This is why I stayed with him after that first visit in February of 2012.  He gave me a very matter-of-fact instruction to get to a healthy weight for me -- not to fit what was on a chart for my height and age.  He's also very matter-of-fact that I need to get off my butt more than I have in this pregnancy if I want to keep the weight gain under control.

Anyway, it's time to list some facts:

* I met my goal weight, or got within a pound or so (I need to check with my doctor's office to see what my actual weight was at that first visit after the positive pregnancy test) right before I got pregnant.
* So far, I have gained approximately 12-15 lbs (as of my last visit on February 8th).  Again, I need to get some legit numbers.
* I've let my eating habits slide big time because of how I've felt during the first trimester and a half.
* I've felt better and could be eating better and exercising more, but bad habits are so easy to get back into that I've let myself be lazy.
* If I'm careful, and if I gain about a pound more per week (which is pretty normal during the third trimester), I'll meet my goal of only 30lbs weight gain.

This will still make me heavy.  Heavier than I've been in a long time.  But I still have time to make sure that this weight gain is for the pregnancy, and not because I've allowed myself to have 3 Slurpees a week and all the candy I want (this baby either LOVES sugar, or my body missed it so much as I was approaching my goal weight that it's craving it like crazy...).

I'm getting nervous, though. I feel very big and awkward.  I feel incredibly nervous about my Glucose test on Thursday.  I'm nervous that I'm going to get lectured on weight gain.  I'm nervous that in my third trimester I'll hate how I look and I'll resent the pregnancy because, yes, unfortunately, I am that vain.  To be honest, I look forward to having this baby MORE so I can get back to a body shape I'm comfortable with than so that I can meet my baby.  OF COURSE I'm excited to meet this little dude or gal, too. 

But when you've struggled with weight and vanity issues your whole life, that doesn't just go away during pregnancy.  So it's a daily struggle and prayer to make sure that I'm giving the baby and my body what it needs (healthy food, water, exercise, etc.), still giving in occasionally to the MASSIVE sugar cravings in moderation (because, hey, you just don't know how singularly focused the mind can become on getting that Slurpee), and easing myself back into some healthy habits without starving myself. 

Because the fact is, I need more food than I did before. I need to eat more calories.  But they can be good calories and smart choices.  I'm not "eating for two."  Not two adults anyway. 

I'm also taking lots of pictures.  I'm THAT girl.  I've felt NO shame in taking selfies and posting them on my Flickr and Facebook accounts, because it's nice to hear people tell you that you look great when you are feeling more and more like a Weeble Wobble.

And finally, I leave you with a comparison shot (and the shot on the left will be my inspiration once the Little One is born).  The picture on the left is less than a month before I found out I was pregnant, and the picture on the right was taken this morning.  It's a fairly drastic change in my head, but in reality I can see in my face and arms that I am gaining weight where the baby is, mostly (no comment on the boobs), and that I haven't completely let myself go.


  1. I am so with you on this. I have a picture Robert took of me in a bikini the day before I found out I was pregnant. I look at it and cry. I've gained a total of 37 pounds and I'm at 30 weeks.

    But, I'm encouraged by this: This is my third. I got back in shape twice before. I can do it this time. I just have to be patient. <3

  2. You're doing GREAT! I'm so proud of you, and hope you're proud of yourself, too. Its refreshing to hear someone be mindful of the weight gain, but also be aware that pregnancy is a special time that doesn't happen often (or ever, for some) and there are some parts that should be indulged (in moderation). The exercise is REALLY HARD, right?? Great point about needing more sustenance right now, too, and remember that this point will continue throughout your term of breast feeding. That was a real wake-up call to me, at least. But if you stick to your goals (or close to it!), you'll be so pleased to see how much comes off just from the hospital visit post-birth. You can do it!!!!!! And you look just lovely in that pretty green dress, my Shamrock Mama! Can we say St. Patty's party outfit?! Hollah!

  3. Got here from the June Mama board and am so glad I did - great blog you have going here! And - I am totally with you on each and everything you said. I struggled with my weight before getting pregnant, and was also told to gain 30lbs. I got the dreaded 'talking to' at my last appointment. I knew it was coming. But seriously, you're doing great, I'm sure that baby is happy and healthy, and I just keep telling myself that this weight gain is for the best thing in the world! I'm watching what I eat and being as active as I can be and will trust that once our little one is here, I'll be even more motivated to get back to my fighting weight :) Great job and I plan on following your blog from now on! Mine (which chronicles very similar things as yours!) is :)

  4. You really are doing great and you look great too! I'm not allowed to gain any weight and was actually told it wouldn't hurt to lose weight by my endocrinologist. My OB doesn't seem concerned at all. It seems almost impossible not to gain weight considering I gained like 60 lbs with my first pregnancy and about 35 with my second but I'm on that darn scale a few times a day freaking out over ounces. For me, it's all medical issues. I could care less what I look like but I already see 3 specialists and desperately need not to gain anymore weight. My OB always said 9 months on, 9 months off. A lot of women lose weight very quickly while nursing (I didn't unfortunately but that's due to my thyroid problems) so chances are it won't take too long for the weight to come off if you're going to nurse. You are definitely on track to maintain your weight gain goal and I'm positive you can do it.

  5. I'll admit right up front that my experience when it comes to weight gain/loss/pregnancy was pretty different from yours. I have been overweight at times in my life, and have both lost weight without consciously trying, AND worked very hard to lose weight. That said, though, my self-esteem has never been tied up in how I look (or at least not since I was a teenager), and I never had a career where it helped if I looked a certain way. And when I was pregnant was the one time in my life that I didn't worry about weight or the way I looked AT ALL. It surprised me, especially with my first pregnancy, how confident being pregnant made me. I was definitely not one of those fertility-goddess, earth-mother, now-I-am-truly-WOMAN people when it came to pregnancy. I disliked being pregnant, even though I was fortunate enough to experience very few negative pregnancy symptoms, in almost every respect but one: I was SUPER proud of my body and what it was doing. I thought it was amazing that a baby was growing in me and my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to to make that happen. I never worried about looking fat or whatever during either pregnancy, not even once. I'm not sure why, because even though I knew my worth wasn't based on how I looked, of COURSE I normally worried about looking fat or not having the right clothes on or whatever when I was no pregnant. Just, for some reason, when I was pregnant the normal worries of that kind seemed to melt away. It was very weird, but I was very grateful for it, both times.

    ANYWAY. I didn't meant to go on such a tangent there. :-) My point was to tell you that with Annalie, I lost something like 25 pounds within a week of giving birth. Some was baby, some was placenta, and the rest was water weight. I lost almost as much with Elliora, just as fast. Too bad both times I actually gained 50 pounds, right? Heh. I lost the remaining weight eventually with both girls, though it took over a year for my body to be willing to let it go in both cases. It's funny how even my opinion of things like that changed after having kids, though. Elliora told me a few months ago that she loved my beautiful, squishy, snuggly tummy, and it just made me laugh.

  6. You look so good! I connected with this blog post on so many levels. The struggle to lose weight followed by having to gain weight and be happy about it... it's so much more difficult than I expected. And a lot of it does have to do with my own vanity and anxiety about being large again after having struggled for so long to reach a weight I was happy at... It helps me to not think about the ending pregnancy weight as a number but as something that, if I keep it in a healthy range (i'm shooting for 30 pounds as well), will come off easily with a little bit of work after the pregnancy. Anyway, I don't mean to ramble, I just want you to know I appreciated this post. Also, you're a fabulous writer!