Being pregnant is hard. Your body goes from being familiar and comfortable to something you can no longer even recognize when you look in a mirror. Things are moving and growing and stretching, and unfortunately this is not restricted to only your belly. Lines and marks appear. Colors change. More goes in than comes out. And the number on the scale keeps creeping up and up and up. Pregnancy books will tell you that the recommended amount of weight the average woman should gain during a normal pregnancy is 25-35 lbs. The books will go on to talk about a healthy pregnancy diet and safe exercises you can do to stay in shape. Every bite you take is an opportunity to provide nourishment to your unborn child, after all. When you are six weeks along and reading these books with the bright-eyed optimism of a first time mom, all of this will sound fantastic. But the fatigue will hit, and then the insatiable pregnancy hunger, and before you know it you will find yourself 7 months along and roughly the size of a beached whale with that recommended 25-35 lbs a distant memory… and still with two more months to go! At least, if you are like me, this is what will happen.
Now Emmalee’s first birthday is only three weeks away. While watching her play today I was struck by the realization that she isn’t really that much of a baby anymore. She is on the fast track to toddlerhood, which means this last twenty pounds of “baby fat” I’ve been carrying around has pretty much become just fat. And it doesn’t help my cause any that Emmalee looks about six months older than she actually is. The excuse “I just had a baby” no longer applies to me. It’s time to either make a change or accept it. I am choosing to make a change (though that’s mostly due to the fact that I can’t really afford to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe).
Dieting sucks. I dislike it for a variety of reasons, the main one being that I really enjoy eating. I tend to be an emotional eater. Eating (like shopping) can instantly improve my mood. If my head hurts, I’m tired, I’m stressed, my students are aggravating me, my throat is scratchy, it’s Monday, etc, then I feel completely justified reaching into the candy box. After all, I deserve some chocolate if I’m not operating at 110%, right? I also tend to reward myself with food. Wow, I got my lessons plans done for the next two weeks? Go me! A sugary celebration is in order. (At this point I think you can see why it is no longer reasonable to blame my extra pounds on Emmalee!) I am also not a fan of exercise. My free time is so limited as it is, do I really want to spend it sweating when I could be relaxing? Not really.
Clearly, I’ve got my work cut out for me. But my goal is set. By the end of April I hope that there will be 20 lbs less of me. I want to lose this weight not only so that my clothes will fit me again, but also for Emmalee. I know that if I eat better and work out I will be healthier and have more energy for her. With walking looming on the horizon and running just behind that, I’m sure I will need all the energy I can get to keep up with my little handful!