Weight loss

I said that there were benefits of the Primal lifestyle that I find much more compelling than the “effortless weight loss” touted in the book’s subtitle. Like boundless energy – I want some of that! But weight loss would be nice, too.

I wouldn’t say I’ve been a yo-yo dieter, not by any stretch, but as an adult I’ve had periods of being heavier and lighter. At 22 and almost 5’7″, I weighed about 155 lbs – and I started Dr. Phil’s Ultimate Weight Solution plan, so clearly, I thought I had weight to lose. In 2007 I started Weight Watchers – I don’t remember what my starting weight was, but it was probably in the mid-170s. At one point I managed to get down to about 160. By the time I got pregnant in 2009 I was up to 177 again. I lost the pregnancy weight within a few months (even while eating like a maniac – breastfeeding helped make short work of those extra pounds). But here we are again – I’m at about 185 now. The heaviest I’ve ever been, not counting pregnancy. I have been as high as 190, and the last few weeks I’ve managed to lose a few pounds through more mindful eating.

In some ways, I thought I had sort of made peace with my weight. I thought maybe this was just my body’s natural weight. I knew I needed to be concerned about it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care much about it. This past winter, I did Zumba once a week for several months, which I absolutely loved, but other than that, my exercise has been walking in the neighbourhood. I love walking, but I haven’t been doing nearly enough of it, especially over the winter.

Since having a baby, my relationship with my body and mind has proven to be quite complex. On one hand, since becoming interested in physiological childbirth and breastfeeding, I have developed such a great appreciation of the female body. It is such a remarkable physical structure that doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the amazing things it is capable of — or enough chances to just do what it is built to do.

On the other hand, emotionally, I have really struggled with feeling at peace and acceptance with my new life. I could write post upon post about that topic – there’s an entirely different blog for another day – but needless to say, becoming a mother has introduced a whole new set of things to my life, which have to be assigned priorities. Unfortunately, making time to exercise and take care of my body in other ways (even something as simple as painting my toenails more than once every four months) has been hard. Given the choice to sit and read quietly by myself almost always wins. I’m still working on it, but I know that I need more balance in my life, and that won’t happen on its own. I need to make it happen. Today’s post at strocel.com on motherhood, selflessness, and meeting your own needs couldn’t have arrived at a better time!

Anyway, back to my weight. Deep down I know it’s not healthy. I don’t feel great about it. When I look at pictures of me when I first met my husband, I think, “Wow, I look so tiny!” (I was about 160 then. We have both gained weight over the years.) I used to love wearing dresses almost daily. I now have a closet full of dresses that don’t fit. And numbers don’t lie. Gaining 25 lbs in three and a half years is not good any way you look at it.

I’ve been rationalizing too much. I tell myself, why bother losing weight when I’ll just get pregnant again in the not-too-distant future and have to start over? What a terrible attitude. Since I was successful with Weight Watchers, I feel confident that I could start that up again and have good results. But like so many people say, “I don’t want to count points for the rest of my life.” And I want to put cream in my coffee and not have that use up a tenth of my daily points!

So, it’ll be interesting to see what effect the 30-day challenge has on my weight. I’m not expecting miracles but I am expecting to see a change. Since my decision to think about doing the challenge, I’ve been working at cutting back grains and that seems to be making a difference in my weight already. So we shall see!

8 thoughts on “Weight loss

  1. ” I tell myself, why bother losing weight when I’ll just get pregnant again in the not-too-distant future and have to start over?”

    That was my exact same thought process for a long time, as I had been depressed about my weight for a long time and couldn’t even think about being pregnant and wonder, how would I ever lose weight after THAT?

    I was about 165 when I started Primal (I’m only 5’5–I know BMI isn’t everything, but according to that, definitely overweight…and I felt it). Now, it is great knowing that eating this way has not only helped tremendously already (I’m currently around 135-140, so within the normal BMI range)…but also I’m VERY confident that it will help in the future in losing baby weight. It doesn’t seem so daunting anymore to become pregnant and gain weight. I know that I can lose fat with the PB eating (and exercising, sigh–which I still don’t get enough of 🙂 principles. I know that the body will never be the same after having babies, and I don’t have any crazy notions of being perfectly in shape afterwards just because of PB…but I know I can be healthy this way, that it is effective, and so I’m really not that afraid of the weight part of pregnancy anymore. Another bonus.

    I know this can work for you, too!

    • Thanks! I wonder how many women feel this way? Probably a lot. There’s this weird focus on “losing the baby weight” not for the sake of health and self-esteem but for the sake of getting your pre-baby body back, which as you say, will never be the same in many ways (along with your whole life!). For instance, even after I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, I couldn’t fit into lots of my old clothes – the weight was just differently distributed.

      I think it’s great that you’ve found something that works for you in advance of having a baby. Pregnancy may throw you some challenges if you wind up with food aversions (protein is a common one, I had it quite badly), but fingers crossed that with your body being more regulated and even-keeled, you won’t be affected by such things as much.

      • Yeah, I don’t have any illusions that pregnancy will be a smooth ride, but there are quite a few resources (Primal included) on how to deal with sickness/eating, and just knowing it’s something most women have to deal with and their kids turn out fine…is helpful. Did you have the food aversions for the whole 9 months though? I thought it was most common earlier on, although I have heard that some women are sick the whole time…but that seems rare.

      • Apparently I can’t reply to your replies? Anyway, I was pretty nauseated nonstop for about the first 3.5 months and then I got my appetite back 100%. I do know of a couple people who were sick they whole time (so much so that one of them wound up in the hospital for dehydration) but that seems pretty rare.

  2. Oh and walking & Zumba are great PB activities! It’s great that you enjoy them, are you going to keep up with Zumba once in awhile? I’ve never been to a class but I’ve done the Wii Zumba thing at a friend’s place and it’s really fun.

    And as someone who’s just recently lost weight, I can testify that in itself makes you feel a lot better on a day-to-day basis. I think losing some pounds is definitely part of that “I have so much more energy” feeling.

    • Yes! I LOVE Zumba but since our instructor moved away, we (my SIL and I) haven’t signed up for another session. Hopefully we’ll resume that in the fall. You should try to find a class when you’re settled in your new home, if schedules and budget permit. The hour flies by and you work up a great sweat to awesome music… it really is more like a party than a workout!

      In the meantime, we’re planning to go to yoga at least once a week, and I’m going to make an effort to get some more walking in. I’m thinking a nice, early evening walk with some podcasts would be a nice way to get some “me time” and some exercise in one go. And there’s a giant park closeby that I’m thinking would be fun to take A. to, and maybe try some sprints! (haha, we’ll see!)

      • Cool! It’s nice that park is so close by. I’m hoping for something like that where we end up living. It sucks when you have to drive just to get to a nice place to walk. Esp. once kids come.

      • We’re so lucky, we have two great parks within a few blocks. One doesn’t have a ton of greenspace but has a wonderful playground and swings. The other has a giant sandbox, a smaller playground and swings, but a huge plot of greenspace with lots of hills for rolling down and tobogganing!

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